BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE - Peter S. Paine Jr., who has devoted much of his life to exemplary public service, received the Adirondack Museum's 2010 Harold K. Hochschild Award Aug. 19.
The award was presented on behalf of the museum's board of trustees at a ceremony held at the museum. The program was filled with tributes to Paine from friends and colleagues. Speakers included Adirondack Museum director Caroline M. Welsh; Hochschild Award Committee trustee and chairman Glenn Pearsall; Northern Insuring Agency chairman, Champlain National Bank vice-chair, and former New York co-chair of Lake Champlain Committee Roderic G. Giltz; Adirondack Park AGency former counsel and commissioner William H. Kissel, Esq.; and Nature Conservancy vice president Timothy L. Barnett.
Also, Nature Conservancy executive director Michael T. Carr; Assemblywoman Teresa R. Sayward; Vermont Historical Society trustee and treasurer, and Fort Ticonderoga Association trustee Dr. H. Nicolas Muller III; and DEC Region 6 retired director Tom Brown.
Paine served as a member of the Temporary Study Commission on the Future of the Adirondacks (chaired by Harold K. Hochschild) from 1968 to 1970, and as a commissioner of the Adirondack Park Agency from 1971 to 1995. In that capacity he was the principal draftsman of the Adirondack State Land Master Plan and New York State Wild Scenic and Recreational Rivers Legislation.
Paine is a retired partner of the international law firm, Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, and has long served as chairman of Champlain National Bank in Willsboro. He is trustee and former chair of the Adirondack Nature Conservancy, and also served on the New York State Nature Conservancy Board of Trustees.
In addition, he was a founding member and long-time general counsel of the Lake Champlain Committee and also one of the founding trustees of what is now Environmental Advocates.
Paine currently serves as president of the board of trustees of the Fort Ticonderoga Association and is also a trustee of the Adirondack Community Trust.
He has played a key role in numerous land conservation projects in the Champlain Valley. These include the preservation as a bird sanctuary of the Four Brother Islands in Lake Champlain, and the addition of the Split Rock Mountain Range to the NYS Forest Preserve.
He was also a major donor to and co-organized the Noblewood Park and Nature Preserve project in the town of Willsboro with Sayward, and helped create the Coon Mountain Preserve in Westport. At his instigation, the Paine family donated conservation easements to the Adirondack Nature Conservancy starting in 1978, protecting five miles of shoreline on Lake Champlain and the Boquet River and some 1,000 acres of farmland and forest.
A resident of Willsboro, Paine is a hunter, fisherman, horseman and wilderness expedition leader.
The Harold K. Hochschild Award is dedicated to the memory of the museum's founder, whose passion for the Adirondacks, its people, and environment inspired the creation of the Adirondack Museum. Since 1990, the museum has presented the award to a wide range of intellectual and community leaders throughout the Adirondack Park, highlighting their contributions to the region's culture and quality of life.