Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Conservationist of the Year - Sam Magavern

By David Kowalski
Conservation Committee Member
Adirondack Mountain Club - Niagara Frontier Chapter (ADK-NFC)

The ADK-NFC Conservation Committee honored Sam Magavern with the “Conservationist of the Year” award at the Chapter's Annual Meeting and Picnic on Saturday, June 7, 2014.

       Sam Magavern    photo/Artvoice
Sam Magavern is the founder and co-director of the Partnership for the Public Good, a local think tank that provides research and advocacy support to help revitalize Buffalo-Niagara in many areas, including our natural environment. The group works to cultivate our regional assets, including Lake Erie, Niagara Falls, the waterfront, and natural areas. The Partnership also tackles some of the most serious problems of the region such as air pollution, poor water quality, and numerous brownfields.

Magavern, in collaboration with his law students and others, has authored a number of important reports on behalf of the environment, conservation and the public good. Three of these reports are briefly described below.

A recent report, The Niagara River Greenway: Fulfilling the Promise, served to restore progress in developing the Niagara River Greenway by ensuring that Greenway funds are used only for their intended purpose — creating a world-class system of parks, trails, and conservation areas along the Niagara River.

"No one has articulated and publicized the problem and its solutions as effectively as Sam Magavern and his 'think tank,' the Partnership for the Public Good," wrote Larry Beahan, ADK-NFC Conservation Committee member, after reviewing the report.

Sam Magavern is now a commissioner on the Niagara River Greenway Commission, and he currently serves as chair of the Citizens' Advisory Committee. He welcomes public input on Greenway matters and can be contacted at sam@ppgbuffalo.org

A 2008 report, Greening Buffalo: What Local Governments Can Do, describes the Partnership's vision on promoting 'green' initiatives such as mass transit, energy-efficient buildings, recycling, and the conservation of energy, water, and habitats. Such initiatives are not only friendly to our environment, but also will generate business, helping to revive the economy of the Buffalo-Niagara region and provide new jobs.

Magavern's latest report is titled Building the Blue Economy: Opportunities for Community-Based Organizations in Stormwater Management. With a combined stormwater-sewage system like that in Buffalo, stormwater management is key to protect water quality and public health. To address the problem, the report presents innovative 'green infrastructure' methods, which can deliver environmental benefits and create community jobs, including entry-level jobs. The report was prepared in collaboration with PUSH Buffalo.

Sam Magavern has chaired the boards of several non-profits, including a land conservancy.  He teaches at the SUNY Buffalo Law School and the Cornell University ILR School. He is a graduate of Harvard University and UCLA Law School.

About the Niagara Frontier Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK-NFC): ADK-NFC, with some 1000 local members, subscribes to and supports the mission of The ADK, both in the Adirondack Forest Preserve and in Western New York. Components of the mission include conservation, advocacy, recreation, education and stewardship. Join us to support this mission and to share our joy and knowledge of outdoor activities. Visit our website at ADK-NFC.org

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