In 1961, by act of law, New York State established the "Lake George Park" thereby designating the lake and its land drainage basin as an area so distinctive in natural qualities and scenic beauty that it is deserving of special protection. The park consists of a spectacularly beautiful 300-square mile land and water area lying within three counties and twelve municipalities.
In the 1980’s several studies concluded that the lake was facing several threats from development activities, uncontrolled dock and marina expansions, stormwater runoff and other factors. Many local environmental organizations, local elected officials and prominent citizens worked together to create a full NYS agency out of the Commission, which was finalized in 1988. The founding legislation of the Lake George Park Commission is NYS Environmental Conservation Law Article 43, which grants broad powers to the agency to carry out a wide array of programs aimed at protecting Lake George and the safety of the recreating public. Taken from Article 43: “There shall continue to be in the department a commission to be known as "Lake George park commission." Such commission shall be a body corporate and politic. It shall consist of the commissioner, ex officio, and nine members to be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, at least two of whom shall reside in the county of Essex, two in the county of Warren and two in the county of Washington and at least three of whom shall be members of a civic, protective or service association in the Lake George area.
The Commission is an independent NYS agency overseen by a ten-member Board of Commissioners, all appointed by the Governor (except for one DEC Commissioner designee), for nine year terms. These Commissioners meet monthly to take action on applications for dock, marina, charter boat, stormwater management and other projects within the Lake George Park. The Board also sets direction for the agency, in terms of the overall protection of the lake and its users. The Board, working in concert with the Governor’s office, has the authority to create new regulations and programs to protect the lake, as authorized under Environmental Conservation Law Article 43.
The Board also has the power to hire staff and delegate various authorities to that staff. The Commission is one of the smallest NYS agencies, with a staff complement of approximately 10 full time professionals and 13 Marine Patrol Officers who work to protect and assist the many thousands of boaters who enjoy Lake George every year.
The Commission, very differently than most NYS agencies, does not receive NYS ‘General Fund’ dollars (tax dollars). Rather, the Commission is primarily funded through ‘user fees’ for boat and dock registrations on Lake George, which comprises more than 90% of the agency’s annual budget of approximately $1.5 million dollars. Fees are set by the NYS Legislature, with dock registration fees of $50 per year and boat registration fees averaging $50 as well per vessel (varies by length). The idea behind this authorizing legislation is that the users of Lake George should play the primary role in the lake’s protection.
In the Commission’s 30-plus year history as an agency, many programs and regulations have been implemented to help protect the quality of Lake George. All such programs are listed and described on this website, including environmental and public safety. The Commission has some of the most proactive and stringent environmental standards regarding stormwater runoff and stream protection in the country, and the agency is proud to work hand-in-hand with our local communities and non-profit lake organizations to help ensure that Lake George remains one of the cleanest, clearest lakes in the U.S.
David Wick - Executive Director
Joe Johns - Director of Law Enforcement
Roger Smith - Conservation Operations Supervisor III
Jason Kokkinos - Environmental Analyst 1
Joe Thouin - Environmental Analyst 2
Justin Luyk - Trades Generalist
Erica Buckley - Office Assistant 3 (Calculations)
Michelle Way - Office Assistant 3 (Calculations)
Karla Buettner, Esq.
For all media inquiries, language access, and accessibility requests, use the contact information below.
Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
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Mailing Address: Contact us by fax:
75 Fort George Road, PO Box 749 518-668-9347
Lake George, New York 12845