Peter A. A. Berle

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Peter A. A. Berle (died in 2007)

"Mr. Berle’s passion for the outdoors coincided with the rise of the environmental movement in the early 1970s. A lawyer, he founded Berle, Butzel & Kass, one of the first firms in the country devoted to the new field of environmental law. Later, as a member of the State Assembly from a silk-stocking district on the Upper East Side, he played an important role in the passage of some of New York’s earliest environmental laws.

"When Gov. Hugh L. Carey named him commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation in 1976, Mr. Berle had the chance to ensure that those environmental laws were rigorously carried out. He took a department that had been focused on stocking lakes with trout for fishing and transformed it into a watchdog on behalf of the state’s air and water quality...

"In 1977, he oversaw the state’s purchase of more than 9,000 acres in the park, including 11 of the highest peaks in the Adirondacks...

"After leaving state government, Mr. Berle returned to his Manhattan law practice. In 1985, he became president of the National Audubon Society. In his 10 years there, he attempted to update the organization’s image.

"In 1989, Gov. Mario M. Cuomo named Mr. Berle as chairman of the Commission on the Adirondacks in the 21st Century, a multiyear effort that resulted in several important recommendations for the Adirondack Park. Mr. Berle also became a director of the New York Independent System Operator, which runs the state’s electricity transmission system." [1]

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Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. Peter A. A. Berle, Lawmaker and Conservationist, Dies at 69, New York Times, accessed October 9, 2008.
  2. Century Foundation Past Trustees, organizational web page, accessed October 1, 2012.