State parks commissioner steps down

Rose Harvey, commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, has announced she will soon leave the post.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo nominated Harvey as commissioner in January 2011.

As commissioner, Harvey oversaw the agency’s roughly $385 million budget and its 335,000 acres of public lands and 215 state parks for eight years as the parks system continued to grow.

“I feel confident that after nearly eight years of putting Governor Cuomo’s bold vision for the state park system into action, I will be leaving it much better prepared to meet the needs of 21st century park visitors,” she wrote in a statement sent to the Times. “I look forward to staying into the new year and assisting with the transition.”

What that transition will look like, however, is unclear. The governor’s office did not return a request for comment about possible interim or permanent replacements.

Harvey is not the first commissioner to step down after Cuomo won re-election earlier this month. Basil Seggos, who has led the state Department of Environmental Conservation for nearly four years, will also be leaving.

In an email, the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation highlighted some of the accomplishments of Harvey, including several new state parks: Buffalo Harbor, FDR Four Freedoms and Hallock Preserve, among others.

She also oversaw the $1.5 million public-private partnership renewal of the Minna Anthony Common Nature Center at Wellesley Island State Park and the $1.5 million renovation of the Rock Island Lighthouse State Park.