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Former CNY Rep. Sherwood Boehlert Remembered For His Dedication, Bipartisanship

Sherwood Boehlert remained active in political and environmental issues after he retired, speaking here as part of the program, “The Future of America’s Energy Needs,” was held part of The “We” Campaign, a project of the Alliance for Climate Protection in 2008.

Former Utica-area congressmember Sherwood Boehlert has died after a long illness.  He was one week shy of his 85th birthday.  Boehlert served parts of Central New York and the Mohawk Valley for nearly 25 years from 1983 to 2007 when he retired.

He established himself as a leading moderate republican who fought hard for environmental measures, often working across party lines to oppose rollbacks in protections or to push for new ones. For example, he was a major contributor to the acid rain provision of the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990. It was aimed a protecting vulnerable Adirondack lakes and their habitats from coal-fired power plant emissions in the Midwest that cause acid rain. Boehlert served on the house science committee for his entire congressional career, and was chairman from 2001 to 2006.

He’s being remembered by colleagues on both sides of the aisle as a dedicated, hardworking, and effective public servant. One of them is now-Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. In a statement, he calls his friendship with Boehlert one that transcended partisanship and even included sharing a locker at the gym during Schumer’s time in the house.

Boehlert’s work even earned him the honor of being named one of the 50 most effective members of congress by congressional quarterly.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente has ordered flags to be flown at half staff on county buildings in honor of Boehlert, who served one term as the county’s top elected official before being elected to his house seat.