Almanack Contributor John Warren

John Warren

John Warren has been exploring the woods and waters of the Adirondacks for more than 45 years. After a career as a print journalist and documentary television producer he founded Adirondack Almanack in 2005 and co-founded Adirondack Atlas in 2015.

John's Adirondack Outdoors Conditions Report can be heard Friday mornings across the region on North Country Public Radio and on WSLP Lake Placid.

He is also on the staff of the New York State Writers Institute and edits The New York History Blog. He is the author of two books of regional history.


Friday, August 11, 2017

2 Arrested For Leaving Intoxicated Mooers Man

Scales of Justice (public domain)New York State Police have arrested a man, 34, and a woman, 26, both of Mooers, for Criminally Negligent Homicide following an incident the night of March 4, 2017  in which police say the two dropped off Jason Guay, 42, also of Mooers, whose body was found the next morning on State Route 11, approximately 500 feet from his residence.

“Guay was reportedly highly intoxicated, and overnight temperatures had reached approximately -5 degrees Fahrenheit,” according to a statement from the New York State Police announcing the arrests. “These arrests are the result of a five month long investigation in conjunction with the Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie,” State Police said. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Adirondack Atlas: A Collaborative Digital Map

Adirondack Atlas Digital MapAdirondack Atlas, a new collaborative effort to assemble a comprehensive digital map of the Adirondack Park, was introduced to the public last week at the Conference on the Adirondacks in Lake Placid.

In 2012, I got together with Steve Signell (then working on ARGIS) to discuss our mutual interests in the advances in web mapping services. Out of those discussions came a small project for the Adirondack Mountain Club’s new Northville-Placid Trail Chapter.

But the NPT Map was just an ancestral prototype of a much a bigger idea – a full Adirondack Atlas – a modern gazetteer that could bring together data about the Adirondack Park across and space and time.  Our idea was to have a digital atlas that would not only show the current state of the Adirondack Park, but also the state of Adirondack Park at various times in the past – a living map, that evolves as changes in the Park occur. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Irish Songs Every St. Paddy’s Day Celebrant Should Know

irish instrumentsThis year (2016) marks the 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising (Éirí Amach na Cásca) the armed revolt which lead to the establishment of the Irish Free State and the freedom from British rule in 26 of Ireland’s 32 counties.

Here are ten songs everyone with Irish aspirations should know, in no particular order. Learn these and you’ll never spend St. Patrick’s Day alone.

Whiskey in the Jar – This classic tune is believed to have originated in the late 1600s or early 1700s. Since then it’s by been covered by The Dubliners, Thin Lizzy, Peter, Paul & Mary, Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, and Metallica. My favorite line: “I first produced my pistol, and then produced my rapier.” » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Whiteface Restarts Their Snow-Guns

Snow Guns On Whiteface Mid-Dec (ORDA-Whiteface Photo)After suspending snow-making due to warm temperatures, Whiteface has restarted the snow-guns. The forecast is calling more seasonable temperatures this weekend with nighttime lows in the 20s. State-run Whiteface and Gore, the only ski resorts in the Adirondack Park who have invested heavily in snow-making, are both struggling with a warm early season. There is no snow on the ground, no other ski areas in the region have opened for winter sports, and no substantial snow is in the long-term forecast.  (Photo courtesy ORDA/Whiteface Lake Placid).


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Pro Tip: Don’t Drive Big Rigs On Snowmobile Trails

Tractor Trailor on harrisburg Road Adirondacks - Photo by Charles SeveranceThis week we mark a strange anniversary.

On December 15, 1973, Canadian Charbot Germain attempted to drive his tractor-trailer from Stony Creek to Utica on a snowmobile trail. It didn’t go well.

It started out as tales of lost Adirondack visitors often do, with directions from a local. It was suggested that Germain could shorten his trip by taking Route 8 from the Northway toward North Creek. He found himself instead in Stony Creek, headed down the rough Harrisburg Road in the dark. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 14, 2015

Effort Underway To Change The Rules For Adirondack Park

APSLMP - LogoThe Adirondack Park Agency is proposing several amendments to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. The document is supposed to establish rules for managing state land in the Adirondack Park, but has been at the center of criticism over abuse of power by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the Adirondack Park Agency, who are accused of ignoring its basic tenets.

Three public hearings are planned by APA, none south of Albany and none in the evening outside the Adirondack Park.  APA is accepting comments in writing until January 29, 2016. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Essex Jail Attorney Calls May Have Been Compromised

prisoner-phone-call-Gilboa-PrisonA massive leak by a hacker reveals that the attorney-client privilege of people held in Essex County Jail in Elizabethtown may be compromised.

According to The Intercept, an anonymous hacker released over 70 million phone call records involving 37 states who use the phones systems of Securus Technologies, a private prison telecom company.

The leaked material includes recorded phone calls involving more than 14,000 attorneys and cover the period from December 2011 until the spring of 2014. The latest leak also shows that it’s not the first time the company’s phone records have been hacked. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Snowmobile Racing in the Adirondacks

Adirondack Snowmobile RacingIn the motor toboggan era – the time before the advent of the modern snowmobiles we know today – motor sleds had been too slow for racing excitement. As a result they remained strictly utilitarian vehicles racing only occasionally for promotional purposes. Motor toboggan and later snowmobile maker Polaris traveled each year at the end of the 1950s to trapper festivals at The Pas, Manitoba where they helped organize ad hoc races.

“We tried to rig them a little bit so we had a zig-zag effect,” David Johnson said, remembering one of the first informal races, “one guy ahead, and then the other, and so on, at a terrific speed of about 20 miles per hour.” In February 1959, Johnson won the first organized men’s race on an oval at The Pas and in 1960, the first cross-country race was held there. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How Snowmobilers Won Their Special Privileges

1966-67 Nick's Lake 2When snowmobiling arrived in the Adirondacks in the mid-1960s, the question of where to ride became the single most important issue faced by both new sled owners and advocates for the protection of the wild character of the Adirondack Forest Preserve.

As a result of efforts by the state’s Conservation Department and lobbying by the snowmobile industry, snowmobilers are today wildly over-represented in terms of access to trails. Although they represent less than 1% of the 7-10 million people who visit the Adirondacks each year, there are currently at least 3 to 4 thousand miles of snowmobile trails in the Adirondack Park,* compared to about 5,000 miles of roads. How this happened is a story that began 50 years ago with what is known as the Wilm Directive. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fire Burns 120 Acres At Crane Pond, Bear Mountain

Crane Pond FireDEC Forest Rangers have contained a forest fire started by an unattended campfire on Crane Pond that has spread up Bear Mountain in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness.

The Fire was reported to the DEC Ray Brook Dispatch on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 1:23 pm.  Responding Forest Rangers reported the fire was about two acres on Bear Mountain above Crane Pond.  Dry and windy conditions on Sunday increased the fire to about 80 acres.  » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

How The Adirondack Forest Preserve Was Motorized

06_10_004557The establishment of the Adirondack Forest Preserve in 1885 was part of growing American appreciation of a back to nature ethic. By the time of World War I, according to historian Paul Sutter: “Americans produced and consumed voluminous literature on natural and wild themes; they built vacation homes and camps; they initiated a wide variety of programs in scouting and woodcraft; they developed a distinctive hunting culture and ethos; they adopted nature study as a prominent hobby; and the embraced the ‘strenuous life’ that could be found only in the ‘great outdoors.’”

Inadvertently, this interest in wild places laid the groundwork for a future flood of visitors to New York State’s “forever wild” lands and the spread of roads and motorized snowmobile trails throughout the Adirondack Park.  For example, in a measure of the influence of the automobile alone in years since World War II, there are today more than 5,000 miles of roads in the Adirondack Park, and nearly everywhere in the Forest Preserve is within three miles of a public road. Indeed, the most remote place in the Adirondack Park, the largest park in the contagious United States, is about five miles from a public road. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

ATV, Snowmobile, Truck Trails Planned For Kushaqua Tract

Western_Ridges_LoonLakeMountainsThe New York State Department of Conservation is seeking comments on their Recreational Management Plan (RMP) for the Kushaqua Tract Conservation Easement Lands in the northern Adirondack Park. The plan includes extensive development for motor vehicles, including more than 100 miles of roads to be used by cars and trucks, snowmobiles, and ATVs, and six new parking lots.

Comments are being accepted until September 18, 2015. » Continue Reading.


Friday, July 31, 2015

Marijuana Growing Operation Approved For Adirondacks

Cannabis_PlantLegal Adirondack weed is one step closer to reality today after New York State announced that a new Town of Chester company is one of five to receive licenses to grow and distribute medical marijuana.

Etain LLC, and offshoot of Peckham Industries involving Amy Peckham and her daughters Kelley and Hillary Peckham, is expected to build a growing facility on Route 9 South of Chestertown across from the Peckham mine. The company was one of 48 that applied for the licenses. » Continue Reading.


Friday, July 17, 2015

The Newcomb House Confederate Flag Has Come Down

Newcomb House After The Confederate Flag Was Taken Down on July 17 2015The so-called confederate flag has been removed from the Newcomb House. Several residents of Newcomb told me they made an effort to talk to the owner of the business to explain how damaging their actions are. It appears those conversations worked. An open sore in our Adirondack community has been bandaged – it hasn’t been healed.

The online response to yesterday’s report that the owner of one of Newcomb’s most well-known establishments had hoisted the confederate flag at a prominent location was varied.  I think it might be helpful to review a few of those responses here. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Confederate Flag Flies Over Newcomb

Newcomb House Confederate Flag7/17 UPDATE: The Newcomb House has taken down the confederate flag. You can read about it here.

The folks at the Newcomb House have raised a flag – one flown by white supremacists and traitors – the so-called confederate flag.  Let me start by saying that although I’m troubled that they took down the American flag to raise the flag of an enemy of the United States, they are free to raise whatever banner they like on their flagpole. That’s part of the free expression we enjoy (but which the Confederates States of America did not).

At the same time, I’m free to call them to the carpet, as we used to say in the submarine service.  It’s a despicable act to fly a flag in support of America’s sworn enemies, past or present. It’s an ignorant, arrogant, and anti-social act to fly a flag that symbolizes opposition to civil rights, and that insults your neighbors, guests, and visitors. The people of Newcomb should be ashamed. I know many are. » Continue Reading.


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