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.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Essex Chain of Lakes Opened to Mountain Bikes

Essex Chain Bicycle MapDepartment of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens, who announced his resignation this week, has announced that his agency will open nearly 20 miles of roads in the Essex Chain of Lakes to mountain bikers beginning Saturday.

DEC is using a technicality to open the roads before public comment has closed on the Unit Management Plan required by the State Land Master Plan.

The agency is currently seeking comments on whether or not to open these roads to bicycling as part of its its Essex Chain Lakes Management Complex Draft Plan. DEC has been managing the Essex Chain under a temporary Stewardship Plan, which this change amends.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens Announces Resignation

Joseph MartensNYS Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens will be stepping down in July according to an e-mail sent to staffers on Tuesday. Martens is expected to return to the Manhattan-based Open Space Institute, which he headed before moving to DEC, to work on national climate change issues.

He was appointed in 2011, after Gov. Andrew Cuomo was elected to his first term. Although popular with anti-fracking advocates for DEC’s ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF), Martens has received mixed reviews from advocates of protecting state lands in the Adirondacks from development. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Brandon Park Sold To Chinese Conservationist

Brandon coverBrandon Park, the 28,100-acre former estate of William A. Rockefeller, Jr. (a co-founder of Standard Oil with his brother John D. Rockefeller) has been purchased by Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma of China for $23 million according to the Wall Street Journal. Alibaba is the world’s largest e-commerce company. The property was put on the market in 2012, and the sale was completed in May of this year.

He bought the property “principally for conservation purposes, but also plans to use [it] as an occasional personal retreat,” the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a spokesman for Ma. Brandon Park is located west of Paul Smiths and north of the St. Regis Canoe Area and includes about eight miles of the Middle Branch of the St. Regis River, nearly a dozen trout ponds, and 2,200-foot Buck Mountain. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Rail-Trail Decision Announced

NYC Railroad from Lake Clear LodgeThe Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Department of Transportation (DOT) have announced their long-awaited decision in a controversial effort to tear up most of the 119-mile historic railroad running through the central Adirondacks. The decision has been issued in the form of a proposed amendment to the Remsen to Lake Placid Travel Corridor Unit Management Plan (UMP).

The plan would remove the rails between Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake, and Lake Placid in favor of a multi-use recreational trail for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. It also calls for maintaining the railroad from Remsen to Big Moose Station and rehabilitating the 45 miles of rail from Big Moose to the Village of Tupper Lake.  Also included is a plan to use at least some of the corridor as a long-range snowmobile trail that would connect to communities along the line, including Beaver River. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 8, 2015

Dannemora Prison: Some Historical Background

Escaped Clinton Rison Convict 1 Escaped Clinton Rison Convict 2The search continues today for two men who escaped from the maximum security prison at Dannemora, Clinton County.  State Police say David P. Sweat (age 35) and Richard Matt (age 49) were both incarcerated for murder and are “very dangerous individuals”. They are asking that any suspicious activity be reported to (518) 563-3761 or by email to crimetip@troopers.ny.gov.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the men had help. North Country Public Radio has been covering the story thoroughly, so I thought I’d add some background about Dannemora Prison. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Mining Company Could Grow First Legal Adirondack Pot

1576 p. 01 Gordon medical marijuana, Peckham Chestertown, Andy Darnley Nationwide Elevator, Dunham Railroads end of line.inddA mining company in Chestertown wants to be the first to grow legal marijuana in the Adirondack Park.  Etain, a subsidiary of Peckham Industries, wants to use property on Route 9 just south of the village for a medical marijuana growing facility. A portion of the property is currently used as a log yard.

The proposal has won unanimous support from the Chester Town Board and considerable buzz among supporters. “It’s a product that would benefit patients in need,” Town Supervisor and Adirondack Local Government Review Board Executive Director Fred Monroe told the Post Star. Monroe said that it would provide jobs and offer a tax benefit to Warren County.  A front page story in the Glens Falls Chronicle by news editor Gordon Woodworth proclaimed “Medical marijuana helped me”. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 29, 2014

Local Paper Dehumanizes Its Enemies, Calls For Blacklisting

ThorazineIn the nearly ten years of editing the Adirondack Almanack, I’ve seen some pretty nutty and occasionally outrageous writing. Rarely does it warrant a response, but an anonymous foaming-mouthed editorial in Friday’s Denton papers (Adirondack Journal, North Creek News Enterprise, Times of Ti, Valley News, etc.) simply cannot go unanswered.

It is perhaps the most vicious, poorly researched, and cowardly personal attack published in the Adirondacks in the last 20 years. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Today In 1859 John Brown Was Hanged

One hundred and fifty-five years ago today John Brown was executed after leading an anti-slavery raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia, part of the radical movement of tens of thousands of Americans struggling to undermine the institution of slavery in America before the Civil War.

It’s often said that just one thing secured Brown’s place in the hearts of millions of Americans – his execution and martyrdom. But there is another more important reason to celebrate the life of John Brown – his courage in standing against unjust state and federal laws, the press, and popular culture in the cause of basic human rights.

In 2009, I wrote a ten-part series of posts following the last days of John Brown’s fight to end slavery. You can find that here (to read in chronological order, start at the bottom).


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Story Behind The Attempt To Oust Dave Wick

davidwickb_250It looks like Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) did not want a mandatory invasive species boat inspection and control program on Lake George. Governor Cuomo and the DEC tried to fire Dave Wick, the executive director of the Lake George Park Commission (LGPC), and on both accounts, Cuomo and the DEC seem to have lost.

On Tuesday evening, November 25th, news broke that the Cuomo Administration had backed down and agreed to suspend Wick without pay for two weeks and then let him return to his job. It apparently had nothing to do with a gas spill – the original pretense for Wick’s firing. » Continue Reading.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Out Of The Woodlot: Meet The Lumbersexual

paul22newIt’s fitting that I just finished bringing in the wood for the season and had plopped down into my old wooden chair when I learned I was well attired for the latest fashion craze.

Apparently, according to Gear Junkie, your standard Adirondack men’s wear – work pants, a flannel, an unkept beard  – is a thing. Like a cool thing. With fashionistas and all.

Move on metrosexual, clear the way for the lumbersexual:

Today, the metrosexual is a disappearing breed being quickly replaced by men more concerned with existing in the outdoors, or the pseudo-outdoors, than meticulous grooming habits.

He is bar-hopping, but he looks like he could fell a Norway Pine. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Full Adirondack Park Election Results 2014

voting boothRepublican Elise Stefanik has soundly won election to the US House of Representatives. At just 30 years old, she will be the youngest women ever elected to the House, breaking a record set by 31-year-old Elizabeth Holtzman (D – Brooklyn) in 1973.

With 578 of 589 districts reporting it appears that Stefanik’s Democratic challenger Aaron Woolf drew just 32 percent, and the Green Party’s Matt Funiciello, the only candidate who has been truly living in the district, garnered 11 percent. Stefanik’s opponents combined did not poll enough to top her 53 percent which should diminish the effectiveness of Democratic cries of “spoiler”.

This election marks a major step forward for the Green Party locally.  Their candidate secured three important  newspaper endorsements: from the Glens Falls Post Star and the widely read Chronicle, and the Adirondack Daily Enterprise in Saranac Lake.  In Warren County Funiciello picked up 23.5% of the vote and came close to beating Woolf – falling just 201 votes short of that mark, though Stefanik still won a majority of the votes in Warren County (Stefanik 8,822; Woolf 4,445; and Funiciello 4,245). District-wide, even with all of Funiciello’s votes Woolf still would have been soundly defeated however. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Moose At Helldiver Pond In The Moose River Plains

Moose At Helldiver Pond by John Warren

Perhaps the most photographed moose in the Adirondacks is this visitor to Helldiver Pond in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest between Indian Lake and Inlet. This photo was taken Friday afternoon (on a long lens in order to keep a respectful distance).


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Adirondack Resort Suit Dismissed By Appellate Court

ACR aerialThe New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department has announced a decision to uphold the approvals by the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) for the 6,000-acre Adirondack Club and Resort planned for Tupper Lake.

Protect the Adirondacks along with the Sierra Club and local landowners filed the lawsuit in March of 2012, outlining 29 allegations challenging the legality approvals made by the APA that January.

The decision disappointed opponents of the proposed resort project, the largest in the Adirondacks, who have been working for several years to mitigate the subdivision’s imprint on the landscape. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Trail To Honor Civil Rights Worker Andrew Goodman

Goodman Mountain TrailThe Adirondack Park Agency has approved the adoption and rerouting of a trail up Goodman Mountain (2,176 feet) in the Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest (part of the Bog River Complex) in honor of Andrew Goodman, a civil rights worker murdered on June 21, 1964.

Local historian William Frenette of Tupper Lake led a successful effort to have the peak named Goodman Mountain in 2002. The Goodman family built and lived in a stone house near the outlet of the Bog River at the south end of Tupper Lake that still stands today.

Goodman was helping register African Americans to vote near Philadelphia, Mississippi, as part of the Freedom Summer project of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) when he was abducted by members of the Ku Klux Klan along with Mickey Schwerner and James Chaney. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

NYS Remiss In Champlain Heritage Grant Applications

image001The Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) has awarded Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership (CVNHP) grants totaling about $80,000.

Just seven of 21 funded projects are located in New York State. $54,000 was awarded to Vermont programs while just $27,075 was awarded in New York. » Continue Reading.


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