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.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

130,659 Acres of Adirondack Forest Sold

100_1126Rayonier Forest Resources has sold 130,659 acres of forest located almost entirely in the Adirondack Park for $57.5 million to a client of the timberland investment management organization Molpus Woodlands Group. The land is located in St. Lawrence, Clinton, Franklin and Lewis Counties.

The land has traditionally been used for logging and some of the purchase is under New York State conservation easement which allows for fishing, private camp leases, and motorized recreation. Some of the state’s easement provides public access to a 200 feet corridor along more than 26 miles of the Grasse River’s north and middle branches, along with access to about 16 miles of Grasse River tributaries and local roads and snowmobile trails. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Busy Year In The Backcountry For Lean2Rescue

Lean2RescuePic1_w400The past year was productive for Lean2Rescue, the volunteer organization that helps rebuild and refurbish Adirondack lean-tos and other back-country infrastructure.  According to an e-mail sent to volunteers by Paul Delucia, one of Lean2Rescue’s organizers, the group worked on or assessed 16 lean-tos, 3 bridges (Calkins, Windfall Trail #1 and Windfall Trail #2), and the fire tower on Woodhull Mountain.

“All of this happened because of you – a very special group of people willing (and eager) to give up their free time to make the Adirondacks a better place for others,” DeLucia wrote to volunteers. “That speaks volumes about who you are.” He also pointed out the many collaborations with other organizations and groups, including DEC whose partnership he called “the keystone of our success.” DeLucia singled out the DEC Operations Crew at Cranberry Lake for special praise. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Full Adirondack Park Election Results 2013

voting boothOne of the biggest stories again this election season, though largely unreported, was that for many voters, there was no choice.  A large number of candidates around the Adirondacks ran unopposed, including all the candidates in Old Forge and Crown Point, and dozens of others.  In Warren County, the Glens Falls Mayor and 10 Warren County Supervisors ran unopposed. In Essex County, DA Kristy Sprague ran unopposed as did outspoken Moriah Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava, and longtime Newcomb Supervisor George Canon.

Most supervisors in Essex County that were opposed were defeated. Five of six incumbent Essex County supervisors were defeated, four of them women replaced by men, including Sue Montgomery-Corey, considered among the most vocal opponents of wilderness classifications for new state lands. [UPDATE: Montgomery-Corey has not conceded. She’s eight votes behind and is counting on about 20 absentee ballots, she will have to win nearly every one]. [FINAL UPDATE: Montgomery-Corey was ultimately defeated 209-192]. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

First Snow of the Season Falls

Whiteface Oct 24, 2013 (ORDA Photo)The first snow of this winter season has been reported across the Adirondack region. A band of lake effect moisture brought some snow to the higher elevations of the western and southern slopes of the Adirondacks and an Almanack reader on our Facebook page reported that as much as 2.5 inches fell near Old Forge today.

Flurries and minor accumulation were reported in the High Peaks, including at Whiteface.  Snow was also reported in Paul Smiths, Lake Placid, Indian Lake, Newcomb, Schroon Lake and into northern Warren County, including Warrensburg and at at Gore Mountain.  At least some flurries were reported in Malone and in Clinton County.  Considerable snow was expected in Lewis County and the Tug Hill region. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Planned Parenthood Street Fight Underway in Glens Falls

Photo by R.K. Cowles PhotographyResponding to a “40 Days of Prayer” movement that vows to close the Glens Falls Planned Parenthood, a group of counter-protesters has been facing anti-abortion protesters for the past several weeks on the street in front of the women’s health clinic.  The group is calling itself “Get Your Girl On” and intends to carry out their own “40 Days of Appreciation.”

Coinciding with two Glens Falls Chronicle stories pro-choice protesters called “anti-abortion” and “promotional”, the “40 Days of Prayer” campaign has turned-up the pressure outside the Planned Parenthood offices.

Anti-abortion crusader and local realtor Susan Balfour has purchased the house next door and announced she will be moving the Open Arms Pregnancy Center there from its current location in her real estate office.  Another developer, Rocco Musumeci,  recently purchased the building across the street and announced his plans to open an anti-abortion “adoption agency” there. That building has been decorated with life-sized statues of Jesus and Mary that overlook protestors.  » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

High Peaks Suicide Recalls 1975 ‘Man in Chains’

Man in Chains 1975The discovery of the body of a missing Massachusetts man in the High Peaks recalls the discovery of a body in North Hudson nearly 40 years ago this month.

He would claim that his chains, padlocks and handcuffs would shackle him to salvation.  He would be forced to do as Jesus had done – fast for 40 days and 40 nights in the desert. It was a quest to purify his body and his soul.

But his desert wasn’t exactly the howling wilderness Jesus had wandered, it was a patch of woods in North Hudson,  about a half-mile from the Northway . » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Commentary: Give The People Wilderness Peace and Quiet

Essex ChainWith good reason, a large coalition of organizations interested in preservation of New York State Forest Preserve lands in the Adirondacks is today trumpeting a four to one margin in written comments made to the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) that supports banning motorized vehicles from newly acquired state lands.  The second most popular option was allowing motorized access.

An analysis by PROTECT’s Peter Bauer here at the Adirondack Almanack three weeks ago reached a similar conclusion. The APA received about 3,600 comments, totaling nearly 5,000 pages, and petitions totaling about 2,500 signatures. Although not included in the analysis of written comments received, eight public hearings were also held (only three outside the Adirondacks), at which around 200 people spoke – they were largely divided. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Forest Preserve Advocates Disagree On Mining Amendment

NYCO Land Swap ProposalOrganizations that advocate for the protection of Adirondack Forest Preserve lands disagree over whether to support a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow the international wollastonite mining company NYCO Minerals Inc., which has facilities in Willsboro and Lewis, to mine 200 acres of Adirondack Forest Preserve lands in the Jay Mountain Wilderness.

The Adirondack Council has issued a statement in support of the proposal outlining 1,500 acres it says the state will receive if the amendment and additional enabling legislation passes.  The Adirondack Mountain Club has said it supports the proposal and DEC Commissioner Joesph Martens has also lent his weight to the NYCO land swap.  PROTECT’s Executive Director Peter Bauer has called the accommodation of the mining company a bad precedent. He says the process has been riddled with misinformation, and the state will be giving up old growth forests. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

‘Explorer’ Editor Wins Paddlers’ Rights Case

shingle shanty web photoAdirondack Explorer Editor Phil Brown did not commit trespass in 2009 when he canoed over a waterway through private land,  because that waterway was legally open to the public, a state Supreme Court justice ruled in a decision released today.

Justice Richard T. Aulisi dismissed or denied all complaints against Brown filed by the Friends of Thayer Lake and the Brandreth Park Association. He also issued a declaratory judgment that the waterway in question is “navigable in fact” and so open to all paddlers. He ordered the Friends of Thayer Lake and the Brandreth Park Association, owners of the land through which the water flows, to stop posting the route as closed to the public. The route in question includes Mud Pond, Mud Pond Outlet and a portion of Shingle Shanty Brook in the central Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Remembering Italian-Adirondack Artist Silvia Provera

Surrounded by wilderness, woods, and waters, Adirondackers are often reminded how solitary the world can sometimes be.  Living in the Adirondack Park can sometimes feel like walking a long and lonely trail. Arriving at a remote pond the view may be ours alone on that day, but  it’s shared by millions across the world.  We feebly tend our six million-acre Adirondack garden for the world, with small hopes of inspiring others to build their own gardens of similar design.

Today we take an opportunity to remember Italian artist Silvia Provera, who passed away a year ago, as one of us – hoping to inspire Adirondack gardens in her own corner of the world. She was a well-known designer and an accomplished artisan carpenter in Europe who became fascinated with the Adirondack region after spotting Adirondack chairs in a garden by the Orbetello Lagoon, in Tuscany. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

A New Edition Of A Trail And Camp Food Classic

A new edition of the trail and camp food classic The Hungry Hiker’s Book of Good Cooking by Gretchen McHugh has been published by McHugh’s husband John Sullivan of Chestertown.  Hungry Hiker was first published in 1982 by Alfred A. Knopf, who assigned Judith Jones its editor (Jones was also editor for Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and before that The Diary of Anne Frank).  The book was in Knopf’s catalog for 25 years. It sold 50,000 copies in 13 printings, inspired multitudes of back-country meals, and many imitators.

“When Knopf dropped the book in 2007, we started making plans to revise and republish it,” John Sullivan told me recently (he’s a neighbor, across the valley on Kipp Mountain).  “We were barely under way when Gretchen was diagnosed with Frontal-Temporal Dementia.”  She moved to a nursing home last spring and John decided to go ahead with the new edition in time for its 30th anniversary.  A new generation of readers, now schooled in the kind of 1970s self-sufficiency that served as background to this classic when it was published, will be glad he did. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Snowmobile ‘Connecter Trail’ Construction Criticised

Protect the Adirondacks (PROTECT) has published an online critique of a new snowmobile trail being built by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest.

DEC trail crews are building a new 5.1-mile snowmobile trail that will connect the Limekiln-Cedar River Road near Fawn Lake to State Route 28 near the Seventh Lake Boat Launch. The trail is phase one of a long-distance “community connector” designed to link Indian Lake, Inlet, Raquette Lake and Long Lake.

PROTECT reviewed the work being done along the new snowmobile trail and documented what they found. “Field work revealed that this ‘trail’, really a de facto new road, is much worse than we feared,” Protect’s Executive Director Peter Bauer wrote in an e-mail to the press. PROTECT detailed their specific objections to the way in which the trail is being constructed with more than 20 photos posted online. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Tracking Hurricane Sandy Into The Adirondacks

Hurricane Sandy is heading our way and is forecast to bring high wind and some heavy rain, especially to the southern half of the Adirondacks beginning this afternoon. Although summer camps are mostly buttoned-up and boats hauled for storage, year-round Adirondackers are preparing for power outages and the possibility for high water.

If history serves as a guide, this storm may change our landscape with downed trees, and maybe some new channels for rivers and streams, and a few landslides. Much of what happens depends on where the storm tracks and how long it remains overhead.  Here are a some of the best links to follow the storm as it rolls over the Adirondacks: » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Commentary: Journalism and Electoral Politics, Round Two

Last week I pointed out that the only female candidate in next month’s presidential election, the Green Party’s Jill Stein, had been arrested and handcuffed to a chair for eight hours during the presidential debate, and then gagged by local media. The episode was indicative, I argued, of a general tendency among political reporters to parrot the two dominate parties. I pleaded for fairer coverage of the wider spectrum of American political thought. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

John Warren’s Plea To Political Reporters: Do Your Job

Consider this a plea to our political reporters – do your job, please. As a class you continue to fail the American public, ignoring the issues and perpetrating the lies of machine candidates. American political reporters have become a tool in the criminal usurpation of American democratic principles.

Let me start with a quick story. In the nineteenth century when Tammany Hall Democrats dominated New York City politics,  their single biggest weapon was their control of the Tammany Hall building.  Time and time again, when faced with opposition from the rank and file the Tammany Society simply locked the doors to the hall, the keys of which they controlled.  “The Society’s key power, which throughout its history it rarely hesitated to invoke,” Tammany historian Oliver Allen noted, was “the power to grant legitimacy to any political force in the city by controlling the place that symbolized authority. Time and time gain it would turn aside threats to its hegemony simply by padlocking the doors.” The result was plain to see – corrupt one-party control. You, dear political reporters, are now holding the keys to the hall. » Continue Reading.


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