Almanack Contributor Phil Brown

Phil Brown

Since 1999, Phil Brown has been Editor of the nonprofit Adirondack Explorer, the regional bimonthly with a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental issues, the same topics he writes about here at Adirondack Almanack.

Phil is also an energetic outdoorsman whose job and personal interests often find him hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, trail running, and backcountry skiing.

He is the author of Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures, which he co-published with the Adirondack Mountain Club, and the editor of Bob Marshall in the Adirondacks, an anthology of Marshall’s writings.

Visit Lost Pond Press for more information.


Monday, April 25, 2016

The Essex Chain Lakes Lawsuit Explained

Critics contend that incorporating the Polaris Bridge over the Hudson into a snowmobile route would be illegal.Photo by Nancie BattagliaTwo of the Adirondack Park’s major environmental groups are suing the state over the management plan for the Essex Chain Lakes region—a large tract of forest, ponds, and streams that the state acquired from the Nature Conservancy as part of the blockbuster Finch, Pruyn deal.

Protect the Adirondacks and Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Albany contending that the management plan violates the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan, the state Wild, Scenic, and Recreational Rivers System Act, » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Adirondack Explorer Debuts A New Look

New Explorer coverWe have two milestones to report in the May/June issue of the Adirondack Explorer. The first is evident from the front cover: the state has purchased the spectacular Boreas Ponds, completing the acquisition of 65,000 acres of former Finch, Pruyn lands from the Nature Conservancy.

We broke the story of the Boreas Ponds sale on Adirondack Almanack more than a week ago. It was later picked up by the Associated Press and other news outlets. In the Explorer, we expand on our initial story and discuss the major controversies regarding the management of the 20,760-acre tract. The magazine also » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

State Buys Boreas Ponds, Completing Finch, Pruyn Deal

Boreas-600x343The state has purchased the 20,760-acre Boreas Ponds Tract on the edge of the High Peaks Wilderness, the final phase in a multi-year deal to acquire 65,000 acres of former Finch, Pruyn lands from the Adirondack Nature Conservancy.

One of the natural gems of the former Finch property, Boreas Ponds is expected to become a destination of paddlers, hikers, and backpackers. The waterway offers breathtaking views of the High Peaks, including Mount Marcy, the state’s tallest summit, and much of the Great Range.

The state paid $14.5 million for the tract, according to a » Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Phil Brown: The True History of Mud Pond Waterway

john caffryLast month, the state’s top tribunal, the Court of Appeals, heard arguments in a legal dispute over the public’s right to paddle a two-mile stretch of water near Lake Lila. It is sometimes referred to as the Mud Pond Waterway.

I paddled the waterway in 2009 and was sued for trespass the following year. A state Supreme Court judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2013. The Appellate Division upheld the ruling in 2015, but the landowners appealed a second time.

Given that a ruling in the Court of Appeals could have statewide ramifications, there is a fair amount of interest in the case. Several reporters and photographers » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 4, 2016

Experts: Cat In Crown Point Video Is House Cat, Not Cougar

cougarsThe state Department of Environmental Conservation has concluded that an animal shown in a Crown Point video posted online last week is a house cat, not a mountain lion.

DEC placed a life-size cutout of a mountain lion in the area where the animal was filmed and determined that the animal was small enough that it could have passed under the belly of a mountain lion. (See photos below.)

DEC announced its findings in an email this morning, a week after the video had attracted attention online.

Three wildlife scientists from Panthera, a nonprofit organization that works to conserve the » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

DEC Still Working On Boreas Ponds Purchase

Boreas Ponds aerialThe state hoped to buy the 20,760-acre Boreas Ponds Tract this fiscal year, which ended today (March 31). Although it didn’t happen, the acquisition is still in the works, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation.

“DEC remains committed to the purchase of the Boreas Ponds and is in the final stages of the acquisition,” said Lori Severino, a spokeswoman for the agency.

The purchase will be the last phase in a multi-year deal to acquire 65,000 acres of former Finch, Pruyn lands from the Adirondack Nature Conservancy.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Cougar In Crown Point? You Be The Judge

CougarA trail camera recently captured video of an animal that may be a cougar sauntering through a backyard in Crown Point near Lake Champlain.

Cara Cowan posted the video on her Facebook page this week. The video was taken a little after noon on March 20, according to its time stamp.

The 18-second clip shows a long-tailed tawny animal walking and then trotting through the yard before it disappears while descending into a large bowl-like swale.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Angler Dies After Falling Through The Ice Of Union Falls Pond

Union Falls Pond A Franklin County angler died after his utility-task-vehicle broke through the ice on Union Falls Pond, according to state police.

Gregory N. Manchester, 59, of Franklin drove his vehicle onto the ice on Sunday to go fishing. He was reported missing the following morning.

A state police helicopter flew over the area and spotted his UTV partially submerged. State forest rangers followed footprints to a seasonal cabin and found Manchester lying on the floor, suffering from severe hypothermia. He was unresponsive.


Monday, March 14, 2016

Boy Killed By Falling Rock At Roaring Brook Falls

A 12-year-old boy was killed when struck by a falling rock at the base of Roaring Brook Falls in the town of Keene on Sunday afternoon.

State Police identified the victim as Connor McLaughlin of Greenwich, a small town southeast of the Adirondack Park in Washington County.

The boy had hiked a quarter-mile from State Route 73 to the base of the falls with his uncle, Jesse A. Malone, 40, a little after 1 p.m. Malone was the boy’s guardian.


Friday, March 11, 2016

APA Votes To Amend Master Plan, Allow Bikes In Essex Chain

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Adirondack Park Agency board voted 9-1 on Friday to allow the use of mountain bikes in the Essex Chain region — a move that some wild-land advocates say weakens protections for the Forest Preserve.

With one dissent, the board agreed to amend the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan to permit bicycling along nine miles of former logging roads in the Essex Chain Primitive Area and the nearby Pine Lake Primitive Area. (The two areas are expected to be combined in the future.)

The master plan will continue to prohibit bicycling in other Primitive Areas except on administrative roads.


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