Sunday, October 15, 2017

Pete Nelson: To Address Overuse, Focus on Parking

This Columbus Day weekend I decided to put the issue of overuse in the High Peaks region to a little test.  I visited three of the most crowded trail heads in the area and hiked from two of them.  I also investigated the State’s grand relocation of the Cascade trail and parking.

What I saw confirmed a working theory I have been informally discussing with both private folks and local and state government employees.  The theory isn’t mine, indeed a number of people have the idea.  It’s a simple concept, really: back country overuse can be mitigated in large part simply by addressing parking issues.  In other words, we can manage recreation capacity by more effectively managing transportation capacity. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Protect: Repeal of Clean Power Plan Enormous Step Backwards

protect the adirondacksWhat follows is a statement sent to the press by Protect the Adirondacks:

Protect the Adirondacks opposes the new plan by the Trump Administration and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to abandon the Clean Power Plan set up by the Obama Administration. This is an enormous set back for US policy on climate change and will have negative impacts in the Adirondacks as progress on significant reductions in acid rain over the past 20 years may be lost. The US EPA announced on October 9, 2017 that is was starting the process to take formal steps to officially repeal the Clean Power Plan. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

State of the Park Report: Adirondack Park Success ‘Threatened’

state of the parkThe Adirondack Park’s success is “threatened.”

The Adirondack Council’s annual State of the Park report has a gloomy and foreboding cover featuring storm clouds gathering above a mountain summit.

That’s because the Adirondack Park is a national treasure whose future success is clouded by an approaching storm of threats. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

New Road Development Affects Unique Boreal Ecosystem

A notice inviting public comment about what seems a relatively innocuous, relatively short (1.25 mile) road construction has been circulated by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, or DEC.

The Adirondack Almanack headlined the matter as “DEC planning new road east of Carry Falls Reservoir.”

This is not a small deal. In fact, the 1.25 miles of new road cut through the forest will result in nearly 20 miles of new public motorized access within a sensitive low-elevation boreal ecosystem. For many years, our DEC has been badly conflicted about balancing resource protection and motorized access to this area. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Adirondack Aquatic Invasives Science, Logistics Webinars Planned

boat inspectionInvasive species are increasingly challenging New York water resource managers. New research making it possible to identify waters at risk for future invasion is on the agenda during a new Watercraft Inspection Program Webinar Series developed by New York Sea Grant Extension of Cornell University and set to begin October 19th.

Richard R. Shaker of Ryerson University, co-author of Predicting aquatic invasion in Adirondack lakes will present one of the four sessions in the free webinar series.

Watercraft Inspection Data Collection App Pilot Program survey results, noting recent aquatic invasive detections aboard boats launching or leaving NY waters, as collected by six of the more than 20 watercraft inspection programs in New York State will be highlighted in another session. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 9, 2017

A Day On Cascade Mountain: Some Data

On September 16th I hiked Cascade Mountain and wrote about the experience. On that day over 500 people hiked Cascade. I returned the next weekend (on Saturday September 23rd), with a friend and survey sheets and clipboards to ask hikers a series of questions. The interviews took about two minutes and many people graciously answered questions. At busy points, we were both talking with groups as others walked by us. This was a rough survey, undertaken as much to learn about what is necessary for conducting this kind of survey as it was for getting some basic data from the hikers on Cascade Mountain. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 7, 2017

Lake George Gets $4M For New Wastewater Plant

The Village of Lake George took a step forward in plans to replace its more than seventy year old wastewater treatment plant on Thursday with a $4,273,923 grant from the state. The grant was the largest of the $44 million in grants announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to support 24 essential drinking water- and wastewater-infrastructure projects.

The village had already borrowed $1 million to begin designing a new plant, said Mayor Robert Blais. This grant will allow the village to reduce its borrowing.

“We’re grateful the governor recognized the importance of Lake George and the village being able to construct an entirely new waste-treatment plant,” he said. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

$500k to Help Wild Center Build Climate Literacy

A $494,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will support The Wild Center as it helps students and teachers in New York City, the Catskills and the Adirondacks respond to climate change in their communities.

The three-year Environmental Literacy Grant is a collaboration of The Wild Center, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County, the Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School in Brooklyn, and the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) to build climate literacy and preparedness among students and teachers.

As part of the project, called Convening Young Leaders for Climate Resilience in New York State, high schoolers are expected to learn to assess the effect climate change is likely to have on their communities, work on techniques to convey those impacts to others, and develop the leadership skills needed to shape localized solutions to resiliency challenges posed by the issue. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 2, 2017

DEC Planning New Road East Of Carry Falls Reservoir

Raquette Road alternativesThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proposing to amend both the 5 Mile Conservation Easement (CE) Interim Recreation Management Plan (IRMP) and the CE portion of the Raquette Boreal Wild Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP) to construct a road between the Five Mile and the Kildare Conservation Easements in Hopkinton, St. Lawrence County.

The project involves the construction of a new road approximately 1.25 miles in length. The road will provide access to many miles of motor vehicle roads on the Kildare Easement Lands. It will also provide non-motorized recreational access to the adjacent Raquette River Wild Forest and Raquette-Jordan Boreal Primitive Area. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Critter Shelf for Adirondack Wildlife Pilot Project Underway

culvert critter shelf courtesy dotThe New York State Department of Transportation and The Nature Conservancy are piloting what is said to be the state’s first-ever “critter shelf” for wildlife. Installed this summer inside a large culvert under State Route 12, south of Boonville, in the Black River Valley, the suspended walkway provides a two-foot wide platform for wildlife to scurry through the culvert instead of crossing over the busy road. It is attached to one side of the corrugated steel culvert with brackets and cables.

While Route 12 is an important travel corridor, it can also be a dangerous obstacle for wildlife. Alternatively, wildlife attempting to cross also pose danger to drivers. The Route 12 culvert carries a stream that averages about three feet in depth under the road. The new shelf sits above water level so as not to impede flow, or compromise structural integrity. At 138 feet, it runs along the full length of the culvert and expands the potential for use by wildlife by providing dry passage for bobcats and other wildlife that don’t swim. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Adirondack Research Will Study Protected Area Visitation

paddlers and loonsThe Wildlife Conservation Society  (WCS) has announced that it is a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) 2017 Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems program award. WCS will receive about $500,000 in funding for its project, “Experimental Investigation of the Dynamic Human-Environmental Interactions Resulting from Protected Area Visitation.”

Work on the 4-year project will be managed by the WCS Adirondack Program office in Saranac Lake with research expected to begin in 2018.

The project is expected to test the common assumption that expanding access to protected lands will inspire a broader conservation ethic among park visitors. It’s hoped the study results will ultimately inform state and federal policies to increase participation in outdoor recreation and manage public access. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Adirondack Wild’s 2017 Wilderness and Wild Stewardship Awards

Pete Nelson of AWA, at right with microphone, answers a question during a Forum about Boreas Ponds in Schroon LakeAdirondack Wilderness Advocates will receive Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve’s highest honor – the Paul Schaefer Wilderness Award. The wilderness award will be conveyed on Saturday afternoon, September 30th at Adirondack Wild’s annual meeting at the Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek. The meeting includes a Community Forum about Practical Steps to Better Land Use Decisions in the Adirondack Park beginning at 1 pm. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Opinion: Vote Yes on Proposal 3 on Election Day 2017

Proposal 3 is a proposed amendment to Article 14, the forever wild provision of the NYS Constitution, to create a new “Health and Safety Land Account” to help local communities with highway and utilities maintenance, location of wells for municipal water supplies, and creation of a bike path network. It also authorizes use of highway corridors for routing of utility lines by co-location or burial to expand broadband capacity, ensure delivery of other services like electric and phone, and routing of water and sewer lines.

This amendment has seen the same coming-together of stakeholders from across the Adirondack political spectrum that we saw in support of resolving the longstanding land disputes around Raquette Lake that was the basis of the Township 40 Amendment that passed in 2013. Hopefully, Proposal 3 this year meets with the same good fortune. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

PROTECT: State Must Reject Railroad Car Storage Plans

Railcars being stored on the Sanford Lake Railway in a section of railroad in the Vanderwhacker Wild Forest AreaThe following statement was issued to the press on Monday by Protect the Adirondacks:

A new plan has emerged from the Saratoga & North Creek Railway, an arm of Iowa Pacific Railway Company, to store hundreds of old, dilapidated railroad cars, supposedly mostly boxcars, on siding track and unused rail lines in Warren and Essex Counties. These rail cars would be stored “indefinitely” on these rail lines. Saratoga & North Creek Railway leases rail lines from Warren and Saratoga Counties and owns the Sanford Lake Rail Line in Hamilton and Essex County. The plan was announced at a Warren County Board of Supervisors meeting last week.

Saratoga & North Creek Railway stated that it plans to store “hundreds” of old railroad cars. The Adirondack Park has never been used for this purpose. This is a critical moment in the history of the Adirondack Park and for all the reasons below, we urge you to take action and block this ill conceived plan. » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 25, 2017

DEC’s Drone Program Includes A Fleet Of 22 UAVs

DEC Drone Video Still (2017)The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that the agency has deployed a fleet of 22 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, across the state. An announcement from the state agency said the drones will “enhance the state’s environmental management, conservation and emergency response efforts.”

“DEC has a wide range of responsibilities in protecting the state’s environment and ensuring the safety of our citizens and visitors, and well-being of our communities,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in the statement, which was sent to the press. “The use of drone technology will help us do our jobs better and faster while saving taxpayer dollars. We live in a changing world with technological advances being made at an exponential rate, and UAVs give us a safe and efficient way to collect and analyze data, assess threats to the environment, and quickly respond to emergencies. This technology is helping DEC with everything from petroleum spills and wildlife surveys to search and rescue missions, forest fires, and natural disasters.” » Continue Reading.


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