The 2017 New York State Legislative session ended on June 21st as both houses adjourned and left Albany. It remains unclear at this time if the two houses will return to complete unfinished business. The two houses were deadlocked over issues of “Mayoral Control” of New York City schools and extensions for local taxation districts across the state. Both of these issues are important for New York City and state residents and may require further action.
There was unfinished business for the Adirondacks as well. The two houses were close to reaching an agreement in the last hours of the session on enabling legislation for the proposed “Health and Safety Land Accounts” amendment to Article XIV, Section 1, the “forever wild” provision of the State Constitution. This amendment would provide access to 250 acres of Forest Preserve lands for maintenance of local highways in the Adirondacks bordered by Forest Preserve, and lands for municipal water wells, as well as authorize burial and colocation of utility lines and bike paths in state and local highway corridors. The “enabling legislation” sets in law the process for the implementation and administration of the amendment. » Continue Reading.
A bi-partisan team of NYS Legislators reached a tentative agreement on an amendment to the “Forever Wild” clause of the State Constitution Wednesday night, but were unable to get the final bills approved before members of both houses returned to their districts.
Sponsors were hopeful today that the final agreement could be approved by both houses before the legislative session ends for the year. Neither house had declared its session to be formally ended when both houses sent their members home shortly before midnight Wednesday. » Continue Reading.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, in his State of the State Message in January, indicated that the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) “…will construct infrastructure at Boreas Ponds in the Adirondacks and build trails as part of the ‘hut-to-hut’ system that links state lands to community amenities.
DEC is committed to expanding recreational opportunities for hikers, bikers, skiers, paddlers, horseback riders, hunters, anglers and others. Outdoor enthusiasts of all skills and abilities will be able to enjoy, for the first time, the most significant addition in the history of the Adirondack Forest Preserve,” according to the statement.
A regionally based organizing committee is seeking those interested in campaigning for local office this fall and open to the idea of running on a slate with other like-minded “grassroots independent” candidates using the same independent, non-established-political-party ballot line.
The project is an outgrowth of the massive women’s march that took place in Washington, DC, this past January and the concurrent march in Lewis, NY, that drew more than 400 participants.
So far, this electoral approach involves concerned citizens from Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Hamilton counties. » Continue Reading.
After several false starts this season, Million Dollar Beach in Lake George is closed again — just two weeks from the Fourth of July holiday — as a number of concerned towns and agencies run tests to determine the source of E. coli in the lake.
“This is an unprecedented occurrence on our lake that demands a swift response,” said Lake George Mayor Robert Blais in a news release from the state Department of Environmental Conservation. “The Village of Lake George has committed all available staff and resources and is working closely with DEC to resolve the problem and protect our beautiful lake.” » Continue Reading.
At the Boreas Ponds classification hearing held in Albany on December 7, 2016, Ross Whaley reminded the audience that public opinion alone doesn’t determine a land classification. As a former chairman of the Adirondack Park Agency, Mr. Whaley would know.
But at that same hearing — the last in a series of eight hosted by the APA — about eighty people stepped up to the podium to make their voices heard, in a marathon session that stretched a good four hours. A lot of people had something to say about Boreas Ponds that afternoon.
And by the time the written comment period ended on December 30th, the agency had received some 11,200 emails, letters, and postcards from concerned people not just across the state, but from across North America and beyond.
This level of public interest in a classification proceeding was probably unprecedented; I had certainly not seen anything like it. People participated in this process in good faith, offering their input with the assumption that state officials were paying attention.
More important than the quantity of those comments was the content. Many, many people were disappointed with the shortage of options presented by the park agency, and were not shy in saying so. Of the written comments, 84% supported a wilderness classification at Boreas Ponds stronger than anything being considered by the state; 36.5% favored a full wilderness classification, meaning no mechanized access of any kind. » Continue Reading.
I recently led a bird walk up Hadley Mountain (or Hadley Hill), near Hadley and Stony Creek.
Hadley’s firetower marks its centennial anniversary this year (1917-2017) so there is increased appreciation of this forest preserve mountain ridgeline (2653’) and its history in the Wilcox Lake Wild Forest.
Dating to its organization under the leadership of Jack Freeman of ADK in 1995, Hadley’s firetower committee, led by local residents, is one of the oldest, most tenacious and effective in the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.
As this year’s legislative session winds down, more public attention is focused on November’s vote whether or not convene a state constitutional convention in Albany.
As Article XIV – the “forever wild” clause – is of particular relevance to both the Adirondack and Catskill Park regions, I offer the following resolution approved by Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve this spring. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Lake Assessment Program (ALAP) celebrates its 20th season this year of monitoring the water quality of dozens of lakes and ponds across the Adirondacks. ALAP is a partnership between Protect the Adirondacks and the Adirondack Watershed Institute at Paul Smith’s College.
Believing good public policy is dependent on accurate data and science, ALAP started in 1998 with three objectives: 1) to organize long-term water quality data on individual lakes and ponds in the Adirondack Park; 2) to provide long-term trend data on individual lakes and ponds for local residents, lake associations, property owners and local governments to help organize water quality protection efforts; and, 3) to assemble a profile of water quality conditions across the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.
National Science Foundation Antarctic Astrophysics & Geospace Sciences Program Director Vladimir Papitashvili will speak on global warming Tuesday, July 11, starting at 7 pm at Town of Lake Pleasant Public Library, 2864 State Route 8, Speculator.
Papitashvili is responsible for the NSF’s Antarctic research, including its role in global systems. Examples include ozone, greenhouse gases, ocean circulation and sea level, climate changes, and continental drift. A new proposal focuses on how solar activity influences the properties and dynamics of the polar atmosphere and the global geo-space system. » Continue Reading.
The Wild Center has announced Pollinator Week from Monday, June 19th until Sunday, June 25th.
The slow, steady work of pollination does more than provide beautiful floral scenery — the work being done by these pollinators contributes to our food security and survival.
The Wild Center is inviting visitors to delve deeper into the story of these creatures with special programming and a packet of pollinator friendly wildflowers customized for the Adirondack region. » Continue Reading.
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that New York State is expanding its partnership with Paul Smith College’s Adirondack Watershed Institute Stewardship Program to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) throughout the Adirondack’s waterways through the strategic placement of boat stewards and decontamination stations.
With more than 2,300 lakes and ponds, 1,500 miles of rivers, and 30,000 miles of brooks and streams, the Adirondack region is particularly vulnerable to the introduction of AIS. Once established, AIS such as zebra mussels and Eurasian water milfoil can spread rapidly through connecting waterways or by “hitchhiking” on the propellers, trailers, rudders, and motors of recreational boaters’ and anglers’ vessels. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Community-based Trails and Lodging System (ACTLS) has scheduled a Project Advisory Committee meeting for June 13 at 10 am. The ACTLS is developing a conceptual plan for potential trail networks and key locations for potential lodging facilities within the Adirondack Park.
The Project Advisory Committee is made up of a variety of local government, nonprofit, economic development, recreation, and other stakeholders. The committee is expected to oversee the project and provide input on local and regional issues. The public is welcome to attend.
Topics for discussion include a project update, review of the community workshops held last fall, updates on the project and the identification of priorities.
The Adirondack Almanack's contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The Almanack is the online news journal of Adirondack Explorer. Both are nonprofits supported by contributors, readers, and advertisers, and devoted to exploring, protecting, and unifying the Adirondack Park.
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