Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Pepperbox: The Myth of the Trail-less Wilderness

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Pepperbox Wilderness Area is one of the smaller wilderness areas in the Adirondack Park. It receives few visitors, as it has no spectacular mountain views, few productive waterbodies and lies tucked away in an obscure part of the Park. Its lack of trails is often cited as one of its unique characteristics.

Too bad it is not true. The notion that the Pepperbox Wilderness contains thousands of remote acres free of trails is a fantasy; it is a myth, like Bigfoot or the Tooth Fairy.
» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Railroad Plans To Store Oil Tankers in High Peaks

Railroad train of tanker cars transporting crude oil on the tracks earth justice photoOwners of the Saratoga-North Creek Railway have big plans for a new use of the railroad line from North Creek into the High Peaks.

Last week, company President Ed Ellis made a presentation to the Warren County Board of Supervisors Public Works Committee about the company’s new plans. Ellis sees an exciting business opportunity for his rail lines with low traffic in the long-term storage of hundreds of oil-soaked tanker cars. » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 3, 2015

Complaint: DEC Illegally Lobbied For Company Mining Wilderness Area

NYCO's open pit mine as seen from Bald Peak in 2013Protect the Adirondacks conducted an investigation into the role of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in support of the 2013 Constitutional Amendment to allow NYCO Minerals, Inc., a mining company in Essex County, to undertake mining activities and obtain 200 acres of “forever wild” Forest Preserve lands.

The investigation started in early 2014 and used hundreds of documents from the DEC and Board of Elections obtained under the Freedom of Information Law. PROTECT’s investigation found what the group is calling “a startling and illegal commitment of DEC’s staff time and resources to support NYCO’s bid to buy Forest Preserve lands.” » Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Jim Britell: Rules For Wilderness Campaigns

Wilderness around Fulton Chain from Castle Rock above Blue Mountain LakeToday’s forest protection advocates are the sixth generation of wilderness activists. This is an attempt to abstract the rules, lessons and insights from successful and unsuccessful wilderness campaigns of the past and particularly the Adirondack wilderness campaigns of the 1930’s through 1950’s which were waged with a fire seldom seen since.

If we are to return to a world where the preservation of roadless, motorless Wilderness has the enthusiastic, informed support of a majority of the population, I think the following rules can guide us there. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Diversity Symposium Being Held In Newcomb August 15th

image001(4)Making the Adirondack Park more attractive to youth of all backgrounds and preferences will be the focus of a second Adirondack diversity symposium, which is sponsored by the Adirondack Diversity Advisory Council (ADAC) in Newcomb on Saturday, August 15.

The organization’s second Towards a More Diverse Adirondacks symposium will be held at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) Newcomb Campus, near the park’s geographic center. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Impact of Stormwater on Adirondack Streams

Roaring Brook Falls 2014 by John WarrenIn peaceful streams, aquatic macroinvertebrates such as crayfish, stoneflies, and caddisflies travel over and under submerged rocks, foraging for other invertebrates, leaves, and algae. When rain falls, their world turns upside down. At first only the surface is disturbed, but before long, runoff reaches the stream and increases its flow many fold. Silt and sand blast every exposed rock surface. At peak flow, boulders are propelled downstream by powerful currents.

How do small creatures survive such crushing chaos? They hunker down. Water-filled nooks and crannies extend deep below streambeds and far beyond river banks. These deep interstices provide a safe haven even while turbulent water pulverizes the riverbed, comparable to a storm cellar in a tornado. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Martens Reverses Old Mountain Road Decision

In one of his last acts as the state’s environmental conservation commissioner, Joe Martens overturned a predecessor’s finding that part of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail was still a town road and therefore could be open to snowmobiles, ATVs, and other vehicles.

Martens, who left his post last week, wrote in a July 22 decision that the road had long been abandoned and so the state had the power to close it to vehicular use. The road in question — known as the Old Mountain Road — cuts through the Sentinel Range Wilderness between Keene and North Elba.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Adirondack Waterfest in Speculator July 31st

social_media_posterIn the Adirondacks it’s “Water, water, every where,” but thanks to the Greater Adirondack Resource Conservation and Development Council  we can forego the “not any drop to drink.”

Hamilton County is just one area in the Adirondacks making great strides in continuing to bring attention to the importance of water quality. Over 20 years ago Adirondack Waterfest was developed to provide water quality education by means of a fun, family-friendly event.

According to Elizabeth Mangle, District Manager for Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District, the event moves each year between the seven county regions. Since Adirondack Waterfest started in Hamilton County, it will once again take place there in celebration of its 20th year. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

State of Lake Champlain Report Released

Fig8_BeachClosure_largeThe Lake Champlain Basin Program’s 2015 State of the Lake and Ecosystem Indicators Report has been released.

The report, produced about every three years, is published to inform the public and resource managers about Lake Champlain’s condition and seeks to provide a better understanding of threats to its health and opportunities to meet the challenges the lake faces. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Adk Park Institute To Fete Wilderness 50th Organizers

Wilderness 50thThe Adirondack Park Institute (API) will be holding a drawing for a 12-foot Hornbeck New Trick Canoe at its annual Awards Dinner and Gala, which will take place on Friday, September 18, 2015 at the Adirondack Hotel in Long Lake, NY.

This year’s Awards dinner will honor The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government and Adirondack WILD for their partnership in commemorating New York State’s role in inspiring the National Wilderness Preservation System Act of 1964. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Proposals Sought For Champlain Grants Program

image004(1)The Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) is seeking proposals for local grants to support the implementation of the long term management plan for Lake Champlain, Opportunities for Action.

The LCBP anticipates awarding up to 80 grants totaling over $1 million dollars. Funding for these LCBP awards originates from the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the National Park Service through agreements with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Black River War Lessons For Preservationists Today

DSCN5968In 1892 the New York State Legislature created the Adirondack Park and in 1894 placed “Forever Wild” forest protection into the State Constitution. Thus began a process of wilderness protection for what today covers thousands of lakes and millions of acres of forests.

During the following sixty years however, there were scores of determined efforts by developers, local governments, and subsequent legislatures to weaken that protection to promote mining, logging, hydroelectric power, roads, commercial recreation and off-road access by jeeps, snowmobiles, floatplanes and motorboats. To repel these threats, America’s first modern grassroots wilderness protection campaigns began. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Paul Schaefer’s Headwaters Faith

DSCN1725As a builder of Adirondack cabins, conservationist Paul Schaefer did not consistently solve the problem of water supplies. About 1950 Paul had a well dug in front of his old log cabin on the the Cragorehol property in Baker’s Mills. Paul told me he bought the 100-year-old cabin – then sited elsewhere – and moved it before I was born.

The well still provides delicious, cold water, although the cabin no longer exists. The main, extended Fogarty family cabin – formerly owned by Paul’s and his siblings’ parents – now has its water pumped in by electric pump from its own, drilled well. Many years ago we kids helped carry the well water in buckets over to Cragorehol camp – quite the laden tromp for youngsters. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Climate Change is Altering Nature’s Clock

Salamander-Stager-600x383Scientist Curt Stager walks along the edge of the woods, his flashlight shining into the shallow water of a leafy, roadside pool on a dark night in Paul Smiths. It’s late April, and he’s out looking for spotted salamanders, wood frogs, and spring peepers that have migrated to shallow vernal pools to breed. After poking around for a minute, he lets out an excited shout: “There’s a salamander! There he is! He’s early!”

In the water is a dark, four-inch-long creature with bright yellow spots. In the same pool not far away, wood frogs float on the surface. In another week, pools like this will be a filled with breeding frogs and salamanders, which will leave behind egg sacks that hatch into larvae.

Spotted salamanders spend most of the year underground, so seeing them is rare except during these annual breeding migrations. Their journeys are triggered by the first rains of spring. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Peter Bauer: Remove Bridge Over Upper Hudson River

Polaris Bridge in beautiful flat water stretch of the Hudson River.The Polaris Bridge over the Hudson River should be removed by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the river restored at the crossing.

The bridge spans the beautiful Blackwell Stillwater stretch of the Hudson, one of the most picturesque spots in the Adirondack Park. The Goodnow River enters the Hudson just above the bridge.

The state wants to keep the bridge open for motor vehicle use. There are four major problems with this. » Continue Reading.


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