Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Albany Public Hearing On Essex Chain Lakes Planned

Essex Chain Bicycle MapA third public hearing regarding the Essex Chain Lakes Management Complex Draft Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement will be held on Wednesday, July 22 in Albany, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today.

This is the third public hearing on the management of the newly acquired lands along the Upper Hudson and the Cedar River, the first and only such hearing outside of Northern New York.

DEC will hold the additional public hearing at 1 pm in room 129A of DEC Headquarters at 625 Broadway in Albany.  More information about the plans being made to develop the Essex Chain Lakes for recreation can be found here. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Volunteers Sought For Saturday’s Loon Census

Loon in Adirondacks.JLM. (1)The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Adirondack Program is looking for volunteers to help with its annual Adirondack Loon Census, which takes place on Saturday, July 18.

Volunteers are asked to visit ponds and lakes on that Saturday from 8 to 9 am and count the number of adult and immature loons they see.

Loons generally arrive for the summer breeding season in May. Their young birds hatch from eggs in late June and early July during the first round of breeding. Loons can also lay eggs later in the summer during a second round.   » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Acting Rock and Steamboat Rock

Photo by Alice Zahniser, courtesy of the Zahniser familyGray-green lichens slowly increase their hegemony on the large rock that sits below our family cabin Mateskared in Bakers Mills and fifteen feet west of its outhouse. My older sister Esther’s daughter Layla Ward remembers sitting on this rock as a child and fearing falling off. Its steep downhill side slopes into depths of tall blackberry plants, ferns, goldenrod, and fireweed. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Adirondack Events Planned For Invasive Species Week

800px-Lythrum_salicaria_-_harilik_kukesabaI like to think I have a pretty nice garden. It’s not too large and not too small. If you were to hear about it from my children you would think I had them weed a farm sized lot. Instead my ½-acre produces the perfect amount of greens and salad stuff, berries, nectar flowers and even a monarch milkweed patch. Weeding is a necessity, but if an invasive plant finds its way onto my property, my family takes an “all hands on deck” approach to getting rid of the perpetrator in a proper fashion.

According to Jane Raffaldi, Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) Seasonal Invasive Species Educator, this is the second year that Invasive Species Week has been held statewide, July 12-18, 2015. Though APIPP has year-round programming to educate people on invasive plants and animals, this intensive week-long educational outreach allows people to learn why the proper control of invasive species is a necessity. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Appreciation for Outgoing DEC Commissioner Joe Martens

Commissioner Martens announcing the Cat and Thomas Mountain addition to the Adirondack Forest PreserveJoe Martens’ announced departure this month as State Environmental Conservation Commissioner prompts a post of appreciation and a note of apprehension about his future successor.

I have no right, and certainly possess inadequate, incomplete knowledge and understanding to write anything comprehensive about the Commissioner. But throughout four challenging years as head of the DEC, working for a very controlling boss, the Commissioner seemed to remain true to himself. From my point of view, he listened, welcomed input, kept his good sense of humor, could disagree without being disagreeable, and at times privately welcomed criticism of DEC’s performance, capacity and budget. While others in his position might get prickly under similar circumstances, Joe remained approachable. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Regional Efforts To Combat Invasive Species Advance

APIPP Photo Steward Inspecting KayaksRegional efforts to control the spread of invasive species in the Adirondacks are making advances recently. The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) has approved two general permits relating to invasive species. At the same time, Warren County has approved a Framework Agreement for a region-wide aquatic invasive species plan that could mean expanded voluntary boat inspections.

APA General Permits 2015G-1 and 2014G-1A authorize a rapid response to both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species throughout the Adirondack Park by qualified and trained persons. These general permits approve eradication efforts both on a park-wide scale as well as for individual waterbodies or specific locations.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Cougar Rewilding Talk Planned For Sunday

CougarWatch-ArticleImageProtect the Adirondacks will host Christopher Spatz, President of the Cougar Rewilding Foundation, at the Paul Smith’s College Visitor’s Interpretive Center on Sunday, July 5th at 11 am as part of its 2015 annual meeting. Spatz’s presentation is entitled Restoring the Big East with Big Beasts: Ecosystem Recovery and Economic Sustainability in Adirondack Park.”

The Cougar Rewilding Foundation recently published “Yellowstone East: The Economic Benefits of Restoring the Adirondack Ecosystem with Native Wildlife,” which makes the economic case for reintroducing and supporting a robust carnivore population in Adirondacks, such as the cougar. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens Announces Resignation

Joseph MartensNYS Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens will be stepping down in July according to an e-mail sent to staffers on Tuesday. Martens is expected to return to the Manhattan-based Open Space Institute, which he headed before moving to DEC, to work on national climate change issues.

He was appointed in 2011, after Gov. Andrew Cuomo was elected to his first term. Although popular with anti-fracking advocates for DEC’s ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF), Martens has received mixed reviews from advocates of protecting state lands in the Adirondacks from development. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Adirondack Council Critiques Legislative Session

nycapitolThe Adirondack Council sent the following statement to the press Monday reviewing Adirondack issues from the last session of the NYS Legislature:

Aside from authorizing the addition of 12 acres to the Adirondack Forest Preserve last week, the NYS Legislature did little in May and June to help the clean water, wilderness and communities of the Adirondack Park, the Adirondack Council said today.

“The Legislature and Governor passed a pro-Adirondack budget on April 1, but didn’t accomplish much for the Adirondack Park after that,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway.  “Lawmakers did pass a bill that will add 12 acres to the 2.7-million-acre public Forest Preserve and we are grateful to the sponsors for guiding it through both houses.  » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 29, 2015

New York State Officially Bans Fracking

fracking diaghramThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today officially prohibited high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) in New York State by issuing its formal Findings Statement, completing the state’s seven-year review. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Brandon Park Sold To Chinese Conservationist

Brandon coverBrandon Park, the 28,100-acre former estate of William A. Rockefeller, Jr. (a co-founder of Standard Oil with his brother John D. Rockefeller) has been purchased by Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma of China for $23 million according to the Wall Street Journal. Alibaba is the world’s largest e-commerce company. The property was put on the market in 2012, and the sale was completed in May of this year.

He bought the property “principally for conservation purposes, but also plans to use [it] as an occasional personal retreat,” the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a spokesman for Ma. Brandon Park is located west of Paul Smiths and north of the St. Regis Canoe Area and includes about eight miles of the Middle Branch of the St. Regis River, nearly a dozen trout ponds, and 2,200-foot Buck Mountain. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

EPA: Climate Change Destroying Trout, Salmon Fisheries

Fly fishing on the Ausable in Wilmington (John Warren photo)The Adirondack Park’s trout and salmon fishing would likely disappear by 2100 without global action to counteract climate warming according to a new report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA’s study concludes global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would save 70 percent of Adirondack trout and salmon from extinction.  The EPA report also predicts widespread damage to other cold-water fisheries, public health, clean water, electricity grids, roads and bridges, forestry, agriculture and coastal communities.

The EPA’s report is titled Climate Change in the U.S.: Benefits of Global Action is a summary of the Climate Change Impacts and Risks Analysis (CIRA) project, a peer-reviewed study.  It compares impacts in a future with significant global action on climate change to a future in which current greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

‘Adirondack Explorer’ Launches Climate-Change Series

July 2015 coverHere’s a word you may not have heard of: phenology. Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines it as “the study of natural phenomena that recur periodically, as migration or blossoming, and of their relation to climate and changes in season.”

Mike Lynch writes about Adirondack phenology in the July/August issue of the Adirondack Explorer, the first article in a series about regional climate change. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Lake George Invasive Plant Trade-In June 29th

barberry.jpg(1)If you live in the Lake George watershed and you want a free native plant for your property, you can get one for free on Monday, June 29th.

There is, however, a catch: You must dig up one of the invasive plants on the list below from your property and bring it to the Lake George Association (LGA) to trade it in. » Continue Reading.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Illegal Wilderness Trails: Intention Is Everything

Bushwhack Fallen Spruce and DuffA few weeks back there was quite a kerfuffle here at the Almanack over this post by Dan Crane, concerning illegal trails he came upon along the border of the Five Ponds and Pepperbox Wilderness areas.

Comments, accusations and counter-accusations flew back and forth over whether illegal trials in the Wilderness constituted a big deal or not, who knew they were there and whether they were in fact a common and accepted part of the back country. » Continue Reading.


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