Wednesday, May 24, 2017

More Latitude For Utility Company Work In Wetlands Sought

APA Building in Ray Brook NYThe Adirondack Park Agency (APA) has requested public comment on proposed general permit 2017-G1 entitled “Access to and Replacement of Utility Poles in Wetlands.” The draft general permit renews General Permit P2014G-2. The general permit would expedite APA approval for qualifying activities.

The APA will accept public comments until June 23, 2017. The General Permit 2017-G1 application and APA Board Resolution and Order are available for download from the Agency’s website.

The Adirondack Park Agency is proposing General Permit 2017G-1 to renew General Permit 2014-2, which authorizes regional and municipal utility companies to access and replace utility poles in wetlands and/or to establish temporary structures in wetlands to access utility poles in the Adirondack Park. The general permit will only apply where: » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

State Buys Huckleberry Mt Land, Completes Marion Carry Deal

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that the state has purchased 848 acres on Huckleberry Mountain in the town of Warrensburg from the Open Space Institute for $410,000, just a day after completing a deal to add the Marion Carry to the Adirondack Forest Preserve.

A news release says the views from Huckleberry include the Hudson River and nearby peaks. The property had been a large in-holding within the Lake George Wild Forest, complicating management and public access. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

E Coli Gone, New Access At Million Dollar Beach In Lake George

Lake George Beach – or as absolutely everyone knows it, Million Dollar Beach – will safely reopen this season after a not-so-great bout with unsafe bacteria levels last summer determined to come from sewage waste. The good news, aside from safe, now-clean water, is the beach will reopen with some new amenities also – lighting, a new entrance and another entrance through which people can enter the beach. It opens May 27.

“The first thing to consider is the health and safety of the public,” said Bob Stegemann, regional director for the DEC’s Region 5. “These are all good moves to improve the experience at Lake George for the public.” » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Wetland Monitoring Sites Established in Adirondack Park

Wetland in Winter photo by Steve LangdonThe College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in Syracuse, New York partnered with the New York State Adirondack Park Agency (APA), NYNHP and Paul Smiths College to complete a two-phase EPA Wetland Protection Program Development grant. The grant was used to establish a network of long-term wetland monitoring sites to enable analysis of wetland responses to climate change.

The project fills in gaps of knowledge in Adirondack Peatlands by creating a snapshot of what these peatlands look like today and monitoring key environmental, and ecological indicators of change such as plants and animals. The project produced a network of volunteers trained to conduct long-term monitoring of wetlands, a wetland condition database, preliminary data analysis, and allowed for data distribution. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Fight Brewing Over High Peaks Lodging Facilities

Aerial Boreas Ponds, Adirondacks, summerEnvironmental groups are alarmed by a conceptual proposal floated by the Cuomo administration to establish lodging facilities near Boreas Ponds — in an area they believe should be classified as “untrammeled” Wilderness.

The groups say they would fight any such proposal vigorously, contending that it would violate both the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan and Article 14, the section of the state constitution mandating that the Forest Preserve “shall be forever kept as wild forest land.”

State officials have not released details of the proposal, but they have discussed it with the Park’s green groups. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

A Whiteface Mountain Zip Line Faces Article 14 Test

Whiteface Mountain Courtesy WilmingtonPeople Town Facebook PageOne project hyped in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget announcements early in 2017 was a zip line that would run in three stages from near the summit at Whiteface Mountain, near where the gondola brings passengers, to the base of the mountain. This was proposed as a way for Whiteface to rival zip lines at other ski areas in the northeast U.S. that were trying to expand summer tourism and resort operations.

One of Governor Cuomo’s press releases billed the Whiteface zip line as “one of the longest zip lines in North America.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Riverkeeper’s Upper Hudson Water Quality Program

lake tear of the cloudsRiverkeeper partners with more than 40 institutions and over 160 individuals to sample more than 400 locations throughout the Hudson River Watershed monthly from May through October. The data collection measures concentration of the fecal indicator bacteria Enterococcus (Entero) using EPA-approved methods. Results are reported in Entero count per 100 mL of water. Entero is present in the guts of warm-blooded animals, and while it is used to detect the likely presence of untreated human sewage, in some cases it may also indicate the presence of fecal contamination from geese, cattle or other animals. Riverkeeper measures results of water samples based on the EPA’s Recreational Water Quality Criteria, which New York State is currently using to update state Water Quality Standards. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

100 Mile House: Local Economies and Sustainability

Left Mace Chasm Road farmhouse, Keeseville. Right WarrensburghIn many aspects of AARCH’s work — lectures, tours, workshops, advocacy, and other educational offerings — we make the case for the preservation of historic buildings.

• Historic buildings have aesthetic appeal.
• Buildings and places connect us to our history as well as shaping our individual and collective identity.
• Historic preservation is rich in new economic opportunities.
• The preservation of historic buildings can be transformational for communities.
• Using existing buildings and concentrating new growth in already settled areas is both good for the vitality of a community and helps to protect wild and open spaces.

And all of this helps to make our communities better places to live, work, and visit. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

New Proposals For Siamese Ponds, Blue Mountain, Jessup River Areas

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has released Draft Amendments for the Blue Mountain Wild Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP) and the Siamese Ponds Wilderness and Jessup River Wild Forest UMPs. DEC and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) are reviewing the two Draft Amendments concurrently and holding a combined, joint public comment period on the proposals in the Draft Amendments.

According to DEC : “These UMP amendments propose projects that will provide safe access to communications facilities, protect important wildlife habitat, and improve the outdoor recreation experience within all three units. These amendments also propose new trails that connect the Forest Preserve to local communities, as recommended by three regional trail plans recently completed by DEC and its partners: North Country National Scenic Trail – Adirondack Park Trail Plan; Conceptual Plan for a Hut-to-Hut Destination-based Trail System for the Five Towns of Long Lake, Newcomb, Indian Lake, Minerva, and North Hudson; and Great South Woods Complex Planning Strategy and Recommendations.” » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Lake Placid Land Conservancy Wins Citizen Science Grant

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Land Trust Alliance have announced the award of a $20,000 New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP) Capacity and Excellence grant to the Lake Placid Land Conservancy (LPLC) for the implementation of a conservation monitoring and outreach program. This grant follows an award in 2016 of $25,000 to develop the program.

The NYSCPP grant will enable LPLC to conduct outreach activities with its conservation partners and identify and enroll interested and qualified landowners into its citizen science monitoring program. LPLC hopes to initially enroll 8-12 landowners in the Lake Placid region over the next two years. The program will teach landowners how to monitor their property for pollinators, mammals, invasive species, birds or phenology using mobile devices. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

David Gibson On The People’s Climate March

The feeling that remains in me following the People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C. is one of renewal. Spring in the northeast has a lot to do with sustaining it. A wood thrush is singing in our woods again (miracle of miracles, given their steady decline in the northeast), a newly arrived pair of gray catbirds are eagerly consuming the mealworms in our feeder, bluebird nestlings can be heard peeping from the nest box. It is a time of renewal of life and of faith.

But to witness the strength and determination of that huge crowd clogging the streets of D.C.; to be with so many in their teens and 20s climbing those big trees on the Ellipse to get a better picture of the immense crowd; to see faces of all colors; to feel the pounding pulse of the drummers from North Carolina who never once stopped their rhythm from 11 am to 4 pm; to see sweat pouring off a not so young woman from that same state determined to keep her banner aloft despite the gusts of wind on Pennsylvania Avenue almost (but not quite) as determined to bring it down; to stay in the close company of three very determined New York State women, each about 76 years young, keeping to their feet all day in 92 degrees (one keeping beat with the drummers with a whistle); these are all impressions I will not soon forget and which renew my faith in humankind. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

DEC Exploring Lodging and Dining Facilities at Boreas Ponds

Photo by Phil Brown 2016. View of Gothics from Boreas Ponds.The Adirondack Park Agency has posted its agenda and materials for its meeting this week (May 11-12th) and there is no action scheduled for the classification of Boreas Ponds or any other Forest Preserve lands. All indications show that there is little likelihood for action on the Boreas Ponds at the APA’s June meeting.

The state’s ambitious schedule announced at the time of the classification hearings at the end of 2016, where they stated a plan to have this process completed in advance of the 2017 summer season, has been abandoned. What has slowed the state to a grind is its commitment to a series of unprecedented Forest Preserve management actions to build some form of lodging and dining facility near Boreas Ponds. The exact form of this plan remains in flux, but the state leaders at the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which is leading this effort, remain determined to fundamentally change management of the Forest Preserve. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Local Students Leads Catskill Climate Summit

Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program Students and staff from The Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program traveled to the Frost Valley YMCA in Claryville, NY this spring to educate 60 students from the Catskills and New York City area schools about how to lead on climate change issues during a two-day Youth Climate Leadership Summit. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 8, 2017

Champlain Watershed Restoration Projects Sought

The Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP), in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), is soliciting Letters of Request for watershed restoration projects. The Lake Champlain Watershed Environmental Assistance Program awards design and construction services provided by the New York District of the Corps. Letters of Request may be submitted at any time for determination of a project’s eligibility, and projects are reviewed periodically throughout the year by the LCBP.

The goal of the Lake Champlain Watershed Environmental Assistance Program is to provide assistance with planning, designing and implementation of projects that protect and enhance water quality, water supply, ecosystem integrity, and other water related issues within the watershed. Any municipal entity, state or interstate agency, Native American nation, or qualifying non-profit organization within the Lake Champlain Watershed is eligible. The emphasis of the Invitation for Letters of Request is on water quality protection for projects too large to be funded at the local municipal or state level. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Philip Terrie: Constitutional Convention Could Hurt Forest Preserve

Article 14, Section 1 New York State Constitution Forever Wild clausePhilip Terrie’s commentary is the third of three essays about the vote coming this November on whether New York State will hold a Constitutional Convention.  The first commentaries, by Christopher Bopst and Peter Galie, can be found here.

In the American political climate of 2017, is it really a good idea for people to insist that they can accurately predict the future? Peter Galie and Christopher Bopst appear to think it is. They claim that a constitutional convention (concon) will not diminish the authority of the provision in our current constitution – Article 14, Section 1 – stipulating that the state Forest Preserve be “forever kept as wild forest lands.” Their argument advances the case one hears circulating all around the state these days, as we gear up for the vote in November, 2017, when New Yorkers will vote yes or no on this simple question: “Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same?” If this passes, delegate elections will he held in 2018, and the concon will sit in 2019. A vote on a new constitution would probably be held in November, 2019.

Along with a committee of the New York Bar Association, the League of Women Voters, and other prominent organizations, Galie and Bopst, duly noting both the culture of corruption in Albany and the labyrinthine and antiquated nature of much of what we have now, ask us to approve a concon and seek to convince those of us who have spent a good part of our lives defending the forever-wild provision that nothing bad can happen. Count me as unconvinced. » Continue Reading.


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