Thursday, January 22, 2015

Adventures in Snow Shoveling

BuscoPlowAdkAlmAbout a year ago on these pages, I shared a secret “illness”—snow shoveling—that has been with me since childhood. Besides the interesting and very funny comments that followed on Adirondack Almanack, personal emails arrived from those similarly afflicted. I did mention that more would come in the future, so here goes. Shoveling and keeping a 1500-foot path open for a decade of winters was the highlight of last year’s piece. That probably can’t be topped, but there is more insanity to report. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, January 22, 2015

The 2015 State of State And The Adirondacks

Andrew Cuomo 2015 State of StateThe Adirondacks would benefit from some of the priorities expressed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in his 2015 State of the State address on Wednesday.  The proposals are expected to help protect water quality, combat invasive species, bolster APA and DEC staffing, increase the Environmental Protection Fund, expand broadband locally, and cut the risk of explosive oil trains moving through the region.  The Adirondack Park is the largest park in the contiguous United States and contains most of the motor-free wilderness remaining in the Northeast. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

More On The Dave Wick Controversy: Basil Goes Fishing

Basil SeggosBy disposition, if not by design, Dave Wick is the local official least likely to become the center of a controversy. He directed Warren County’s Soil and Water Conservation program for almost twenty years and in 2012, he was recruited to succeed Mike White as the executive director of the Lake George Park Commission. Wick’s talent, a rare one, lies is combining practice with politics; engineering storm water controls, demonstrating the finer points of boat decontamination, while, at the same time, attracting and retaining the good will of elected officials and influential environmentalists. If he suffers from existential anxiety or self-doubt, cynicism or an ironic sense of humor, it’s not evident. The earnest, self-confident demeanor that he wears at public meetings, in conferences with officials and in interviews with the local press, never falters.

So it must have come as a surprise to Wick when, on November 14, he was summoned to the State Capitol and told that he was to submit his resignation, immediately. His inquisitor, Basil Seggos, must have been equally surprised when Wick replied, in so many words, that he’d rather not. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Warren County ‘Farm Talks’ Return

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Warren County Soil & Water Conservation District is continuing its series of free agricultural “Farm Talks” presentations. The Farm Talks are open to all interested in learning about the variety of small farming and homesteading techniques.  The next talk will include two presentations.

The first will be “Year-Round High Tunnel Production” with Sandy and Paul Arnold of Pleasant Valley Farm in Argyle.  The second presentation of the night will be Starting a Small Scale Tree Nursery with David Lee of the NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Saratoga Tree Nursery. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Keene Eye on Architecture Exhibition

aarch exhibitAdirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) will welcome renowned architect Nils Luderowski to AARCH’s Clayton Family Gallery.

Luderowski specializes in architecture and design in an Adirondack vernacular and this exhibition features a uniquely expressive series of drawings from a variety of the architect’s regional projects. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mystery Middens: Red Squirrels In Winter

TOS_squirrelIn the woods behind our house, there’s a pile of cones and gnawed apart bracts – easily two feet deep and twice as wide – built against the trunk of a tall hemlock. We’ve watched over consecutive winters – when the newly discarded bracts stand out against the snowy white backdrop – as the heap continues to expand.

This pile, called a midden, is the work of a single red squirrel. Red squirrels are active year round and generally easy to spot – and even easier to hear as they scold passersby in their high, chattering voice. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cuomo’s State Of State: Adirondack Priorities To Watch For

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Adirondack Park is a global treasure, with clean water, large unbroken forests, wildlife and 130 historic communities. All who care about the Park will be interested in what Governor Cuomo has to say in his first State of the State message and first budget proposal of his second term. Both are expected on January 21 in Albany.

As we pause this year to celebrate our 40th Anniversary, the Adirondack Council is hopeful that the Governor will continue to show a strong interest in the Park’s future. Through cooperation and partnership, the Governor’s team can achieve important environmental and community development goals for the Park. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Seed Catalogs: Reading Between the Lines

seed catalogsIt’s January and my dining room table is covered with seed and garden catalogs. I you’re a gardener and you’re not getting catalogs, something is wrong! Most have toll-free phone numbers and websites, so just let them know you’d like a free catalog and you’ll be set for life.

If you have high speed internet and like to surf the web, the online catalogs have a lot of information and links, but I enjoy having the catalogs around the house, and I’ll often grab one to flip through as I drink a cup of coffee or wait for my toast to brown. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ice Palace Construction To Begin

Clearing and Marking the IceConstruction of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Ice Palace will begin on January 22.  Construction involves harvesting ice from Lake Flower, transporting it to the shore and assembling it according to a blueprint.  Construction on the palace will continue until the start of the carnival on February 6.

The Ice Palace is built by volunteers, organized by a group informally known as the Ice Palace Workers 101 (IPW 101).  The public is welcome to volunteer and roles are assigned based on comfort level, skill and ability.  The construction of the Ice Palace is a community effort by those dedicated to keeping this tradition alive. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Commentary: More Badly Designed Development

Woodworth, north shoreSeptember, 2013 was the high point in the Adirondack Park Agency’s history of engagement on conservation development for new subdivisions.

By January, 2015, as evidenced by their actions in support of New York Land and Lakes corporation’s project for 24 residential lots that parcel out two water bodies (along with streams and wetlands, all on Resource Management lands), APA had lost interest. » Continue Reading.



Monday, January 19, 2015

Plethora Of Proposals For Forest Preserve Lands

snowmobiles photo by Nancie BattagliaThis fall, the Adirondack Park Agency invited the public to offer ideas for revising the State Land Master Plan – which hasn’t been substantially amended since 1987 – and the agency got an earful.Among those submitting suggestions were the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board, environmental organizations, mountain bikers, and backcountry skiers.

The Local Government Review Board, which has a non-voting seat on the APA board, proposed a number of amendments. Perhaps the most fundamental change would put economic development on an equal footing with natural resource protection in the plan’s mission statement. » Continue Reading.



Sunday, January 18, 2015

Paul Schaefer: 1900s NYS Wilderness Advocacy

Paul SchaeferMy first childhood memories of Paul Schaefer are of his hands. They were huge to me. They seemed big enough to serve as lasts for making baseball gloves. I also remember Paul from my earliest Adirondack summers as a quality of expectancy.

On Wednesday nights we four kids used to sit on the big wood beam Paul had placed in front of our outdoor fireplace at our family cabin Mateskared and wait for his pickup truck headlights to turn off Route 8 onto Edwards Hill Road. Into the 1950s you could still see headlights on Route 8 two miles south of our cabin at Bakers Mills. Headlights heading up Edwards Hill Road generated immediate tension. Would they make it as far as the second bridge – about half of the two miles from Route 8 to Mateskared – without turning off into a driveway? » Continue Reading.



Sunday, January 18, 2015

Early Forestry Education On Raquette Lake

Post Standard 06211915An article in the June 21, 1915, Syracuse Post-Standard was the first anyone in our family had heard of the role our property on Indian Point played in the evolution of early forestry education in the United States.

The August Forest Camp was a miniature village of 9×9 tents where approximately twelve boys and men lived while participating in morning instruction and afternoon fieldwork. The month long program included elementary forestry, zoology, botany and fungi courses taught by prominent U. S. pioneers of forestry science. An old Adirondack guide also taught a week of Woodcraft “such as a man should know who wishes to spend any length of time in the woods”. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, January 17, 2015

Commentary: Diversity and Common Ground

TMDA LogoThere has been some old-school rancor in the Adirondacks lately. From management of the Essex Chain to the opening of the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (SLMP) for review to the fate of Lot 8 and NYCO’s drilling, some of the traditional disputes between advocates for preservation and advocates for increased access, recreation and development have been heating up.

These tensions have never been absent, but in an era when many are talking about “common ground,” things have been getting surprisingly vitriolic of late. This spike in old fashioned hostility hit an undistinguished apex with the unanimous approval by the Essex County Board of Supervisors of a resolution supporting Denton Publications’ flame-throwing, editorial calling for the abolition of environmental advocacy group Protect the Adirondacks.

» Continue Reading.



Friday, January 16, 2015

This Week’s Adirondack Web Highlights



Friday, January 16, 2015

DEC Opens Ski Trail Along Upper Hudson

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe state Department of Environmental Conservation has opened a new cross-country-ski trail on former Finch, Pruyn timberlands that takes you along the Goodnow and Hudson rivers in the town of Newcomb.

I skied the 4.2-mile loop trail on Wednesday afternoon with my neighbor, Tim Peartree, and we had a blast.

“I liked the variety, the ups and downs, the scenery. It’s a terrific trail,” Tim said after our trip.

The ski trip is possible thanks to the state’s purchase of lands in the Essex Chain Lakes region from the Nature Conservancy a few years ago. The conservancy had purchased the land from Finch, Pruyn & Company in 2007.

» Continue Reading.



Friday, January 16, 2015

Adk Cardboard Sled Circuit Kicks-Off Saturday

Adk Cardboard Sled Racing Circuit HeatLong Lake is ready to celebrate the snowy season with its annual Winter Carnival this Saturday, January 17. The town will be flooded with royalty, bonfires and fireworks, with other events tucked in between. The Long Lake Winter Carnival also kicks off the first leg of the Adirondack Cardboard Sled Race.

According to Indian Lake’s Events Activities Coordinator Vonnie Liddle , the Adirondack Cardboard Sled Circuit is in its third year. Participates need to race in three out of the five local venues with a trophy going to the overall winner. The races are free to all and the sleds can be assembled ahead of time. Please check each venue for rules and regulations. » Continue Reading.



Friday, January 16, 2015

This Week’s Top Adirondack News Stories



Thursday, January 15, 2015

APA Approves Controversial Subdivision

WoodworthLakeThe Adirondack Park Agency board voted unanimously Thursday to approve a controversial development at a former Boy Scouts camp in the southern Adirondacks.

New York Land and Lakes Development LLC plans to subdivide the 1,119-acre property into 24 building lots, most of them bordering two water bodies, Hines Pond and Woodworth Lake. The lots range from three acres to 145 acres.

All of the Park’s four major environmental groups as well as the regional chapter of the Sierra Club opposed the project. They contend that the developers should be forced to minimize fragmentation of the forest by clustering homes closer together.

» Continue Reading.



Thursday, January 15, 2015

Appellate Court Upholds Paddling Rights

Phil Brown paddles Shingle Shanty Brook in the Adirondack ParkA state appeals court has narrowly upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed against Adirondack Explorer Editor Phil Brown after he paddled through private land in 2009.

The Third Department of the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court, located in Albany, handed down the 3-2 decision on Thursday morning. It affirmed a 2013 ruling by State Supreme Court Justice Richard T. Aulisi supporting the public’s right to travel down an isolated, two-mile waterway that connects two pieces of the William C. Whitney Wilderness. » Continue Reading.



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