Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Family Life Of Adirondack Black Bears

Black Bear NYS Museum Camera TrapPriorities! Just like humans, some forms of wildlife are faced with the dilemma of not having enough time during the day to deal with all the issues that confront them. Over the course of the next several weeks, many black bears in the Adirondacks temporarily elect to put their nagging appetite on hold and channel the vast majority of their time and energy into finding a mate and winning the affection of a potential breeding partner.

In winter, the black bear experiences a profound state of dormancy in which many individuals lose from 15% to 20%, or more, of their autumn body weight. Once they emerge from their den in spring, the intake of food becomes a primary priority. As fiddleheads push upward from the forest floor, invertebrate activity begins to surge and populations of amphibians are moving to and from seasonal pools of water, this massive mammal attempts to regain a portion of its lost weight. However, despite the abundance of tender greenery, bugs and small ground critters, many black bears put their desire to eat on pause following the Memorial Day weekend, as a developing drive to mate overtakes this animal’s urge to eat. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Some History Of The Old Forge Dam

264d_OF_DamThe historical publications Old Forge: Gateway to the Adirondacks and The Story of a Wilderness inform us that George Deis & Son operated a large lumber mill near the Old Forge dam until 1900 when they relocated to Thendara.

Adirondack Lakes by Thomas Gates shows a picture of the Ben and Ira Parsons’ boat shop at its second location on the knoll now occupied by Water’s Edge Motel.  Their dad Riley, along with John Sprague and Theodore Seeber, built Fulton Chain steamers and guideboats at a location next to the Deis sawmill during the 1890s, then they relocated in 1902.  In 1901, the Fulton Navigation Company sued to prevent competitors’ steamers from soliciting customers and landing at their dock and train depot area in front of the Forge House.

This series of events seemed unrelated until I found articles dating from midsummer 1900 when V. K. Kellogg, the attorney for the state’s Forest, Fish & Game Commission, and Herkimer County Sheriff Daniel Strobel served notice on the owners of businesses occupying state lands adjacent to the Old Forge dam.  » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Lawrence Gooley: A New Service for Local Authors

Books Image JWThe company that my wife (Jill Jones) and I operate, Bloated Toe Enterprises, recently launched an extensive, time-consuming effort towards improving the lot of authors across the region. Note that there was no mention of “we.” Jill saw the need, had the know-how, planned the design, and wrote the programming code for our new venture, the North Country Authors website. There is no cost to anyone. Authors who supply basic information will be featured there, including photographs, biographies, books, news, and book-related events. The site will be kept up-to-date at all times.

The group North Country Authors was actually formed several years ago. Although we had a vision of where it should go, time was lacking. But after attending regional book events during the past decade, Jill recognized the need for organization. With that in mind, she went to work. The current configuration of NCA is easy to navigate and provides loads of information. » Continue Reading.


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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

New York State Issues Sustainability Progress Report

NYS Sustainability ProgramA new report tracks the progress of New York State agencies to achieve a sustainable environment by reducing the amount of paper used and waste generated, improving their recycling rates, and lowering energy consumption and the use of toxic chemicals in agency operations.

Highlights of the “Second Progress Report on State Green Procurement and Agency Sustainability,” which summarizes agency performance between state fiscal years 2008-09 and 2011-12, include: A reduction in paper use of 43 percent, saving the state $11.1 million over four years; a 35 percent reduction in waste generated; an average recycling rate of 56 percent; a 27 percentage point increase in the purchase of 100-percent recycled content copy paper; and the virtual elimination of bottled water purchases. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Second Warren County ‘Farm Talk’ To Be Held

Farm Talks PhotoSmall farms, hobby farms, community gardens and backyard gardens are expanding all over New York and with this rapidly expanding farming and gardening community, Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District has started a free series of informational agricultural presentations called “The Farm Talks”.

The next talk will include two presentations. The first presentation will be about the SUNY Adirondack (formerly Adirondack Community College) Diversified Farm with Dr. Tim Scherbatskoy. Participants will be touring the campus diversified farm during the presentation. The second presentation will be an “Introduction to Small Farm Planning” with Tiffany Pinheiro of the Essex County Soil and Water Conservation District. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, May 24, 2014

Annual Adirondack Literary Awards Ceremony June 1

acw logoThe Adirondack Literary Awards is a juried awards program that honors books published in or by regional authors in the previous year. Now one of the Adirondack Center for Writing’s (ACW) most popular events, this year’s awards ceremony will be held at the Blue Mountain Center on June 1, from 3 to 5 pm. The event is free and open to the public.

In addition to juried awards in each category (fiction, poetry, children’s literature, memoir, nonfiction, and for the first time featured articles), there is a People’s Choice Award.  » Continue Reading.



Friday, May 23, 2014

This Week’s Adirondack Web Highlights


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Friday, May 23, 2014

Green Thumb Perennial Swap in Warrensburg Saturday

Garden Plant SwapThe sixteenth annual Green Thumb Perennial Swap sponsored by Warrensburgh Beautification Inc. will take place on Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 24, 2013 from 8 am to noon on the banks of the Schroon River in the Warrensburgh Mills Historic District, Route 418 (River Street) across from Curtis Lumber.

Bring your plants in any size or shape container, and exchange for ones of equal size or value. If you are just starting your garden, participants will share and answer questions regarding your soil and light conditions, and hardiness zone. Master Gardeners from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Warren County will be on hand to test the pH of your soil and provide informational handouts on various gardening topics and reference materials to help identify any mystery species. » Continue Reading.



Friday, May 23, 2014

The Bluff Point Lighthouse on Valcour Island

bluff point collageThe Bluff Point Lighthouse on Valcour Island in Lake Champlain will be open most Sunday afternoons from 1 to 3 pm through the summer. Dedicated volunteers look after and interpret the lighthouse and island for visitors under the sponsorship of the Clinton County Historical Association.

The lighthouse, once the home of the lighthouse keepers, now is filled with themed rooms containing interpretive materials. The gallery around the light at the top of the building, is at the same level as the osprey nest at the top of the tower next to the building.

In recent years, the island has become a popular day trip for kayakers and canoeists as there is no public transportation to the island. There will be docents there this Sunday, barring heavy rain or lightning. » Continue Reading.



Friday, May 23, 2014

This Week’s Top Adirondack News Stories


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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (May 22)

adk0122093
This weekly Adirondack outdoor conditions report is issued on Thursday afternoons, year round.

Get The Weekly Outdoor Conditions Podcast

Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio. A narrative version of this report can be found at Mountain Lake PBS.

 

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND

» Continue Reading.



Thursday, May 22, 2014

DEC Adopts Black Bear Plan, Seeks Comments On New Rules

American black bear by Cephas @ Wikimedia CommonsThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has adopted a ten-year black bear management plan which outlines the principles and methods used to monitor and manage black bear populations in New York and is designed to provide strategic guidance for the DEC’s activities.  The plan includes several proposed changes to hunting rules, for which the DEC is seeking public comments. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Adirondack Foundation Announces New Grant Programs

Adirondack FoundationInspired by the 100th anniversary of the world’s first community foundation, Adirondack Foundation has launched a new fund that will increase grants to Adirondack communities.

The Generous Acts Fund directs funding toward three programs: Small & Significant grants, Collaborations grants and Big Impact projects. Adirondack Foundation will award up to $45,000 in grants through these programs this year. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Seed Dispersal: Sneaky Plants and Gullible Ants

EliasomesI don’t trust flowers.

There are grounds for my suspicion; flowering plants are proven masters of deception. For instance, the sundew uses sparkling droplets of sticky “faux dew” to ensnare and digest curious flies; bee orchids dupe male wasps into wasting their copulatory efforts on floral structures that look and smell like a female wasp. And what about humans? As I labor on behalf of flowers, fertilizing, tilling, watering and sweating, I sometimes wonder if I’m being led down the proverbial garden path. Exactly who’s cultivating whom? » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

150th Anniv. of George Perkins Marsh’s Man and Nature

410px-George_Perkins_MarshThis year, New Yorkers are rightly commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the National Wilderness Preservation Act of 1964. Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, Rockefeller Institute of Government, NYS DEC, and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry recently kicked off that anniversary with events in the Capital Region. More events and activities with students, faculty and college collaborators are planned.

2014 is also the 120th anniversary of our “forever wild” clause of the NYS Constitution protecting the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserve. It was that late 19th century constitutional protection which so inspired the 20th century’s Howard Zahniser of The Wilderness Society to undertake his 18-year campaign to both author and lobby for the National Wilderness Act. That’s one reason, and there are others, why wilderness preservation, in terms of designation and protection, began in New York State. Bob, George and Jim Marshall’s upbringing in the Adirondacks by noted forever wild advocate and attorney Louis and his wife Florence Marshall, and the later creation of The Wilderness Society by Bob and allies is another reason to make this claim.

But there’s an older 19th century anniversary this year that cannot be overlooked without missing what has influenced humanity around the globe to conserve since 1864, the year a Vermonter named George Perkins Marsh (1801-1882) wrote Man and Nature; or Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action. Woodstock and Burlington, respectively where Marsh was born and lived parts of his adult life and which influenced his book, could legitimately make the claim that Vermont is where wilderness preservation began in America and, indeed, in the world. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Green Grass Getdown In Upper Jay on Sunday

Adirondack FarmsSugar House Creamery in Upper Jay will be hosting a Green Grass Getdown, a celebration of Spring, local farm food, and cows heading to pasture at the start of the grazing season, on Sunday, May 25.

The event will feature a local food fair and a farmers’ market. The day kicks off with the procession of cows to pasture at 11 am. The parade is based on the Swiss tradition of sending cows to high alpine meadows, a part of Transhumance, the ages-old worldwide migration of livestock and their keepers between seasonal grounds.

Guests will be able to sample and buy fare from Asgaard Farm, The Clay Hearth, Fledging Crow Vegetables, Juniper Hill Farm, Mace Chasm Farm, North Country Creamery, Sugar House Creamery, and other local food providers.

» Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Ed Zahniser: The 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act

image003(5)My father Howard Zahniser, who died four months before the 1964 Wilderness Act became law 50 years ago this September 3, was the chief architect of, and lobbyist for, this landmark Act. The Act created our 109.5-million-acre National Wilderness Preservation System.

Had I another credential, it would be that Paul Schaefer—the indomitable Adirondack conservationist—was one of my chief mentors and outdoor role models. Paul helped me catch my first trout. I was seven years old. That life event took place in what is now the New York State-designated Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area in the Adirondacks. Izaak Walton should be so lucky. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Opening Weekend for the Adirondack Museum

The Adirondack Museum will be opening for its 57th season this Friday, May 23, at its home in Blue Mountain Lake. After a calm winter of Cabin Fever Lectures and special programs, the museum is bringing back favorite exhibits and hosting specials exhibitions for the 2014 season.

Though all the new exhibits sound exciting, one in particular that I’m looking forward to celebrates Arto Monaco’s whimsical art and the Land of Makebelieve. A few years ago my family and I had been able to visit and help the Arto Monaco Historical Society on a few of its work weekends in Upper Jay. The organization was doing its best to resurrect parts of the Land of Makebelieve as well as to catalog the massive art collection for future generations. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

David Sommerstein: Trains Carry Oil And Risk

Rail accident in Lac Megantic, Quebec in 2013 (Wikimedia photo)On a summer night last July, the charming French-Canadian town of Lac Megantic literally exploded. A tanker train carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire, incinerating much of the downtown and killing forty-seven people.

Other train explosions followed in Alabama and North Dakota. Now people are wondering if it could happen here in the Adirondacks.

Since the disaster in Lac Megantic—located 180 miles northeast of the Adirondack Park, in Quebec—officials in northern New York have taken notice that similar trains, up to a hundred tankers long and filled with eighty-five thousand barrels of oil, roar regularly through the Champlain Valley. Most of the oil is in tankers that federal regulators have deemed unsafe. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Inlet History: A Short Biography of Philo Clark Wood

5d Philo C. Wood 002In December 1899, owner Dwight B. Sperry had just completed his first season of operating his newly built Hotel Glennmore and determined to lease it.  He selected two men from Constableville, NY.

One was George B. Conant who would be the hotel proprietor.  Conant’s hotel manager would be his brother-in law, Philo Clark Wood.  For Philo, this began a career of almost fifty years of hotel management, town development and civil service to the Towns of Webb and Inlet.

Philo’s ancestors, originally from Chatham, Middlesex County, CT, moved to the Town of Turin in Lewis County, NY sometime after the 1810 Census.  Philo’s grandparents (Nathaniel and Electa Caswell Wood) and great-grandparents (Joel and Mercy Clark Wood) are buried in the Constableville Rural Cemetery (West Turin).  » Continue Reading.



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