Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Campaign Seeks To Help Protect Nesting Adirondack Loons

2013-BRI-ACLC Limekiln Camera -Don't disturb nesting loonsBiodiversity Research Institute’s (BRI’s) Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation has announced a new campaign on Adirondack Gives, www.adirondackgives.org, the crowdfunding site for Adirondack region nonprofits.

The campaign will provide support for the placement of trail cameras near approximately 30 Common Loon nest sites in the Adirondack Park to document nesting behaviors, clutch size, and hatch dates for Adirondack loons, and to assess the primary factors (e.g., predation, human disturbance) impacting the birds during incubation.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) provided the cameras for this project. Support from this campaign, which is seeking to raise $1,100 over the next two months, will cover the cost of the lithium-ion batteries and high capacity SD cards used in the cameras. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Saranac Lake Village Improvement Society Parks Tour

Saranac Lake VIS Parks MapThe Village Improvement Society (VIS) and Historic Saranac Lake are hosting a free public walking tour of VIS-owned parks on July 26, 10 am – 11:30 am. The tour will include Vest Pocket Park, Triangle Park and Denny Park.

During the tour, VIS volunteers will discuss the history of Saranac Lake’s parks. The park system was designed by the firm of the Olmsted Brothers, the same landscape architects who designed Central Park in New York City. Their plan for open space protection in Saranac Lake was submitted in 1907, but the Village Board decided it was too expensive. In 1910, a group of 10 Saranac Lake women banded together to form the Village Improvement Society with the goal of implementing the plan. VIS now owns and maintains seven parks in Saranac Lake: Vest Pocket Park, Triangle Park, the Herb Garden, Denny Park, Dorsey Park, Beaver Park and the Sunset Arboretum. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Day On Lot 8: A Dan Crane NYCO Commentary

Towering White Ash on Lot 8When the results for Proposition 5 came in last November, I decided I must visit Lot 8 in the Jay Mountain Wilderness. Since the voters of New York State made this area yet another sacrificial lamb at the altar of greed and profitability, I knew it would only be a matter of time before the chainsaws, bulldozers and explosives moved in and converted a living and breathing forest into something akin to a war zone.

It soon became evident this juggernaut of “progress” was unstoppable, as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) relinquished their roles of protecting the environment and the Adirondack Park. Instead, these governmental organizations engaged in the complete evisceration of nearly every environmental protection law on the books in an attempt to ensure NYCO Minerals, Inc. destroyed Lot 8 as soon as possible.

This left me little choice but to put hastily together a 6-day bushwhacking trip through the Jay Mountain Wilderness, with an entire day allocated to exploring the condemned Lot 8 in all its natural glory before its destruction. I felt it would ease my conscience somewhat for not doing enough to prevent its impending demise in the first place. Unfortunately, despite getting up-close and personal with Lot 8, I only ended-up feeling worse. In between the joy and wonder of experiencing this property for myself firsthand, was a sense of deep sorrow, bordering on moroseness, as the fate of everything I saw, smelled and heard was never far from my mind.
» Continue Reading.



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bicycling Coalition Happy With Rail-Trail Proposal

Adirondack Tourist Train (Susan Bibeau)The New York Bicycling Coalition has kept a low profile in the debate over the future of the Adirondack rail corridor, but its proposal for the 119-mile corridor is similar to the one set forth by the state.

Last September, the coalition’s executive director, Josh Wilson, wrote the state Department of Transportation (DOT) to call for removing the tracks between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake to create a trail for biking and other non-motorized activities in spring, summer, and fall.

“NYBC believes that such a trail would be unparalleled in New York State and the Northeast,” Wilson wrote Raymond Hessinger, director of DOT’s Freight and Passenger Rail Bureau. “A trail on this segment of the Corridor would serve to connect three ‘hub’ communities of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, and Tupper Lake with multiple other access points in between.” » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Race To Incarcerate: A Graphic Retelling Event

Race-to-incarcerate-poster-horiz.1000px[10]The public is invited to a special presentation by acclaimed cartoonist Sabrina Jones brought to you by John Brown Lives! and BluSeed Studios: “Race to Incarcerate: Creating Comics for Social Justice” on Thursday, July 31st at 7:30 pm at BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake.

Jones will discuss her recent book, Race To Incarcerate: A Graphic Retelling and using comics to confront social issues. Jones’ 2013 book is a graphic adaptation of Marc Mauer’s 1999 Race to Incarcerate, a classic examination of the cultural and political history of prisons in the United States. (Mauer is Executive Director of The Sentencing Project, a criminal justice reform organization in Washington.) This presentation is part of The Correction, a John Brown Lives! program to inform the public about prison issues in the North Country. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Family Hike Up Debar Mountain

MeachamSome days I need to go hiking. I don’t want an epic outing, just some time in the woods to clear my head, enough of a climb to exercise my body, and a decent view at the top to rejuvenate my spirit.

After five particularly soggy days, cooped up inside our smallish house on Chateaugay Lake with four antsy kids—Micah, age eighteen; Dominic and Parker, both sixteen; and Zoe, eleven—and my outdoorsy sweetheart Jack, I needed to climb a mountain before I climbed the walls. The whole family did! The weather forecast was still far from perfect, but when the deluge abated, I ordered everyone to put away Monopoly and put on their hiking boots. We were heading up Debar Mountain.

Named for John Debar, a Canadian fur trapper who traveled through the area in 1817, Debar Mountain had been on my sizable bucket list of hikes in the Adirondacks for a number of years. I checked off most of those hikes while researching my guidebook Hiking the Adirondacks but never made it up Debar. When selecting the peaks in the northern region of the Adirondack Park for my book, others nearby were bigger, balder, and/or more well-known. Debar would certainly have made the cut a half-century earlier when it still had a fire tower on its summit, but I was barely writing my ABC’s, not guidebooks, back then. » Continue Reading.



Monday, July 21, 2014

The Skinny on Snake Skins

TOS_Black_Rat_SnakeIf you have a wood pile, you may have come across a shed snake skin ― a translucent, onion skin-like wrapper imprinted with the snake’s scale pattern. Or perhaps you’ve seen one along a foundation or stone wall. Why do snakes shed their skin?

Most animals, including humans, shed skin cells, explained herpetologist Jim Andrews, who coordinates the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas. “The difference is that humans are continually shedding skin. Snakes shed only periodically; hence they shed the entire skin at once.” » Continue Reading.



Monday, July 21, 2014

State Opens Trail To OK Slip Falls

OKSlip-600x719The state has opened a three-mile hiking trail to OK Slip Falls in the recently established Hudson Gorge Wilderness.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the opening of the trail today in news release in which he also touted funding for equestrian trails in the central Adirondacks and for the repair of the Lake Abanakee Dam in Indian Lake.

The state acquired OK Slip Falls—one of the tallest cascades in the Adirondack Park—from the Nature Conservancy in 2013. Since then, people have been hiking to the falls along informal trails or bushwhacking.

The official trail starts on the north side of Route 28, at the same trailhead for a pre-existing trail that leads to Ross, Whortleberry, and Big Bad Luck ponds. The parking area is on the south side of the highway, about 7.5 miles east of the hamlet of Indian Lake and 0.2 miles west of the trailhead.

» Continue Reading.



Monday, July 21, 2014

Charles M. Dickinson: Lowville Poet and Diplomat

CMDickinson02Among the foreign issues America has dealt with many times is hostage taking. Kidnappers claimed many reasons for the action, but it was frequently done to extort money in support of a cause. Extortion kidnappings have often involved seizing of American missionaries and threatening to kill them unless ransom was paid. More than a hundred years ago, there occurred what is referred to as “America’s First Modern Hostage Crisis,” which is actually the subtitle of a 2003 book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Teresa Carpenter.

The Miss Stone Affair is the title, referring to Protestant missionary Ellen Maria Stone. A North Country man was a key player in her story, which riveted the nation for half a year.

Charles Monroe Dickinson was born in November 1842 in Lowville, New York (Lewis County). After high school, he worked for several winters as a schoolteacher at Haverstraw-on-Hudson, about 20 miles south of West Point. The money earned helped further his education at Fairfield Seminary and Lowville Academy. During this time, Charles also explored writing, particularly poetry. At the age of 19 he produced a poem, “The Children,” that constitutes his second great claim to fame. More on that later. » Continue Reading.



Monday, July 21, 2014

$75k Granted To Cranberry Lake Communities

Adirondack GivesCommunity organizations in the Clifton-Fine area have been awarded $75,000 in grants from the Damoth Fund at Adirondack Foundation.

The Damoth Fund was established in 2012 with a bequest from Robert Damoth, who had a strong attachment to the Cranberry Lake region. Every year, a portion of Damoth’s bequest is awarded to community organizations with the support of the Clifton-Fine Economic Development Corporation. Additionally, the fund annually awards $15,000 to each of these organizations: Clifton-Fine Central School, Clifton Community Library, Cranberry Lake Fire & Rescue, and Clifton-Fine Hospital. » Continue Reading.



Monday, July 21, 2014

Paddling Case Advances To Appellate Court

Map by Nancy BernsteinA state appeals court is expected to hear arguments this fall in a trespassing lawsuit filed against Adirondack Explorer Editor Phil Brown after he paddled through private land on a remote waterway that connects two tracts of state land in the William C. Whitney Wilderness.

The landowners—the Brandreth Park Association and Friends of Thayer Lake—sued Brown in the fall of 2010, more than a year after he wrote about the paddling trip for the Adirondack Explorer.

Last year, State Supreme Court Justice Richard T. Aulisi dismissed the suit, but the landowners have appealed to the court’s Appellate Division in Albany. » Continue Reading.



Sunday, July 20, 2014

2 New Maps From St. Regis Canoe Outfitters

Two mapsSt. Regis Canoe Outfitters has published two new waterproof maps for paddlers, one covering the three Saranac Lakes, the other covering the St. Regis Canoe Area.

The color maps cover some of the same territory as the Adirondack Paddler’s Map, also published by St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, but the new maps are more detailed and, being smaller, easier to handle.

They’re also less expensive: $9.95 versus $19.95 for the Adirondack Paddler’s Map (which is four times as large).

“Many first-time visitors are going to grab a $10 map before they grab a $20 map,” said Dave Cilley, owner of St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, which has stores in Saranac Lake and Floodwood. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, July 19, 2014

Brendan Wiltse: Silver Lake Mountain

BJW_3902After spending years tromping around the High Peaks and living in the Johns Brook Valley, I take delight in visiting the smaller and often lesser known mountains. Silver Lake Mountain is just north of Taylor Pond (middle of the photograph). At 1.8 miles round-trip it makes a perfect hike to do after work. You don’t see many high peaks, but you do have a good view of Whiteface and the unique combination of big mountains and large bodies of water. Just behind Taylor Pond is Catamount, another great mountain to check out. What is your favorite mountain outside of the high peaks?



Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pete Nelson: Who is NYCO?

WollastoniteA month ago I wrote a column advocating that we create and maintain a regional memory of the NYCO amendment process and all that comes from it. My argument is that by doing so we will be better able to prevail in future battles against amendments that propose to take from the Forest Preserve for private gain. At the end of that column I said my starting point would be to ask who NYCO really is, in contrast to the picture of NYCO given by its own claims, by pro-amendment advocates and by popular assumption.

At the moment we need no assistance recalling the amendment controversy since NYCO is once again all over the regional news. With the dual stories that NYCO is seeking to expand its two existing mines and that environmental groups have sued to stop test drilling on Lot 8, any profile of NYCO is not only important in chronicling the amendment process, it is relevant right now. NYCO is making certain claims, environmental groups are making others and the state of New York still others. That means the question I pose today matters, today: who is NYCO? » Continue Reading.



Friday, July 18, 2014

This Week’s Adirondack Web Highlights


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Friday, July 18, 2014

Adirondack Park Institute to Honor Nature Conservancy

The-Essex-Chain-Nancie-Battaglia-300x192The Adirondack Park Institute (API) will honor the Adirondack Nature Conservancy at its Third Annual Awards Gala to be held on Friday, August 8 at the Adirondack Interpretive Center in Newcomb.

The Gala will be presided over by Newcomb Town Supervisor George Canon as Honorary Chair with Tim Barnett, First Executive Director of the Adirondack Nature Conservancy accepting the Frank M. Hutchins Environmental Leadership Award. » Continue Reading.



Friday, July 18, 2014

Ed Kanze: The Unsung, Well Sung, Pine Warbler

ed_kanze_pine_warblerThe pine warbler is often heard but rarely seen. To identify one of these birds, even at close range, you’ve got to inventory its features, hear it sing if possible, and ponder. Listen here as I welcome one of these feathered flying insect-eaters to our bird feeder in this week’s edition of All Things natural with Ed Kanze.

The podcast is produced by Mountain Lake PBS’s Josh Clement. Listen to past episodes by visiting Mountain Lake PBS’s Borderless North webpage at mountainlake.org/bn.



Friday, July 18, 2014

This Week’s Top Adirondack News Stories


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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (July 17)

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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, July 17, 2014

Invasive Spiny Waterflea Spreading in Adirondack Lakes

SWF-on-LG-Emily-DeBolt-resizedSpiny waterflea, a tiny invasive species that can have a significant impact on the aquatic food chain of waterways, is spreading in the Adirondack Park.

First discovered in the region in Great Sacandaga Lake in 2008, spiny waterflea is also in Stewarts Bridge Reservoir, Peck Lake, Sacandaga Lake, Lake George, and the Glens Falls Feeder Canal. Recent surveys detected populations in Hamilton County in Lake Pleasant, which adjoins Sacandaga Lake, and nearby Piseco Lake. » Continue Reading.



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