Thursday, March 13, 2014

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Mar 13)

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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. The report can also be found at Mountain Lake PBS.

 

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

High Peaks Gets Up To 2 Feet Of Snow

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASkiers finally got the big dump they had been waiting for all winter. What’s more, the snow that fell was light powder, not the heavy stuff.

I’d say we got at least a foot in Saranac Lake. That would be in line with North Country snowfall totals reported by the National Weather Service: 16 inches in Duane Center (northern Franklin County), 14 inches in Malone, and 13 inches in Tupper Lake.

Michael Muccilli, a meteorologist with the service, said the northern parts of Herkimer and Hamilton counties got 6 to 12 inches.

» Continue Reading.



Thursday, March 13, 2014

Students Exploring Local Climate Change Impacts

climate_class_at_TWCAs climate change comes to the Adirondacks, how will it change our lives?  A $50,000 grant from the National Science Foundation and a Pennsylvania-based science-education center will help Paul Smith’s College and The Wild Center answer that question by putting it to groups and individuals likely to see the change first.

Prof. Curt Stager of Paul Smith’s and Rob Carr of The Wild Center are collaborating on a new class this spring, Communicating Climate Science, that will ask members of fish and game clubs, medical experts, musicians and other North Country residents to project what current and future changes in local climate may mean to their communities. By the end of the project, students in the class will use that input to suggest how climate change may be most relevant to each group – the effort hopes to provide the tools to make informed decisions about handling climate changes. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, March 13, 2014

Foundations Partner to Provide Books to Pre-schoolers

Dolly PartonThe Glenn and Carol Pearsall Adirondack Foundation has partnered with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to bring free books monthly to preschoolers throughout the Adirondacks.

The Imagination Library program was established in 1995 in Parton’s hometown in Sevier County, Tennessee as a way to improve preschool literacy. It is now available to all preschool children in the state of Tennessee and is expanding throughout the United States. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, March 13, 2014

NYS Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame Honors Dr. Nina Schoch

2013-NS RTLO Rls-9412-tThe New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame has announced that its class of inductees for 2014 will include Dr. Nina Schoch of Ray Brook, NY.  Schoch will be honored at the annual banquet April 26 in Canastota, NY.

Nina Schoch is best known for her role in conservation of the Adirondack loon.  Under her leadership the Biodiversity Research Institute’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation (ACLP) has involved hundreds of volunteers, school children, and government agencies in protecting the iconic symbol of the Adirondack wilderness.  The loon census, banding, research on health issues, and public awareness programs of the ACLP have contributed to the dramatic increase in the loon population in the past three decades. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Don Mellor: Climbing OK Slip Falls

Don Mellor on ok slip fallsIt was suggested to me recently that “if God wanted us to climb ice, He wouldn’t have made it so slippery.” Theology aside, there’s probably some inverse truth here: we want to climb ice precisely because it’s so slippery. We shouldn’t be doing it. It defies everything fundamental about the world as we learned it. It breaks some heavy rules.

Still, we put nasty spikes on our boots and grab tight to a razor pair of ice claws—and there we are, halfway up a hundred-foot icicle. Right where we aren’t supposed to be. And the bliss defies words.

This is a piece about the ice-climbing prospects of OK Slip Falls, jewel of a long-awaited land acquisition, one that has gotten a fair amount of coverage in this publication. Just to see this waterfall once took either connections, patience—or stealth. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

ADK Shakespeare Presenting ‘Sunday Shakespeare Series’

ADK flagThe Adirondack Shakespeare Company troupe is teaming-up with the Lake Placid Center for the Arts to present a new “Sunday Shakespeare Series” this month with three original mash-ups of the Bard’s greatest hits.

ADK Shakespeare’s company of professional actors presents selections from the best of the Bard on different themes each week: true love, villainy, and “kings and things”. Each show will run about an hour and touch on such beloved classics as: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, King Lear, Henry V, and many more. These shows are fast-paced, light-hearted tours across Shakespeare’s canon.  » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

5th Annual Glens Falls Benefit Brewfest April 5

Glens Falls Brew FestA celebration of good beer and charitable giving combine for the 5th Annual Glens Falls Brewfest. Over 60 breweries are expected on Saturday, April 5 at the Queensbury Hotel (88 Ridge St).

The following breweries are confirmed participants in this year’s Glens Falls Brewfest with more expoected to sign-up: Adirondack Pub & Brewery, Ace Cider, City Steam, Coopers Cave Ale Company, Davidson Brothers Brewing Company , Ft. Collins, Goose Island, Kona, McKenzie’s, Paradox, Peak, Redhook, Sea Dog, Shipyard, Shocktop, Southampton, Stella Cidre, Uinta, and Widmer Brothers. Organizers will post the latest additions on the Glens Falls Brewfest Facebook page and GlensFallsBrewfest.org. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Puppet People to Perform The Firebird in Long Lake

 woods2There is something so hypnotic about watching a puppet show. The simplicity and artistry combined, as an avenue for storytelling, is timeless. The variety of puppets seem to be endless from shadow or hand to a more complex marionette. I enjoy how the stage designs spark the imagination where a scrap of fabric becomes a dress, body of water or backdrop. It is all about where your mind can take you. Around our house a simple sock with some buttons sewn on provided hours of entertainment when my children were young. Now, of course, more complex puppets are in the works.

For the second time Long Lake Public Library is bringing the talents of Schenectady’s The Puppet People to the area. This year’s March 15th performance of The Firebird is free and open to the public, though registration is requested. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

State Announces Purchase of More Former Finch Lands

Map_NYSFY2013-14transfersAllGovernor Andrew Cuomo has announced the latest phase of New York State’s acquisition of 69,000 acres, part of 161,000 acres of former Finch Pruyn lands (and others) purchased by the Nature Conservancy in 2007, as well as $875,000 in available grants for projects to develop tourism and recreation facilities within the Adirondack Park.

The State will pay $5.7 million to acquire the tracts from The Nature Conservancy (TNC), using the State’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) which is funded by real estate transfer taxes. Already, the state has completed two acquisitions from TNC totaling 30,037 acres. An additional 89,000 acres of the original TNC-Finch 161,00-acre purchase was set aside for logging and other motorized uses in 2010.

With this purchase New York State will add to the Forest Preserve 8,451 acres spread over 14 parcels in Fulton, Warren, Essex and Hamilton counties, along with a few parcels in Saratoga County that are outside the blue line. The Saratoga County properties include the Daniels Road tract (519 acres), the Penn York tract (241 acres) and the Town Line tract (176 acres). In addition, the Town of Edinburg will be able to move forward with the acquisition of 1,248 acres on Fox Hill Road. Another 154 acres known as Town Corners will consolidate wetlands in Greenfield. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Life and Times of the Raquette Lake Railway

1900 raquett lake railway schedule_0After the Raquette Lake Railway opened to the public on July 1, 1900, life on the Fulton Chain changed forever.  For its prime mover, Collis P. Huntington, life ended at Camp Pine Knot in August.  Huntington’s death left W. W. Durant without favorable money sources and his Blue Mountain and Raquette Lake Steamboat Company, as well as the newly built Marion River Carry Railroad and its terminal properties, were sold to Patrick Moynehan in May, 1901, then sold to the Webb interests in 1902.

I would like to tell the Railway’s story by telling the story of its stations.  When introducing the station’s name, I insert  its mile marker in parenthesis ( ) according to Michael Kudish’s Where Did the Tracks Go in the Central Adirondacks?. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Avoiding Vegetable Garden Problems

MarketVegsWith temperatures remaining below normal during the first week of March, the spring planting season is still a long ways off. Gardeners are itching to get busy but have to wait while March and April drag by, teasing us with spring-like spells that are inevitably followed by cold snaps.

To put some of that pent-up energy to good use, gardeners would be wise to spend a good chunk of time now planning out their gardens. Perennial flower gardeners can creatively rearrange their plants and search for particular colors or bloom times to fill in gaps. Planning ahead can also help reduce some disease problems for vegetable gardeners. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

NYS Remiss In Champlain Heritage Grant Applications

image001The Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) has awarded Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership (CVNHP) grants totaling about $80,000.

Just seven of 21 funded projects are located in New York State. $54,000 was awarded to Vermont programs while just $27,075 was awarded in New York. » Continue Reading.



Monday, March 10, 2014

Lawrence Gooley: Old Values and Modern Education

SnowshoeingAdkAlmRecently announced changes in the college SAT test have elicited all sorts of opinions from experts, lay-people, and students. Some laud the changes, and some decry them. Most everyone agrees that change was needed, but it’s also clear that modifying the tests was a business-based decision to compete with the more popular ACT. The testing of college aptitude isn’t just a means of judging students’ capabilities: it’s also a billion-dollar business.

One change involves dropping the essay requirement (the essay will now be optional). As a person who enjoys good writing, I also realize the limitations imposed on professionals who are less than literate. A research scientist must be able to clearly communicate their experiments and results, and write scientific papers. Investigative reporters must ably report their findings. Company managers must convey messages to tens or hundreds of employees. On and on it goes. Strong writing skills are critical to professionals (although many rely heavily on very literate secretaries or assistants). » Continue Reading.


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Monday, March 10, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Bushwhacker

Blowdown near Confluence of Middle Branch Oswegatchie RiverPeople often ask me what exactly I do in the Adirondack backcountry during a bushwhacking trip, as if it involves engaging in some arcane art from long ago. I always find this line of questioning a little befuddling, and to this day, I still find myself lacking an adequate response. For the most part, my day remains much the same as any commuter’s, except for the excessive effort involved in struggling through blowdown, hobblebush or other natural impediments, instead of navigating traffic.

A day in the life of a bushwhacker is an interesting one indeed, but not that different from a typical commuter’s. We sleep, eat, defecate and work much like other people, but a bushwhacker’s commute is shorter and a lot more pleasant. Of course, any description of a typical day in the Adirondack backcountry fails to include a rain delay, a trail hike, or other out of the ordinary conditions, despite these happening much more often than we care to admit.
» Continue Reading.



Monday, March 10, 2014

APA Seeks Expedited Approvals For Some Wetland Activities

APA officeThe Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is seeking public comment on two new general permits related to wetlands in the Adirondack Park that would expedite APA approval for qualifying activities. One relates to the the management of invasive species within 100 feet of a wetland, the other to access and replacement of power poles in wetlands. Both General Permits will apply throughout the Adirondack Park and will be effective for three years unless revoked or modified by the Agency.

The APA will accept public comments until March 28, 2014. If there is significant concern with, or opposition to these General Permits, a public hearing may be required. Approval of a General Permit by the Agency is a SEQRA, Type 1 action. A negative declaration and Full Environmental Assessment Form has been prepared by the Agency and is on file at its offices in Ray Brook, New York. » Continue Reading.



Monday, March 10, 2014

Naj Wikoff: A Better Way to Divorce

Debra and JohnOnce in LA, I saw this middle-aged woman driving a black Porsche Carrera GT. The license plate read, “WAS HIS.”

Divorce can be nasty, expensive, and tough on the kids, families, and friends. I have friends who said they were lucky to get out still owning their golf clubs. I know people who decades later are still traumatized by a past divorce, be it their divorce or that of their parents.

A reality of living in small towns is after the divorce you still meet your ex at the art center, grocery store, post office, waiting in line to vote, or attending civic events and holiday parties, encounters made more difficult if the divorce could have been a scene out of the film “War of the Roses.” Friends are often put in an awkward position as they may care equally for you both and don’t want to take sides. The kids though, they really take the beating. » Continue Reading.



Sunday, March 9, 2014

Getting to Blue Mountain Lake in the 19th Century

1922 Marion River RRMy trip to the Adirondacks from our home in Western Massachusetts ends when I see the water of Raquette Lake’s South Bay – a three-and-a-half hour drive.  OK, my wife insists the trip is not over until we unload the car, pack the boat, traverse the lake, unload the boat and schlep everything into the cabin.  A five-hour ordeal in her mind, but serenity fills me the minute I see the water.

Be it three-and-a-half hours or five, our trip is nothing compared to the arduous travels my great-great-grandfather took to reach these shores. He had been among the very first to summer on Blue Mountain Lake, building the first private summer home on Thacher Island in 1867.

In 1862, George Hornell Thacher first traveled to the region guided by Mitchell Sabattis.  At that time, the railroad to North Creek and the stage road from North Creek to Blue Mountain Lake did not exist.  Access to Blue Mountain Lake was only from the north, down from Long Lake.  The trip from Albany took three or four days. » Continue Reading.



Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Lake George Land Conservancy’s Hike-A-Thon

3_2013HikeAThon_Cook MtThe early-bird registration period is now open for the Lake George Land Conservancy’s (LGLC) annual Hike-A-Thon, set for Saturday, July 5, 2014. The public is invited to register as participants of the Hike-A-Thon, free of charge. Early-bird registrations made until April 30 also come with free event t-shirts for each registered participant.

The Lake George Hike-A-Thon is a one-day event on July 5th, created to showcase LGLC’s parks and preserves around Lake George as free public resources, and to promote a healthy, active lifestyle and appreciation for the outdoors. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, March 8, 2014

Current Mount Marcy Backcountry Ski Conditions

Summit of Marcy in Winter (Phil Brown Photo)I skied Mount Marcy from Adirondak Loj on Friday. Conditions were very good below tree line; above, there was a lot of wind slab and ice. Bring MicroSpikes or crampons if you are headed to the actual summit. The last signpost was about six feet above the snow. In a good winter it’s buried, or nearly so. Thanks to Ron Konowitz and his helpers for removing blowdown on the ski trail below Indian Falls and shoveling snow to improve conditions. Ron is the president of the Adirondack Powder Skier Association.



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