Saturday, September 17, 2011

Join the Land Use and Ethics Conversation

On its best day, philosophy succeeds in sending “the conversation off in new directions.” With a free exchange of ideas and a commitment to inquiry, philosophy as both catalyst and conveyor ought to “engender new normal discourses, new sciences, new philosophical research and thus new objective truths.”

In this spirit the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s Northern Forest Institute invites submissions for its Symposium of Interdisciplinary Scholarship in Land Use and Ethics, to be held at the Adirondack Interpretive Center on Huntington Wildlife Forest in Newcomb.

I envision this project as an opportunity to open up the dialog around issues of land use and ethics on local, national and global scales. This is the place for ideas in-process, unfinished research and to introduce work in its various stages of development. We’re welcoming research from across professions and disciplines on topics related to balancing individual and community priorities with respect to land use and the associated expectations for human and ecosystem stewardship and social and environmental ethics.

I hope to see independent scholars alongside industry and agency professionals and students from across the humanities and the sciences. Presentations are meant to generate conversation around a variety of approaches to land use, the moral implications of these approaches, as well as the ways that they influence the ongoing debate over how to achieve social and environmental justice.

Philosopher John Dewey referred to active discourse as “breaking the crust of convention” and I’d like us to use this symposium to get together and get on with it.

For information on how to join the conversation email mpatinellidubay@esf.edu

References from Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Richard Rorty

Photo of Arbutus Lodge, compliments of Huntington Wildlife Forest, Newcomb, NY.

Marianne Patinelli-Dubay is a philosopher living, writing and teaching in the Adirondacks.


Friday, September 16, 2011

This Week’s Adirondack Web Highlights

On Friday afternoons Adirondack Almanack compiles for our readers a collection of the week’s top weblinks. You can find all our weekly web round-ups here.

Subscribe! More than 7,000 people get Adirondack Almanack each day via RSS, E-Mail, or Twitter or Facebook updates. It’s a convenient way to get the latest news and information about the Adirondacks.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Adirondack Events This Weekend (September 16)

Visit the Almanack on Fridays for links to what’s happening this weekend around the Adirondacks.

The Almanack also provides weekly backcountry conditions and hunting and fishing reports for those headed into the woods or onto the waters this weekend.

Region-wide Events This Weekend

Lake Placid Region Events This Weekend

Old Forge Area Events This Weekend


Friday, September 16, 2011

North Elba Boathouse Cases Heat Up (amended)

A federal court judge this week dismissed civil rights claims in a case arising from a planning board decision to modify plans for a proposed boathouse on Mirror Lake in the Village of Lake Placid.

This is the second legal challenge in the past year to the authority of Lake Placid/North Elba’s Joint Review Board to regulate boathouse construction. Both challenges have been shepherded by Lake Placid Attorney James Brooks.

Chief United States District Court Judge Norman Mordue on Wednesday dismissed all charges that the community’s planning board violated the United States Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equal protection when it required a private property owner, developer Keith Stoltz, to shorten the length of the dock he sought to build behind his Main Street storefront. The court also remanded an Article 78 challenge of the review boards’ procedures to state court.

On August 23rd, in a separate boathouse case litigated by attorney Brooks, acting New York State Supreme Court Judge Richard Meyer issued a summary judgment supporting Mr. Brooks’s argument that municipalities have no regulatory authority over boathouses built entirely above navigable waters. Mr. Brooks, who is Judge Meyer’s former law partner, contended that the state Department of Environmental Conservation has the sole responsibility to permit and regulate such shoreline-adjacent construction throughout the state.

Attorney and SUNY Albany School of Law Dean Michael Hutter and attorney for the Town of North Elba Ron Briggs have appealed Judge Meyer’s decision as well as a number of the jurist’s intermediate procedural orders. Arguments in the case will be heard by the Supreme Court’s Third Appellate Division in Albany by year’s end.

Also on August 23rd, in related criminal indictments handed up by the Essex County Grand Jury, general contractor Dan Nardiello of Lake Placid and builder Robert Scheefer of Saranac Lake were arraigned on misdemeanor charges of construction without a building permit. The property owner William Grimditch of Lake Placid was subsequently arraigned on the same charges. Judge Meyer will hear the cases against the three men—all represented by attorney Brooks—later this Fall.

Disclosure: Adirondack Almanack contributor Mark Wilson serves as President of the Lake Placid Shore Owners’ Association. The Association has filed a friend of the court brief supporting North Elba’s appeal of Judge Meyer’s decisions.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Adirondack Harvest Events Saturday

Adirondack Harvest, the community-based farm and local food development and promotion program, is celebrating the fall harvest season with two major food events in Essex County tomorrow Saturday, September 17th.

These events are hoped to provide consumers with opportunities to meet farmers, visit farms, taste products and become Adirondack Harvest members. Members receive marketing and promotional support, quarterly newsletters, workshop invitations, and various premiums from Adirondack Harvest hats and aprons to our Three Farms DVD, Small Farm Rising DVD, gift baskets and the Adirondack Harvest Cookbook with lots of great ideas for serving local foods. » Continue Reading.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Volunteers Needed for Lake George’s West Brook

The Lake George Association (LGA) and the Southern Adirondack Audubon Society (SAAS) are sponsoring a volunteer event at West Brook tomorrow Saturday, September 17, 2011 from 9 am to 1 pm. Volunteers are needed to remove invasive shrubby honeysuckle and to replace it by planting native species.

The LGA is working on a management plan to maintain the banks of West Brook, which is centered between the north and south parcels of the West Brook Conservation Initiative, a stormwater treatment complex and environmental park currently being designed and constructed. » Continue Reading.


Friday, September 16, 2011

This Week’s Top Adirondack News Stories

Each Friday morning Adirondack Almanack compiles for our readers the previous week’s top stories. You can find all our weekly news round-ups here.

Subscribe! More than 7,000 people get Adirondack Almanack each day via RSS, E-Mail, or Twitter or Facebook updates. It’s a convenient way to get the latest news and information about the Adirondacks.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Adirondack Fish and Game Report (Sept 15)

Adirondack Almanack provides this weekly Hunting and Fishing Report each Thursday afternoon, year round. The Almanack also provides weekly backcountry recreation conditions reports for those headed into the woods or onto the waters.

Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WNBZ (AM 920 & 1240, FM 105 & 102.1), WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio.

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND

** indicates new or revised items.

** EASTERN ADIRONDACKS REOPENED
The remnants of Tropical Storm Irene brought disastrous flash floods in the Eastern Adirondacks along the Ausable and Bouquet Rivers, into the Keene Valley, and the High Peaks. Although a few trails remain closed, the High Peaks, Giant, and Dix Mountain wilderness areas have all reopened. Both lanes of State Route 73 are now open. DEC and volunteers from a number of organizations have clear some 130 miles of trails, and continue working to reroute and clear blowdown from the remaining trails impacted by the storm. Full coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Irene is available here.

** WATERS RUNNING HIGH
The level of the region’s rivers and streams remain high, except those rivers on the western slopes of the region such as the Black, Independence, and Oswagatchie, which are at normal levels for this time of year. Boaters and paddlers should be aware that high waters may contain logs, limbs and other debris and conceal navigation hazards that normally are easily seen and avoided. Consult the latest streamgage data if you our venturing onto the region’s waters.

** EXPECT COOLER WEATHER – SHORTER DAYS
Cooler temperatures have arrived in the mountains. Night-time and morning temperatures in the 30s or colder may be experienced, especially in higher elevations. Be prepared before entering the woods. Pack extra non-cotton clothes, including a hat, in addition to your usual equipment. Take off and put on layers of clothing to regulate body heat. Remember the sun sets earlier this time of year. Plan trips accordingly and carry a flashlight or headlamp with fresh batteries.

** KNOW THE LATEST WEATHER
Check the weather before entering the woods or heading onto the waters and be aware of weather conditions at all times. The National Weather Service (NWS) at Burlington and Albany cover the Adirondack region.

** Fire Danger: LOW

** SECONDARY ROAD CLOSURES
Although State Route 73 and Route 9N have reopened, several secondary roads, particularly in Essex County, remain closed as well. Essex County is maintaining an updated list of road closures.

** ADDITIONAL BACKCOUNTRY ROAD CLOSURES
In the Moose River Plains, Rock Dam Road and Indian River Road beyond the Brooktrout Lake Trailhead remain closed. The Haskell-West River Road along the West Canada Creek from Route 8 into the Black River Wild Forest is closed with no current timetable for reopening (though it is likely to reopen next year). The Jessup River Road in the Perkins Clearing Conservation Easement Lands north of the Village of Speculator, Hamilton County, has reopened.

EXPECT BLOWDOWN
Tropical Storm Irene contributed considerable blowdown. Trees may be toppled on and over backcountry roads, trails and campsites.

** SOME CAMPGROUNDS NOW CLOSED
21 of the 41 Adirondack DEC Campgrounds have closed for the season as regularly scheduled. Fall camping is available through Columbus Day Weekend at 20 Adirondack DEC Campgrounds. A list of phone numbers for all campgrounds and their associated Regional Offices can be found online.

HUNTING AND TRAPPING LICENSES NOW ON SALE
Hunting and trapping licenses are now on sale for the 2011-12 license year (the new license year begins October 1). Find out how to purchase a sporting license on the DEC website. Information about the 2011 Sporting Seasons is also available online. Some small-game seasons begin in early September before last year’s license period ends. Early bear season begins September 17. The bow season for deer begins September 27.

** DRAFT PUBLIC RIGHT OF NAVIGATION AND FISHING POLICY
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) has prepared the draft Program Policy: “OGC-9: Public Right of Navigation and Fishing”. This draft program policy is intended to address staff’s need for guidance regarding the public rights of navigation and fishing. As such, this document will serve as General Counsel Policy with respect to Office of Public Protection officers, including both Environmental Conservation Officers and Forest Rangers, to carry out their enforcement responsibilities. The draft Program Policy can be found online. Written comments on the draft Program Policy will be accepted September 20th. Written comments should be addressed to Kenneth Hamm at the below-mentioned address. In addition, comments may be submitted via e-mail to: krhamm@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

FIREWOOD BAN IN EFFECT
Due to the possibility of spreading invasive species that could devastate northern New York forests (such as Emerald Ash Borer, Hemlock Wooly Adeljid and Asian Longhorn Beetle), DEC prohibits moving untreated firewood more than 50 miles from its source. Forest Rangers have been ticketing violators of the firewood ban. More details and frequently asked questions at the DEC website.

ADIRONDACK FISHING REPORTS

Changes to Allowable Lines Rules
The number of allowable lines for angling in freshwater in New York State has been increased to three, with the exception of Lake Champlain where the limit remains two.

Current Seasons
Open seasons include Trout, Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskie, Walleye, Yellow Perch, Crappie, Sunfish, Muskellenge and Black Bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass). For catch and size limits view the freshwater fishing regulations online.

** Ausable and Boquet River Changes
Due to the recent Tropical Storm Irene anglers should be advised that there was significant debris washed into both the Ausable and Boquet Rivers. Anglers should be aware of new hazards underwater. Also some changes in the river course and topography may be present. New pools may formed where there was previously riffles and riffles may be found where there was previously pools.

** West Lake Boat Launch
The West Lake Boat Launch in Fulton County is presently not suitable for launching of trailered boats. Storm runoff resulting from Irene deposited a large quantity of gravel in the area of the ramp. Car top boats can still be launched. (9/13)

2010 Lake George Fishing Report Issued
The Lake George fishing summary report for last year has been completed and is available online. Notable findings for 2010 include a drastic increase in the catch rate of fall stocked landlocked salmon, and overall increases in catch rates, although not creel rates for lake trout. The Lake George Angler Diary Program has been active for over twenty years, and has provided valuable information which biologists use in part to make fishery management decisions for the lake.

Critical Repairs Made to Brighton Fish Barrier
DEC Operation’s staff made important repairs to a fish barrier on the outlet of Black Pond in the Town of Brighton, Franklin County. The barrier prevents invasive, nonnative fishes from infesting Black Pond. Such an infestation would mean the demise of an exceptional population of the Windfall Heritage strain of brook trout – a population that: sustains itself by natural reproduction; provides a very popular fishery; and serves as a brood stock for Windfall strain eggs for stocking other waters. Severely rusted I-beams, steel grating, and steel plating were replaced by a DEC crew and the Town of Brighton Highway Superintendent has approved the installation of guide rails to keep vehicles off of the metal grate of the structure.

Willsboro Fishway Restoration Underway
The Willsboro Fishway allows spawning salmon from Lake Champlain to pass upstream of the Willsboro Dam on the Boquet River in the Town of Willsboro, Essex County. That passage provides the salmon access to spawning and nursery habitat upstream of the dam and additional angling opportunities. The Fishway is plagued with crumbling concrete, dilapidated denils (baffles that help salmon swim up the fishway), and a huge accumulation of debris from recent flooding that has prevented the fishway’s opening. In August, DEC and a Moriah Shock prison crew began clearing the debris upstream. New wood denils, steps that allow salmon to progress up the incline and past the dam, have been made, but there is no timetable yet for a high-strength cement layer be added to the top of the structure. It is expected that the refurbished fishway will be functioning for this fall’s salmon spawning run.

Paper Mill Ash Banks on the Boquet to be Stabilized
DEC and Georgia Pacific finalized an agreement for remediation of the Black Ash Pond site owned by the Town of Willsboro in Essex County. The black ash was deposited by a former paper mill adjacent to the Boquet River. Portions of the deposits remain unstable and unvegetated after several decades, with material sloughing off into the river. The agreement would involve sloping and stabilizing the bank as well as adding top soil and vegetation.

Sea Lampry Control in September, October
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will be applying lampricide the delta complex at the mouths of the Little Ausable and Ausable rivers, and the Boquet River, Mount Hope Brook, and Putnam Creek in New York. The Poultney River, which borders both states, including its Hubbardton River tributary in Vermont, will also be treated. Treatments are scheduled to begin with the delta complex in New York on September 7th. Lake level and weather conditions may affect scheduling and could result in the last treatment extending into October. These treatments are part of the Cooperative’s long-term sea lamprey control program for Lake Champlain. While trout and salmon populations of the lake are the primary beneficiaries of these efforts, lake sturgeon, walleye, and many other species also profit from sea lamprey control. Temporary water use advisories will be in effect for each of the treatments to minimize human exposure to affected waters. Each state’s Department of Health recommends that the treated river and lake water not be used for drinking, swimming, fishing, irrigation, or livestock watering while the advisories are in effect. A toll-free number (888-596-0611) provides information on the treatment schedule for each of the treatments, progress reports, updates on treatments, and water use advisories.

Annual 2011 Coldwater Season Forecast
Stocking was late with high cold waters into early June. The prospects for catching holdover trout are low due to drought and high temperature episodes last summer. In particular, trout kills or stressed trout were reported in the main stem of the Ausable River near Ausable Forks, the Saranac River, the St. Regis River, and in the Batten Kill. Trout anglers should look to small streams and upland headwaters for wild brook or brown trout. Use drifting worms or salted minnows when streams are high and cold and focus on eddies or back waters where fish congregate to escape fast water. Brook trout pond fishing may still be viable as waters are still cold. Unlike the rivers, most area lakes and ponds provided good fishing last year with no reports of trout die offs.

Annual 2011 Warmwater Season Forecast
Adirondack waters include some of the most productive walleye fisheries in the state, including Tupper Lake, Union Falls Flow on the Saranac River, Saratoga Lake, Great Sacandaga Lake, and the Oswegatchie River. High quality pike waters include Tupper Lake, Schroon Lake, Lake George, the Saranac Lakes, Cranberry Lake, First through Fourth Lakes in the Fulton Chain, Long Lake, Upper Chateaugay and the St. Regis Chain of Lakes. A number of 20 lb+ pike have been caught on Great Sacandaga Lake in recent years. Look for tiger muskie in First through Fourth Lakes in the Fulton Chain, Horseshoe Lake and Hyde Lake. Pickerel hot spots include Lake George, Brant Lake, Saratoga Lake, Lake Champlain and the Black River. Look to Lake Champlain for Black Bass and Lake Champlain, Great Sacandaga Lake, and Brant Lake for crappie. Surface trolling for salmon and lake trout is a good bet on the larger lakes as the water warms up. A complete listing of 2011 warmwater fishing hotspots recommended by DEC biologists can be found online.

Hudson River Rogers Island Pool Boat Launch
The floating dock has not been installed Rogers Island Pool.

Saranac River System
Both the Lower Locks, between Oseetah Lake and First Pond, and the Upper Locks, between Lower Saranac Lake and Middle Saranac Lake, are open for public usage.

Lake Clear
The gate for the road to Lake Clear Girl Scout Camp is open, but due to the condition of the road until further notice it should only be used by pickup trucks, SUVs and other vehicles with high clearance. This road is used to access Meadow and St. Germain Ponds.

Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area
The gate to access Catfish Bay has been closed. Road improvement work and logging to improve habitat are underway.

2010 Fish Stocking Numbers Available
The DEC 2010 Fish Stocking List which provide the numbers of freshwater fish stocked by county for last year’s fishing season is now available online. The fish are stocked to enhance recreational fishing and to restore native species to waters they formerly occupied. Each year, DEC and county fish hatcheries release over one million pounds of fish into more than 1,200 public streams, rivers, lakes and ponds across the state.

Use Baitfish Wisely
Anglers using fish for bait are reminded to be careful with how these fish are used and disposed of. Careless use of baitfish is one of the primary means by which non-native species and fish diseases are spread from water to water. Unused baitfish should be discarded in an appropriate location on dry land. A “Green List” of commercially available baitfish species that are approved for use in New York State has now been established in regulation. A discussion of these regulations and how to identify approved baitfish species is available online. Personal collection and use of baitfish other than those on the “Green List” is permitted, but only on the water from which they were collected and they may not be transported overland by motorized vehicle. Anglers are reminded that new regulations for transportation of baitfish are currently under consideration, and these proposed regulations can be viewed online.

Preventing Invasive Species and Fish Diseases
Anglers are reminded to be sure to dry or disinfect their fishing and boating equipment, including waders and boots, before entering a new body of water. This is the only way to prevent the spread of potentially damaging invasive plant and animal species (didymo and zebra mussels) and fish diseases (Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) and whirling disease). Methods to clean and disinfect fishing gear can be found online.

Lake Champlain Anglers
Warmwater anglers on Lake Champlain are requested to report any catches of sauger to Emily Zollweg at the DEC Region 5 office in Warrensburg at (518) 623-1264. The status of sauger, a close relative of the walleye, has been unknown in the lake for a quite some time, until a single sauger was caught in a DEC survey last spring. Sauger can be distinguished from walleye by the three to four saddle-shaped dark brown blotches on their sides, the distinct black spots on the first dorsal (back) fin and the lack of a white tip on the lower lobe of the tail fin.

Health Advisories on Fish
The NYSDOH has issued the 2010-2011 advisories on eating sportfish and game. Some of fish and game contain chemicals at levels that may be harmful to human health. See the DEC webpage on Fish Health Advisories for more information and links to the Department of Health information.

ADIRONDACK HUNTING REPORTS

Hunting License Are Now On Sale
Hunting and trapping licenses go on sale for the 2011-12 license year Monday, August 15. The new sporting license year will begins October 1. Find out how to purchase a sporting license on the DEC website. Information about the 2011 Sporting Seasons is also available online.

DEC 2011 Deer Hunting Forecasts Now Available
The DEC’s 2011 deer hunting season forecasts are now on their website. They include brief descriptions of the landscape and deer population trends within each Wildlife Management Unit.

Snapping Turtle Hunting Open Statewide
Hunters will need a Small Game Hunting License (http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/365.html) and may harvest snapping turtles by means of a firearm or bow through September 30. For details on size and bag limits during the season, please check the Reptile Hunting page online.

** Some Small Game Seasons Open
A number of small game seasons opened September 1, including: Grey, Black and Fox Squirrel, Crow, Snipe, Rail and Gallinule. Keep in mind that you will need a 2010-11 hunting license through September 30, and a 2011-12 hunting license beginning October 1. DEC small game hunting info is online.

** Upcoming Small Game Seasons
Ruffed Grouse opens September 20 in all Region 5 WMUs, except 5R, 5S & 5T where it opens October 1; Youth Pheasant Hunt is September 24 & 25; Cottontail Rabbit, Pheasant, Woodcock, Coyote, and Varying Hare seasons open October 1 (Varying Hare in all Region 5 WMUs, except 5R, 5S & 5T where it opens December 12); Bobcat season opens October 25 in all Region 5 WMUs, except 5R which does not have a season; and Fox, Raccoon, Skunk, Opossum and Weasel seasons open October 25. See the DEC Small Game webpage for more information on seasons and regulations.

** Canada Goose Hunting Open
Canada Goose hunting seasons began September 1 in the Northeast Hunting Area (closing September 25 and reopening between October 22 to December 5) and September 6 in the Lake Champlain Hunting Area (closing September 25 and reopening between October 20 to December 3). Seasons in both areas will run until September 25th. DEC Canada Goose hunting info is online. Note that the boundary between the Northeastern and the Southeastern Waterfowl Hunting Zones now runs east along Route 29 to Route 22, north along Route 22 to Route 153, east along Route 153 to the New York – Vermont boundary.

** Upcoming Small Game Seasons
All trapping seasons are closed. Some small-game seasons have begun (see above). Early bear season begins September 17 and runs through October 14. The bow season for deer begins September 27. A week-long muzzleloader season runs concurrently with the muzzleloader deer season from October 15 to 21, followed by a regular season October 22 to December 4. The deadline for applying for a Deer Management Permit is October 1.

** Upcoming Northern Zone Deer Seasons
Bowhunting season opens September 27 and closes October 21; last year’s tag are required until Oct 1; Muzzleloading season opens October 15 and closes October 21; Regular season opens October 22 and closes December 4; Late Muzzleloading season opens December 5 and closes December 11 in Region 5 WMUs 5A, 5G and 5J. The deadline for Deer Management Permit applications is October 1. See the DEC’s Big Game webpage for more information on seasons and regulations.

** Upcoming Bear Seasons (WMUs 5A,5C,5F,5G,5H & 5J)
Early season opens September 17 and closes October 14; Bowhunting season opens September 27 and closes October 21 (last year’s tag are required until Oct 1); Muzzleloading season opens October 15 and closes October 21; Regular season opens October 22 and closes December 4. See the DEC’s Big Game webpage for more information on seasons and regulations.

** Upcoming Wild Turkey Season
The fall Turkey season opens October 1 in all Region 5 WMUs. The season closes October 21 in all Region 5 WMUs except 5R, 5S & 5T where the season closes November 18. See the DEC’s Turkey Hunting webpage for more information on rules, regulations, safety and hunting tips.

** Upcoming Waterfowl Seasons
In the Lake Champlain Waterfowl Hunting Zone Snow Goose season opens October 1 and closes December 29; Brant season opens October 12 and closes November 30; Duck seasons open October 12 and close October 16; then reopen October 29 and close December 22. In the Northeastern Waterfowl Hunting Zone Ducks season opens October 1 and closes October 10; then reopens October 22 and closes December 10; Snow Goose season opens October 1 and closes December 31, then reopens February 24 and closes April 15; Brant season opens October 1 and closes November 19. Note that the boundary between the Northeastern and the Southeastern Waterfowl Hunting Zones now runs east along Route 29 to Route 22, north along Route 22 to Route 153, east along Route 153 to the New York – Vermont boundary.

Junior Bowhunting Age Requirement Lowered
Recent legislation lowered the minimum age for youth hunters to purchase a Junior Bowhunting license for big game hunting from 14 to 12 years of age. See the Junior Hunter Mentoring Program for detailed information on youth hunting requirements.

Bowhunter Sighting Log
Bowhunters are invited to participate in DEC’s Bowhunter Sighting Log by keeping a diary of your bowhunting activity and the number of animals you see. This data helps DEC track deer and other wildlife populations (in deer season forecasts for example). To participate, e-mail fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us (include “Bowhunter Sighting Log” in the subject line) and provide your name, address, hunter ID (back tag number), a list of the counties where you hunt, and whether or not you have participated in New York’s bowhunter log in any previous year.

** Upcoming Trapping Seasons
Fisher season opens October 25 and closes December 10 in all Region 5 WMUs; Marten season opens October 25 and closes December 10 in all Region 5 WMUs, except 5R, 5S & 5T where there is no trapping season; Bobcat season opens October 25 in all Regkion 5 WMUs except 5R where there is no trapping season; The season closes December 10 in all Region 5 WMUs, except 5S & 5T where it closes February 15; Mink and Muskrat season opens October 25 and closes April 15 in all Region 5 WMUs except 5R, 5S & 5T where it opens November 10 and closes April 7; Coyote, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Raccoon, Skunk, Opossum and Weasel season opens October 25 and closes February 15 in all Region 5 WMUS. The use of bait or lure is prohibited with body gripping traps set on land between December 11 and February 15 in all Region 5 WMUs, except in WMUs 5R, 5S & 5T. Otter season opens November 1 and closes April 7 in all Region 5 WMUs except 5S & 5T where it opens November 10 and closes February 28. There is no trapping season in 5R. Beaver season opens November 1 and closes April 7 in all Region 5 WMUs except 5R, 5S & 5T where it opens November 10 but still closes April 7.

——————–
Warnings and announcements drawn from DEC, NWS, NOAA, USGS, and other sources. Detailed Adirondack Park hunting, fishing, and trapping information can be found at DEC’s webpages. A DEC map of the Adirondack Park can also be found online [pdf].

The DEC Habitat/Access Stamp is available for $5 at all outlets where sporting licenses are sold, on-line and via telephone at 1-866-933-2257. Stamp proceeds support the DEC’s efforts to conserve habitat and increase public access for fish and wildlife related recreation. A Habitat/Access Stamp is not required to hunt, fish or trap, nor do you have to purchase a sporting license to buy a habitat stamp.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Sept 15)

This announcement is for general use – local conditions may vary and are subject to sometimes drastic changes.

Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WNBZ (AM 920 & 1240, FM 105 & 102.1), WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio.

The Adirondack Almanack also publishes a weekly Adirondack Hunting and Fishing Report.

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND

** indicates new or revised items.

** EASTERN ADIRONDACKS REOPENED
The remnants of Tropical Storm Irene brought disastrous flash floods in the Eastern Adirondacks along the Ausable and Bouquet Rivers, into the Keene Valley, and the High Peaks. Although a few trails remain closed, the High Peaks, Giant, and Dix Mountain wilderness areas have all reopened. Both lanes of State Route 73 are now open. DEC and volunteers from a number of organizations have clear some 130 miles of trails, and continue working to reroute and clear blowdown from the remaining trails impacted by the storm. Full coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Irene is available here.

** EASTERN ADIRONDACKS TRAIL ADVISORY
Some hazardous conditions continue and back country travel remains difficult, and in some places impossible, in the Eastern High Peaks. Hikers and campers should expect to encounter damaged or washed out bridges, dams, boardwalks and ladders, trails buried by landslides or heavily eroded (1-3 feet deep in some places) and blowdown. When water levels in rivers and brooks are high some crossings may be impassable. A number of trails have been rerouted to avoid heavily damaged sections and newly eroded drainages can be mistaken for trails so users should be able to navigate with a map and compass. Plan accordingly and be prepared to turn back when conditions warrant.

** WATERS RUNNING HIGH
The level of the region’s rivers and streams remain high, except those rivers on the western slopes of the region such as the Black, Independence, and Oswagatchie, which are at normal levels for this time of year. Boaters and paddlers should be aware that high waters may contain logs, limbs and other debris and conceal navigation hazards that normally are easily seen and avoided. Consult the latest streamgage data if you our venturing onto the region’s waters.

** SECONDARY ROAD CLOSURES
Although State Route 73 and Route 9N have reopened, several secondary roads, particularly in Essex County, remain closed as well. Essex County is maintaining an updated list of road closures.

** ADK HEART LAKE AND JOHNS BROOK FACILITIES OPEN
Access roads to Adirondak Loj and John Brook Lodge (JBL) are open and both facilities are operating normally. JBL is operating on a caretaker basis, which means guest must pack in their own food, but will have the use of the lodge kitchen. The Southside Trail from the Garden Trailhead to Johns Brook Lodge is closed due to landslides.

** MARCY DAM REROUTE
A reroute below Marcy Dam on the Van Hoevenberg Trail will lead to a Marcy Brook low-water crossing area below the Marcy Dam Bridge which was washed out during the storm. When the water is high the low water crossing impassable, so hikers should use the Marcy Dam Truck Trail to reach Marcy Dam.

** ADDITIONAL BACKCOUNTRY ROAD CLOSURES
In the Moose River Plains, Rock Dam Road and Indian River Road beyond the Brooktrout Lake Trailhead remain closed. The Haskell-West River Road along the West Canada Creek from Route 8 into the Black River Wild Forest is closed with no current timetable for reopening (though it is likely to reopen next year). The Jessup River Road in the Perkins Clearing Conservation Easement Lands north of the Village of Speculator, Hamilton County, has reopened.

** EXPECT BLOWDOWN
Although much of the blowdown has been cleared on the most heavily used trails, Tropical Storm Irene contributed considerable blowdown to the Eastern Adirondacks. Trees may be toppled on and over tails and campsites, espcially in lesser used areas. Also expect blowdown in the Western High Peaks Wilderness and in the Sentinel and Seward Ranges. A hiker had to be rescued this summer from Mount Emmons in the Seward Range after losing his way while negotiating blowdown [LINK].

** SOME CAMPGROUNDS NOW CLOSED
21 of the 41 Adirondack DEC Campgrounds have closed for the season as regularly scheduled. Fall camping is available through Columbus Day Weekend at 20 Adirondack DEC Campgrounds. A list of phone numbers for all campgrounds and their associated Regional Offices can be found online.

** EXPECT COOLER WEATHER – SHORTER DAYS
Cooler temperatures have arrived in the mountains. Night-time and morning temperatures in the 30s or colder may be experienced, especially in higher elevations. Be prepared before entering the woods. Pack extra non-cotton clothes, including a hat, in addition to your usual equipment. Take off and put on layers of clothing to regulate body heat. Remember the sun sets earlier this time of year. Plan trips accordingly and carry a flashlight or headlamp with fresh batteries.

** KNOW THE LATEST WEATHER
Check the weather before entering the woods and be aware of weather conditions at all times — if weather worsens, head out of the woods. The National Weather Service (NWS) at Burlington and Albany cover the Adirondack region. NWS Burlington provides a weather forecast for elevations above 3000 feet and spot forecasts for the summits of a handful of the highest peaks in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties. [LINK]

** Fire Danger: LOW

ACCIDENTS HAPPEN, BE PREPARED
Wilderness conditions can change suddenly and accidents happen. Hikers and campers should check up-to-date forecasts before entering the backcountry as conditions at higher elevations will likely be more severe. All users should bring flashlight, first aid kit, map and compass, extra food, plenty of water and clothing. Be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods and always inform others of your itinerary.

FIREWOOD BAN IN EFFECT
Due to the possibility of spreading invasive species that could devastate northern New York forests (such as Emerald Ash Borer, Hemlock Wooly Adeljid and Asian Longhorn Beetle), DEC prohibits moving untreated firewood more than 50 miles from its source. Forest Rangers have been ticketing violators of the firewood ban. More details and frequently asked questions at the DEC website.

PRACTICE ‘LEAVE NO TRACE’
All backcountry users should learn and practice the Leave No Trace philosophy: Plan ahead and be prepared, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife, and be considerate of others. More information is available online.

** SOME HUNTING SEASONS OPEN
Some hunting seasons are underway, or will begin shortly. Hikers should be aware that they may meet hunters bearing firearms or archery equipment while hiking on trails. Recognize that these are fellow outdoor recreationists. Hunting accidents involving non-hunters are extremely rare. Hikers may want to wear bright colors as an extra precaution.

** INLET SEEKS PADDLING WORLD RECORD
Inlet will attempt to win back the world record for the largest floating raft of canoes and kayaks; the current record is held by Pittsburgh, Pa. The attempt will be made on Saturday, September 24, at the Fourth lake lakefront in Inlet. The event is organized by One Square Mile of Hope as a fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research. In 2008, 1,104 canoes and kayaks were rafted together, a number that was bested by Pittsburgh by about 500 boats. Inlet’s population is 320; Pittsburgh, who took the title last year, has a population of 420,000. Registration starts at 7:30 am, canoes and kayaks will enter the lake starting at 10:30 am; the raft will be formed at noon. Call the Inlet Town Hall at (315) 357-5501 for more information.

** DRAFT PUBLIC RIGHT OF NAVIGATION AND FISHING POLICY
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) has prepared the draft Program Policy: “OGC-9: Public Right of Navigation and Fishing”. This draft program policy is intended to address staff’s need for guidance regarding the public rights of navigation and fishing. As such, this document will serve as General Counsel Policy with respect to Office of Public Protection officers, including both Environmental Conservation Officers and Forest Rangers, to carry out their enforcement responsibilities. The draft Program Policy can be found online. Written comments on the draft Program Policy will be accepted until September 20th. Written comments should be addressed to Kenneth Hamm at the below-mentioned address. In addition, comments may be submitted via e-mail to: krhamm@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

NEW YORK FOREST PHOTO CONTEST
In recognition of the importance of forests to the health and well being of society, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced a contest to celebrate New York’s forests. The contest is designed to increase awareness of and appreciation for all types of forests, urban and rural, large and small, public and privately owned, across the state. In the 19th century conservationists recognized the importance of nature as a refuge from the noise and bustle of city life. Modern technology has disconnected many people from the outdoors. Virtual pastimes now rival natural, outdoor activities. Taking and sharing pictures is one of the most popular activities in this country. Through this contest, New Yorkers are encouraged to reconnect with the natural world. Photos must be taken in New York State. Photos will be accepted through November 1, 2011. A maximum of three photos may be submitted by a photographer, each with a submission form found on the DEC website, via e-mail or on a CD via regular mail. You can read about the details here.

CAVE AND MINE CLOSURES
White nose syndrome, the fungal disease that’s wiping out bat populations across the northeast has spread to at least 32 cave and mine bat hibernation sites across the New York state according to a recent survey. Populations of some bat species are declining in these caves and mines by 90 percent. White nose was first discovered in upstate New York in the winter of 2006-2007 and is now confirmed in at least 11 states. An order closing all bat hibernacula caves on state lands and easements to protect the bat population expired on March 31. DEC is reconsidering whether continuing the closing to protect the bat population is warranted. At this time it’s best to stay out of caves that may contain bats.

ADIRONDACK CONDITIONS BY REGION

NORTHVILLE PLACID TRAIL

Northville Placid Trail Information / Volunteers: The Northville-Placid Trail Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club maintains a website of resources and information about the trail. ADK is seeking volunteers to help with blowdown removal using crosscut saws, hand saws and axes. Anyone interested in future work events should contact Brendan Wiltse, Trails Committee Chair, NPTrail Chapter of ADK, at wiltseb@gmail.com or 518-429-0049.

Ouluska Pass and Duck Hole Breech: The Ouluska Pass Brook bridge is damaged and unusable. Hikers will have to ford across the Brook. The Ouluska Pass lean-to experienced some foundation damage following the Duck Hole Dam breach. The other lean-tos along the Cold River escaped damage as did the suspension bridges over the Cold River and Moose Creek.

** Blowdown Reports: The Northville-Placid Trail is clear of blowdown from Duck Hole Pond to Moose Pond. Hikers have reported moderate blowdown between Lake Durant and Long Lake on the Northville-Placid Trail. There is heavy blowdown between Benson and Silver Lake. Two through hikers on the Northvillle Placid Trail report plenty of blowdown north of Spruce Lake and also from Stephen Pond to Lake Durant.

West Canada Creek: The bridge over West Canada Creek on the Northville-Placid Trail was washed away this spring. The 45 foot span bridge had replaced one that was lost in 2001. Crossing West Canada Creek now requires very careful crossing that may be intimidating to some hikers and may be impossible this weekend. Bridge replacement is expected to begin this fall and be completed in summer, 2012.

Upper Benson to Whitehouse: About 1.8 miles north of the Silver Lake lean-to and just south of the Canary Pond tent camping area, the trail will likely be flooded as it is during periods of high water and may require wading through water and mud.

Lake Durant to Long Lake: About 4 miles north of the Tirrell Pond lean-to, a bridge is out that crosses Peek-a-Boo Creek in the middle of a former lumber camp clearing. The Creek is 4 to 5 feet deep and 6 feet across. It may be possible to cross on the remains of the bridge in low water situations. The alternative is a reroute to the east that also may be flooded in spots.

Shattuck Clearing to Nothern Terminus: There is a washout immediately past the second bridge east of Shattuck Clearing on the way to Cold River Lean-to. The bridge over Seward Brook just before Ouluska Lean-to is damaged and badly tilted, holding a lot of debris that came down the brook. The bridge over Roaring Brook at the junction with Preston Ponds trail is gone. Beaver activity may flooded the trail about 3 miles south of the Averyville trailhead and may require a sturdy bushwhack.

ADIRONDACK CANOE ROUTE / NORTHERN FOREST CANOE TRAIL

** Waters are running high. Boaters and paddlers should be aware that high waters may contain logs, limbs and other debris and conceal navigation hazards that normally are easily seen and avoided. Consult the latest streamgage data if you our venturing onto the region’s waters. Expect eroded trails and blowdown on carries.

HIGH PEAKS – LAKE PLACID REGION
Including, Wilmington, Keene, Western High Peaks

** Dix Mountain Wilderness Reopened: The main Adirondack Mountain Reserve Trailhead at the Ausable Club is now open as are both trails that lead to the summit of Nippletop (The Henry Goddard Leach Trail and the Gill Brook/Elk Pass Trail). All other trails remain closed including: trails to the Colvin Range – Mt. Colvin, Blake Peak and Pinnacle; the loop trail to Bear Den Mountain, Dial Mountain, and Nippletop; and all of the trails and roadways around the Ausable River and Lower Ausable Lake. Trails that can be accessed from the trailhead near the parking area on the Ausable Club Road are open, including those to Noonmark Mountain, Round Mountain and Dix Mountain.

** Eastern High Peaks Trail Closures: The Eastern High Peaks Wilderness is open to public recreation, however a number of trails remain closed at this time, including: All trails out of the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (Ausable Club); The Deer Brook Trail from Route 73 to Rooster Comb; The Southside Trail from the Garden Trailhead to John’s Brook Lodge; The Orebed Trail from John’s Brook Valley to the Range Trail (between Saddleback and Gothics); The Cold Brook Trail between Lake Colden and Indian Pass. The Wolfjaw Trail from John’s Brook Valley to the Range Trail (between Lower and Upper Wolfjaws) has reopened.

** Klondike Trail: The bridge near South Meadow Road on the Klondike Trail is out. The Mr. Van Trail and the Marcy Truck Trail will need to be used as a detour to reach South Meadow Road. The Mr. Van Trail is clear of blowdown between the lean-to and the Klondike Notch Trail, however there are a number of bridges out.

** Opalescent River / Calamity Brook Trail: The bridge has been repaired and is now safe for use.

** Heavy Blowdown Areas: There is heavy blowdown on the trail between Feldspar Lean-to and Lake Arnold and also on the trail to Calamity Lean-tos.

** Marcy Dam Footbridge Reroute: The footbridge over Marcy Dam was washed away. A reroute has been created to low water crossing below the dam. During high water this crossing may not be passable. Hikers can use the Marcy Truck Trail from South Meadows Trailhead to access the Mt. Van Hovenburgh to Mt. Marcy and other trails beyond Marcy Dam.

** Indian Pass Trail: The Indian Pass Trail is clear of blowdown to the Wall Face Bridge, but the Wall Face Bridge is out and the Henderson Bridge is damaged.

** Marcy Dam / Avalanche Pass / Flowed Land Corridor: Marcy Dam to Flowed Land Corridor was significantly impacted but is still passable using caution. Marcy Brook jumped its banks along the Avalanche Pass Trail from Marcy Dam causing widespread damage to the trail. A mud slide on the Avalanche Pass Trail between the old landslide and Avalanche Lake is quite deep in spots. Hikers may need to leave the trail to avoid debris and mud holes. The “Hitch-up Matilda’s” (boardwalk) along the shore of Avalanche Lake are missing some decking, use caution when crossing. There is a debris pile at the south end of Avalanche Lake and the bog bridges have dislodged and moved. Around Lake Colden nearly every bog crossing dislodged and moved. Worst are the large log bridges on both shores of the lake that went alongside the water. Reroutes have been constructed around two destroyed bridges on the Calamity Brook Trail and the trail is clear of blowdown all the way to Flowed Lands.

** Indian Pass Trail from Upper Works: All bridges encountered on the Indian Pass Trail from Upper Works are gone, the trail has been rerouted to low water crossing in many locations.

Duck Hole: One side of the Duck Hole Dam has washed away and the pond has dewatered. The bridge over the dam had been previously removed due to its deteriorating condition. A low water crossing (ford) has been marked below the dam near the lean-to site. This crossing will not be possible during periods of high water. Note: This affects the Bradley Pond Trail and not the Northville Placid Trail.

** Newcomb Lake-Moose Pond: Has been cleared and is now passable.

** Calkins Creek Horse Trail: The Calkins Creek Horse Trail has two bridges out, making it impassable for horse drawn wagons and difficult for horses.

** Upper Works Trailhead: Blowdown has been cleared from the trail from Upperworks Trailhead to the north end of Henderson Lake.

** Giant Mountain Wilderness Reopend: The Giant Mountain Wilderness has reopened to public recreation, including the Roaring Brook Falls Trailhead. The North Trail to Giant Mountain from 9N is clear of blowdown up to the lean-to and drainages have been cleared of snags that were diverting water across the trail. Beaver activity has flooded the trail past the lean-to. The trail to Rocky Peak Ridge from Route 9 (New Russia) is in good shape. The trail to Hopkins Mountain via the Ranney Trail is in good condition.

** Hurricane Mountain Wilderness: The Hurricane Mountain Road is closed except for local traffic, therefore The Crows Trailhead and O’Toole Road Trailhead are closed at this time. Hurricane Mountain may be accessed from the Route 9N trailhead or the Hurricane Mountain Lane trailhead. The bottom third of the East Hurricane Mountain Trail from Hurricane Mountain Lane has some minor wash but is easily passable. The middle third of the trail has blowdown but hikers can scramble through most of it. Only two places required minor bushwack. The top of the trail had only minor debris on the trail.

** Jackrabbit Trail: The Jack Rabbit Trail is clear of blowdown from Saranac Lake to Lake Placid. The McKenzie Mountain Trail between the trailhead on Route 86 and the intersection with the Jack Rabbit Trail has been cleared of blowdown, but blowdown is present on the McKenzie Mountain Trail above the intersection with the Jack Rabbit trail.

** McKenzie Mountain Wilderness: The McKenzie Mountain Trail between the trailhead on Route 86 and the intersection with the Jack Rabbit Trail has been cleared of blowdown, but blowdown remains above the intersection with the Jack Rabbit trail. The Connery Pond Roadway suffered some minor erosion, but it is passable. Connery Pond Truck Trail is in good shape with minor erosion and minor scattered blowdown. A large tree fell at Whiteface Landing and is blocking the trail; it destroyed the trail register. Hikers accessing Whiteface Landing should park at the newly developed and paved parking area along Route 86 immediately west of the bridge over the West Branch of the Ausable. A trail connects the parking area and Connery Pond Road.

Sentinel Range Wilderness: The Pitchoff Mountain Trail has been cleared of blowdown for its entire length and no major issues are reported. The Copperas Pond/Owen Pond Trail has been cleared of blowdown for its entire length and no major issues are reported. All other trails, including Pitchoff Mountain, are passable. The Owen Pond Trailhed located on Route 86 between Lake Placid and Wilmington has been relocated approximately 0.2 miles north (towards Wilmington) of its former location.

** Wilmington Wild Forest: The Wilmington to Whiteface Mountain Trail is clear of blowdown from the trailheads to the summit. The Cooper Kiln Trail has been cleared of blowdown for two miles from the Bonnieview Road. Blowdown is still present in places on the remainder of the trail. All trails open and in good shape in the Hardy Road Trail system. In the Flume Trail System, the River Trail impassable for first 0.25 mile due to washouts and debris on trail. All other trails are in useable condition although blowdown will slow travel. Volunteers are working on clearing trails. Wilmington Trail to the summit of Whiteface Mountian has significant erosion in the first .25 mile but is passable. The bridge at the Wilmington Reservoir has been undermined and is not safe for use.

Wilmington Snowmobile Trail: The Wilmington Snowmobile Trail is being constructed by DEC in the Wilmington Wild Forest, including one 25-foot bridge [pdf].

SOUTHERN-CENTRAL ADIRONDACKS
West Canada Lakes, Fulton Chain, Long Lake, Speculator, Indian Lake

** Wolf Lake: The Wolf Lake Landing Road from McKeever on Route 28 east toward Woodhull Lake is passable only with high clearance vehicles.

** Blue Mountain Wild Forest: Hikers report moderate blowdown between Lake Durant and Long Lake on the Northville-Placid Trail.

Moose River Plains Roads: The Indian River Road is open to the Brooktrout Lake Trailhead. However, Rock Dam Road and Indian River Road beyond the Brooktrout Lake Trailhead remains closed at this time.

Moose River Plains Map Updated: DEC Region 5 has updated the Moose River Plains Wild Forest map. The map is available as a pdf download [link]. Among the improvements are the identification of universal access facilities.

Mossly Vly Snowmobile Bridge (Perkins Clearing Conservation Easement): The Mossy Vly Snowmobile Bridge Project on Mud Lake Road in the Town of Pleasant (snowmobile trail S41) is underway and expected to be completed by the start of the snowmobiling season.

Jessup River Road Reopend: The Jessup River Road in the Perkins Clearing Conservation Easement Lands north of the Village of Speculator, Hamilton County, is now open after the replacement of bridges of the Jessup and Miami rivers.

Sargent Ponds Wild Forest: The Outlet Bay Lean-to on Raquette Lake is damaged and in poor condition from a tree fallen on its roof.

Black River Wild Forest – West Canada Creek: Haskell-West River Road is closed along the West Canada Creek from Route 8 into the Black River Wild Forest. There is no time table for the needed bridge and road repair work on Haskell-West River Road; DEC Region 6 is currently awaiting construction funds and the work is not expected to be completed this year.

** Silver Lake Wilderness: There is heavy blowdown on the Northville Placid Trail between Benson and Silver Lake.

** West Canada Lakes: Two through hikers on the Northvillle Placid Trail report plenty of blowdown north of Spruce Lake and also from Stephen Pond to Lake Durant.

West Canada Creek: The bridge over West Canada Creek on the Northville-Placid Trail was washed away this spring. The 45 foot span bridge had replaced one that was lost in 2001. Crossing West Canada Creek now requires very careful crossing that may be intimidating to some hikers. Bridge replacement is expected to begin this fall and be completed in summer, 2012.

EASTERN-SOUTHEASTERN ADIRONDACKS
The Hudson, Schroon, Lake George, Champlain, Sacandaga, Washington Co

** Western Lake George Wild Forest: # The Long Pond Trail, from the Padarnarum Spur, is cleared of blowdown but flooded under 1 to 3 feet of water in some locations. The Island Pond Trail, from the Long Pond Trail, is flooded under 1 to 2 feet of water in some locations. Gay Pond Road is impassible by motor vehicle beyond campsite 13. There are several large sections of road that have washed out. The road has been temporarily posted as closed east of campsite 13. Buttermilk Road, a town road, has several sections that have washed out and several sections with 1-2 feet of standing water. Four wheel drive and high clearance vehicle are required north of the Luzerne/Warrensburg town line. Buttermilk Road Extension, a DEC administered road north of the Gay Pond Road intersection, remains closed. Several sections of the road have washed out and are impassible by motor vehicle. Foot traffic is possible. The access road to Darlings Ford Waterway Access Site has washed out and is impassable by motor vehicle. The trail is passable by foot, but may not meet the needs of users with a mobility impairment. The Bear Slide Accessible Trail has washed out. The trail is passable by foot, but may not meet the needs of users with a mobility impairment. The access road and 2 designated tent sites are in good condition. River access and tent sites 1-5 along River Road are all open and in good condition.

** Pharaoh Lake Wilderness: The Pharaoh Mountain Trail from Pharaoh Lake and from Crane Pond both have light blowdown. The trails along the northern and western sides of Pharaoh Lake (the two trails between the Lake and Glidden Marsh) have extensive blowdown in the sections along the lake. The Rock Pond Trail has moderate blowdown but is passable. The Crab Pond to Lilypad Pond Trail has moderate blowdown. The Springhill Pond Trail has extensive, large-sized blowdown along the entire length from parking area on West Hague Road to Pharaoh Lake. The Goose Pond Trail is in fair condition. The Bear Pond Trail has extensive blowdown but is passable. The Berrymill Pond Trail (from Putnam Pond) is fine with minimal blowdown. The Grizzle Ocean Trail is clear to southern end of Putnam Pond. The Clear Pond Trail is clear of blowdown. The Rock Pond to Lillypad Pond Trail has moderate blowdown. The Glidden Marsh Trail has mild blowdown but the downed trees are large. The Blue Hill Trail has larger sized blowdown (greater than 2 feet diameter)and some minor trail washout from streams jumping banks. The trail is very wet with flooding in some areas deeper than the top of hiking boots. All bridges are in fine condition. The Sucker Brook Horse Trail contains extensive blowdown and is need of brushing out. The Oxshoe Pond Trail is clear of blowdown. Mill Brook is flooded 100 yards up Beaver Brook Road; water is 2 feet over the road and old parking lot. The Mill Brook Bridge on the Pharaoh Road Trail is out and currently floating downstream from far abutment. The crossing on beaver debris at bridge site is 3 feet deep and the Mill Brook Bog Bridging has shifted more than 4 feet and is floating in spots. The bridge is out over Pharaoh Lake Brook halfway in to lake. Beaver dam upstream from bridge is breached and dewatering the pond behind it. DO NOT attempt to cross the stream as the water volume is too high. The Putnam Pond Campground Access Road is washed out. This road provides vehicle access trailheads for Berrymill Pond, Grizzle Ocean, and Rock Pond. The bridge at Pharaoh Lake Outlet is intact. All bridges on the Spectacle Pond Trail are intact and the trail is passable.

** Santanoni Historic Preserve: The Newcomb Lake Trail contains significant amounts of blowdown. The road to Great Camp Santanoni and Newcomb Lake is clear and open for hiking, biking and horseback riding.

** Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest: The trail to the fire tower on Vanderwhacker Mountain is cleared and opened.

** Wilcox Lake Wild Forest: The Oregon Trail has minor blowdown between Baldwin Springs and North Bend, the North Bend Bridge is flooded but intact. The Spur Trail between West Stony Creek Road and Baldwin Springs has extensive blowdown. The Cotter Swamp Trail, Griffin Connector Trail and Crane Mountain Trails are passable with minor blowdown. The Hadley Mountain Trail has been cleared of blowdown. There is substantial blowdown on the Stony Creek Trail to Wilcox Lake beyond that to the east Stony Creek bridge; blowdown continues up the trail to Wilcox Lake. The lean-tos and both bridges are in good shape. Mud Pond Road has been cleared of trees to the Mud Pond Trail Head, due to washouts it is recommended that it be used by trucks only. West Stoney Creek Road is open to Baldwin Spring and the bridge at Baldwin Springs is intact. Harrisburg Road is open for motor vehicles to the Arrow Trail, however there are trees on powerlines. There are multiple trees down on the Pumpkin Hollow Road at the Wilcox Lake Trailhead preventing access to the Wilcox Lake Trail, the Murphy Lake Trail and the Pine Orchard Trail. The bridge over a small stream just north of Fish Ponds on the Bartman Trail is out. The bridge over Georgia Creek on the Cotter Brook Trail is under water due to beaver activity as is the Pine Orchard Trail .5 mile south of Pine Orchard. The Dayton Creek bridge is out on the trail from Brownell Camp (at the end of Hope Falls Road) to Wilcox Lake. During low water conditions crossing can be made by rock hopping. The Murphy Lake Trail is brushy and difficult to follow along the east shore of the lake from the lean-to to the outlet and is also flooded at the north end of Murphy Lake.

** Siamese Ponds Wilderness: The East Branch Sacandaga Trail from Eleventh Mountain Trailhead to Siamese Ponds has significant blowdown but is passable.

Crane Mountain: The Crane Mountain Trail Head is accessible from the south by car and truck by way of Ski Hi Road via Putnam Cross Road. The south end of Ski Hi Road is washed out but Putnam Cross Road bypasses the washout. The north access by way of Crane Mountain Road is washed out and inaccessible.

** Eastern Lake George Wild Forest: The Black Mountain Trail is clear from Pike Brook Road parking area to summit of the mountain. Blowdown has been removed from Dacy Clearing Road, it is passable by foot, bike and horse. However, the road is not open to motor vehicles. Repairs are still needed at two culverts. A snowmobile bridge near Black Mountain has been washed out. Shelving Rock Road is in good shape. There are a few blowdown trees on the trail between Dacy Clearing and Bumps Pond. There are a few blowdown trees on the trail to Sleeping Beauty Mountain. Most trailheads along the main roads in Washington County are accessible. The Shelving Rock Road/Inman Pond area has minor road washouts. Pike Brook Road is closed but Black Mountain Trailhead is still accessible from County Rt. 6; the trailhead parking lot is clear of trees.

Buck Mountain – Pilot Knob: The trail between Buck Mountian and Pilot Knob is in good condition with minor blowdown.

** Hudson River Gorge Primitive Area: Water levels are higher than usual. Be careful of trees, limbs and other debris that have been washed into the waters.

Hammond Pond Wild Forest: The Lindsey Brook Trail is closed due to flooding by beaver activity.

** Hoffman Notch Wilderness: The trail to Bailey Pond looks good with the exception of some blowdown that needs clearing but is manageable to get around fairly easily. The trail to Big Pond has significant amount of blowdown and is impassable at this time. There is swath of damage on both sides of the trail and across it for a good distance starting about 0.25 mile in.

NORTHERN-NORTHWESTERN ADIRONDACKS
Santa Clara, Tupper and Saranac Lakes, St. Regis, Lake Lila

Paper Mill Ash Banks on the Boquet River to be Stabilized: DEC and Georgia Pacific finalized an agreement for remediation of the Black Ash Pond site owned by the Town of Willsboro in Essex County. The black ash was deposited by a former paper mill adjacent to the Boquet River. Portions of the deposits remain unstable and unvegetated after several decades, with material sloughing off into the river. The agreement would involve sloping and stabilizing the bank as well as adding top soil and vegetation.

Lake Champlain Islands: South End Trail, North End Perimeter Trail, and Lighthouse Trail on Valcour Island are impassable due to flooding. Campsites 7, 8 & 22 are unusable and are now closed. Poke-O-Moonshine day use area has significant damage from blowdown. The docks at the Peru Dock Boat Launch were damaged but are still usable, the pump station remains closed.

Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands: The Barnes Pond Public Use Area campsites are closed to public use until the blowdown can be cleared from the access road and a complete assessment of the road and campsites can be completed.

Split Rock Mountain Wild Forest: Access to the Split Rock area can be difficult for people unfamiliar with area roads due to the numerous closings. Trails are open and usable with some blowdown.

Taylor Pond Wild Forest: Access to Catamount Mountain is not possible; a road is washed out 1 mile from trailhead. In Terry Mountain State Forest the Red Road has been closed to public motor vehicle use do to unsafe conditions due to erosion from the storm. Also the Tower Rd is unusable for recreation or motor vehicle access at this time due to ongoing construction by the Essex County.

Poke-O-Moonshine: The hiking trails to the summit of Pok-o-Moonshine Mountain (the ranger trail from camp ground and Jeep Trail) are both open and usable. There is quite a lot of blowdown on the Ranger Trail but it is passable. The Jeep Trail has less blow down but the bridge approach, while usable, is muddy. The Poke-O-Moonshine Fire Tower is closed for the season.

Lyon Mountain – Chazy Highlands Wild Forest: The re-route of the top section of the Lyon Mountain Trail is complete and the trail is clearly signed and marked. Thanks to the Adirondack Mountain Club Professional Trail crew there is now a completely new trail from the trailhead to the summit. Hikers should use the new trail and avoid the old trail which is not maintained and is in poor condition due to erosion. Trailhead signs and a trail register box have been installed at the parking area for the Lyon Mountain Trail. Also a sign identifying the entrance road to the trailhead parking area has been installed on the Chazy Lake Road. They were installed by the Town of Dannemora Highway Department.

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: The gate on the Lake Clear Girl Scout Camp Road is open, but due to the condition of the road, until further notice it should only be used by pickup trucks, SUVs and other vehicles with high clearance. This road is used to access Meadow and St. Germain Ponds.

St. Regis Canoe Area: Damage from the storm was limited to some minor blowdown on most carries and trails. There is significant amount of blowdow across the Fish Pond Truck Trail; it is passable on foot but not by horses or horse drawn wagons. A section of the canoe carry about half way between Long Pond and Nellie Pond has been flooded by beavers. This will required a short paddle across the beaver pond. Significant work on campsites in the Canoe Area was conducted last year. A new webpage has been created to provide information including maps and recreational opportunities.

Norton Peak Cave / Chateuagay Woodlands Conservation Easement Lands: Norton Peak Cave has been reopened to the public following the expiration of the cave closing order on March 31. The cave is a bat hibernacula with white nose syndrome present. DEC is considering whether to close all bat hibernacula caves on state lands and easements to protect the bat population. It’s best to stay out of caves at this time.

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Warnings and announcements drawn from DEC, NWS, NOAA, USGS, and other sources. Detailed Adirondack Park camping, hiking, and outdoor recreation and trail conditions can be found at DEC’s webpages. A DEC map of the Adirondack Park can also be found online [pdf].

The DEC Trails Supporter Patch is available for $5 at all outlets where sporting licenses are sold, on-line and via telephone at 1-866-933-2257. Patch proceeds will help maintain and enhance non-motorized trails throughout New York State.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Adirondack Wild Hosting First Annual Meeting

Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve will host an annual meeting of its members, donors and friends at the Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center this Saturday, September 17.

The meeting begins at 10 AM with an overview of Adirondack Wild’s achievements in its first year, a report on its programs, and a brief business meeting to elect officers and directors. The annual meeting is followed by keynote presenter Michael Klemens at 11 AM, and a guided walk of the VIC trails with Ecology Professor Celia Evans of Paul Smith’s College at 1 PM.

Participants are asked to bring their own box or bag lunch. Morning refreshments will be provided. The meetings are free of charge, but reservations are appreciated. To reserve, please contact Ken Rimany by email, krimany@adirondackwild.org, or by phone at 518-928-4501. The Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center (formerly the Adirondack Park Agency VIC) is located off State Rt. 30 one mile north of Paul Smith’s College.

The public is invited to attend a keynote presentation by Michael Klemens, Ph.D. at 11 AM, who will address the question Does Science Matter? Dr. Klemens will offer his thoughts and promote a dialogue about the role of science in advocacy and conservation, and explain why conservation biology is a critical discipline needed to assess the health of wild lands. Dr. Klemens is a conservation biologist with three decades of experience in assessing biodiversity and the impacts of various land use practices and patterns of development on sensitive wildlife species and their habitats. Dr. Klemens founded a not-for-profit that works with planning boards and other local government agencies to increase ecological literacy among local land-use decision makers and to deliver tools to make land use choices that better protect and sustain ecosystem functions.

In the spring, Dr. Klemens was Adirondack Wild’s expert consultant at the Adirondack Club and Resort (ACR) public hearing in Ray Brook and Tupper Lake. He conducted a rapid assessment of amphibian populations in the western portion of the ACR site, and found many salamanders, frogs and habitats that could be negatively impacted by the proposal before the Adirondack Park Agency. For more about his testimony at the ACR hearing, go to www.adirondackwild.org.

Paul Smith’s College’s Celia Evans will help lead a walk along the VIC trails at approximately 1 PM. She teaches General Ecology and Winter Ecology among many other courses at the college.

Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve is a not-for-profit, member supported organization devoted to wilderness and wild nature. Adirondack Wild advances New York’s Forever Wild legacy and promotes policies and land stewardship consistent with wild land values through education, advocacy and research. For more information visit them online.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Adirondack Museum’s Fabric and Fiber Arts Fest

The Adirondack Museum will hosts its annual Fabric and Fiber Arts Festival on Saturday, September 17, 2011. Fabrics and regional artists are featured at this one day celebration of spinning, weaving, quilting, knitting, knotting and all fiber arts.

There will be textile appraisals by Rabbit Goody in the Visitor Center from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and a variety of yarn installations, or yarn bombings, displayed throughout the museum campus during the event. Yarnbombing is a type of street art typically found in urban areas.

Regional fiber guilds and artists will “yarn-bomb” more utilitarian parts of the museum in celebration of the fiber arts, and to showcase how traditional crafts like knitting and crocheting are being applied in new ways in the 21st century. This year’s
event includes a crocheted SUV cover by Jerilia Zempel.

In addition to the yarn-bombing displays, the museum will also feature the Third Annual Great Adirondack Quilt Show on September 17. The show is a special display of quilts inspired by or used in the Adirondacks, and will be open through October 9, 2011.

Demonstrations during the festival include: art quilting with the Adirondack Regional Textile Artists Alliance; bobbin lace-making with Judy Anderson; mixed-media textile arts and quilting with Louisa Woodworth; quilting with Northern Needles; rug hooking with the Country Ruggers; a variety of wool arts with Serendipity Spinners and felt making with Linda Van Alstyn. Linda will offer informal sessions of make your own felt flowers for a $5 fee.

Museum Curator Hallie Bond and guest Rabbit Goody will offer a presentation at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. entitled “Weaving Through History,” telling the history of the weaving tradition. Presentations will take place in the Auditorium. Visitors will be able to browse and buy from a small group of talented North Country fiber artists at the vendor fair. Enjoy fiddle and guitar music by talented musicians Doug Moody and John Kribs throughout the day.

Hands-on activities include recycled rugs – help braid strips of blue jeans into a floor rug and placemats for the museum’s Little Log Cabin, or make a coaster for home from recycled tee-shirts. This year’s Fiber Fest will include an afternoon knit-in hosted by Carol Wilson. This will be an opportunity for knitters to work on a project in the company of other knitting enthusiasts, and to exchange tips with other participants about how to tackle tricky techniques. Knitters are highly encouraged to bring finished projects to display, as well as works in progress.

Visit www.adirondackmuseum.org for a list of fiber related workshops that will take place on Sunday, September 18, 2011.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Whiteface: The Mountain with the Irene Tattoo

Earlier this summer close observers noticed a small white soul patch etched on the southern (Lake Placid) face of Whiteface Mountain. Tropical storm Irene embellished it into a brilliant, narrow v-shaped slide. Whiteface mountain today (and ever after) is showing a bit more of the anorthosite that gave it its name.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

High Peaks Happy Hour: Judd’s Tavern, Lake George

Judd’s Tavern, located on Canada Street in the heart of Lake George Village, beckons to the casual passerby as an ideal place to take a break from browsing the surrounding gift shops and arcades, duck in for a cool respite from the beach, or catch up on the day’s sporting events. A standard sports bar for locals and tourists, strategically-placed TV’s (12 in all) broadcast just about every contest that’s being televised at the moment.

The dark burgundy walls subdue the natural light spilling in through the large streetside windows. Commercial-grade carpeting and a suspended ceiling help keep this small space from being too noisy. Games and activities include foosball, a pool table and a jukebox. Judd’s Tavern isn’t large, but is of sufficient size to make it a comfortable place to meet others. Some sports bars are so big that patrons could spend hours and not speak to anyone outside their social sphere. The bar seats 16 and additional tables can accommodate another 20 patrons. This bar is more intimate and conducive to meeting and interacting with people.

Although Judd’s wasn’t very busy when we arrived, the bartenders seemed to be prepping for a busy night, stocking coolers and checking inventories. One bartender, Zack, was friendly and attentive, answering questions as he catered to the growing crowd. Pam’s first question was already answered by a sign on the wall advertising a Birthday Cake martini, a Jelly Ring Martini, the Veggie Mary and the Spicy Mary. For local-themed drinks, try a Twisted Tourist or a Sandy Bay Slammer. Other mouth-watering cocktails include the Gentleman Jack, Bazooka Joe, Orange Creamsicle and the Berry Patch shot. Pam chose the Jelly Ring Martini special, consisting of Stoli Chocolat Razberi vodka, Godiva chocolate liqueur and a splash of cream and tasted remarkably like the real thing!

Draft beer choices are abundant. Several craft ales and IPA’s including Southern Tier’s 2XIPA, make an impressive line-up. Eight or so domestic bottled beers round out the beer menu. Kim decided on Purple Haze, a light, fruity wheat beer produced by Abita Brewing Company in Louisiana. A hazy, golden color with just a blush of raspberry pink, the aroma was of fruit, though the raspberry didn’t carry over much to the flavor.

Judd’s Tavern has been in business for seven years and is open from noon to 4 a.m. in the summer months, noon to midnight during the off-season, with no black out dates. The best time to visit is during the summer and on Sundays during football season. With NFL Sunday Ticket, you will find every NFL game being televised. Happy Hour drink specials are featured Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. While not a full-service restaurant, they serve food and are notorious for their wings (which, of course, are the best in town), offering 13 varieties including Wings of Fury (for which you will have to sign a waiver) and Caribbean Jerk wings, and also claim that their quesadillas are equally enticing. Musical entertainment is featured sporadically. With accommodations available all over Lake George, Judd’s caters to foot traffic in summer and in winter during the annual Winter Carnival. The clientele tends to be mostly local, but visitors are encouraged and welcome.

Kim and Pam Ladd’s book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks, is currently in the research stage. Together they visit pubs, bars and taverns with the goal of selecting the top 46 bars in the Adirondack Park. They regularly report their findings here at the Almanack and at their own blog, or follow them on Facebook, and ADK46barfly on Twitter.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wrap Up Summer With Jazz in Lake George

Adirondack summers end with a bang—or in this case, a biddle-de-bop. You have one more weekend to enjoy the biggest event of the Lake George Arts Project’s free summer concert series: Jazz at the Lake — two full days and a night of hot sounds by the lakeshore.

Head to Shepard’s Park (Canada Street) on Saturday, Sept 17th for a set of hot Cuban jazz infused with African rhythms with the Osmany Paredes Quartet, starting at 1PM. Stick around for some jazz saxophone with John Ellis, backed by the New Orleans sounds of Double Wide. And rounding up the afternoon is the Grace Kelly Quintet, featuring the brilliantly nuanced vocals and sultry saxophone of the 19-year-old Grace, who has been hailed by Wynton Marsalis as a “first-class jazz musician.” The day performances end at 6PM, leaving you time for dinner and a little fun in Lake George Village (at the arcades, mini-golf, or shopping) before returning for the evening set at 7:30PM.

And do return for the Don Byron New Gospel Quintet, a marvelous mix of different genres from r&b to classical with a jazz undertone. Don Byron plays clarinet and sax to his own compositions and arrangements, which have garnered raves from audiences around the world.

The Sunday (Sept 18th) program opens again at 1PM (closing at 6PM) with the classic jazz stylings of prodigy pianist Charles Cornell with his quartet. There’s more jazz sax to follow with Rudresh Mahanthappa & Bunky Green, and wrapping out the weekend is Kyle Eastwood (eldest son of Clint) whose many original compositions include the scores to his father’s films, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, and Grand Torino, among others.

The performances will all be held rain or shine—the designated setting is Shepard Park Pavillion, but in case of rain, it moves to Lake George High School, both on Canada Street in LG Village.

Lake George Jazz Weekend is a free outdoor concert program offered through the generous support the New York State Council on the Arts, the town and village of Lake George, and Kenneth and Susan Gruskin. The LG Jazz Weekend has been a hit every year since it first started in 1984. This program is the biggest and best of the summer season, and is sure to leave you pining for next year—all you have to do is show up!

And to keep this wonderful series alive for future years, you might consider becoming a member of the Lake George Arts Project


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities: Moose on the Loose in Indian Lake

There are so many festivals in the autumn that it is easy to be overwhelmed with the various opportunities. One reason that I do favor these annual events for my family is the variety of activities at each festival. As my children get older they want to have more input in the activities that we do. We find a festival offers a little bit of everything for my family of four. » Continue Reading.


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