Thursday, July 17, 2014

Jessica Tabora: Watch Rock On Pharaoh Lake

Pharaoh Lake from Watch Rock

I keep coming back to Pharaoh Lake. It’s full of campsites and lean-tos, great swimming too. I finally had the chance to stay at Watch Rock. With a large lean-to and Pharaoh mountain close-by, this spot is very popular.  There are several spots to sit along the site. This picture was taken during a break in a summer storm.



Thursday, July 17, 2014

ORDA Adds Extreme Tubing At Olympic Ski Jumps

ExtremeTubingIf you’re seeking excitement this summer, the Olympic Jumping Complex, in Lake Placid, has you covered with Extreme Tubing. Hop in and hold on as you rocket down the landing hills of the 90 meter, 48 meter and 20 meter ski jumps, approaching speeds of up to 50 miles-per-hour.

Extreme Tubing will be available Tuesday through Saturday from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Additional hours are also being offered Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from noon- 2 p.m. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, July 17, 2014

‘Made In The Adirondacks’ Fair Debuts Saturday

AdirondackMuseum-MadeInTheAdirondacks-RheaCostelloCeramicsArtists, artisans, crafters, and makers are heading to Blue Mountain Lake from all over the North Country to showcase their traditions and wares at the “Made in the Adirondacks” fair, debuting at the Adirondack Museum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 19.  The event is included with general museum admission.

A  joint project of the museum, the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA)  and Traditional Arts of Upstate New York (TAUNY), “Made in the Adirondacks” highlights small, local businesses; products inspired by the majesty of the Adirondack wilderness; and the people who produce them using techniques handed down through the generations. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

During A High Peaks Camping Trip, The Birth Of The National Wilderness Act

JohnsonOn a warm September day in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed what is now recognized as one of the most significant legislative acts in American environmental history. This was the national Wilderness Act. Before then, federal lands, even those protected as national parks or national forests were expected to serve a variety of functions. The national forests, for example, permitted logging, mining, and grazing. The national parks were often centered on opulent hotels and other all-too-civilized amenities. The idea of setting aside part of the public domain as wilderness, even though this word was and is difficult to define, was radical then, and it remains controversial today. It was a monumental step, and its roots lie in the Adirondacks.

How European-Americans have thought about this amorphous thing we call wilderness has been a complicated, often torturous story. (How Native Americans navigated these shoals is another story altogether, but their views have seldom if ever been consulted as this country has gone about the process of setting land-use policy.) If we go back far enough, we find a pervasive hostility to what many of us now treasure. In 1620, for example, the Pilgrim William Bradford contemplated the forests of eastern Massachusetts, which seemed to stand between his band of cold and hungry settlers and any sort of security, and declared despairingly that nothing lay before them other than “a hideous and desolate wilderness.” Wilderness, in other words, was the enemy. If these people expected to survive, let alone prosper, the wilderness had to be eliminated as soon as possible. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

DEC Extends Comment Deadline For Essex Chain

Essex ChainThe state Department of Environmental Conservation is giving the public an extra week to submit comments on its draft management plan for the Essex Chain Lakes. The state acquired the Essex Chain last year from the Nature Conservancy, which purchased it in 2007 from Finch, Pruyn & Company.

Following is the entirety of DEC’s news release:

The public will have an additional seven days to comment on the Essex Chain Lakes Management Complex Draft Unit Management Plan (Draft Essex Chain UMP) and Draft Community Connector Multiple Use Trail Plan (Draft Trail Plan UMP) the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. DEC extended the comment period until July 25 in response to stakeholders seeking additional time to review the plan and provide comment.

The Essex Chain Lakes Management Complex includes the 6,956-acre Essex Chain Primitive Area, the 2,788-acre Pine Lake Primitive Area and a portion of the 42,537-acre Blue Mountain Wild Forest. The complex of lands is located in the Town of Indian Lake in Hamilton County, and towns of Newcomb and Minerva in Essex County.

» Continue Reading.



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Learning To Keep Our Distance From Nesting Loons

2003-WFS Turtle Pd loon-7+t300There is a loon on Lake Placid’s Mirror Lake that seems almost tame. Sometimes when my family and I are out canoeing it seems to follow us. It is that very familiarity and comfortableness with nature that causes a conflict between humans and nesting loons.

Though Dr. Nina Schoch, Wildlife Veterinarian with the Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) assures me that particular loon isn’t nesting if it’s in the center of the lake and not issue warning signs. According to Schoch there are specific ways for humans to tell if they are distressing loons. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

First Electric Car Charging Station In Adirondack Interior

ElectCarCharging-1The Tesla pulls silently into the driveway and sidles next to the charging station. With the ease of charging a cell phone, the car is plugged in and its owners make their way into The Wild Center. The Center’s new charging station is a first step to making the Tri-Lakes region of the Adirondacks (Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake, and Lake Placid) electric-car friendly.

In addition to plug-in stations already up and running in Canton, Potsdam, Plattsburgh, and Lake George, this electric charging station will provide a battery charge for those visiting the heart of the Adirondacks.

Every major car maker is producing or has plans for electric vehicles, some of which can get the equivalent of 119 miles per gallon and have an annual fuel cost of $500. Federal tax credits are currently available for electric vehicles. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

An Adirondack Perspective On Plein Air In North Creek

PleinAiratNorthCreekThe Widlund Gallery at Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek is presenting the exhibit Plein Air: An Adirondack Perspective.

The exhibition, which runs until July 30th, features acclaimed regional artists Frances Gaffney (graphite), Diane Leifheit (pastel), Janet Marie Yeates (oil) and Sarah Yeoman (watercolor) and all art work will be available for purchase.

This Thursday and Friday, July 17 and 18, artists will paint outdoors in and around the scenic town of North Creek. The public is especially invited to watch them demonstrate their techniques July 17 during Art Walk from 5 to 7 pm. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Earthjustice Obtains Court Order To Block NYCO Drilling

vernal poolEarthjustice has obtained a court order blocking NYCO Minerals from test drilling in the Jay Mountain Wilderness Area until the judge has a chance to hear oral arguments in Earthjustice’s lawsuit against NYCO and two state agencies.

State Supreme Court Justice Thomas Buchanan on Monday granted Earthjustice’s request for a temporary restraining order–providing the plaintiffs post a $10,000 bond to cover NYCO’s damages if Earthjustice loses the suit. NYCO could have begun work as early as this week and argued in court that delays would hurt the company financially.

Earthjustice attorney Deborah Goldberg said the bond was posted Wednesday afternoon.

» Continue Reading.



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Moose At Helldiver Pond In The Moose River Plains

Moose At Helldiver Pond by John Warren

Perhaps the most photographed moose in the Adirondacks is this visitor to Helldiver Pond in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest between Indian Lake and Inlet. This photo was taken Friday afternoon (on a long lens in order to keep a respectful distance).



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lt. Gov. Woodruff and the Raquette Lake Railroad

adirondack news ad 1900Just when I think I have learned all of the origins and instigators for the building of the Raquette Lake Railroad during 1899, I find a new participant.

I have read of Collis Huntington’s impatience with the inefficiencies of the Fulton Chain steamers and stages from Old Forge’s transportation monopoly’s companies, his sitting on a keg of nails during a long wait.  Also,  that his wife refused to visit him at Pine Knot until this builder of the transcontinental railroad built a railroad to their camp.  Dr. William Seward Webb did plan in 1892 on a road from Clearwater to Raquette Lake.  Later, the Raquette Lake Railroad would use the two mile lumber railroad built in 1897-1898 by John Dix to Rondaxe Lake as the beginning of this road’s route.

In the Harold Hochschild private history Township 34 excerpt published by the Adirondack Museum, we learn that William West Durant determined that the Delaware & Hudson Company would not be extending his father’s line past North Creek.  This meant that Dr. Webb’s line built in 1892 would be the only railroad available to connect Raquette and Blue Mountain Lakes to major population centers.  Hochschild wrote that it was Durant who thought a railroad should be built connecting with the New York Central and that, lacking the funds to do so, Durant interested Collis Huntington in the project. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

WCS Calls for Volunteers to Survey Adirondack Loons

Loons  Jlarsenmaher 2The Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Adirondack Program is seeking volunteers to help census loons on Adirondack lakes as part of the fourteenth Annual Adirondack Loon Census taking place from 8:00–9:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 19.

With the help of local Adirondack residents and visitor volunteers, the census enables WCS to collect important data on the status of the breeding loon population in and around the Adirondack Park and across New York State. The results help guide management decisions and policies affecting loons. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Is Rails With Trails A Practical Solution?

Adirondack Tourist Train (Susan Bibeau)Supporters of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad continue to push for keeping the tracks at the Lake Placid end of the rail line and for creating a “rails-with-trails” option for bikers, hikers, snowmobilers, and others who want to use the state-owned corridor.

The Adirondack Railway Preservation Society, which operates the railroad, said in a news release last week that a multi-use travel corridor best serves the public interest. “Rails and trails can exist and work successfully together,” it declared.

On Monday, a volunteer group called Trails with Rail Action Committee (TRAC) also voiced support for this idea. TRAC says it has been working with state officials “to identify recreational trails within the existing Remsen to Lake Placid travel corridor and looks forward to contributing to realizing the full economic potential of this important asset in the Adirondacks.”

» Continue Reading.



Monday, July 14, 2014

Groups File Legal Challenge In NYCO Wilderness Mining

View of NYCO from Mt FayFour environmental organizations filed a lawsuit Friday challenging the State’s approval of mineral exploration on 200-acres of publicly-owned Adirondack Forest Preserve Wilderness known as “Lot 8” in Essex County.

The organizations are Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, Atlantic States Legal Foundation, Protect the Adirondacks! Inc., and Sierra Club, and they are represented by the non-profit law firm, Earthjustice, and pro bono co-counsel Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

According to a notice sent to the media the Article 78 lawsuit seeks to stop mineral exploration in the Jay Mountain Wilderness “until the State complies with all applicable laws.” It was filed in Albany County Supreme Court against the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and its Commissioner, the NYS Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and its Chairwoman, and NYCO Minerals, Inc. The groups contend that a constitutional amendment (Proposition 5) approved by the voters last November suspended one layer of protection for Lot 8, but all other legal requirements protective of Wilderness areas remain in full force and effect. » Continue Reading.



Monday, July 14, 2014

Sandra Hildreth: Our History In Art And Music

redTo understand how America was made, one need only go back and look at what people created, their responses to the events and environments they lived in. There are currently two unique opportunities available that will take you back to other times in very different ways. Both are based on things that occurred around 60 years ago – one building on centuries of songs and the other forging a path into the world of contemporary art, ironically, going on at almost the same time.

A one time opportunity to learn about our past through the arts is a performance tonight, (July 14) of “RED”, a Pendragon Theatre production that is making a one day tour to VIEW, in Old Forge. “RED”, a Tony award winning play by John Logan, is a two-person performance that brings you into the 1950’s world of Abstract Expressionism in New York City. » Continue Reading.



Monday, July 14, 2014

Wooden Canoe Heritage Association At Paul Smiths

Canoes2The Wooden Canoe Heritage Association is returning to Paul Smith’s College for its 35th annual assembly July 15-20, and this year, one lucky winner will walk away with a modern classic.

The association will show off more than 350 new and vintage canoes. Several will be on sale along with canoe-building supplies, paddles, gear and accessories. Various workshops, programs and on-water events will also be available.

Paul Smith’s College will auction off a traditional lapstrake Wee Lassie canoe built and donated by master boatbuilder Geoffrey Burke of Chocorua Boatworks. The funds raised through the auction will support various programs at Paul Smith’s College. » Continue Reading.



Monday, July 14, 2014

“Oops!” Moments From The North Country’s Past

1899 ABadPlaceToCutIceFRIt’s time for another installment of what I call “Oops Moments” from the North Country’s past—incidents that resulted in unforeseen consequences (but in many cases should have been foreseen). I enjoy collecting these because of the humor involved: most of them will either make us laugh or leave us shaking our heads in wonder.

The first takes us back to 1899 Ogdensburg and involves an important part of the region’s past: ice harvesting. In early February, it was noted that several parties had begun cutting ice from the St. Lawrence River in front of Spaulding Boat Works. Perhaps a little more thought should have gone into choosing where to cut, for it was also noted that the ice being harvested was not fit for use as drinking water. It came from “the direct line with sewer drain from the boat works, and is very likely filled with sewer contamination.” Hmm … could Ogdensburg be the originator of novelty ice cubes? » Continue Reading.



Monday, July 14, 2014

Bill Ingersoll:
Routing A National Trail Through The Adirondacks

ncnstrouteThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is currently accepting comments on a proposed route for the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST) through the Adirondacks, from Crown Point to Forestport. The plan can be downloaded from DEC’s website here.

The NCNST is a proposed long-distance hiking trail comparable to the Appalachian Trail, extending from the Adirondacks to North Dakota. Rather than following a continuous mountain path like its more famous cousin, the NCNST follows a variety of trail types, from the wild shores of Lake Superior to the canal towpaths of Ohio, for an anticipated total of 4600 miles. The trail was authorized by Congress in 1980, and its development is supervised by the National Park Service, although the trail itself remains owned by the underlying landowners—state parks, national forests, and more than a few willing private owners as well. Much of the trail has already been completed, but many more miles still remain on the drawing board. You can find an overview of the trail here, and learn about its stewardship here. » Continue Reading.



Sunday, July 13, 2014

Forked Laked: The Capture And Death of Charles Parker

GHTLetterOur family has two large metal boxes filled with George Hornell Thacher’s handwritten letters.   We are fortunate to have three letters written from the Thacher “Camp” on Indian Point on Raquette Lake.

George Hornell Thacher’s correspondence to his son George Jr. dated August 7, 1881 is a unique piece of history.  He references a tragic affair which became the talk of the major NY newspapers

Camp, Aug. 7th, 1881
Dear George,

My health is about as usual. Nothing new here of importance except the recapture of Parker yesterday, the desperado, the man who outraged a lady on the carry between Forked and Long Lakes.  He was arrested at Lowville while fleeing to Canada and taken back to Long Lake where he got away from the constable.  Yesterday the same officer overhauled him on Forked Lake near the outlet, shot and broke his arm and recaptured him.  The lady was a sister of the wife of U.S. Senator Platt of Connecticut.  Parker was a newcomer here and took up the business of guiding.  He was guiding her to Long Lake and perpetrated the deed near Butter Milk Falls.

Father

P.S. Parker was shot through the arm and breast.  The Doctor says he will die probably before night.  The way of the transgressor is hard. 10 A.M.

The Troy Press said, “Probably no event occurring in the Adirondack region has caused as much comment and excitement as the crime that is attributed to Charles Parker.” » Continue Reading.



Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Great American Wilderness: Two Tragic Anniversaries

Snowy Mountain from the Jessup River Wild ForestI have noticed some opinions floating through the media lately calling into question the extent to which the Adirondacks really qualify as a wilderness.

As I write this, on July 10th, a sad and sobering anniversary has arrived. Then in September we will mark the seventieth anniversary of another tragedy, one of many plane crashes that have occurred in the park, this one remarkable for the longevity of its mystery. Both anniversaries remind me just how formidable a wilderness the Adirondack region really is. » Continue Reading.



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