Thursday, October 6, 2016

New Paul Smith’s VIC Art Gallery Opening Saturday

heron marsh galleryThe Paul Smith’s College VIC recently unveiled a new exhibit space for the display of works of art by regional and national artists. The new Heron Marsh Gallery will feature four different nature-themed shows each year.

Currently, the Heron Marsh Gallery is featuring “Topo-Shift 3: Woods Way” by Winn Rea, an artist who has exhibited internationally from The Netherlands to South Korea and nationally from A.I.R. Gallery in New York City to The Urban Institute for Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, Mich.

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Nature Conservancy Favors Wilderness For Boreas Ponds

tnc-mapThe Adirondack chapter of the Nature Conservancy has taken the unusual step of entering into the debate over the classification of the 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds Tract, which it sold to the state this year.

In a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo, the conservancy recommends that 11,500 acres be classified Wilderness, the most restrictive designation, and 9,030 acres be classified Wild Forest, which allows some motorized use. The adjacent 1,587-acre Casey Brook Tract also would be classified Wilderness.

Among other things, the tract’s classification will determine how close visitors will be allowed to drive to Boreas Ponds and whether they will be allowed to ride mountain bikes on old logging roads around the ponds.

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Westport’s Stone Schoolhouse Celebrates 200 Years

unnamed-1The little stone school house on Dudley Road is more than just the oldest schoolhouse in Essex County, it was the first schoolhouse in Westport. Built in 1816 from local limestone, the small stone school first opened to serve the first settlers of Westport, the Barber and Frisbie families. On October 10, the town of Westport will be celebrating the bicentennial of this small school.

According to nearby Camp Dudley, the Stone School House served local children for 100 years, closing its doors in 1916. During its tenure the school could serve up to 24 children and provide students with a library of 84 books. Now the school is an historic display, capturing a time before centralized school systems. » Continue Reading.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

William Bastin: Pre-Teen North Country Civil War Soldier

p1youngsoldierlocRecently in this column appeared the story of Selden Clobridge, a teenage Civil War soldier from Turin, New York, whose battlefield career ended at the grand old age of 18 after multiple wounds that included limb loss. About 85 miles northeast of Turin, an even younger soldier took it to the extreme, receiving his discharge from the army before he became a teenager.

William R. Bastin was born in December in the town of Lawrence, near the St. Lawrence County line, east of Potsdam. A headstone gives his birth year as 1852, which corresponds with his age in three of six census records and his obituary. Other census records disagree by a year, suggesting he was born in 1851—but by any measure, he was far too young to become a soldier.

When William enlisted at Malone on September 14, 1864, he gave his age as 16. But by most indications, including interviews as an adult, he was actually three months shy of twelve years old when he joined the army, purportedly as a drummer boy. Things didn’t work out as expected, though, and he instead became a child soldier. » Continue Reading.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Forest Health and Carbon Storage Roundtable Planned

tupper lake log yardThe Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) has announced the release of preliminary findings from its analysis of the wood supply, supply chain infrastructure needs and opportunities, and recommendations for addressing them. The analysis examines the North Country’s current timber supply, its workforce, its infrastructure and the markets that affect them. Findings and recommendations will be unveiled at the Fall Forestry Roundtable in Queensbury on October 12, 2016. » Continue Reading.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

High Peaks Crowds and Adirondack Park Management Decisions

Noonmark and the Range from Round MtnIn the recent news and comments about ongoing crowding in the High Peaks there are few references to the document which ostensibly is guiding the state’s management actions there: the 1999 Highs Wilderness Complex Unit Management Plan, or UMP. That management plan is downloadable from the DEC website.

It has a lot of important things to say about applying wilderness management and carrying capacity concepts to the very practical problems of managing the widely varying human use pressures over the great distances and very different environments of the High Peaks. » Continue Reading.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Recent Forest Ranger Search and Rescues

DEC Forest RangerNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents in the Adirondacks. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the Adirondack backcountry.

What follows is a report, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Presentation On Old Growth Forests Friday

Dr. Joan MaloofDr. Joan Maloof, founder and executive director of the Old-Growth Forest Network, will lead a discussion about old-growth forests, what they are, where they’re located, and how they can be conserved.

Maloof will talk about the current status of the earth’s forests, particularly, the ancient forests in the Adirondacks and eastern United State. She will also share the Old-Growth Forest Network’s vision for protecting the remaining and future old-growth forests. » Continue Reading.

Monday, October 3, 2016

State’s Newest Snowmobile Trail Infested with Invasive Species

Ragweed infested snowmobile trail near Lake Harris This summer Protect the Adirondacks was in near constant legal skirmishes with the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and Department of Environmental Conservation over tree cutting to build the newest snowmobile trail from Newcomb to Minerva. We stopped the state from tree cutting for most of the summer, and all of September, and we’ll be in court again in October.

This trail requires cutting over 15,000 trees and extensive grading with heavy machinery to widen and flatten a 9-12 foot wide road-like corridor. Our work has kept over 8,500 trees standing tall in the forest. Our argument is, in essence, that the Cuomo Administration is building a network of new roads through the “forever wild” Forest Preserve. The land cleared to build the trail from Newcomb to Minerva is between 13-17 acres. We believe that the total number of trees being cut, the land being cleared, and the vast alteration to the landscape to build these trails violates Article 14, Section 1, the forever wild provision of the State Constitution. » Continue Reading.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Boat Builder Allison Warner Breaks the Mold

Allison Warner and Rob DavidsonMen have dominated the craft of building guideboats ever since the middle of the nineteenth century, when the first guideboats were made. The only known female builder is Allison Warner from Lake Clear.

Warner’s interest in wooden boats dates back to when she paddled wooden canoes while growing up in southern Texas. As a young adult, she moved to the Adirondacks and began working with AmeriCorps as a carpenter’s helper at Great Camp Santanoni under Tupper Lake carpenter Michael Frenette, who introduced her to boat restoration and guideboats in 1999. » Continue Reading.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Commemoration of the Battle of Valcour Planned

battle of valcour paintingOctober 11th marks the 240th Anniversary of the Battle of Valcour, one of the first naval battles of the American Revolution, fought between the shores of Valcour Island and New York State.

A commemoration of this event will be held at the Clinton Community College, 2nd Floor Lobby/Veranda of the George Moore Building from 4:30 to 5:30 pm on October 11th. The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend. » Continue Reading.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Two “Old Ladies” Visit The Boreas Ponds Tract

two old ladies visit boreas pondsMaybe this was another over-ambitious canoe trip, like the one that I had undertaken with the same naturalist friend in late June. At mid-seventies and late sixties perhaps we two women should have been following a strong young person pulling our boats, or more sensibly, home walking the dog. But modern, light-weight canoes and carriers tempted us to test our limits. We have never been serious sports enthusiasts, I myself never using anything more than boots and sticks of one kind or another for exercise, so our limits were set fairly low.

The plan was to meet at Bonnie’s house at 8:30, but neither of us could sleep in the early morning, from excitement – or fear? So we left her house an hour early in her husband’s truck, luckily, as much of the 3.2 mile road to the parking area for the Boreas Ponds was rough. » Continue Reading.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Adirondack Guideboats: Building On Tradition

Boat-builder Jim Cameron Building a traditional Adirondack guideboat is a complex task, with ribs carved from spruce-tree roots and with thin hull planks held in place with several thousand tiny tacks. It can take many weeks to complete one.

“I grew up working with wood one way or another, and these are by far the most complex, demanding things, by a long shot, I’ve ever built,” said Rob Davidson, who started building guideboats a few years ago after moving to the Adirondacks from Oregon. » Continue Reading.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Ecological Impact Of The Current Drought

wood frogScenes from the West’s five-year drought are striking – the cracked mud at the bottom of a dry reservoir, forests in flames. Wonder what a drought would look like in the Northern Forest? Just look out the window.

This is the first time that any part of New Hampshire has been in an “extreme drought” since the federal government began publishing a drought index in 2000, said Mary Lemcke-Stampone, the state’s climatologist. “Using state records, you have to go back to the early ‘80s to get the extreme dryness we’ve been seeing in southeastern New Hampshire.” » Continue Reading.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

ANCA Annual Meeting Upends Assumptions

ANCA Board of Directors President Jim Sonneborn addresses about 80 attendees of the nonprofit’s Annual Meeting at the Stone Mill in KeesevilleNearly 80 attendees, representing 23 communities and 13 counties, gathered at the historic Stone Mill in downtown Keeseville for the Adirondack North Country Association’s Annual Meeting “Unpacking the Secrets of Successful Communities.”

Recent national analyses and media coverage have reported that things are not so good in rural communities across the nation. According to a May 2016 Washington Post article by Jim Tankersley, “rural areas have seen their business formation fall off a cliff.” The article says “experts warn that the trends could be self-perpetuating and endanger the very life of rural economies in the years to come.” “Not so fast,” was the underlying theme of ANCA’s meeting.  » Continue Reading.

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