Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Recent Adirondack Forest Ranger Operations

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, May 17, 2016

Dick Booth To Step Down From APA Board

BoothThe Adirondack Park Agency board will soon lose its strongest defender of wilderness: Dick Booth does not intend to serve another term.

Booth’s current four-year term expires June 30, but he said he will stay on awhile if a successor is not appointed by then.

A professor in Cornell’s Department of City and Regional Planning, Booth told Adirondack Almanack he is leaving partly out of frustration with decisions at the agency. He also said the long drive from Ithaca to Ray Brook for monthly meetings and poring over stacks of documents in preparation for those meetings proved draining over the years.

“I’ve been there eight and a half years,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed it, but at some point it’s time to step aside.”

» Continue Reading.


Monday, May 16, 2016

Conservation Council President On Managing ‘Forever Wild’ Lands

Wilderness around Fulton Chain from Castle Rock above Blue Mountain Lake

At a recent meeting I attended with other sportsmen, outdoor advocates and various environmental professionals, the topic of balance among the concerns of our lands and forests, wildlife, and people was being discussed.

From the perspective of the New York State Conservation Council, there is nearly a complete loss of balance on state lands in the Adirondacks because of an overbearing philosophy within the forest preserve, the forever wild philosophy, and wilderness and wild forest classifications. Thus the carrying capacity for song birds, wild game and other species in the Adirondacks is severely lacking. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 16, 2016

Adirondack Snakes: Smelling With A Forked Tongue

TOS snakeDid you ever use your hands to scoop the air toward your nose when someone takes a pie out of the oven? Snakes are doing the same thing when they flick their forked tongues.

“They are manipulating the air, bringing chemicals from the air or the ground closer so they can figure out what kind of habitat they’re in, whether there are any predators nearby, and what food items are around,” explained biologist William Ryerson. This time of year, a number of our native species may also use their tongues to track the pheromone trails of potential mates, sometimes over long distances. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 16, 2016

Saranac Lake ‘History Matters’ Speaker Series Expanded

history mattersHistoric Saranac Lake announces an expanded “History Matters” Speaker Series beginning this month. This new series will feature an event each month for the rest of 2016. The expanded series will include presentations by Dr. Ian Orme on the state of tuberculosis today, Dr. Neil A. Holtzman on Dr. Norman Bethune, and Mary-Nell Bockman on historic preservation in Cuba. Dates for each of the presentations will be announced soon.

The series will kick off this Thursday, May 18, with a presentation entitled “Mythbusting the National Register of Historic Places,” which aims to help the owners of historic properties understand the benefits of the register. Rich in history and architecture, Saranac Lake is home to six historic districts and numerous individually-listed properties on the National Register of Historic Places. This means that most of the historic homes or businesses in Saranac Lake are eligible for or already on the National Register. The Register recognizes properties that are historically and architecturally significant in communities across the country. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Dave Gibson: DEC’s Essex Chain Double Standards

_DSC0161DEC Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos signed the Essex Chain of Lakes Primitive Area Unit Management Plan (UMP) in late March, and issued a Findings Statement required by law.

The final UMP and the Findings do not appear to alter the basic management decisions ratified by the Adirondack Park Agency last November as being in compliance with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. Those management decisions include creation of motorized corridors within Wild and Scenic River areas and other matters which the nonprofits Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve and Protect the Adirondacks considered in serious violation of existing law and regulation. Two members of the APA voted against the UMP compliance determination because of the Environmental Conservation Department’s apparent disregard for provisions in the Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers Act and regulations. The nonprofit organizations consequently filed a lawsuit in January. The legal matters are pending in court.

DEC has asserted from the beginning and continues to assert that as a matter of law prior uses by the private owner Finch,Pruyn and Company and its private lessees and guests, uses ending when Finch, Pruyn sold the property in 2007, justify continued uses by the public today after the land reverted to publicly- owned Forest Preserve in 2012. This is one of the several contested issues before the court. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Mountain Air Painters’ Plein Air Season Begins

Mountain Air Painting of the AlbedorMountain Air Painters have announced the beginning of their 2016 plein air season. Each year the group paints together outdoors from May through October, building a list of locations they’d like to paint. Mountain Air Paitners celebrated the end of the 2015 season with a show of their works at 5 Corners Café in Old Forge.

Mountain Air Painters are watercolor, acrylic, oil and pastel painters and photographers who get together weekly. The group includes members of all experience levels.

“We paint for a couple of hours and then display our work to give each other suggestions and ideas. It’s also a time for sharing ideas about new products, techniques, supplies and inspiration,” said Jeanne Whyte, an Inlet architect who paints watercolors. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Adirondack Park Gets Its Own Bouldering Guidebook

Aaron Newell_Tower of Power_V2Years ago I often saw a line of cars parked along McKenzie Pond Road outside Saranac Lake and wondered why they were there. There was no trailhead, no house, just nondescript woods.

Eventually, I learned that those woods harbored a collection of giant boulders and that people would drive for hours to climb them. Not just any people, but hard-core climbers willing to abrade their fingertips on tiny crimps, strain their biceps on overhanging rock, and curse the sky as they labored up routes that often are less than ten feet long. That is, boulderers. » Continue Reading.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Towns Favor Wild Forest Designation For Boreas Ponds

Boreas_Ponds Map_20160401Five local towns have set forth a land-use proposal for the newly acquired Boreas Ponds Tract that would allow mountain biking and “reasonable” motorized access — an alternative to plans supported by environmentalists.

Both the towns and environmental groups have proposed classification schemes that divide the 20,758-acre tract into Wilderness, where motors and bikes are prohibited, and Wild Forest, a less-restrictive classification. The major difference is that the towns recommend that the Boreas Ponds themselves be designated Wild Forest.

Under all the plans, most people would be allowed to drive on the dirt Gulf Brook Road only as far as LaBier Flow, an impoundment on the Boreas River, the outlet of the ponds. From there, hikers would have to walk a mile or so to the ponds. Canoeists would have to paddle up the flow and then portage to the ponds.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, May 13, 2016

The Adirondacks Around The Web This Week


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