Thursday, October 5, 2017

Next Steps For The Adirondack Rail Trail

Adirondack Scenic RailroadOn September 26, Judge Robert G. Main Jr. overruled the entire 2016 Unit Management Plan (UMP) that would have allowed the construction of a multi-use recreation trail on a 34-mile segment of the Remsen-Lake Placid railroad right-of-way. In doing so, the judge stopped construction of both the recreation trail and the upgraded railroad from Remsen to Tupper Lake, since both state projects are linked and their funding is dependent on the UMP.

The judge based most of his ruling on what a “travel corridor” is in the State Land Master Plan (SLMP).  To define a travel corridor, he used the current travel corridors inventoried in the SLMP (“1,220 miles of travel corridors, of which 1,100 are highway, 120 miles make up the Remsen to Lake Placid railroad”) and concluded that since current travel corridors are highways and railroads no other use is anticipated or permitted.  But the SLMP defines a travel corridor as including “the Remsen to Lake Placid railroad right-of-way” (emphasis mine).  Note that the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) did not say “Remsen to Lake Placid railroad” in its definition, as it did in listing existing travel corridors, it added “right of way”, for a reason.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Hyde’s Van Gogh Goes On Display

Orchard with Arles in the Background, 1888 When Vincent van Gogh met Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in Paris in 1886, the friends defied convention, challenging the established definition of art. Their idiosyncratic focus on line and color will be displayed in Deux Enfants Terribles, an exhibition from the permanent collection in the Rotunda Gallery at The Hyde Collection.

The exhibition includes van Gogh’s Orchard with Arles in the Background, The Hyde’s only work by the Dutch artist. Van Gogh employed a variety of pen strokes to imbue the scene with a sense of spring’s arrival in a dormant Mediterranean fruit orchard. A few dots from a reed pen indicate the first appearance of buds. Below, the grass, rendered in short vertical strokes begins to grow again; pinwheel strokes denote the flowering of dandelions. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Poisonous Mushrooms: An Aura of Amanita

Amanita by Adelaide TyrolOne of our big collective cultural fears about nature involves poisonous plants. Our mothers implored us to NEVER put anything from the woods in our mouths, but in reality, you can sample most of what’s out there with relative impunity. Your taste buds will give you a good indication of edibility, and if you ignore them you might pay the price of some diarrhea and stomach cramping.

Put another way, the poison in most so-called poisonous plants is about as harmful as the thorns they might carry – not something you want to go out of your way to mess with, but nothing to make you put a child-proof fence around the rhubarb because you heard a rumor the leaves were poisonous. (They are in mass amounts, but at a high enough dose so is salt.) » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

$500k to Help Wild Center Build Climate Literacy

A $494,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will support The Wild Center as it helps students and teachers in New York City, the Catskills and the Adirondacks respond to climate change in their communities.

The three-year Environmental Literacy Grant is a collaboration of The Wild Center, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County, the Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School in Brooklyn, and the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) to build climate literacy and preparedness among students and teachers.

As part of the project, called Convening Young Leaders for Climate Resilience in New York State, high schoolers are expected to learn to assess the effect climate change is likely to have on their communities, work on techniques to convey those impacts to others, and develop the leadership skills needed to shape localized solutions to resiliency challenges posed by the issue. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

An Old Fashioned North River Community Pancake Supper

community pancake supperA community pancake supper will be held at the North River United Methodist Church, 194 Thirteenth Lake Road in North River on October 14th from 4:30 to 7 pm.

Menu will be pancakes, sausage or bacon, applesauce, real maple syrup, light dessert, coffee or tea. Take outs are available. Donations will be accepted. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Paul Hetzler: In Praise Of A Messy Yard

western honeybeeOn my twice-monthly drive on Highway 416 between Prescott and Ottawa, I pass the sign for Kemptville, a town of about 3,500 which lies roughly 40 km north of the St. Lawrence. It has a rich history, and no doubt is a fine place to live, but one of these days I need to stop there to verify that Kemptville is in fact a village of surpassing tidiness. (It’s Exit 34 in case anyone wants to take some field notes and get back to me.)

Most of us would prefer not to live in totally unkempt surroundings, but Western culture may have taken sanitation a bit too far. Claims that cleanliness is next to godliness have yet to be proven by science, but research does indicate a neat, well-coiffed landscape is bad for bees and other pollinators. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Adirondack Amphibians: Spring Peepers in Autumn

spring peeper On calm, mild evenings in autumn, a familiar sound may be heard coming from a stand of trees close to an alder thicket or a woodland swamp. A crisp, one-note “peep” infrequently breaks the silence in these wooded settings at night and during the day when the air is unseasonably warm and moist.

This distinct call can perplex anyone who has visited a wetland in spring. Can it possibly be a spring peeper, known for producing the seasonal chorus of natural music after the soil thaws in April? Following a summer of silence, the male spring peeper redevelops an urge to announce its presence, this time in the area in which it may have spent the past several months.
» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Oral, Video History Workshop at Adirondack History Museum

Zahavi interviewing McDonaldThe Adirondack History Museum in Elizabethtown will present an Oral and Video History Workshop for its annual Historians Day on Friday, October 13 from 10 am to 4 pm.

Dr. Gerald Zahavi will offer participants basic and practical instruction for undertaking digital audio and video oral history projects. The main emphasis is on high quality, low-cost options for individuals and institutions.  » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 2, 2017

DEC Planning New Road East Of Carry Falls Reservoir

Raquette Road alternativesThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proposing to amend both the 5 Mile Conservation Easement (CE) Interim Recreation Management Plan (IRMP) and the CE portion of the Raquette Boreal Wild Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP) to construct a road between the Five Mile and the Kildare Conservation Easements in Hopkinton, St. Lawrence County.

The project involves the construction of a new road approximately 1.25 miles in length. The road will provide access to many miles of motor vehicle roads on the Kildare Easement Lands. It will also provide non-motorized recreational access to the adjacent Raquette River Wild Forest and Raquette-Jordan Boreal Primitive Area. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Critter Shelf for Adirondack Wildlife Pilot Project Underway

culvert critter shelf courtesy dotThe New York State Department of Transportation and The Nature Conservancy are piloting what is said to be the state’s first-ever “critter shelf” for wildlife. Installed this summer inside a large culvert under State Route 12, south of Boonville, in the Black River Valley, the suspended walkway provides a two-foot wide platform for wildlife to scurry through the culvert instead of crossing over the busy road. It is attached to one side of the corrugated steel culvert with brackets and cables.

While Route 12 is an important travel corridor, it can also be a dangerous obstacle for wildlife. Alternatively, wildlife attempting to cross also pose danger to drivers. The Route 12 culvert carries a stream that averages about three feet in depth under the road. The new shelf sits above water level so as not to impede flow, or compromise structural integrity. At 138 feet, it runs along the full length of the culvert and expands the potential for use by wildlife by providing dry passage for bobcats and other wildlife that don’t swim. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Hyde to Open Folk Art Exhibition Oct 8th

The peaceful kingdom with the leopard of serenity, by edward hicks, courtesy barbara l gordon collectionThe Hyde Collection in Glens Falls has announced they will open a new exhibition on American Folk art, titled A Shared Legacy: Folk Art in America on Sunday, October 8. The exhibition comprises more than sixty works made between 1800 and 1925, from the collection of Barbara L. Gordon. This exhibition will be on view in Charles R. Wood, Hoopes, and Whitney-Renz galleries. The exhibit will run through Sunday, December 31.

A Shared Legacy celebrates art rooted in personal and cultural identity, made by artists who were either self-taught or had received minimal formal training. Created for ordinary people rather than society’s upper classes, folk art was the prevalent art form in the United States for more than a century. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Adirondack Research Will Study Protected Area Visitation

paddlers and loonsThe Wildlife Conservation Society  (WCS) has announced that it is a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) 2017 Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems program award. WCS will receive about $500,000 in funding for its project, “Experimental Investigation of the Dynamic Human-Environmental Interactions Resulting from Protected Area Visitation.”

Work on the 4-year project will be managed by the WCS Adirondack Program office in Saranac Lake with research expected to begin in 2018.

The project is expected to test the common assumption that expanding access to protected lands will inspire a broader conservation ethic among park visitors. It’s hoped the study results will ultimately inform state and federal policies to increase participation in outdoor recreation and manage public access. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Relevance of World War II Talk Oct 3rd

hiroshimaOn Tuesday, October 3 at 7:30 pm, the Whallonsburg Grange Hall will present “Why World War Two Still Matters,” with Andy Buchanan. This is the second lecture in the fall Lyceum series entitled “What’s the Big Idea?” featuring six lectures from authors, educators, journalists, and scientists.

This lecture will focus on the redivision of the world that emerged from the ashes of World War II, new “spheres of influence” reverberate in the present. How US domination was assembled, deliberately and consciously, during this period and its consequences. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Wild Foods: Oyster Mushrooms

oyster mushrooms Carnivorous oysters are lurking about in the North Country, and residents who venture into the woods are advised to carry butter and a skillet at all times. Oyster mushrooms, Pleurotus ostreatus, native wood-decaying fungi often found on dead and dying hardwoods, are delectable when sautéed in butter. Maybe hikers should carry a few cloves of garlic and a press as well. It’s good to be prepared.

It may be stretching a point to call oyster mushrooms carnivorous, as the only “meat” they consume are nematodes, which are a type of small roundworm that live in the soil. But they are one of the very few mushrooms in the world known to do this, so why not play it up. The nematodes provide the oysters with nitrogen, a scarce nutrient. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Thurman Fall Farm Tour Set For Oct 7th

Nettle Meadow goatsCelebrating Thurman’s agricultural heritage, this year’s Fall Farm Tour on October 7th reflects the upsurge in small specialty farms in the regional marketplace. Three new farms have joined the maple farms, goat and sheep dairy, all-natural vegetable and poultry farm, llama hobby farm and certified tree farm that have built the popularity of this annual day of free farm fun.

Visitors to this tenth anniversary event will self-guide to ten sites. Valley Road Maple will host a pancake breakfast from 9 am to 1 pm in their pancake annex, this new space allowing the hosts to offer evaporator demonstrations all day in the sugarhouse. Their shop will be stocked with all their usual maple wares, and their two NYS Fair 2017 award winners: uncoated maple sugar and crystal-coated maple sugar. » Continue Reading.


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