Our small solar photovoltaic system has, over its seven years of use, prevented about 12 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The 25 acres of northern hardwood forest in our fee ownership however, has stored over 87 tons of CO2 over the same seven years.
In Paris this week, with the stakes for our planet so very high, I would like to see as much media focus on offsetting and storing carbon emissions through forest preservation and stewardship as we see about reducing fossil fuel emissions. In fact, Paris talks are moving on while great swaths of tropical forests continue to go up in smoke to be converted to small farms and large palm plantations for the palm oil humans greedily consume. These nations are only ravaging in the same way we in the United States have already greedily ravaged our original rainwood forests in the northwest, hardwood swamps in the south, and midwestern and eastern pine and spruce forests. » Continue Reading.
This weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks is issued each Thursday afternoon and can be heard at North Country Public Radio on Friday mornings.
There will be a New Moon on Friday, December 11, 2015 at 5:29 am. Sunrise Saturday will be at 7:22 am; sunset at 4:17 pm. On Saturday the Moon will rise at 8:23 am and set at 5:52 pm. The Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, will take place on December 21, at 9:48 pm. Thereafter amount of daylight each day will lengthen (until the Summer Solstice). Winter Solstice marks the beginning date for Winter 46ers, who must hike the 46 between December 21 and March 21.
By December, foliage season is long over for us humans, but it’s peak season under the water. Last month, fallen leaves accumulated in our streams and rivers, starting a process that’s critical for the nourishment of everything from caddisflies on up the food chain to eagles and even people. In fact, most of the Northeast stream food supply originates in the form of fallen leaves.
The bright yellow and red piles that accumulate on river rocks and fallen branches are not nearly ready for consumption by discerning invertebrates. The witch’s brew of natural chemical compounds that discourages insects from eating green leaves on trees, can be just as repellent to creatures that scavenge freshly fallen leaves under water. First, cold water must leach out those chemicals. Imagine the process as soaking and re-soaking a teabag. During this period, the leaves are also colonized by microscopic organisms. For a hungry invertebrate, the cleansed layered leaves, covered in fungi, bacteria, and algae, make a sandwich Dagwood could be proud. » Continue Reading.
There is more to the Adirondacks than being on a mountain, though that is certainly one way my family plans on spending the holidays. We also look forward to relaxing together during a classic Christmas performance. It sounds corny, but with our kids being pulled in one direction for school sports and my husband and I going in another direction for work, we find it best to meet somewhere in the middle. Thankfully there are plenty of wonderful theatre performances around the Adirondacks that will help us get into the holiday spirit. » Continue Reading.
I have been asked whether the freeze-thaw cycles ushered in by climate change will improve conditions for ice climbing. The theory is that meltwater from a thaw will refreeze, rejuvenating ice routes that had been poked full of holes by axes.
First, the Republican disclaimer “I’m not a scientist, but …”
Look at the Catskills: shorter, warmer winter means shorter ice season. No question. Yet freeze-thaw does produce ice, as long as the bedrock is cold. Note that a viciously cold night here in autumn does very little. Yet that same night in March makes for some good new routes, like those Ian Osteyee fast-freeze routes at Poke-O. The drips hits cold rock and freezes, same as in the formation of black ice on roads. » Continue Reading.
New 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, Adirondack Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the backcountry.
What follows are reports, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks.
» Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook, NY on Thursday, December 10, 2015. The Full Agency will come to order at 9:00 a.m. for Executive Director Terry Martino’s monthly report.
At 9:30 a.m., the State Land Committee will convene to deliberate the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for proposed amendments to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. If accepted, the committee will authorize public hearings to solicit comments regarding the proposed amendments. The committee will also consider authorizing a public comment period for proposed Primitive Tent Site Guidance. The committee meeting will conclude with an informational presentation on proposed amendments to the Wilmington Wild Forest Unit Management Plan. » Continue Reading.
Imagine hiking for five days in the wild — past lakes, ponds, and streams; over peaks with marvelous views — all the while carrying just the clothes on your back and some essential items in a small pack.
Four Clarkson University students have proposed a hut-to-hut route in the Saranac Lake region that would allow you to do just that.
Sonja Gagen, Dustin Jochum, Kayla Jurchak, and Conor Drossel created the plan as part of Clarkson’s Adirondack Semester program. They worked with Adirondack Community-based Trails and Lodging System (ACTLS), a nonprofit organization that is working on developing hut-to-hut trails throughout the Adirondack Park. Two other Clarkson students designed environmentally friendly huts for the route. » Continue Reading.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has announced the route for Cycle Adirondacks — a week-long road bike tour through the Adirondack Park scheduled to take place August 20–27, 2016. This will be the tour’s second year; registration is now open.
The 2016 route starts and ends in Hadley-Lake Luzerne, NY, and includes overnight stops in Ticonderoga, Keeseville, Saranac Lake, Indian Lake and Northville. There will be a “layover day” in Saranac Lake where riders can pedal an optional route that tours Lake Placid or take a day off the bike to enjoy the amenities available in the Olympic Region. » Continue Reading.
The oyster mushroom: delicious, frequently spotted on veggie pizzas, and predatory. That’s right. The hyphae of many fungi, including the oyster mushroom, attack and paralyze prey. Then, as R. Greg Thorn of Western University enthusiastically described, the fungi “grow down their throats and digest them from the inside.”
Oyster mushrooms live in the trunks of dead or dying hardwoods. A couple different species grow in the Northeast, each preferring different tree species. Pleurotus ostreatus, the oyster mushroom that you find in the grocery store, is the least picky about where it grows, and it puts out its fruiting bodies from spring to fall.
Because they live on dead trees, these fungi have limited access to nitrogen. Dead wood has plenty of cellulose and lignin, but very little nitrogen-containing protein. So, like carnivorous plants (which are actually omnivorous, despite the label), oyster mushrooms have evolved a bag of tricks to supplement their diet by attracting and consuming nitrogen-rich prey. » Continue Reading.
The Wilmington Wild Forest management plan was completed in October 2005. The plan provided for the design and construction of multiple-use recreational trails. Over the past 10 years these trails have been built.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is now planning to amend the Wilmington Wild Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP) to reroute some trails, add others, build two more parking lots and more. Public comments are being accepted through January 22, 2016.
The Draft Plan Amendment and a copy of the presentation made to the Adirondack Park Agency by the DEC are available online.
Among the proposals in the new management plan are: » Continue Reading.
If you love Adirondack legend and lore, you’ll love this gem of a poem that first appeared in 1846. Since then it has appeared in print several times, often with revisions, and with the removal of certain stanzas. It’s the exciting story of a man-versus-bear encounter. The man was Anson Allen, whose colorful past included a fifteen-year stint as owner/editor of the Keeseville Herald, the village’s first newspaper. After moving to Westport in the early 1840s, he edited the Essex Co. Times and Westport Herald for four years.
He later published a monthly titled The Old Settler, covering stories and reminiscences from the region’s earliest history. The paper literally defined him, for Allen became known widely as “the old settler.” » Continue Reading.