Wednesday, September 25, 2013

On Horseback: The Otter Creek Horse Trails in Fall

image001(4)The colors of the fallen foliage and the rustling the leaves under foot heighten the enjoyment of fall trail riding on horseback. Among the most popular riding areas is the Otter Creek Horse Trails located just outside Lowville on the Independence River Wild Forest, and the Independence River and Otter Creek State Forests along the western border of the Adirondack Park in Lewis County.

Mary Misek, a regular rider and volunteer, wrote the Almanack recently to remind riders of a few dates users of the Otter Creek area will want to be aware of. The water will be shut off at the Assembly Area, located in the Independence River State Forest, around the 15th of October. Additionally, early bow hunting begins September 27th, followed by the Youth Firearms Season (Oct. 12), and Muzzleloading season (Oct. 19), meaning beginning this week riders are likely to encounter hunters in the woods. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Brown Tract: The Hamilton – Burr Duel Connection

Browns Tract 1802Adirondack historians routinely state that Rhode Island merchant John Brown obtained clear title to a 210,000 acre tract of land when he paid $33,000 at a Court of Chancery mortgage foreclosure sale in December 1798.  However, this transaction was not recorded in the Lewis County Clerk’s Office until February 22, 1804, more than five years later and five months after Brown’s death.

Two days later on February 24, the Assembly enacted Chapter 6, Laws of 1804 which affirmed that the Brown estate’s title to the tract could not be extinguished in any way “by reason or pretext of the alienism of any person to whom the said lands may have been conveyed” or “ by any conveyance prior to“ Brown’s 1798 payment.

John Brown’s anxiety over his title and his efforts to obtain this legislation while he was developing the tract at significant expense are evidence that his title was not perfected until 1804, the same year that two of his legal advisers fought a deadly duel. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Some Strange News About Wildlife

Man With big Camera (John Warren Photo)This is a day for strange wildlife stories.

First I read in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise that hiker on the Northville-Placid Trail stabbed a bear that had been following her. The bear took off; she’s all right. Read the story here.

Then I read on the Times Union’s website that a bull moose had wandered into a backyard in Halfmoon, a suburb of Albany. State officials tranquilized the animal and planned to release it in the southern Adirondacks. Read the story here.

Finally, the Associated Press reports that a deer in Ellenburg jumped through one window of a moving vehicle and out the other. Unfortunately, things did not end well for the deer. Read the story here.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Diane Chase: Visiting Long Lake’s Steamboat Buttercup

Steamboat ButtercupI have found that being a parent is akin to being a magician. I am always trying to keep one step ahead of my audience and want to keep the show as interesting as possible. Since history surrounds us in the Adirondacks, it isn’t always the traditional locations like museums where I am able to best demonstrate an issue. The stories behind the Great Camps, the people that built neighboring towns and the industries that help shape the Adirondacks are all various ways that I’ve tried to relate my children to a sense of place.

On a recent trip to Long Lake, I took my kids to the back lot behind the Long Lake Town Hall, near the Archives Building. Though from the road the wired cage looks like nothing special, on closer inspection it houses the remains of the steamboat Buttercup. Though the steamboat itself may not have special historic significance, its story indicates a time when average people took matters into their own hands in hopes of stopping the industrial revolution. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Adirondack Birds: The Noisy Blue Jay

800px-Blue_Jay_with_PeanutStarting in early autumn, a profound silence pervades the forests of the Adirondacks, especially on frosty mornings when the air is calm. In the hours following dawn, only a few avian voices disturb the stillness, such as the soulful song of the nuthatch and the perky call of the chickadee. Yet it is the loud, raucous, squawking voice of the blue jay that prominently violates the solitude of our deep woods and forest edges. During the weeks immediately following the equinox, a new phase begins in the life of this familiar backyard bird, signaled by the intensity of its boisterous calls. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Lake George Church Tapped for NYS, National Registers

St James Episcopal Church in Lake GeorgeThe New York State Board for Historic Preservation has recommended the addition of 20 properties, resources, and districts to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Just one of the recommendations is located in the Adirondack Park, St. James Episcopal Church in Lake George. Just five are located North of the Mohawk River.

“Survival of these noteworthy places is crucial in preserving the great diversity of New York’s communities,” said Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. “Placing these landmarks on the State and National Registers of Historic Places will offer well-deserved recognition along with tools to help them last into the future.” » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Photographer Seneca Ray Stoddard As Boat Historian

Stoddard, Lake George Canoe Meet (1880)The eccentric preacher and writer who became known as Adirondack Murray may have been the first to trumpet the region to tourists, but Seneca Ray Stoddard was not far behind.

In fact, Stoddard’s photographs, maps and guidebooks had a more lasting and more salutary influence than anything penned by Murray. Without his photographs and maps, for instance, it is unlikely that the Adirondack Park would have ever been created.

For Reuben Smith, the owner of Tumblehome Boatshop in Warrensburg (Warren County), Stoddard’s photographs are not merely of antiquarian or aesthetic interest. » Continue Reading.



Monday, September 23, 2013

The NYCO Amendment and Forest Preserve Value

View of NYCO from Mt FayThis November, voters in New York State will be asked to either approve or reject six separate constitutional amendments. Two of them are related to the Adirondack Forest Preserve: Proposal 4, which would provide a legal process to resolve long-standing title disputes on the shores of Raquette Lake; and Proposal 5, which would allow NYCO Minerals, Inc. to acquire a portion of the Forest Preserve in exchange for land elsewhere.

Proposal 4 is largely non-controversial, because it is designed to resolve a situation that has benefited no one. But Proposal 5, the NYCO amendment, has exposed an ideological rift in the Adirondacks—with sides lining up not in the way that you might expect. » Continue Reading.



Monday, September 23, 2013

Lewis County’s Ottilia Beha and Mahattan’s P.S. 60

Ottilia Beha classJust a few months after applying, Lewis County’s Ottilia Beha was accepted, and in 1903 she began teaching in the big city. By 1909, she had taught at several public schools in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens, and served as assistant principal at two facilities, gaining valuable experience.

In fall of that year, she was among 258 teachers to take the licensing exam for elementary school principal. Ottilia finished at the top of the group, leading to a promotion as principal of a Brooklyn school with 800 students and a staff of 19 employees. » Continue Reading.



Monday, September 23, 2013

Input Sought on Mandatory Lake George Boat Inspections

LGPC Lake George Invasive Species PhotoThe Lake George Park Commission (LGPC) has published a proposed rule for mandatory inspection of trailered boats launching on Lake George in an effort to limit the continued introduction of aquatic invasive species into the lake.

The public comment period is now open and public hearings have been scheduled for October 10th at 2 pm at the Roaring Brook Conference Center in Lake George and at 6 pm at the Best Western in Ticonderoga. (Note the hearing in Lake George was changed from its original day and location). » Continue Reading.



Sunday, September 22, 2013

Peter Bauer: Homage to the 1924 Sign Law

billboards-AAThe 1924 sign law that effectively banned billboards throughout the Adirondack Park shows how our forbearers were braver, wiser, and more prescient than we are today.

It was a bold decision that resulted, by some accounts, in the removal of over 1,400 billboards. In the Adirondack Park this law largely prevented an assault of rooftop and roadside billboards that dominate broad stretches of the U.S. – the cluttered strips of Anywhere USA. » Continue Reading.



Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cabin Life: Fall Has Arrived

ApplesThe fire is crackling, the dew is settling and the full moon is so bright that I can clearly see the two does quietly munching on fallen apples in the lower field.  They don’t seem to mind that Pico and I are outside, and quite frankly, I’m happy that they don’t.

Fall is here.  About half of the hardwoods around have either lost all their leaves or are changing color as we speak.  I think it’ll be a poor year for fall colors.  Too many trees have already changed, and there are still plenty that are solid green.  The colors are changing too slowly for there to be any real “peak” this year.

The other very noticeable change is the amount of daylight we are having.  It’s starting to get dark around seven-thirty, as opposed to the nine or nine-fifteen of a few months ago.  It’s more tolerable now, with the solar panel powering a couple of nice LED lights.  But still, winter is coming and it won’t be all that long. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, September 21, 2013

Lost Brook Dispatches: Two Fiery September Anniversaries

1913 Army Tents at the Foot of GiantA year ago last April I wrote about the Spring 1903 fire season during which nearly half a million acres burned in multiple fires throughout the Adirondacks.  The largest fires were in Keene and North Elba; these had a personal relevance to me as they ringed Lost Brook Tract.  The one sweeping into the heart of the High Peaks from the north came within six minutes of consuming the entire tract before drenching rains stopped it.

Thanks to meteorological luck as much as the brave and exhausting work by men and women fighting their advance, the 1903 fires did not result in major losses to towns or settlements.  But there were incredibly close calls: the same drenching rains that saved Lost Brook Tract also saved Keene and Keene Valley from certain destruction: so imminent were the blazes in at least two directions that their heat could be felt and ash blanketed the hamlets.  Residents had buried their belongings and fled; only fate gave them homes to which to return » Continue Reading.



Friday, September 20, 2013

This Week’s Adirondack Web Highlights


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Friday, September 20, 2013

Adirondack Events This Weekend (Sept 20)

Visit the Adirondack Almanack each Friday to find out what’s happening around the Adirondacks.

Featured Adirondack Events – chosen by Adirondack Almanack contributors.

Outdoor Conditions in the Adirondacks – for those headed into the woods or onto the waters this weekend.

We’ve also gathered the best links to regional events calendars all in one place:

» Continue Reading.



Friday, September 20, 2013

Video: Country Malt Group of Champlain, NY

made_in_clinton_county_country_malt_group
I recently visited Country Malt Group in Champlain, NY, a family-owned backyard business that has tapped into the rapidly growing craft beer industry to expand nationwide.
You can learn more about the company in the latest installment of “Made in Clinton County.”
You can also see an extended interview with Country Malt Group Managing Director Bryan Bechard by clicking here.


Friday, September 20, 2013

This Week’s Top Adirondack News Stories


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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Adirondack Backcountry Ethics: Building A Fire

Fireplace along the Oswegatchie RiverFire has held great fascination for man ever since Prometheus stole it from the Greek gods and put it in our hands. Or so the myth goes.

This allure for combustion extends to the backcountry, where every popular campsite contains either a well-maintained fireplace or a makeshift fire ring.

Even wilderness enthusiasts loathe abandoning this love of fire, despite all the adverse impacts that accompany it. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, September 19, 2013

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Sept 19)


This weekly Adirondack outdoor conditions report is issued on Thursday afternoons, year round.

Get The Weekly Outdoor Conditions Podcast

Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WNBZ (AM 920 & 1240, FM 105 & 102.1), WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio. The report can also be found at Mountain Lake PBS.

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND

» Continue Reading.



Thursday, September 19, 2013

After 18 Months Search Efforts Continue for Colin Gillis

colinState Police and DEC Forest Rangers, are reminding the public of a missing person case, hoping they can assist in the search.

On March 11, 2012 around 2:00 AM, Colin Gillis, age 18, of Tupper Lake, was last seen walking along Route 3 between Tupper Lake and Piercefield. At the time, Gillis was wearing a white T-shirt with black stripes, blue jeans, red sneakers and a red and black down jacket. He is 6 foot tall, 170 lbs, and has blonde hair and blue eyes.

Officials are reminding hunters in particular to be observant for anything unusual while they’re in the woods. If you have any information about Colin’s disappearance, call the NY State Police at (518) 897-2000.



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