Opponents of the state’s plan to remove 34 miles of tracks between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake have questioned whether the state owns the rail corridor.
As it turns out, the state doesn’t own two parcels in the corridor: a half-mile stretch in Saranac Lake and a smaller parcel at the end of the line in Lake Placid. The state says it owns the rest of the corridor.
The Saranac Lake parcel is adjacent to North Country Community College and owned by Franklin and Essex counties. The Lake Placid parcel is owned by the Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society, which operates a museum in the depot there. » Continue Reading.
We know you have a good shot of the Adirondacks in that phone full of photos. The Adirondack Explorer is beginning a new photo feature, Views of the Park, which will highlight readers and the scenes they love in and around the Adirondacks. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a professional. Just get out your phone and snap a pic.
The Explorer will provide the theme—the first is “My Dog Loves the Adirondacks” — and you post your photo to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #adkexplorerpix » Continue Reading.
The February meeting of the Adirondack Park Agency’s board was a busy one. The staff spent two days discussing the Boreas Ponds Tract, diving deep into the ecology of the place. The board, however, took no action on the classification of the 20,758-acre parcel, which has stirred up so much debate on the Almanack. That decision could come this spring.
The board also discussed the controversial Lake Flower Resort in Saranac Lake. Many people have argued that the hotel would be too big and too close to Lake Flower, but the APA board voted to approve the project.
Both stories are covered in-depth in the March/April issue of the Adirondack Explorer, which is now at the printer’s.
Some time ago I came across a book titled Fifty Favorite Climbs: The Ultimate North American Tick List. The author, Mark Kroese, asked fifty celebrated climbers to reveal their favorite climbs on the continent.
Most leaned toward big or exotic routes. Conrad Anker, for example, picked an alpine rock climb on Baffin Island near the Arctic Circle. Alex Lowe chose the Grand Traverse, his eight-hour dash over seven summits in Wyoming’s Tetons.
But I was especially interested in the choice of Jeff Lowe, one of the greatest mountaineers of his generation. Lowe (no relation to Alex) has climbed all over the world and put up hundreds of first ascents. His favorite climb in North America? A four-pitch ice route on Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain that overlooks the Northway. It’s called Gorillas in the Mist.
Tracy Ormsbee, a senior editor at the Albany Times Union, has been named publisher of theAdirondack Explorer, effective March 1, 2017. Ormsbee will succeed Publisher Thomas Woodman, who announced earlier this year that he planned to retire in 2017.
Ormsbee currently serves as Senior Editor/Features and Sports at the Times Union as well as Executive Editor of Times Union Magazines. She leads a team that creates the newspaper’s features and sports content and two magazines. She also acts as the lead editor for the Sunday newspaper. Ormsbee heads the Time Union’s Women@Work magazine and professional network and manages the Women@Work Executive Board, which consists of top businesswomen in the Albany area. Long active in state and national journalism organizations, she serves as president of the board of the New York State Associated Press Association. » Continue Reading.
New York State’s highest court has ruled that it doesn’t have enough evidence to rule on a long-running navigation-rights dispute between the editor of the Adirondack Explorer and a group of property owners.
The decision sends the six-year-old case back to a lower court for trial. It also wipes out, at least for now, a pair of decisions that cleared the way for the public to paddle a waterway that connects two parts of the state-owned William C. Whitney Wilderness.
In a unanimous decision handed down Tuesday morning, the seven-member Court of Appeals found the court record in the case is filled with too much “conflicting or inconclusive evidence” and that a trial on the facts is warranted.
We have two milestones to report in the May/June issue of the Adirondack Explorer. The first is evident from the front cover: the state has purchased the spectacular Boreas Ponds, completing the acquisition of 65,000 acres of former Finch, Pruyn lands from the Nature Conservancy.
We broke the storyof the Boreas Ponds sale on Adirondack Almanack more than a week ago. It was later picked up by the Associated Press and other news outlets. In the Explorer, we expand on our initial story and discuss the major controversies regarding the management of the 20,760-acre tract. The magazine also includes a Viewpoint by Joe Martens, the state’s former environmental conservation commissioner, reflecting on the importance of Finch, Pruyn deal.
The second milestone also is evident from the cover — if you are holding a physical copy in your hands. The Explorer has switched to a higher-quality paper that better shows off the many beautiful photographs and other illustrations that appear in every issue. In addition, we have slightly reduced the page dimensions, making the newsmagazine more convenient to read, and improved our overall page design.
The Adirondack Explorer has just published its second pocket-size guidebook, 12 Short Hikes Near Old Forge.
The book is similar in format and price ($9.75) to the Explorer’s first guidebook, 12 Short Hikes Near Lake Placid, which was published last year.
For the second book, we chose a dozen hikes to summits, ponds, and rivers in the vicinity of Old Forge and Inlet. Each chapter includes detailed trail descriptions, GPS coordinates and driving directions for the trailhead, hand-drawn maps by local artist Nancy Bernstein, and photos by a variety of veteran photographers. We also rank the difficulty and scenic beauty of the hikes. » Continue Reading.
Can wolves return to the Adirondacks on their own? If so, should the state Department of Environmental Conservation develop a plan to facilitate their recovery?
These are questions discussed in Mike Lynch’s cover story for the March-April issue of the Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine—the second in a series of articles on the Adirondacks’ missing predators.
Some people believe that the wolf, like the moose before it, could disperse to the Adirondacks. The nearest wolf population is only a few hundred miles away in Algonquin Provincial Park. There also is a substantial wolf population in the western Great Lakes states. » Continue Reading.
A state appeals court has narrowly upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed against Adirondack Explorer Editor Phil Brown after he paddled through private land in 2009.
The Third Department of the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court, located in Albany, handed down the 3-2 decision on Thursday morning. It affirmed a 2013 ruling by State Supreme Court Justice Richard T. Aulisi supporting the public’s right to travel down an isolated, two-mile waterway that connects two pieces of the William C. Whitney Wilderness. » Continue Reading.
A state appeals court is expected to hear arguments this fall in a trespassing lawsuit filed against Adirondack Explorer Editor Phil Brown after he paddled through private land on a remote waterway that connects two tracts of state land in the William C. Whitney Wilderness.
The landowners—the Brandreth Park Association and Friends of Thayer Lake—sued Brown in the fall of 2010, more than a year after he wrote about the paddling trip for the Adirondack Explorer.
Last year, State Supreme Court Justice Richard T. Aulisi dismissed the suit, but the landowners have appealed to the court’s Appellate Division in Albany. » Continue Reading.
The Marshall Family of Saranac Lake will be named “Conservationist of the Year” by the Adirondack Council at a gathering in Elizabethtown on Saturday, in celebration of several generations of advocacy on behalf of the Adirondack Park’s wilderness and communities. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the federal Wilderness Act, which was written in the Adirondack Park and was modeled on its “forever wild” public Forest Preserve.
In addition, the Adirondack Explorer magazine will be honored as part of the Adirondack Council’s annual Forever Wild Day celebration, which includes the organization’s annual membership meeting. Founded in 1975, the Adirondack Council is the Adirondack Park’s largest environmental organization. » Continue Reading.
After the state agreed to buy 65,000 acres of former Finch, Pruyn land from the Nature Conservancy, Governor Andrew Cuomo said the deal would be an economic boon to local towns.
The premise is that the new state lands will attract more tourists. In the May/June issue of the Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine, Brian Mann takes a hard look at this notion.
Mann talked to regional politicians, local business owners, environmentalists, and economic researchers, among others. The consensus is that the Finch, Pruyn acquisition does present an opportunity, but economic growth won’t happen on its own. Like any tourist destination, the Finch, Pruyn lands must be marketed and well maintained.
If the lands are not properly marketed, it’s possible that they will simply “cannibalize” other parts of the Adirondack Park. In other words, all we’d be doing is shuffling the same tourist dollars around.
We’ll post Brian’s full story soon on Adirondack Almanack.
We’ve just finished the January/February issue of the Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine. Our lead story is a lengthy analysis and explanation of the Adirondack Park Agency’s classification of the former Finch, Pruyn lands—one of the agency’s most important, controversial, and complicated decisions of recent years.
My reporting for Adirondack Almanack—six stories in the week before the decision—laid the groundwork for the Explorer story, but the print article pulls it all together and adds quite a bit of new information. Fittingly, the Explorer will publish the article on the Almanack as well.
The Finch, Pruyn package takes up five of the newsmagazine’s sixty pages. Besides the main story, it includes two sidebars, several photos, a large color map, and a chart. The issue also contains an editorial in support of the APA’s decision–but with reservations.
What else is in the January/February issue? We won’t tell you everything, but the contents include stories about: » Continue Reading.
Now in its forty-second year, the Adirondack Park Agency is facing a critical time of public evaluation. Has it fulfilled its original mandate to protect millions of woodland acres and thousands of miles of waterways in the Adirondacks? Or has it fallen short, pressured by development interests and weakened by outdated regulations and inadequate funding?
These questions will not be put to rest easily, if ever. Local governments, developers, state authorities, environmentalists, and ordinary citizens will continue to struggle with competing interests and old grudges even as they face a growing number of challenges.
At a recent conference sponsored by the Adirondack Explorer, called “Strengthening the APA,” various experts discussed strategies for protecting the Park’s water quality and wilderness character. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Almanack's contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The Almanack is the online news journal of Adirondack Explorer. Both are nonprofits supported by contributors, readers, and advertisers, and devoted to exploring, protecting, and unifying the Adirondack Park.
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