Overuse in portions of the High Peaks is a real and growing problem, exacerbated by trends in social media and the expanding desire to count-off summits. It has been documented extensively here in the Almanack. But in the last few weeks these discussions have reached a rolling boil with a bit too much hyperbole for me. A range of ideas has been raised, a number of them falling under the general concept of limiting access to the High Peaks, including permit systems, licensing schemes, daily caps and so on. Some of these limiting suggestions have been accompanied by exclusionary rhetoric with which I strongly disagree, along the lines of “Why are we trying to get more people here?” or “I like my (town, street, access) the way it is, without all the visitors.” I agree that increasing use in parts of the High Peaks is a real issue, and I have written about various aspects of the problem for several years. But the exclusionary sentiments I’m starting to hear are where I draw the line. » Continue Reading.
Posts Tagged ‘economics’
North Country newspapers, the only media during the 1800s, were slow to come around and at times downright resistant to women’s rights. Their job was to report the news, but in order to maintain readership, they also had to cater to their customers — like the old adage says, “give ’em what they want.” That atmosphere made it difficult for new and progressive ideas, like women’s rights, to make headway.
The push for women’s rights exposed many inequities early on, but it was difficult to establish a foothold among other important stories of the day. The powerful anti-slavery movement of the 1800s presented an opportunity, for although women and slaves were at opposite ends of the spectrum in the popular imagination — women on a pedestal and slaves treated terribly — they sought many of te same goals: freedom to speak out on their own behalf, the right to vote, and equal pay for equal work. Women passionate about those subjects joined anti-slavery organizations to seek freedom and equal rights for all, regardless of race or sex. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) has announced the addition of two new members to its board of directors: Steven Cacchio, President and CEO of Champlain National Bank and Jennifer Potter Hayes, former Executive Director of View in Old Forge.
A Paul Smith’s College professor has been named as the institution’s first International Paper Endowed Professor in Forestry Economics. Dr. Brett McLeod, professor of Natural Resource Management and Policy and 2003 graduate of Paul Smith’s, was honored with the distinction last week during a ceremony at the college.
The $500,000 endowment from International Paper will allow McLeod to continue his work in natural resource economics for the remainder of his career at Paul Smith’s College and could also help attract world-class professors to fill the position when he retires. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) has announced the release of preliminary findings from its analysis of the wood supply, supply chain infrastructure needs and opportunities, and recommendations for addressing them. The analysis examines the North Country’s current timber supply, its workforce, its infrastructure and the markets that affect them. Findings and recommendations will be unveiled at the Fall Forestry Roundtable in Queensbury on October 12, 2016. » Continue Reading.
Nearly 80 attendees, representing 23 communities and 13 counties, gathered at the historic Stone Mill in downtown Keeseville for the Adirondack North Country Association’s Annual Meeting “Unpacking the Secrets of Successful Communities.”
Recent national analyses and media coverage have reported that things are not so good in rural communities across the nation. According to a May 2016 Washington Post article by Jim Tankersley, “rural areas have seen their business formation fall off a cliff.” The article says “experts warn that the trends could be self-perpetuating and endanger the very life of rural economies in the years to come.” “Not so fast,” was the underlying theme of ANCA’s meeting. » Continue Reading.
New University of Vermont and Lake Champlain Basin Program research puts a hefty price tag on Lake Champlain’s natural beauty.
According to the study, Vermont lakeside communities would lose $16.8 million in economic activity and 200 full-time jobs – in July and August alone – for every one-meter (three-foot) decrease in water clarity.
The study is the first to investigate the relationship between home values, tourism and Lake Champlain’s visual appearance, which is regularly impacted by algae blooms, nutrient runoff, sewage and other pollutants. » Continue Reading.
The roads were torn up and dusty, with holes almost a story deep in places. It was difficult to navigate around the construction, and visiting a shop on the main Park Street thoroughfare was all but impossible.
Yet, the positive energy in Tupper Lake was palpable.
Have you been to Tupper Lake lately? I’ve been there several times recently for a variety of reasons, and in this outsider’s opinion, great things are going on. » Continue Reading.
One of the biggest Adirondack issues of the year will be the debate over how to classify the Boreas Ponds Tract. Anyone who has paid attention to land-use squabbles in the Adirondacks for the last fifty years can describe the lineups on either side just as well as I can: recreation, access and the welfare of local communities on one side and wilderness preservation, aesthetics, non-mechanized travel and ecological protection on the other.
But what if this debate is false, predicated on outdated ideas and a fading history? What if adherence to this old narrative is detrimental to the natural world and to the residents of the Adirondacks in equal measure? Suppose instead that Wilderness protection and the welfare of local communities is in fact a synergy ripe with opportunity? Lots of evidence from across the country tells us what ought to make sense looking at how Lake Placid, Keene and Keene Valley thrive: proximity to grand wilderness is an economic asset, and the grander and better protected it is, the more valuable the asset. » Continue Reading.
A new study conducted by Clarkson University argues that the Adirondack Park’s constitutionally protected Forest Preserve is an economic asset to the private lands and communities near it, and the wildest of those lands returns the greatest financial benefit.
Clarkson’s study showed that people seeking to purchase homes and businesses in northern New York paid more for the same property inside the Adirondack Park than they would have outside of it. Buyers paid up to 25 percent more if that property was close to a wilderness area. » Continue Reading.
Snow-sport events are a staple of winter tourism in the Adirondacks, drawing participants and spectators into small villages where they eat in restaurants, stay in hotels, and spend money in stores. This winter, many events had to be canceled because of frequent thaws and a dearth of snow.
Among the canceled events were the Lake Placid Loppet, a cross-country-ski race, and a World Cup skiing competition in the Lake Placid region; the annual Adirondack Backcountry Ski Festival, sponsored by the Mountaineer in Keene Valley; and Dewey Mountain Days in Saranac Lake. Dangerous ice conditions led to the cancellation of ice-fishing contests around the Adirondack Park. » Continue Reading.
The Town and Village of Lake George, in collaboration with The Adirondack Park Agency (APA), will prepare an economic development plan for the Hamlet areas and commercial centers of the communities of Lake George. The APA is working in partnership with the municipalities through its Hamlet Economic Planning and Assistance (HEPA) initiative.
The planning process is expected to involve public outreach to local stakeholders, identify a vision for the communities, and formulate plan components. An initial kickoff meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 18th at 6 pm. The public is encouraged to attend.
It is pretty amazing how times have changed in the Adirondacks.
When the Governor announced this year’s budget proposals, environmental organizations applauded increasing investments in the park’s communities. At the same time, local government officials such as retiring Newcomb Town Supervisor George Canon praised the Governor’s plan to purchase important new Forest Preserve lands.
Yes, that was George in the Governor’s pre-State of the State Address video, smiling at the camera as he thanked the Governor for buying 69,000 acres of new Forest Preserve formerly owned by Finch, Pruyn & Co. Even the Essex County Board of Supervisors’ Ways and Means Committee passed a resolution praising the Governor’s plan to fully fund the Environmental Protection Fund.
These apparent role reversals are not really so surprising, however, when you delve into details. » Continue Reading.
Balance. The very definition of fairness, reason, harmony, and goodwill. Recently here in the Adirondacks, the word balance has been in the air – and why not? What’s not to love? That’s the beautiful thing about rhetoric. And if I know anything, I know balance has entered the pantheon of Adirondack rhetoric.
A significant proportion of policy makers who talk about balance however, have an agenda that implies an imbalance in favor of Forest Preserve protection – a long-standing imbalance that needs to be corrected for the good of local communities. The debate underway now over how our Adirondack Park’s wildest places will be managed in the future offers a case in point.
Currently, the Adirondack Park Agency has a plan to amend the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (they are accepting public comments through January 29). The SLMP governs how state land is classified, protected, and managed in the Adirondack Park. The APA’s impetus to change the SLMP is tied to their plans for the newly acquired Essex Chain Lakes, where they seek to expand bicycling on existing road systems in two areas classified Primitive. The current Primitive classification does not allow bicycling so at least some at APA want to change the definition of a Primitive Area.
It has often been said by various Park planners that the availability of convenient air travel from the Adirondack region is an important piece of the North Country’s economic puzzle. But what has seemed colloquially obvious now has interesting research to back it up. If we can draw any parallels to the same issue out West, we can say with more certainty that convenient air travel is in fact an essential piece.
The Adirondack Region offers a great deal to the remote worker: world-class natural beauty, unsurpassed recreational opportunities, a pristine environment, a surprising level of cultural amenities, good restaurants and expanding broadband availability. I’ve even been pleased with shipping and postage times, considerably better than I had expected before I moved here. Indeed, for people who want to be able to live in the Park while participating in a global business world, the overall story is getting more persuasive. But transportation in, around and out of the Adirondacks is a real problem. » Continue Reading.