Friday, June 5, 2020

The resiliency of white-tailed deer

Editor’s note: This is part two of a two-part series.

Deer appear in paleolithic cave paintings at Altamira, on the north coast of Spain, going back 36,000 years.

The white tailed deer has been in North America for about 4 million years, making the white tail one of the real veterans of nearly all varying habitats in North America, ranging from Nova Scotia west to southern Alberta, sweeping south into Central America, with gaps west of the Rockies.

To put that in perspective, modern moose have only been in North America about 15,000 years, having migrated through Berengia about the same time the ancestors of native Americans began to trickle across. 

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Friday, June 5, 2020

Adirondack Land Trust marks National Trails Day, hosts events

The Adirondack Land Trust invites everyone to get outside this spring and summer. While the organization had planned a volunteer work event for National Trails Day on Saturday, June 6, instead they offer a few ideas to recognize the event in a more socially distanced way:

—If you don’t feel safe clearing heavy brush or downed trees, simply take gloves and a trash bag with you to collect litter next time you walk in your local natural space.
—Learn how to identify and remove invasive garlic mustard.
—Conserved green spaces don’t protect themselves; consider making a gift to your local land trust.

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Friday, June 5, 2020

Pendragon Theatre continues ‘germ free season’

In response to Covid-19 concerns, Pendragon Theatre in Saranac Lake is offering a“Germ-Free Season” of streaming play readings, virtual productions, and alternative performance formats.

Current programs include:

“Spaceship Pilots vs Zumitron Aliens”
A play designed for kids using the ZOOM format.
Who will be the victor??
Rated “G” for goofiness.

Tune in to find out more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROi0tHimPNY&feature=youtu.be

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Friday, June 5, 2020

Latest news headlines

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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Bucks, does and fawns: All about deer

Editor’s note: This is part one of a two-part series.

Following Bergman’s Rule, white tails in colder climates will be larger on average than deer in warmer climates, as larger deer in colder climates are more likely to survive cold winters, thus surviving to breed and pass along their genes for superior size. Adirondack bucks average about 200 lbs, with mature females at about 160 lbs.

While deer flourish in widely varying habitat, ideal habitat tends to be woodlands, river valleys, forest edge, swamp, meadow and farmlands. The Adirondacks, with its rough mountainous terrain, is not good habitat, and most of the hunters who hunt in the Adirondacks are here as much for the beauty and splendor of an Adirondack autumn, and would more likely find more deer in their back yards or local forest, than they will up here. 

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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Schroon Lake church to rebuild after fire

Eighteen months after its historic church and parsonage burned down, the Schroon Lake Community Church is ready to rebuild. The new sanctuary will be constructed on the corner of Main Street and Leland Avenue, the site of the original church. A groundbreaking ceremony took place this Wednesday, June 3, with town officials, clergy from surrounding faith communities, and citizens of Schroon Lake gathering to celebrate this milestone and give thanks for the community support the church continues to receive. 

After a short presentation and groundbreaking, Pastor Lynnette Cole and a designated panel of people involved in the rebuilding project answered questions. 

For further information, contact Pastor Lynnette Cole at colelynnette@gmail.com or call 518-817-8495.


Thursday, June 4, 2020

Adirondack Wild Elects New Board Director and Advisor

adirondack wildAt its May 2020 board meeting, Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve elected Richard L. (Rick) Hoffman of Easton, Washington County, to join its board of directors and Sunita Halasz of Saranac Lake to join its advisory council.

The meeting was conducted via Zoom due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Ranger Report: Five backcountry injuries and a tubing trip gone wrong

forest ranger logoRecent Forest Ranger Actions

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On May 27 at 10:45 a.m., DEC’s Central Office Dispatch received a call requesting assistance for an injured hiker in the High Peaks. The 26-year-old woman from Waterville had suffered an ankle injury near the Phelps Junction trail, approximately one mile from Marcy Dam. Forest Rangers James Giglinto, Kevin Burns, and Tom Gliddi responded to assist, but a Ray Brook trail crew at Marcy Dam advised they were closer to the hiker and would proceed to her location. The woman rolled her ankle after stepping from a rock into mud while her hiking group descended the Phelps summit. She attempted to continue until she lost sensation in two of her toes and called for help. Once the trail crew reached the woman, she was stabilized and assisted to Marcy Dam. The hiker reached Marcy Dam at 12:30 p.m., and Ranger Giglinto transported her out to South Meadow Road via UTV. The hiking group transported her to a local hospital for additional medical care.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Azure Mountain – Beyond the Fire Tower

Azure Mountain is a 2,518-ft peak located in the Town of Waverly in Franklin County, about 1.5 miles west of the St. Regis River and almost four miles east of the St. Lawrence County line. Although it is a short, easy, one-mile hike to the summit, you gain about 1,000 feet on the ascent. On the summit is a steel, 35-foot Aermotor fire tower built in 1918 (pictured here). From the cab of the tower, you can enjoy a beautiful panorama of the northern Adirondacks, the High Peaks, and the hills of the St. Lawrence region. In regard to peak-bagging challenges, it is part of the Fire Tower Challenge. (Editor’s note: Fire towers are currently closed due to COVID-19.)

Much of the history given here is prior to Azure Mountain being established for fire observation in 1914. I delve into the history of its name, appearance on maps, its use in early surveys, and the lodge which once stood at its base: the Blue Mountain House. 

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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Discover Local Wildlife with a Trail Cam

A trail cam can be beneficial for observing wildlife without disrupting their natural environments, as well as for teaching kids about nature, tracking movement, hunting, and birdwatching.

DEC Wildlife biologist Katrina Talbot recently held a Facebook live session on how to set up a trail camera outdoors on either public or private property.

When you are scouting out a location for a trail cam, check for tracks on the ground or obstacles that may end up in front of the camera. Facing the camera north is the best for photo exposure.

If you get a photo or video of an animal you want identified, feel free to email the DEC here: wildlife@dec.ny.gov


Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Life in the Graveyard

Graveyards are for the living. It’s something I think about every autumn, when Pine Ridge Cemetery comes alive with children on our annual fifth grade field trip. Ahead of time, the students research a person buried there. As we walk down to the graveyard from school, excitement builds. Upon arrival the kids race around, looking excitedly for their person. It’s like a bizarre version of an Easter egg hunt.

With the help of friendly and unflappable volunteer, Jim Clark, the kids eventually find their gravestones. We stop at the resting places of Charlie Green, Julia Miller, Don Duso, and many others. We notice the memorials for veterans, fire fighters, and children. Jim Clark fills in with stories he remembers. The simple lesson of the day is that our lives matter.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Survey finds boats bypassing I-87 inspection station

Adirondack Watershed Institute boat stewardBoat counters on the Northway for the Memorial Day weekend say that 89% of the trailered motorboats traveling north into the Adirondacks on Interstate 87 passed the inspection/decontamination station without stopping, according to the Adirondack Council.

It is illegal to transport invasive plants, fish or wildlife from one water body to another in New York.  The surest way to avoid contaminating one lake, pond or river with species from another is to have the boat inspected and cleaned by trained personnel.  New York has installed a network of inspection stations in and around the Adirondack Park.

Boat inspections and decontaminations are free, but the state hasn’t required boaters to stop at the inspection stations.  The Adirondack Council and others want better protection.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

In search of spring salamanders

By Thompson Tomaszewski, Lead Naturalist, Paul Smith’s College VIC

Every resident of the Park marks the changing of the seasons in their own way. We all joke about the “12 seasons of the Adirondacks” that include second winter, false spring, mud season (followed by third winter) and so on as if we are bothered by the seasonality of our landscape, but that is far from the truth. Us blue-liners have come to terms with our seasonal lives, and find excitement in the signs of seasonal changes.

The call of spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) (pictured at left) is by far my favorite sound; no noise of any other critter compares. I could sit and listen for hours on end to their high pitched peeps. This, to me, is the song of spring in the Adirondacks.

Laced into this soprano song is the clucking call of the wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus). Their rough tune is starkly contrasted with that of their neighbor’s but is equally a part of this choir that I’ve come to know and yearn for each April.

This choir is my favorite for two reasons: 1) it’s pleasing to the ear, and 2) it means that salamanders are getting ready to move.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Fishing update: It’s Muskie time

The New York State Department of Enviornmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos Announced in a DEC Newsletter that the statewide fishing season for Lake Erie, Upper Niagara River, Lower Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River opens on the third Saturday in June (June 20th) this year. The statewide muskellunge season opener falls on May 30th as well in all locations excluding the ones mentioned above.

At sometimes 50 pounds are more, Muskies are the largest freshwater fish in NYS, with a minimum size limit of 40 inches (or 54 inches in Great Lakes waters). Anglers should review the Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide on the DEC’s website before heading out on the water.

Muskellunge’s have always proved a challenge due to their size and their tenacity once hooked, earning them the nick name “the fish of 10,000 casts”. Their unpredictable nature has proven to be an irresistible challenge to many anglers come the summer season, and population management in New York entails habitat protection and enhancement, research, monitoring, stocking, and regulating as a consequence. At least 13 lakes and 19 rivers in New York State have muskellunge populations.

The DEC also wants to remind anglers that we are in fact still in a quarantine status, even though we have began reopening in phases. It is important to maintain a safe social distance while fishing. Remember to fish local, keep your trips short and avoid high traffic locations. When fishing on a boat, make sure it is large enough so persons on board can  maintain 6 feet of space. If you don’t feel well, stay home, and be adaptive. Move quickly through parking lots and paths, and if a path is crowded, choose a different one.


Photo Credit: Wikipedia


Tuesday, June 2, 2020

‘Compost For Good’ project aims to stamp out food waste

If global food waste were a country, it would be the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, according to the United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Currently, community-level composting options are limited in the Adirondack region, but a new project is aimed at changing that.

AdkAction is delighted to announce its newest project: “Adirondack Compost for Good.” This new project builds on the work that has been done by three local residents with a passion for turning waste into “black gold.” The project will promote food waste composting within the Adirondacks, and help communities meet the upcoming 2022 NYS ban on landfilling food wastes of a certain volume throughout New York State. The goal of the project is to help Adirondack communities turn food and other organic “wastes” into a soil amendment, which is the material added to soil to improve its physical or chemical properties.  This composting process builds local resilience, heals soils, and helps reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

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