Thursday, June 8, 2023

Visitor use, education initiatives for state forest preserves

hiker shuttle

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced new and continued efforts planned for the 2023 outdoor recreation season to protect public safety and promote sustainable recreation in the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserve. DEC’s actions are designed specifically to improve Adirondack and Catskill visitor safety and build on ongoing wilderness protection support strategies to improve safety, sustainability, and equitable access of those enjoying the outdoors during the upcoming warm weather months.

Visitation to State Forest Preserve lands is typically highest during the summer months. In partnership with State agencies, local municipalities, and private entities, DEC is working to protect public safety, improve the visitor experience during the busy season, and safeguard sensitive ecosystems. Using recommendations outlined by the High Peaks Strategic Planning Advisory Group (HPAG) and Catskills Strategic Planning Advisory Group (CAG), as well as input from local and community partners and outdoors enthusiasts, New York State continues to implement new strategies and adaptively manage the ongoing safety and resource needs of both Forest Preserve regions.

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Point Positive Reaches $5 Million Investment Milestone

Point Positive logo.

Saranac Lake, NY – Point Positive, Inc., the angel investment organization of the Greater Adirondacks, has reached the $5 million milestone in its effort to leverage private investment to achieve economic impacts through entrepreneurship in the Greater Adirondacks. Launched in 2014, the organization has vetted over 100 ventures and financed 13 companies, none of which are directly based on tourism, providing a stronger diversified economy in the Adirondacks. By this summer, Point Positive estimates that the investments have triggered millions in additional capital and more than 145+ new professional jobs to date, and 40 to 50 jobs in the coming year.

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Paul Smith’s College Launches 2023 Adirondack Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention Program

Paul Smith's College AWI  boat stewards

The Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute officially launched its 2023 Watercraft Inspection Program on Memorial Day weekend to help prevent the spread of invasive species in Adirondack waterways. The college was recently awarded a $13.2 million contract from New York State to continue implementing the goals of the Adirondack Region Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention Program. The 5-year contract allows AWI to continue its efforts to reduce the risk of introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species in regional waterways.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Tear Down Debar Lodge And Make Debar Pond Into Another Lake Lila

Protect the Adirondacks opposes legislation for an amendment to Article 14, Section 1, of the New York Constitution to remove six acres of public lands from the constitutionally protected Adirondack Forest Preserve. The affected lands provide public access to Debar Pond in the Debar Mountain Wild Forest area and include some decrepit buildings that should be demolished and removed. The proposed constitutional amendment would convey into private ownership an area is used by the public seeking remote, wild experiences on an otherwise undeveloped lake. The existing buildings, known as Debar Lodge, are dilapidated and will costs millions of dollars to restore for their proposed new use as some kind of private institute. If the deal goes through, public access will be sharply reduced from what we all enjoy today. This is a bad deal for public recreation, for wild places, and for the forever wild Forest Preserve.

Supporters of resuscitating Debar Lodge want to reduce public access to a side path on the edge of the private compound, while the paying guests of the renovated Debar Lodge complex will be able to monopolize the area with the best access to Debar Pond. The public will be allowed on the grounds of the private enclave for a fee or with a conference reservation.

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Is NY actually committed to reducing road salt?

road salt truck

A state highway truck dumps road salt in Tupper Lake. Photo by Mike Lynch

After months of work – and months of waiting – members of the Adirondack Road Salt Reduction Task Force are growing frustrated the public has not seen their recommendations.

A handful of members I interviewed last week expressed impatience with the state’s slow pace finalizing an initial report that will summarize science and best practices and suggest a path to reducing the toll of road salt use on Adirondack waters.

The long-awaited report has been years in the making and it’s still not clear how long we will be waiting to see it.

While state officials said “finalization of the report remains a priority,” task force members said the delays are raising concerns about state agencies’ commitment to tackling road salt pollution. Recommendations will include pilot projects and potential legislative and funding ideas. Members also said they were disappointed recommendations weren’t out in time to be considered during budget negotiations.

“It’s ridiculous,” Assemblymember Billy Jones said at the Adirondack Research Conference earlier this month. “We’ve got to get that report out.”

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Hickory Hike 4 Kids on June 17 Will Raise Funds For Return of Youth Skiing

Skiers at the Hickory Ski Center

Warrensburg, NY – The Hickory Legacy Foundation recently announced a day-long celebration and fundraiser to benefit the return of youth skiing at the Hickory Ski Center in the winter of 2024.  “Hickory Hike 4 Kids” will feature a first-ever community hike up the recently-renovated hiking trails on the mountain; an outdoor BBQ picnic featuring local food, beer, and wine, family games (including disc golf), and a rocking local band. Hike participants for the round-trip hike to the top will begin at 11 a.m. Alternative hike routes will also be available for other ability levels. Admission for non-hikers to join lunch, activities, and music is $10 online or $15 the day of the event.

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Rangers contain wildfires in Saratoga, Clinton, and Warren Counties

forest ranger reportTown of Hadley
Saratoga County
Wildland Fire:
 On June 1 at 4:14, p.m., Forest Ranger Nahor discovered a wildfire on North Shore Road in Hadley. By 10:30 p.m., four Rangers had the fire 50 percent contained. The following night at 8:10 p.m., Rangers declared the 3.5-acre fire fully contained. Due to the dry weather, the fire continues to burn, producing significant smoke and three Rangers continue putting out hot spots.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Taking Stock of Housing: What constitutes a crisis?

woman standing on a bridge

The Explorer’s “Taking Stock of Housing” series kicks off this week with an overview of the affordability problem, how the problem came to be (the origins are more complicated than you might suspect), and a few teasers about potential solutions. (Click here to sign up for updates on the series)

In putting this package together, we debated whether the Adirondacks is experiencing a housing “crisis.” (Housing Conundrum or Housing Pickle doesn’t have the same ring.)

In the end, it’s like the old economist saw about the difference between a recession and a depression: “If you’re out of work it’s a recession; if I’m out of work it’s a depression.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Help Monitor Alpine Birds in the Catskills and Adirondacks

man on a mountain at sunset

Calling all aspiring birders, hikers, and citizen scientists! The field season for Mountain Birdwatch is underway for the month of June and we’d love your help. This project, headed up by Jason Hill with Vermont Center for Ecostudies, is carried out on mountaintops across the northeast and involves point count surveys for 10 target alpine bird species. DEC uses the data obtained from this project to monitor these populations in New York. With this data, we can see how these species are reacting to human impacts, such as habitat loss and climate change.

This is a volunteer-based survey effort, and there are still several New York routes remaining to be picked up for this year’s surveys. Anyone can participate—no prior birding experience is necessary, and all survey and training materials needed are available on the website. If you have an interest in participating, please consider covering one of these remaining routes this season. All the information you need to complete the survey is available on the website, but feel free to email Jason Hill for questions.

Photo courtesy of Vermont Center for Ecostudies.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Lake George invites public to weigh in on downtown revitalization

Old Warren County Courthouse_ Lake George

Lake George is embarking on an ambitious endeavor to secure the prestigious NY Forward/Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) funding, aimed at propelling the community into a new era of sustained prosperity. As part of this effort, the town has scheduled an Open House event to foster public engagement and gather valuable input from the community.

Governor Hochul’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative and NY Forward are state programs specifically designed to facilitate the transformation of community centers and drive economic development throughout New York State. These programs allocate funds to various communities across the state, and Lake George is determined to become the recipient in the Capital Region.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Nova Scotia Wildfires 2023

hazy sky

Must beauty always come with pain?
Not even Mother Earth is spared.
The French say “il faut souffrir pour être belle”
“one must suffer to be beautiful”.

The meteorologists report that Canada’s blaze
may create an extraordinary sunset
from the poisonous haze.

The death of a forest combines with the end of a day.
A terrible funeral pyre from which smoke chokes the air.
Yet Nature rises like the Phoenix,
the sinking Sun takes a deep, brave, gasping breath,
exhaling one last crimson burst,
creating a sky too awesome to bear.


Photo: Hazy sky in Vermontville due to wildfires. Photo by Melissa Hart

Monday, June 5, 2023

Tales of the Adirondacks, Past & Present: ADK Adopt-A-Lean-To-Program by John Schneider


Our next OurStoryBridge, Inc. story share features John Schneider from ADK Voices. In his story about the ADK Adopt-A-Lean-To-Program, Schneider shares the process and challenges of developing nearly sixty lean-tos for Adirondack campers and hikers. To listen to this story in its entirety, please visit this link:

» Continue Reading.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Become a WAVE Volunteer

WAVE volunteers

The WAVE citizen science sampling season is fast approaching, and DEC invites you to participate. WAVE (Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators) is a DEC program where volunteers collect “stream bugs” to measure water quality in wadeable streams. Anyone who can kick over a rock can participate. The sampling season is from July to September.

WAVE contributes to DEC’s professional monitoring program and local programs throughout the state. WAVE data are especially useful for documenting high-quality stream segments and for flagging locations for professional follow-up. Communities have used WAVE data to highlight and preserve valuable local resources. Documenting high-quality streams can jumpstart local preservation projects and inform community planning.

To find out how to become a WAVE volunteer and what is involved, view DEC‘s WAVE webpage and WAVE training videos, and read the WAVE Sampling Guide (PDF). Apply for kick nets and sample vials through the Equipment Loan Program by June 15.

Webinar: WAVE Program Overview and Updates

Join WAVE coordinators Keleigh Reynolds and Makenzie Garrett for an informational webinar with a question and answer session on Friday, June 23 at 1 p.m. This webinar is for potential, new, and current WAVE volunteers. Register to attend.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Ausable River East Branch Restoration Program Continues

ausable river restoration

This summer, the Ausable River Association will undertake the second phase of construction in its East Branch Restoration Program with Project Area 2 in Upper Jay. This comprehensive program, developed in 2019 with funding from the Governor’s Office for Storm Recovery (now the Office of Resilient Homes and Communities), identifies 13 sites in the Town of Jay in need of restoration. Completing these river restoration projects will improve flood resilience, protect communities and infrastructure, and restore habitat for the food web that supports our native brook trout. If you would like to learn more, please join us at the Town of Jay Community Center in Au Sable Forks on June 7 from 4 to 7 PM to meet with our Stream Restoration Manager, Gary Henry. He will be available to answer questions about this project and future projects in the East Branch Restoration Program.

More information here:

Photo provided by AsRA

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