Friday, January 22, 2021

Outdoor Conditions (1/22): Wind chill warning, unstable snow pack for high peaks

outdoor conditions logoThe following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Weekend Weather Warning: There is an extreme wind chill warning for Friday night into much of Saturday at elevation. Additional snowfall is also forecast. Check the National Weather Service Northern Adirondacks and Southern Adirondacks Mountain Point Forecasts for selected summits.
  • Unstable Snowpack: There have been several reports of unstable snowpack on open slopes. Practice safe travel when crossing exposed areas.
  • Colden Caretaker Report 01/20/21: Two feet three inches of snow have accumulated at the Colden Caretaker cabin. Three to four feet of snow have accumulated on summits. Snowshoes are needed on all trails, starting at parking lots. Skiing is in, including the ski trail, South Meadows Road and the trail to the Flowed Lands. Both Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen.

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Friday, January 22, 2021

Latest news headlines

Here’s a look at news from around the Adirondacks this week:

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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Good conditions for short hikes

Black MountainEditor’s note: This first appeared Jan. 14 in Mike’s weekly “Backcountry Journal” newsletter. Click here to sign up.

It’s been a mild and dry winter so far in the Adirondacks, so when I headed to the Lake George region on a recent Sunday for a hike, I suspected I wouldn’t need snowshoes.

Instead, I grabbed my microspikes for the 5-mile round trip up Black Mountain, located on the eastern side of the lake. As it turned out, that was the right choice. The trail was hard-packed and the base was fairly thin and very icy at times.

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Thursday, January 21, 2021

DEC annual tree and shrub seedling sale now open

DEC’s Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Saratoga Tree Nursery has announced its annual spring seedling sale, which is open to the public and runs until May 12. Each year, the tree nursery offers for sale dozens of low-cost, New York-grown tree and shrub species to help implement large-scale conservation plantings across the state.

The tree nursery has more than 50 conifer and hardwood species available in bundles of 25 or more, plus several mixed-species packets for those looking for a variety. For more information, including how to order, visit the Spring Seedling Sale webpage on DEC’s website. Some species sell out early; DEC encourages the public to place orders by phone for the most up-to-date availability information.

In addition, applications are now being accepted for the tree nursery’s School Seedling Program. From now until March 31, schools and youth education organizations across New York State may apply to receive up to 50 free tree or shrub seedlings to plant with students.


Thursday, January 21, 2021

Rescue at Cobble Hill

wilderness rescueTown of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Jan. 18 at 8:57 a.m., Forest Ranger Acting Lt. Burns was notified of a hiker with a possible hip dislocation on Cobble Hill in the Saranac Lake Wild Forest. Three Forest Rangers responded to assist. Once on scene, Forest Rangers evaluated the 52-year-old woman from Lake Placid. After placing her in a vacuum splint, the Rangers packaged the subject into a litter and sled. The hiker was brought to the trailhead and transferred to the Lake Placid Volunteer Ambulance Service for additional medical treatment. All Rangers were back in service 10:24 a.m.


Photo: Wilderness Rescue in the Saranac Lake Wild Forest/DEC

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hike Smart NYAdirondack Backcountry Information and Catskill Backcountry Information webpages for more information.


Thursday, January 21, 2021

Adirondack conservation groups bring priorities to Albany

loonFour Adirondack conservation organizations this week called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to boost both public health and the Upstate economy with new investments in the Adirondack Forest Preserve and clean water.  They also urged him to fix lingering problems at the Adirondack Park Agency.  

“The Adirondack Park is a national treasure and the birthplace of the wilderness movement in our country,” noted the letter sent to the Governor by the groups.  “We urge you to uphold the 125-year, multi-generational, bipartisan tradition of protecting the Adirondack Park. At six million acres, the Adirondack Park is the largest park in the contiguous United States. It is also the largest intact temperate deciduous forest in the world, making it a primary source of our state’s clean water, a refuge for wildlife and biodiversity, and a sponge for greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.”

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Hardy ground beetles stay active in the cold

For those of us who don’t ice fish or ski, the best part of winter in northern New York is the lack of mosquitoes. Thick blankets of snow muffle the whizzing fervor of our least welcome trail partners, but not all insects go dormant in the winter months.  The family of insects known as ground beetles contains species that remain active throughout the year.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

DEC to hold virtual public meeting on upcoming polystyrene ban

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, in partnership with the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I), invites stakeholders to attend a one-hour virtual public meeting about NY’s Expanded Polystyrene Foam Container and Polystyrene Loose Fill Packaging Ban.

Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 11 a.m. EST: The NYSDEC, in partnership with NYSP2I, will provide an informational presentation with interactive stakeholder engagement regarding the recently enacted law.

Beginning January 1, 2022, no covered food service provider or store (retail or wholesale) will be allowed to sell, offer for sale, or distribute disposable food service containers that contain expanded polystyrene foam in New York. In addition, no manufacturer or store will be allowed to sell, offer for sale, or distribute polystyrene loose fill packaging (commonly referred to as packing peanuts) in the state.

Registration is required to attend the virtual public meeting. Learn more about the law and sign up to receive the latest information.

For questions, email [email protected]

A polystyrene burger box pollutes a the reeds by the side of the river. DEC photo


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Let’s talk about bats, EPA and more

coffee and conversation eventThis Friday, the Explorer is hosting an online discussion with me and other Explorer reporters. Join us, if you can. Click here to sign up, and feel free to share with a friend.

There’s plenty we can talk about. For now, I wanted to share two recent stories, one on the Trump administration and the other on bats:

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Siena Poll: Majority of NYers say worst of pandemic still to come

Covid awareness signBy a 55-31 percent margin, New Yorkers say the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is still to come. Seven percent of New Yorkers say they have already been vaccinated and among those who have not, 69 percent say they plan to get vaccinated and 27 percent say they do not, according to a new Siena College Poll of New York State voters released today.

Fifty-four percent of voters say the incoming Biden Administration will have a positive impact on New York, compared to 23 percent who say it will have a negative impact and 16 percent who say it will have no real impact.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Following NYS’s budget priorities

CuomoLast week was a whirlwind of Gov. Andrew Cuomo press conferences. He gave not one, but four State of the State addresses.

In case you missed it, green energy topped his third address, and we wrote an overview about his first address. One thing of note: Cuomo did not mention renewing the call for a $3 billion environmental bond act. It seems unlikely, based on the fact that New York is about $15 billion in the hole.

But we did hear some legislators reference it last week, so it could come back. Assemblyman Steve Englebright, who chairs the state Assembly’s environmental conservation committee, had suggested the bond act would be revived. He brought it up during a committee vote on changing the state constitution’s bill of rights to include the right to clean air, water and a healthful environment. I wrote about that, too, if you missed it.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

NYS Food Waste Law: Is Your Community Ready?

compostIn a little over 12 months, the New York State Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law will take effect, requiring businesses that generate an annual average of two tons or more of wasted food per week to donate excess edible food; and recycle all remaining food scraps if they are within 25 miles of an organics recycler.

AdkAction and their newest project, Compost for Good, are hosting a Zoom event on January 20th from 10-11:30am. The event is designed to help municipal officials and community advocates understand the new law, and to introduce various options for composting. Representatives from NYS DEC will join us to discuss the new law as well as the Climate Smart Communities program. There will be a question and answer session after the presentation.

To register for this event, visit adkaction.org/event/municipal-composting/

Cornell University has created a model that converts campus-generated organic waste into rich compost. It won a 2009 Environmental Quality Award from the U.S. EPA. – Cornell CALS photo/Almanack archive


Monday, January 18, 2021

Window restoration: A panestaking task

By Joanne Uris, Great Camp Sagamore

Even if snow removal isn’t necessary this winter (yeah, right!), Great Camp Sagamore’s Director of Facilities, and Assistant Caretaker, will have plenty of indoor work to keep them busy. Ted and Richard are restoring seventy windows in the Chalet and the Carpenter and Boat Shop.

The labor-intensive process for each window consists of six steps: strip existing paint and glazing, prime, reglaze, prime new glazing, paint two coats.

At the start of the project, it took a minimum of one hour to deglaze each window.  Chipping away at the glazing, and using a heat gun, resulted in occasional breakage of glass.  Twelve windows in, there had to be a more efficient way.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, January 18, 2021

Keep Standing Dead Trees in your Woodlot

Some of the most important trees in your woodlot are the ones that are no longer alive. Large, standing dead or dying trees—called snags—are an important part of healthy forests and a critical habitat feature for wildlife. They provide places for many birds and mammals to forage, den, nest, perch, and roost. Snags are very important for cavity-nesting birds like woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees; for bats that roost within cavities, crevices, and flaky bark; and for countless species that rely on insects, fungi, and lichens as a food source. As long as they aren’t in a hazardous location such as near a road or building, consider leaving snags for wildlife.

In woodlands where snags are sparse or absent, it’s possible to create a few by topping, girdling, or simply leaving several mature trees as legacy trees that may become snags in the future.

Biologists recommend having at least three large snags (>12” diameter) per acre to benefit wildlife. These stately spires also add structural complexity, provide an element of visual interest, store carbon, reflect a forest stand’s past, and will enrich soils in the future.

Photo by Katherine Yard.


Monday, January 18, 2021

Winners Announced in LPCA’s First Zoom Playfest

The Lake Placid Center for the Arts has announced the winners of their Zoom Play Festival. The contest was held in late August for theatre artists to create and share a play over Zoom. LPCA plans to present a showcase of the winning pieces, as well as the honorable mentions on February 19.

Collaboration with Directors and Theatres has begun in order to produce the works, with LPCA having plans to produce several of the plays they received in-house. They received over 135 short plays that were submitted from all over the world, from New Zealand to Canada. The great number of submissions required help from several playwrights and artists around the country to help evaluate the plays, which were scored in areas like plot development, character voice, and adherence to the submission criteria.

» Continue Reading.



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