Monday, May 20, 2024

Whiteface region to host bike and foot races this June

Whiteface MTB participants

 

Whiteface Uphill Bike Race now includes handcycle division

Wilmington, NY – The Whiteface Region of Upstate New York is gearing up to host a number of race events. The Whiteface Mountain Uphill Bike and Foot races, the Wilmington Whiteface Mountain Bike Race, and the Wilmington Whiteface Whiskey Run all take place during the month of June.

According to Michelle Preston, director of the Whiteface Visitors Bureau, the events entice participants from throughout the Northeast who love the region’s natural beauty and challenging courses.

“This is such an exciting time in Wilmington,” she said. “The races provide an opportunity to showcase the Wilmington community, the area’s rugged backcountry terrain, amazing Adirondack scenery, and our growing mountain bike trail network. We are really excited about the addition of a handcycle division to one of the bike races.”

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Monday, May 20, 2024

Who will pay for climate disasters?

NYS map

A suite of environmental bills passed in the state Senate recently to mark last month’s Earth Day. One measure, delivered to the Assembly last week, could result in a multi-million annual grant for the North Country to help with disasters caused by extreme weather.

The money is anticipated under the Climate Superfund Act introduced by Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan. It would require oil and gas companies to contribute to a fund of $3 billion each year to foot climate disaster bills. The legislation was excluded from this year’s $237 billion state budget.

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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Adirondack-area establishments announce new hires, appointments

Adirondack-area nonprofit organizations and other establishments, including AdkAction/Adirondack Food System Network,  Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA), and the Long Lake Central School District have recently announced new staff and board appointments. See below roundup for details about these developments. 

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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Saranac Lake’s ‘Round the Mountain race draws record 102 boats

Paddling team

Saranac Lake, NY— The Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) hosted the 2024 ‘Round the Mountain Canoe & Kayak Race on Saturday, May 11, drawing a record 102 boats for the annual spring paddling tradition.

Matthew Skeels of Canton, NY, posted the fastest time of the day, completing the 10.5-mile course in 1:25:30. TheRound the Mountain begins at Ampersand Bay on Lower Saranac Lake, crosses to Second Pond, through the Lower Locks to Oseetah Lake and finishes on Lake Flower.

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Sunday, May 19, 2024

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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Harvesting fiddleheads & rare Northern Saw Whet Owl catch at Crown Point Banding Station

Man holding a saw whet owl

Writing this column a little early from home as I’ve been catching birds here in just one net and one Potter trap during this week and I had a couple other catches to do…a couple of brook trout which I put in the pond. The new birds for the yard this week were a Woodcock that was doing courtship flights down on the pond road one early evening, an Ovenbird who has been calling on territory all week, and the Hummingbird numbers which have been growing.

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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Craigardan awarded $637,000 for new main campus building

Craigardan logo

Elizabethtown, NY – Craigardan recently announced a grant award totaling $637,000 from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) to support the organization’s construction of their new Main campus building. This grant is part of a capital project funding announcement by NYSCA, which totals over $32 million to 102 capital projects across New York State.

Craigardan’s new 320 acre campus for artists, scholars, and change-makers was opened to the public in June 2023. Designed by renowned Adirondack architect Nils Luderowski, local craftsmen are constructing the campus buildings in phases. NYSCA’s support for the Main building project will provide grant funds necessary to break ground on the third structure out of five Adirondack-inspired, community-focused buildings.

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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Wild Center awarded climate education grant

Adirondack Youth Climate SummitTupper Lake, NY – The Wild Center has been awarded a significant grant from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership to support its Empowering Youth for Climate Action project in the Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Network (CABN) and the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Region (FABN) in southern Ontario. 

The Empowering Youth for Climate Action Project aims to increase climate education among high school students in both biosphere regions through youth summits and youth climate leadership training. The initiative will focus on climate science, biodiversity, sustainability, and solutions, empowering young people to take meaningful action in their communities. The initiative will also deepen the partnership and connections between youth living in the two biospheres in the US and Canada. 

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Saturday, May 18, 2024

DEC Releases Final Recreation Management Plan for Big Moose Tract Conservation Easement

nys dec logo

Plan Maintains and Improves Upon Current Public Recreational Access on Easement Lands

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released the final recreation management plan (RMP) for the Big Moose Tract Conservation Easement in the town of Webb, Herkimer County. The RMP guides public recreation management on the 23,850-acre property, consistent with the encumbering conservation easement.

The Big Moose Tract contains commercially managed forestland, several small ponds, portions of Birch, Fourth, Sunday, and Twitchell creeks, the Independence River, and the west branch of the Beaver River. Under the terms of an RMP, a trail to the Stillwater Mountain fire tower and 12.4 miles of public snowmobile trails are open to the public.

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Friday, May 17, 2024

Great Camp Santanoni access: What should next steps be?

woman in a motorized wheelchair on an outdoor trail
WAGON UPDATE: While the horse-drawn wagon rides at Great Camp Santanoni are starting up again this year, the state is also considering other alternatives to provide people with disabilities access to the Great Camp site.
Adirondack Park Agency and state Department of Environmental Conservation staff met with members of the APA and DEC’s accessibility advisory committee. They discussed “any viable options that provide meaningful access” to the Great Camp, according to the agenda. The meeting was closed to the public and included remarks from Interim DEC Commissioner Sean Mahar, who participated virtually. Read more about the discussion here.
One of the ideas is to create a free loan of motorized wheelchairs like the one pictured here.
What do you think should be done? Should the road be reclassified to allow for motorized use?
Photo at top: The Rig, by Not a Wheelchair, was purchased by the state and is planned to be loaned for use at Great Camp Santanoni. Photo from Not a Wheelchair and state Department of Environmental Conservation

Friday, May 17, 2024

Outdoor Conditions (5/17): Many Region 5 DEC campgrounds open today; tips for stopping spread of invasive pests

outdoor conditions logoThe following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry webpages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

NEW THIS WEEK

  • Grass River Wild Forest Trail Opening: The St. Lawrence County Multi-Use Trail, which crosses the Grass River, Long Pond, and Tooley Pond Conservation Easements, is open.
  • William C. Whitney Wilderness & Round Lake Wilderness Road Opening: Lake Lila Road is open.

LAST WEEK

  • Lost Lake Trail Damage: The Lost Lake Trail bridge over the Middle Branch Lake outlet in Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness has several deck boards that are damaged – please exercise caution.
  • Pine Lake Trail Flooding: The bridge on Pine Lake Trail at the Pine Lake inlet in Independence River Wild Forest is currently flooded.

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Friday, May 17, 2024

DEC Urges New Yorkers to Respect Wildlife by Leaving Young Animals Alone

Fawns

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Interim Commissioner Sean Mahar today reminded New Yorkers to appreciate wildlife from a safe distance and resist the urge to touch or move young wildlife.

“Spring’s warmer weather brings with it more sightings and encounters with New York wildlife, especially young birds and other animals,” Interim Commissioner Mahar said.“While some might think these baby animals need assistance, human interactions with wildlife typically do more harm than good. Please remember: if you care, leave it there.”

Avoid Interactions with Young Wildlife

Human interaction with young wildlife can be problematic. When young wildlife venture into the world, for a brief time they may have limited ability to fly or walk on their own. While one or both parents teach survival skills to their offspring, some young wildlife receive little or no care.

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Thursday, May 16, 2024

Tenth Annual Adirondack Day Showcases Adirondack Region’s Economic Vitality

 

man stands at a podium

Lake Placid, NY- Adirondack Day, an annual event showcasing the region’s economic diversity, took place in Albany on May 6 at the Legislative Office Building. The event, co-sponsored by Senators Neil Breslin and Jose M. Serrano, showcases the breadth of Adirondack-based organizations, businesses, educational institutions, environmental preservation groups, and various industry sectors.

The event was organized by the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism and the North Country Chamber of Commerce, along with representatives from a number of industry sectors throughout the Adirondacks including tourism, environmental sustainability, history, education, sports, housing, healthcare, agriculture, hospitality, economic development, and arts. The event showcased a number of Adirondack-themed displays and exhibits, local food and beverages and featured opportunities for attendees to meet and interact with exhibitors.

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Thursday, May 16, 2024

APA hearings?

The marina site on Fish Creek Ponds

Groups to APA: Hold a hearing

Five groups — Protect the Adirondacks, the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, Adirondack Wild, Adirondack Council, and the Upper Saranac Foundation — on Monday outlined a shared argument making the case for a rare Adirondack bird: An evidentiary hearing. The groups’ stance: The Adirondack Park Agency board should refer a proposed marina expansion on its agenda this week to a rare evidentiary hearing.

The group’s called the proposed marina expansion at Fish Creek Ponds a “radical departure” from the former Hickok’s boat livery that operated at the site for decades.

“As proposed, the marina is likely to have significant adverse impacts on existing aquatic uses, public safety, wetland and wildlife resources, water quality and neighboring private landowners and Public Forest Preserve,” the groups wrote in a statement issued Monday.

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Thursday, May 16, 2024

New York Hunters Harvested Nearly 210,000 Deer, More Older Bucks Than Ever Before

buck

On May 6, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Interim Commissioner Sean Mahar announced that during the 2023-24 hunting seasons hunters in New York harvested an estimated 209,781 deer. The 2023-24 deer harvest included more than twice as many older bucks, bucks two-and-a-half years old or older, than were harvested in the early 1990s, and nearly five times as many than were harvested in 1969 when DEC first began monitoring the age structure of New York’s deer herd.

“Nearly 70 percent of the bucks harvested by hunters during the 2023-24 deer hunting seasons were two years or older,” Interim Commissioner Mahar said. “This demonstrates the continued effectiveness of DEC’s Let Young Bucks Go and Watch Them Grow campaign, and the willingness of hunters to voluntarily pass up opportunities at young bucks to improve their future opportunities to harvest older bucks.”

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