DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos, Essex County Board of Supervisors Chair Shaun Gillilland, and Keene Town Supervisor Joe Pete Wilson have issued the following joint statement:
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Essex County, and the Town of Keene are working together to implement a shuttle pilot system this summer that will explore how shuttles may help manage sustainable visitation along the Route 73 corridor and in the High Peaks. Using the recently completed Volpe study to help guide our planning efforts, we are closely collaborating to develop an effective, safe, and enjoyable system that benefits High Peaks communities and visitors. Some important details remain, including hiring necessary and properly certified shuttle operators and trail stewards, as well as finalizing route information, but we are continuing to collaborate and reach out to our partners to help make the shuttle successful. Qualified individuals interested in the hiring opportunities available can contact the Town of Keene, and additional information will be made available as the shuttle system details are finalized.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, grandpas, and father-figures out there! In honor of the holiday, I did a search for “fathers” in the Almanack archive and was impressed to see how many times the Father’s Day Frog Jumping Contest in Old Forge popped up (pictured here, a photo also found in the archive). While it was canceled last year due to the pandemic, this mainstay event is back!
Sun June 20 Annual Father’s Day Frog Jumping Contest – On the lakefront at Noon. Children can bring their champion frog to win prizes and fathers should wear their most outrageous tie! Largest, smallest, and longest jumper. Great family fun! Don’t worry, all frogs are released unharmed. Sponsored by the Central Adirondack Association. Phone 315-369-6983 for additional information.
The state legislative session is over. What a weird, hybrid year of remote meetings and some in-person, masked meetings. The Capitol remained closed to the public, but more lobbyists held press conferences outside these last few months. Some of my colleagues continued to work out of the Legislative Correspondents Association offices in the Capitol while others, such as myself, worked from home. Everyone adapts.
Now that the whirlwind is over, though, we can reflect on what was done and what wasn’t. In the last flurry of bills this week, lawmakers made an aquatic invasive species inspection law permanent for the Adirondack Park. The bill also gave more authority to the state Department of Environmental Conservation do require these inspections and boat washes. The bill received unanimous support in both houses–a perhaps rare example of an Adirondacks issue that rallied bipartisan support, environmental groups’ support and local governments’ support. Now the governor has to sign off and make it official.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced the opening of the Saratoga Sand Plains Archery Range in the town of Wilton, Saratoga County. The public archery range is the first of its kind in New York State and will provide a unique recreational opportunity for both novice and expert bow hunters and archers.
The 50-yard archery range has 16 targets, eight adult lanes ranging from 15 to 50 yards, four youth lanes ranging from five to 20 yards, and four lanes accessed by an elevated platform ranging up to 40 yards.
The range was designed to be suitable for families with children and seniors, with an access path extending from the gravel parking lot to the range. The archery range is close to several schools that participate in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) and is a convenient location for the Saratoga County 4H Shooting Sports Program and DEC’s bowhunter education classes.
The archery range is open and maintained year-round for public use. For rules and regulations, see the DEC webpage.
The 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: Visitor parking at the Upper Works trailhead will transition to a new lot starting today, June 18. The new lot is adjacent to MacNaughton cottage approximately one tenth of a mile before the old lot on Upper Works Road. The lot is located on land owned by the Open Space Institute. Parking at the old lot will no longer be permitted.
I had an interesting conversation with my brother recently in camp. It began innocently enough, with an observation he made about the difficulties the Saranac Lake Elks Club was apparently having recruiting new members for their lodge.
He said “You could probably get grandfathered in for membership because of Dad. RJ (my son) could never be a member here though, because he’s never lived here.”
Though I know he meant nothing by it, the comment made me stop in my tracks.
JOIN OUR ONLINE BOOK TALKS ON THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE APA
June 18 at 2:00 pm — Rural Indigenousness with author, Melissa Otis. The discussion will be moderated by Iakonikonriiosta, Museum Manager of the Akwesasne Cultural Center.
June 30 at 6:00pm — Contested Terrain with author, Phil Terrie. The discussion will be moderated by Ann Norton Greene.
July 8 at 6:00pm —50 Years of the APA: A Wild Idea with author Brad Edmondson. The discussion will be moderated by Jim Hotaling. Register for the talk and receive a 30% discount to order and read the book in advance.
On Friday, June 18, 2021, John Brown Lives! (JBL!) and NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYSORHP) will unveil a banner heralding the 125th anniversary of NYS’ acquisition of the John Brown Farm in 1896.
NYS Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid and DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos are expected for the unveiling and special tour of the Farm, including the Memorial Field for Black Lives. Also present will be 125th Anniversary Honorary Committee Co-Chairs novelist Russell Banks and visual artist, historian and acclaimed author Nell Painter.
They will be joined by environmental leader Aaron Mair, Nicky Hylton-Patterson, director of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, and Saranac Lake artist and creator of the Memorial Field for Black Lives, Ren Davidson.
The tour, from 11am-12pm, will include the Dreaming of Timbuctoo Exhibition and a moment of silence in the gravesite where Brown and fellow Raiders are buried and in the Memorial Field. The public is welcome to attend.
The State Legislature has just adjourned, but on a good many nights this past month I grew sleepy watching legislative TV or legislative proceedings on the internet. For the non-debate pieces of legislation, meaning when the legislative majority is not allowing minority debate on bills, the viewer is treated to the following exchanges in a monotone, one after the other: The speaker or his representative, or the Senate president or her representative: “The clerk will read the bill.” The clerk: “a bill to” …whatever it does. The speaker or his representative: “The clerk will read the final section.” The clerk: “this act shall take effect immediately.” The speaker, president or their representative: “The vote: 63 in favor. The bill is passed.” All of that has taken less than ten seconds. Next.
Towns of Keene and North Hudson Essex County Technical Rope Technician Training: From June 6 to 11, 17 Forest Rangers from across the state attended a 40-hour technical rope technician training. Led by instructor-level Forest Rangers, the training is the Division of Forest Protection’s highest level of technical rope training. Forest Rangers conduct dozens of technical rescues a year. This training provides Rangers with the skills required to safely lead these rescue operations. Technicians also serve as instructors to other Rangers statewide. Forest Rangers are accredited members of the Mountain Rescue Association.
This issue of Adirondack Explorer magazine will be a doozy.
It will offer readers thorough explainers surrounding the recent court ruling against “community connector” snowmobile trails; the struggle by small Adirondack communities to fund proper water treatment; Essex County’s remarkable job of being a statewide leader in preventing COVID in the face of a serious tourism rush; a program to fight one non-native species with another; the pressures leading the Whitney estate’s owner to subdivide and sell that coveted Adirondack woodland; even a fascinating look at how and why (and at what cost) Adirondack communities ship all of the park’s garbage elsewhere.
The state fish of New York (and 9 other states). Perhaps the most sought after fish in the Adirondacks due to its elusiveness and beauty. If you have ever caught one, they are a thrill and an absolute gem to the eye. In my experience, no other fish that you try to catch feels like you are hunting with a fishing rod and line. They are tricky, and thus a true challenge. It sure is a splendid feeling catching one.
With that said, the majestic Brook Trout is the appropriate species to kick off the first species account in what will become a series for the Adirondack Almanack.
Spring is a wonderful time to get out and hunt for the early signs of wildflower season in the Ausable and Boquet watersheds. In an article by Leanna Thalmann, a water quality associate for the Ausable River Association, various types of wildflowers are explained and shown in beautifully captured pictures.
The article acts as a small guide to going out to the watersheds yourself to begin locating these wildflowers, which grow in a variety of places: rich, moist areas, dry meadows, and mixed forests alike.
Leanna Thalmann has some advice, however for those who wish to hunt for flowers themselves: “As with any encounter with wild things, it’s important to look at and love these beautiful flowers but leave them for the next person to admire. Never pick a wildflower. Many are protected species in the state of New York. ”
The Adirondack Almanack is a public forum dedicated to promoting and discussing current events, history, arts, nature and outdoor recreation and other topics of interest to the Adirondacks and its communities
We publish commentary and opinion pieces from voluntary contributors, as well as news updates and event notices from area organizations. Contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The information, views and opinions expressed by these various authors are not necessarily those of the Adirondack Almanack or its publisher, the Adirondack Explorer.
General inquiries about the Adirondack Almanack should be directed to editor Melissa Hart.
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