Sunday, April 21, 2024

For Earth Day, Remembering the Films of Paul Schaefer

Men sit in chairs in a cabinBy the time America marked its inaugural Earth Day on April 22, 1970, Paul Schaefer had already dedicated four decades to safeguarding the Adirondack wilderness. His formidable alliances with conservationists like John Apperson and Howard Zahniser, which we detail in Exploring Cabin Country, were instrumental in these efforts. Schaefer’s notable victories included the storied Black River Wars in the 40s and 50s and his campaign in the 60s against dams on the Upper Hudson that would have submerged the Hudson Gorge in a 35-mile-long reservoir.

Also by this time, Schaefer had played a major role in the routing of the Northway, having served as chair of a citizens’ advisory committee named to advise the Department of Transportation and Conservation Department on the matter. The big decision was whether to go up to the west of Lake George or the east. Schaefer favored and pressed for the “mountain route” we enjoy today.

» Continue Reading.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Adirondack Foundation announces 2024 Generous Acts recipients

Kids play with toys

Funding supports basic needs, economic vitality & educational pathways across the region

Lake Placid, NY — Adirondack Foundation has mobilized nearly $800,000 in philanthropic support to communities across the Adirondack region through its Generous Acts program, with additional grants to be awarded in the coming weeks.

The open call application annually invests in nonprofit organizations, schools and municipalities. Generous Acts grants aim to strengthen communities by addressing three strategic focus areas: basic needs, educational pathways and economic vitality.

“We remain committed to lifting up the Adirondack region through the generosity of the people who call this place home,” said Cali Brooks, president and CEO of Adirondack Foundation. “Generous Acts continues to evolve — generating grants will always be at the heart of what we do, but this work also helps us understand current and future trends so we can share this information with donors and leaders. Our communities continue to prioritize food access, health care, housing, early childhood development and career pathways, but we also noted emerging needs centered around STEM education, downtown revitalization, migrant and immigrant assistance, and emergency services preparedness.”

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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Essex Community Fund accepting applications through May 24

The Adirondack Foundation logo

Essex, NY— The Essex Community Fund (ECF) at Adirondack Foundation invites local nonprofits, schools, churches, and municipalities to apply for grant funding. Eligible projects must serve town of Essex residents through community services, beautification, historic preservation, culture, the arts, education, or programs for youth and senior citizens. The deadline to apply is May 24.

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Sunday, April 21, 2024

DEC reminds New Yorkers to be bear wise this spring

Black bear

On April 11, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos reminded New Yorkers to remove or secure outdoor food sources that may attract black bears. Throughout the spring and early summer months, black bears have depleted fat reserves and will search extensively for easily obtainable, calorie-dense foods, which can lead to an increase in the potential for human-bear conflicts near homes and residential areas, especially before the spring green-up when natural food sources for bears are scarce.

» Continue Reading.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Readers share eclipse stories & photos; loons call for mates, woodcocks take flight

Eighth Lake during the eclipse

They always say, “April showers bring May flowers,” but they didn’t say if they were snow or rain showers, which we had both of this week. Some snow covered the ground for a brief time on Saturday morning, April 13, but was gone by noon that day. I’m still hearing from readers about what they experienced during the eclipse. Some of my family members, living out Rochester way, didn’t experience much as clouds covered up the whole eclipse. I feel sorry for them that they didn’t see it.

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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Historian Michael Barrett to present on Peter Gansevoort April 27 in Lake George

General Gansevoort's burial site at Albany Rural Cemetery

Lake George, NY – Local Revolutionary War hero General Peter Gansevoort, who commanded Fort George at Lake George during the crucial year of 1776 and led a successful defense of Fort Stanwix in central New York the following year to help pave the way for the Continental Army’s ultimate defeat of General Burgoyne at Saratoga, will be the subject of the presentation “Peter Gansevoort: A Hero and His Legacy,” on Saturday, April 27 at the Holiday Inn Resort in Lake George, beginning at 11 a.m.

The featured speaker will be historian Michael P. Barrett, Vice President of the Board of Trustees for Albany Rural Cemetery, where General Gansevoort is buried. The program is sponsored by the Lake George Battlefield Park Alliance and is free to the public. Attendees are asked to register prior the event at with the number of seats needed.

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Saturday, April 20, 2024

New Yorkers Asked To Keep ‘Lights Out’ to Protect Migrating Birds

Gray catbird

On April 11, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Office of General Services (OGS) reminded New Yorkers to take action to protect migrating birds as they navigate night skies by participating in the ‘Lights Out’ initiative. Joining national and international efforts, State buildings participating in Lights Out will keep non-essential outdoor lighting from affecting the ability of birds to migrate successfully throughout New York.

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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Behind the scenes of law making: Join us May 15 in Albany

making laws graphic

Our next event focuses on the complex world of environmental legislation.

Why hasn’t the state legislature passed a conservation design bill that would require developers to protect wildlife and fragile ecosystems when planning big projects? Will there be a constitutional amendment to save a historic lodge in the Adirondacks? Or another to repurpose a former prison?

Just how does environmental legislation prevail – or not – in Albany? We’ll ask the people closest to the work.

Join the Adirondack Explorer, with the Times Union of Albany, for a panel discussion featuring:

Blair Horner, executive director of New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG)

Sen. Peter Harkham, chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee

Sen. Dan Stec, ranking member of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee. He represents all of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, and Warren counties, and parts of St. Lawrence County and Washington County.

Assemblymember Deborah Glick, chair of the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee

Assemblymember Matt Simpson, ranking member of the Environmental Conservation committee and representative who represents Essex, Warren and parts of Saratoga counties.

This event is happening Wednesday, May 15 from 9 am. to 10:15 a.m. at the Times Union office, 645 Albany Shaker Road, Albany, NY 12211

Free to attend, please sign up so we know you are coming!


Friday, April 19, 2024

Delving into the Red Bark Phenomenon

Red bark on a white pine tree.

Every morning, I walk along state highway 67 in Ephratah, NY.  Recently, I noticed that a few of the fir trees by the side of the road appeared to have red bark.  I did not know if this was a type of tree that I should be able to ID or if something else was going on.  I Googled “red bark” and found articles about “Red Bark Phenomenon” such as this one.

» Continue Reading.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Parking reservations required May 1 to Oct. 31 for Route 73 corridor trails

Gates to the Adirondack Mountain Reserve.

On April 16, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR) announced the parking reservation system to promote safe access to trails in the Route 73 corridor will resume May 1, following a successful season in 2023. Since the launch of the parking reservation system in 2021, more than 52,500 users have registered at AMR’s website to make parking reservations.

» Continue Reading.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Outdoor Conditions (4/19): Recreationists can help limit spread of invasive species

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.


  • Snow Report (4/17): The following report describes conditions as of Wednesday, 4/17. Changing weather may affect conditions. There is less than 10cm (4in) of snow at the Lake Colden Stake. Conditions are wildly variable ranging from mud, ice, and multiple feet of rotten snow in the area around the lake. Avi Pass can be accessed without snowshoes. Snow levels vary at higher elevations and snowshoes are required where snow depths exceed 8 inches. Like last week, there will be a possibly dangerous increase in stream levels with the rainfall/snow melt combo.

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Friday, April 19, 2024

Maple in April Festival comes to Hadley on April 27

23rd annual Maple in April Festival flyer.

Hadley, NY – All are invited to join for a day of sweet adventure at the 23rd annual Maple in April Festival set for Saturday, April 27. Nestled along Rockwell Street in Hadley, this free, family-friendly extravaganza will take place rain or shine. From sap to syrup, experience live maple demonstrations, savor the taste of everything maple, and don’t miss out on Hadley Business Association’s famous Scholarship French Toast breakfast.

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Dinosaur Pike

Aerial shot of a lake

Adirondack lore is replete with legends, stories & tales of wilderness encounters. A shadowed array of wild creatures, monsters, and beasts time has long since forgotten. Some lurk High Peaks forests. Some prowl the night.  Still others lurk the hidden depths of mountain lake waters.

Some legendary creatures are oft regaled as campfire stories. Some are etched for posterity on cedar log lean-to walls. Others are whispered tales held close to the vest by greybeard backwoods old-timers. Some tales carry with them out of focus photography of debate topic provenance. A select few gain widespread notoriety via news media coverage.

Most Adirondack folks who’ve lived life in the mountains have a monster creature encounter tale or two of their own.

For one of mine, click the link & read on.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

To the bank

wastewater treatment plant operator

Money update, auditor’s take

Lawmakers in Albany appear close to finalizing the state’s $237 billion budget. Gov. Kathy Hochul announced an agreement last night (April 15) — even as some lawmakers said they were surprised by the news. Policy reporter Gwen Craig in her newsletter noted the agreement included reinstating annual water infrastructure spending to $500 million, after Hochul had proposed slashing the annual investment in drinking water and wastewater funding to $250 million.

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Volunteer firefighters receive wildland fire training at Paul Smith’s College VIC

forest ranger reports graphicTown of Brighton
Franklin County
Training: On April 13 and 14, Forest Ranger Lieutenant Dicintio and Rangers O’Connor and Praczkajlo taught wildland fire courses to 17 volunteer firefighters at the Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center. The volunteer firefighters often work side-by-side with Forest Rangers during wildland fires.

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.

If a person needs a Forest Ranger, whether it’s for a search and rescue, to report a wildfire, or to report illegal activity on state lands and easements, they should call 833-NYS-RANGERS. If a person needs urgent assistance, they can call 911. To contact a Forest Ranger for information about a specific location, the DEC website has phone numbers for every Ranger listed by region.

Wildland fire course

Wildland fire course. NYS DEC photo.

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