If you’re an Adirondack Explorer subscriber, I hope you already have your copy of our May/June issue, or will receive it in the next few days. I believe this particular issue — produced, as it was, in the difficult and remote world we all find ourselves in these days — speaks better than I can about the direction we’re heading as a magazine and a newsgathering organization.
As always, it’s pretty, for which we thank not only the mountains but also the best photographers and designers in them. And there’s plenty of outdoorsy recreation, including a favorite and remote hike, the allure of bushwhacking, and breathtaking rock climbing.
But this issue is also full of the type of reporting that we’ve worked to enhance over the last couple of years. Water reporter Ry Rivard’s investigation of the difficulties that Adirondackers and upstate New Yorkers face in holding the state accountable for road salt pollution adds an important untold layer to one of the North Country’s most pressing environmental stories. Elsewhere this month, he checks in on how we’re doing vs. the older menace of acid rain — and why it’s not yet time to declare victory.
Gwendolyn Craig, who joined our staff over the winter to cover government’s role in the park, has tracked the governor, Legislature and Adirondack Park Agency remotely since the pandemic halted most gatherings. But she’s also looking at the issues behind the policies, including with an examination of the environmental pros and cons of wood pellet production and burning for heat at a time when the state is pushing to reduce its carbon footprint. Gwen also examines adaptations that the Wilmington-based Adirondack Wildilfe Refuge is making in response to state and federal wildlife-handling violations. These are the kinds of looks behind the headlines that readers can expect as we continue investing in in-depth reporting.
Our correspondents, too, add depth to this issue while pursuing our vision for rural community reporting. Tim Rowland explains how the pandemic is complicating census data collection that is critical to the park’s well-being, while Melissa Hart reports on encouraging signs of vibrancy in the small town of Newcomb, a burgeoning southern gateway to the High Peaks. In a timely piece of journalism that intersects with the state’s health emergency, Leigh Hornbeck examines what some Adirondackers are doing to prevent a shortage of doctors as an older generation retires.
We’re lucky to be nonprofit in these scary economic times. We have an established donor base that augments our advertising and subscription income. Still, like any print publication, we rely on subscribers to help make possible this one-of-a-kind reporting on the Adirondacks.
So if indeed you are a subscriber, I thank you and hope you enjoy. If you’re not, I hope you’ll consider signing on.