Archive for December, 2021

Friday, December 31, 2021

Some of the stories that caught your attention this year



Here are the top 10 posts of 2021:

  1. NYS DEC’s Management Fiasco in the High Peaks Wilderness Area. This mystery uncovered by Peter Bauer has catapulted to No. 1 in a short period of time:
  2. Richard Gast’s homage to the bobcat: Shy, nocturnal and successful:
  3. Steve Hall on the night skies:
  4. The folk lore behind the woolly bear caterpillar, by Jackie Woodcock.
  5. Alice Menis, summer intern at Paul Smith’s College’s Visitor Information Center, writes about one of their released butterflies being tracked in Mexico:
  6. A guest commentary about the housing crisis in the Adirondacks:
  7. One of the foliage season’s weekly reports, courtesy of I Love NY proved to be a popular post:
  8. A new potential invasive threat, by Paul Hetzler:
  9. Richard Monroe’s flashback about “Adirondack Dinosaurs”:
  10. A critique of the tree cutting lawsuit, from Brian Wells:

In addition, we hit a record with the most-commented post of all time so far, going to Peter Bauer’s critique of Rep. Elise Stefank:

Peter Bauer photo

Friday, December 31, 2021

Latest news headlines

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

» Continue Reading.

Kid next to water
Thursday, December 30, 2021

Where There’s Smoke …


An upswing in woodstove use might sound yawn-worthy, but recent findings about the dire health effects of wood smoke might mean the long-term future of wood as a heating fuel is in question.

As someone who grew up with wood heat, I assumed  it was hands-down one of the most sustainable, eco-positive fuels for home heating. Like many other widely shared conventions, it turns out the veracity of that assumption depends on a lot of things.

How many people burn wood in a given locale is an obvious factor. The number of homes using wood heat rose sharply in the years following the 1998 ice storm which left residents without power for weeks on end. Also no surprise, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the use of wood heat.

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

2021 lookback: November’s top posts

Over the next 12 days we’re looking back at the Almanack’s most read (and most discussed) posts of 2021.

Adirondacks from space

Out of the 91 posts we published last month, here are the top 10:

  1. It’s Debatable: Short-term rentals, by guest contributors
  2. Permits in the preserves, by Gwendolyn Craig
  3. On the idea of an Adirondack Mountains National Park, by David Gibson
  4. How Team Cuomo Subverted Basic Norms at the Adirondack Park Agency, by Peter Bauer
  5. Adirondack Council reveals new Vision 2050 plan, by John Sheehan
  6. Monarchs: How High Can They Fly?, by Jackie Woodcock
  7. A New Clue to the Origin of Saranac Lake’s “Ampersand”, by John Sasso
  8. Rangers catch man who defaced Catskills lean-to, DEC press release
  9. Remnants of Life, by Jackie Woodcock
  10. Jesus and the Extraterrestrials, by Steve Hall

Photo: The Adirondacks from space/NASA

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

2021 lookback: October’s top posts

Over the next 12 days we’re looking back at the Almanack’s most read (and most discussed) posts of 2021.

Rj cooking

Out of the 96 posts we published this October, contributor Richard Monroe’s stories ranked high.  Here are the top 10:

  1. Chamber Encouraged by Border Policy, community news reports
  2. When the gales come early, by Richard Monroe
  3. Camping, with a stranger, by Richard Monroe
  4. The Adirondack Park Agency Should Embrace Transparency, by Peter Bauer
  5. The Phoenix Rises! Celebrating a restored lean-to, by Richard Monroe
  6. Back in the Adirondacks, by Cameron Dunn
  7. We’ve hit the ceiling on short-term rentals, by guest contributor Mary Brophy-Moore
  8. DEC Announces Oct. 16 Opening of State’s New Catch-and-Release Trout Season, DEC press release
  9. Rangers locate lost hikers on Sleeping Beauty, at Nicks Lake trail, DEC press release
  10. The future of Follensby Pond, by Gwendolyn Craig

RJ Monroe cooking Sunday brunch as part of an annual father/son duck hunt. Richard Monroe photo

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

All That Glitters Isn’t Green


We’re told that diamonds are eternal, but it turns out that glitter, which is just as sparkly and way cheaper, could be equally enduring. Parents, teachers and day-care providers know that despite their efforts to wash the stuff down the drain, glitter will inevitably wind up in their breakfast, their eyes, or on the lapels of their business suit worn to a crucial meeting with the boss.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

2021 lookback: September’s top posts

Over the next 12 days we’re looking back at the Almanack’s most read (and most discussed) posts of 2021.

richard monroe

Out of the 95 posts we published this September, a range of topics ranked high.  Here are the top 10:

  1. Funding for Sustainable Adirondack Trails is Needed, by guest contributor Charlotte Staats
  2. ‘If Allowed to Continue at Present Rates’ by David Gibson
  3. Expanding the Reach of Forever Wild, by David Gibson
  4. Recreation Highlight: Sharing Trails with Hunters, NYS DEC press release
  5. Outlaw Duck Hunters, by Richard Monroe
  6. Discussion time: Short-term rentals, a discussion post
  7. The NYSDEC Should Embrace Openness And Transparency, by Peter Bauer
  8. My Loon Friend: A Story of Trust and Healing, by guest contributor Ronni Tichenor
  9. Those cedar logs, by Richard Monroe
  10. License to backpack: Trying out permits, by Brandon Loomis

The author Richard Monroe inside the newly rebuilt lean-to at Bull Rush Bay.
Photo by Richard Monroe.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Cornell University, other colleges contend with Omicron Variant Surge  

cornell covid testingIn the face of the new COVID-19 variant (Omicron) and a precipitous rise in the number of infections on college campuses across the country in the weeks following Thanksgiving, administrators found themselves confronted with having to, once again, put measures into place aimed at limiting COVID-19 transmission on their campuses and in their communities.

    Numerous schools around the country declared that students had to finish their semesters remotely. Many are extending mask mandates and requiring vaccine booster shots in order to return to campus. They’re limiting social gatherings and canceling sporting events as well, which greatly inhibits campus life. This comes at a time when almost every academic institution in America was starting (or at least hoping) to relax safety measures and begin returning to normalcy.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

DEC and Partners Host Annual First Day Hikes


Kick off the New Year with one of Region 5’s six First Day Hikes, taking place on Jan. 1. Start your year by connecting with nature and enjoying safe, responsible winter recreation in the Adirondacks. The walks and hikes are family-friendly and range from 1.5 to 5 miles round trip.

Come prepared with warm layered clothing, water, snacks, sunglasses, hats, gloves, and insulated, waterproof footwear. Depending on conditions, snowshoes and other traction devices may also be necessary. Contact the trip leader or host for more information on required gear.

Advance registration is required for some hikes. Region 5 include:

  • Guided Hike Up Prospect Mountain with DEC
  • Guided Hike on Heron Marsh Trail at Paul Smith’s Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC)
  • Self-Guided Hike Up Cheney Mountain
  • Self-Guided Hike on Little Ausable Trail
  • Guided Hike Up Goodnow Mountain with SUNY ESF
  • Guided Hike up Thomas Mountain with Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club

For more information and to register, visit DEC’s First Day Hikes webpage. Hikes may be canceled if snowfall or other weather events create hazardous travel or outdoor recreation conditions. Registered participants will be notified if a hike is canceled.

For a complete list of First Day Hikes statewide, view the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation press release.

Photo: View from Goodnow Mountain. Almanack file photo

Monday, December 27, 2021

2021 lookback: August’s top posts

Over the next 12 days we’re looking back at the Almanack’s most read (and most discussed) posts of 2021.


Out of the 99 posts we published this August, the fallout from the tree cutting/trail decision continued, as well as rural population issues, and great stories from the past topped the conversations.  Here are the top 10:

  1. Sabotaging Trail Deal Was No Way to Protect the Adirondacks, by guest contributor Brian Wells
  2. 12 Ways Indian Lake Supervisor Brian Wells Gets Historic Forever Wild Decision Wrong, a rebuttal from Peter Bauer
  3. Safety in numbers: Outdoor Afro’s Adirondack outings, by Brandon Loomis
  4. State agencies work to address lead ammunition, DEC press release
  5. High Peaks Treasure at Livingston Pond, by Richard Monroe
  6. The Great Canoe Race Conspiracy, by Richard Monroe
  7. A tagged Monarch Butterfly from Paul Smith’s found in Mexico, by Alice Menis
  8. New model sustainable hiking trail on Mt. Van Hoevenberg nears completion, by Peter Bauer
  9. 2020 US Census: More Than Half of All US Counties Lost Population, by Peter Bauer
  10. Was the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) Duped? by guest contributor Chris Cohan

High Peaks treasure find, photo by Richard Monroe

Sunday, December 26, 2021

2021 lookback: July’s top posts

Over the next 12 days we’re looking back at the Almanack’s most read (and most discussed) posts of 2021.


Out of the 100 posts we published this July, marijuana, rail trail, boat inspections ranked high. Here are the top 10:

  1. Discussion time: Marijuana dispensaries, a discussion post
  2. John Brown Farm and New York’s Voter Suppression History, by Peter Slocum
  3. DEC And APA Have A Big Task To Get Back On The Right Side Of Forever Wild, by Peter Bauer
  4. ARTA to NYS: Let’s speed up the rail trail construction, by Dick Beamish
  5. Long Lake/Raquette Lake Hiking and Paddling Challenge, community news reports
  6. It’s Debatable: Should New York enforce boat inspections?, guest contributors
  7. Marijuana in the Adirondacks, by Brandon Loomis
  8. ROOST, Stewart’s Shops launch ‘Go Before You Go’ campaign, press release
  9. Upper Saranac coalition: APA ruling endangers wetlands, by guest contributors
  10. Weather Permitting: Reflections on a wet camping trip, by Richard Monroe

Stock photo

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Weekly news round up

A collection of interesting reads:

» Continue Reading.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

2021 lookback: June’s top posts

Over the next 12 days we’re looking back at the Almanack’s most read (and most discussed) posts of 2021.


Out of the 94 posts we published this June, a new diner, Whitney Park, and martens were among the lead stories. Here are the top 10:

  1. What Defines ‘Adirondack’?, by Richard Monroe
  2. Fragmenting Whitney Park?, by David Gibson
  3. A review of the AMR permit system, by Peter Bauer
  4. An Adirondack Engagement, by Richard Monroe
  5. Chef Darrell’s Mountain Diner Opens in Blue Mountain Lake, from a community news report
  6. Report Dead or Dying Eastern Larch Trees (Tamaracks) to DEC, NYS DEC press release
  7. DEC releases final deer management plan, NYS DEC press release
  8. Indian Lake banners celebrate diversity, community news report
  9. The End of Arbitrary Powers to Dam Adirondack Rivers, by David Gibson
  10. American martens: ‘Ambassador to all things wild’, by Mark Fraser

American marten, photo by Anne Fraser

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Poem: Puppy Elf

chance the rescue dog

Puppy Elf ( If you have a pet, you know!)

This ‘Elf on a Shelf’, with sweet doggy paws,
Helps Santa all year, our dear Puppy Claus.
Keeping us nice, because naughty won’t do,
Loving us always, and ‘herding’ us through.
Sniffing the tinsel, nuzzling the wrap
With little black nose, then curls in a nap.
Innocence, goodness, from day into night,
She keeps us laughing, with brown eyes so bright.
And no tear would dare to fall from an eye,
When puppy is near to lick those tears dry.
She stands her proud watch, in good times and bad,
This Christmas blessing, to her mom and dad.

Friday, December 24, 2021

2021 lookback: May’s top posts

Over the next 12 days we’re looking back at the Almanack’s most read (and most discussed) posts of 2021.

tearing up the tracks

Out of the 99 posts we published this May, the tree-cutting decision, rail trail, housing and land use ranked high. Here are the top 10:

  1. OPINION: For Elise Stefanik, Lying Pays Off, by Peter Bauer
  2. Dreaming About The New Tri-Lakes Public Multi Use Recreation Trail, by Peter Bauer
  3. Court of Appeals: Snowmobile trails violate state constitution, a press release from Protect the Adirondacks
  4. The Court’s Snowmobile Connector Decision in Perspective, by David Gibson
  5. It’s Debatable: Hiking permits, guest contributors
  6. Is the Adirondack Park dying for recreational activities?, by guest contributor Harsh Vaish, Skidmore College
  7. Housing in the Adirondack region: one crisis away from crumbling, by guest contributor By Alexis Subra, Membership & Events Coordinator, Adirondack North Country Association
  8. Understanding Timber on Protected Lands by Marianne Patinelli-Dubay
  9. Camp report: Here’s what it’s looking like on Middle Saranac, by Richard Monroe
  10. Hunters in New York Harvested More than 253,000 Deer in 2020-21, NYS DEC press release

Photo: Work in the Saranac Lake area to remove the railroad tracks and replace them with a multi-use trail. Photo by Mike Lynch

Kid next to water

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