Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Close encounters of the loon kind (and some recent policy news)


Loon and chick photograph by Sue Kiesel. Photo provided by the Old Forge Library.

I’m back from a short vacation traveling around upstate New York. One of our stops was Big Moose Lake in Eagle Bay. Dave and I went for a paddle and two loons shot up from underwater very close to our canoe. It was a moody weather day to boot, and when they dove underwater and popped up again, their howling calls made the hairs on the back of my neck stand. Here’s a snippet from our paddle after the loons swam further out. It was one of the top wildlife encounters of my life and particularly exciting for me since writing a second-grade report on the common loon (spelled “commen” in bright yellow letters on my poster board, but live and learn). In case you missed it, give Gary Lee’s piece about wrapping up loon-banding season a read.

We also hiked up Bald Mountain nearby and looked out on the Fulton Chain of Lakes. There were several families scrambling up the rocky summit. It’s a relatively short two miles round trip and a good taste of hiking for those new to Adirondack miles. I posted a video from the fire tower on Twitter here.

Back on the policy beat, we posted a story about how the state Department of Environmental Conservation is collecting proposals for a visitor use management expert to work on plans for the High Peaks and the Kaaterskill Clove area of the Catskills. Those proposals are due today. Check out the story here.

I also spoke with staff members of Scenic Hudson, who have created a fascinating solar mapping tool. It’s something Adirondack Park Agency Chairman John Ernst suggested could be useful for the Adirondacks. Scenic Hudson wants state agencies and other nonprofits to use their tool as a model, and I spoke with them about how they made it and the different layers involved for finding more suitable sites for large-scale solar arrays. You can read that story here.

Keith McKeever, spokesperson for the APA, said commissioners will not be meeting this week. There are some public comment opportunities on various projects that you can check out here.

Editor’s note: This first appeared in Gwen’s weekly “Adirondack Report”newsletter. Click here to sign up.

Loon and chick photograph by Sue Kiesel. Photo provided by the Old Forge Library.

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Gwen is the environmental policy reporter for Adirondack Explorer.

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