Monday, February 12, 2024

How can the Adirondacks stay a four-seasons destination?

The Adirondack Rail Trail in early February./

A comprehensive study and analysis of climate change’s effects on New York detailed what many in the Adirondacks already believe: winters are warming.

To combat the loss of tourism to melting ice and fewer snow showers, the recreation industry is adapting.

The state’s climate report, which was released in full last week, highlighted the park’s cycling destinations as a potential solution to balance a loss of winter tourism.

“The Adirondacks have already experienced a long-term decrease in snowfall,” an analysis of the assessment reads.

The Adirondack Rail Trail was held up as a four-season example. Read the story here. 

Safety and the future of renewable energy

Energy storage is crucial for meeting renewable energy goals, experts say, but some are concerned about the safety of battery energy storage facilities.

The state on Tuesday released a draft of recommendations to enhance safety for battery energy storage systems like one proposed in the Adirondack Park’s hamlet of Raquette Lake.

An inter-agency task force was formed in 2023 to investigate battery fires, including one in Jefferson County, and propose new rules for the systems. Initial data released in December showed no injuries or harmful levels of toxins from fires in Jefferson, Orange and Suffolk counties last year.

Read the story here.


Here are some stories I’m following:

Washington Post: Earth crossed 1.5C of warming this year. Here’s what to know.

“1.5C isn’t a magic threshold; it’s not as though as soon as we pass that number, Antarctic ice sheets will collapse and ocean circulations will grind to a halt. But one thing is certain: For every tenth of a degree of warming, tipping points are more likely.”

The Guardian: ‘Life-saving’: EPA tightens US pollution controls on soot

“The strengthened pollution controls, unveiled on Wednesday, will lower the annual soot standard to 9 micrograms per cubic meter of air, down from the previous standard of 12 micrograms.”

Grist: Misplaced Trust: Stolen Indigenous land is the foundation of the land-grant university system. Climate change is its legacy.

“Known as trust lands, these expropriated Indigenous territories are held and managed by the state for the school’s continued benefit.”

Inside Climate News: A Year Before Biden’s First Term Ends, Environmental Regulators Rush to Aid Disinvested Communities

“The thousands of miles Ortiz and his team traveled in 2023 to distressed neighborhoods have resulted in 21 environmental justice grants totaling over $13 million, which will be awarded to government agencies and community organizations in the coming months.”

Photo at top: The Adirondack Rail Trail in early February. Photo by Chloe Bennett.

This first appeared in Chloe’s weekly “Climate Matters” newsletter. Click here to sign up.

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Chloe Bennett is a climate change reporter based in Lake Placid, NY. Originally from North Texas, Chloe has always been drawn to the natural world. In 2022, she graduated from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY where she focused on environmental reporting and audio production. She grew a deep appreciation for the Adirondack Park while interning for the Explorer in the summer of 2022.

11 Responses

  1. Steven Frederick says:

    Something needs to be done about the industry that is allowed to pollute Lake Champlain and rivers and streams before it’s to late. 38 percent of the phosphorus in the lake is from this industry. Yet we subsidize it!

  2. Jack.Carney says:

    Important info, Chloe. Thanks.

  3. Steven Frederick says:

    There is only one industry that can get away with the austerity and still get subsidies by tax payers. Do a little bit of research rather than taking my opinion and once you do you will be shocked. Currently in Vermont 2 years ago this industry was told to stop dumping across someone’s property and into the lake now they are in contempt of court because they did nothing and continue to dump into the lake

  4. Boreas says:

    You can only have four-season tourism if you have four seasons. Our 4 seasons are becoming SIX – Mud, Blackfly, Mosquito, Sweat/Deerfly, Leaves, and Ice.

  5. Steven Frederick says:

    If something isn’t done about factory farms our water, air and soil quality is going to make it a place to stay away from currently 38% of the phosphorus in Lake Champlain is from farm runoff. Bad enough that a farm in Vermont has been dumping illegally across the neighboring land and directly into the lake but instead of being fined daily like any other industry they continue to do this and we subsidize it

    • Boreas says:

      VT farmers are not the only offenders. Farmers in my area can be fairly loose with their livestock manure as well. I don’t know how closely the runoff issue is monitored on either side of the lake.

      Not much of a push on either side to reduce typical homeowner lawn chemical/fertilizer use and runoff. May be small potatoes, but potatoes add up.

  6. Steven Frederick says:

    Agreed 👍

  7. So Chloe, who actually made the decision to make the Tupper Lake to Old Forge section of the Corridor restored Railroad? The RR intends to only use the Corridor for one train a week from old forge and one a month from Utica and not start until mid July. How can this be helpful to the economy or environment. The public hearings were all for the trail all the way. The RR is a pollution nightmare and yet there it is.

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