Almanack Contributor Brandon Loomis

Brandon Loomis

Brandon Loomis is editor of Adirondack Explorer.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Essex Chain Lakes provides quiet solitude

The state’s proposal to attract more visitors to the Essex Chain Lakes by allowing lakeside campfires had the effect of immediately attracting two visitors recently: me and my son.

We’ve been planning to get our canoes into the Adirondack backcountry at some point this summer. Upon hearing how uncrowded the lakes south of Newcomb are, we decided to carry them into this primitive area for a look around. We were not disappointed.

These lakes are teeming with wildlife, from deer and bald eagles to belted kingfishers, great blue herons and, of course, loons. We heard loons throughout the night and then had a close visit from a pair in the morning, when they swam within about 35 yards of our camp. » Continue Reading.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Supporting the work behind the headlines

Like a lot of folks these days, I’ve been ordering books while hanging around the house.

One that showed up last week was a used copy—out of print and bearing a faded library stamp—of a basic newspapering text co-authored by a late professor who gave me an F on my first typewritten attempt at college journalism. (Not to worry: He gave everyone an F on that first assignment. It was tough love, and there was considerably more elbow room in Beginning Reporting the following week.)

On page 7 I found a truism that I’m sure would have seemed redundant to a J-school sophomore when I first read this book in the analog 1980s, but I think it’s worth reviewing in our current Information Age.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Mountains of News: Explorer magazine preview

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.

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

NYCO Mine Expansion Into Wilderness Falters

NYCO mineRemember when New Yorkers approved an Adirondack land swap to keep a mine in business and its employees on the job?

It hasn’t exactly worked out as planned so far.

Five years ago voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing NYCO Minerals to pursue a mine expansion onto the Adirondack Forest Preserve on the east side of the Jay Mountain Wilderness. Local politicians backed it for its potential economic boost, while some environmentalists got on board because of a proposed land swap that could grow the preserve.

Others feared the precedent of permitting resource development in a wilderness.

As it turns out, none of it has happened. The company’s new owners never pursued the swap and have laid off workers. » Continue Reading.

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