The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced their new DEC Automated Licensing System (DECALS).
DECALS is an overwork of the previous licensing system designed to incorporate more user-friendly information to help users locate vendors, receive instant copies of a license, and enter and view harvest information and more.
As the system progresses and new features are added and updated, DECALS will include events calendars with upcoming season dates including youth hunts, clinics, and free fishing days. Full integration with the DEC’s Hunter Education Program which would make it easier to register for courses and automatically update certifications, and auto-renewal options for all annual licenses.
The Depot Theatre is pleased to announce that it has developed an alternate outreach and education program for in-person learning this summer.
The Depot Theatre Academy 2020 outreach and education program, originally set to be held inside the Whallonsburg Grange Hall as in past years, will be held outdoors, under a large, open-sided tent in the one-acre parkland behind Whitcomb’s, the Grange-owned building directly across the street. The dates for the junior program (ages 8-12) are July 13-24, and the senior program (ages 13+) dates are July 27-August 7, 2020.
Saranac Lake Community Solar has partnered up with AdkAction to complete a local community solar project which will create 10 acres of pollinator habitat.
These 10 acres will provide a local source of clean energy for the village of Saranac Lake, as well as its surrounding communities. The solar farm will provide homeowners, renters, and businesses solar energy without the cost of equipment, installation and maintenance, and thanks to the support of AdkAction’s pollinator project, this will be the first pollinator-friendly solar farm in the Adirondacks.
Going on a journey through the natural world, covering topics from insects and pollinators, to erosion and weather, to amazing apex predators. Check out The Wild Center’s social media pages and website each Monday for the release of new Jr. Naturalist Pages and challenges. Each page will be filled with activities for you to develop your skills as a Jr. Naturalist, encouraging you to get outside to explore, observe, create, and engineer.
The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) has launched a Tupper Lake Triad paddling challenge.
While hiking challenges have continuously grown in popularity throughout the Adirondacks, so has the Triad in Tupper Lake. Since 2014, more than 5,000 people have completed the Tupper Lake Triad hiking challenge. To build off of the success of the hiking challenge, a committee including ROOST, community leaders, and business owners have worked to establish the Tupper Lake Paddling Triad.
Paddlers are invited to complete what is believed to be the first water-based challenge within the Adirondack Blue Line. By completing three paddles near Tupper Lake, adventurers can earn a sticker, patch, and inclusion on the finisher roster.
The Open Space Institute (OSI) is celebrating the permanent protection of nearly 9,300 acres of forested land in the Adirondacks. The project, achieved in partnership with private landowners, will support sustainable timber practices in the region and expand recreational opportunities
Under the terms of the “Boeselager Working Forest” agreement, OSI secured conservation and recreation easements on two properties owned by the Ketteler-Boeselager family, which has a long-standing commitment to conservation in the Adirondacks, and their native Germany.
The two newly eased properties in the Clinton County towns of Black Brook, Dannemora, and Saranac total 4,970 acres and will be managed as working forest using sustainable timber practices.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in cooperation with seven Great Lakes states and two Canadian provinces, have teamed up on the second annual Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Landing Blitz, a regional campaign to inform boaters and others about the risks of introducing and spreading these invasive pests.
During this coordinated outreach effort, partners throughout the Great Lakes region are educating the public at hundreds of water access sites through July 5.
AIS are non-native aquatic plants and animals that can cause environmental and economic harm and harm to human health. Many AIS have been found in the lakes, ponds, and rivers of New York, and can be transported from waterbody to waterbody on watercraft and equipment.
A collaboration of local businesses, community and government leaders has launched LakeGeorgeIsHiring.com to present the many job opportunities now available. The site features open positions for all levels of experience, including cooks, housekeepers, front desk staff, bussers, food runners, waitstaff, bartenders, maintenance, security, marketing, delivery drivers and more.
“There are over 500 jobs available in Warren County right now and it is really important that we are able to fill the gaps that exist from the seasonal international workers we usually have during the summer months,” according to Liza Ochsendorf, Director of Employment & Training Administration. She adds that it’s a great opportunity for the younger workforce to learn about the hospitality industry or someone ready for a career change since there are opportunities for advancement and networking during the busy tourist season. With so many jobs open in the Lake George region, businesses are offering competitive wages and benefits — some are even including accommodations for those who live too far away to easily commute.
The following is commentary from Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve
Recognizing the initial efforts of the High Peaks Strategic Planning Advisory Group, which issued an interim report last week, Adirondack Wild’s David Gibson had this to say: “An advisory body of diverse stakeholders, all volunteers, has been meeting distantly during the pandemic but nonetheless has reached consensus on recommendations to address some key existing pressure points in the High Peaks Wilderness region. During these tough times, that is an impressive accomplishment.”
However, Adirondack Wild is concerned that the group’s recommendations should be connected to the 335-page, approved 1999 DEC High Peaks Wilderness Complex Unit Management Plan, or UMP. “Almost every one of the advisory group’s interim recommendations, including expanded use of Leave No Trace, Human Waste, Education and Messaging, Trail Inventory and Assessment, Data Collection and Visitor Information, and Limits on Use can be traced back to policies and actions in the adopted Wilderness UMP. Yet the interim report makes no mention of the UMP and that’s a worry,” Gibson added.
Adirondack Wild believes that ignoring the High Peaks Unit Management Plan invites management and user conflicts. “The UMP, which took years of stakeholder efforts and was adopted by the Adirondack Park Agency and DEC, is the coordinating document that ties otherwise disparate management activities together to benefit an enduring Wilderness resource. We know the UMP may need to be updated to meet current challenges. The Advisory Group ought to be devoting part of its time to recommend specific parts of the UMP that require updating,” he continued.
To quote from the DEC’s High Peaks UMP, “without a UMP, wilderness area management can easily become as series of uncoordinated reactions to immediate problems. When this happens, unplanned management actions often cause a shift in focus that is inconsistent and often in conflict with wilderness preservation goals and objectives. A prime objective of wilderness planning is to use environmental and social science to replace nostalgia and politics. Comprehensive planning allows for the exchange of ideas and information before actions, that can have long-term effects, are taken.”
“One concern we have is that the task force has recommended that the Limits On Use pilot study be conducted on private land adjacent to the High Peaks when, in fact, it is the overused eastern High Peaks Wilderness – public land – that is in need of a well-designed pilot program limiting use. The 1999 UMP called for a working group to develop a camping permit system, with any decision to implement based upon public input and UMP amendment. That was never done. A pilot program on private land over the next three years further deflects time and attention away from a critical High Peaks management tool that ought to be tested on public land.”
Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve is a not-for-profit, membership organization which acts on behalf of wilderness and wild land values and stewardship. More on the web at www.adirondackwild.org.
Photo: Crowding on Cascade Mountain, eastern High Peaks Wilderness by Dan Plumley/Almanack archive
The theme for the 2020 Common Ground Alliance Forum will be Attracting a New Generation of Residents to the Adirondacks. We have selected this theme because we realize that – with aging populations – Adirondack communities face a serious demographic challenge, and we have heard time and again that community vitality is a common-ground issue that we need to be proactive to address. We are pleased to be working with the Northern Forest Center who will help us guide this year’s discussions. The Center plans to utilize the results of the forum to shape a strategy for communities to position themselves for future population stability and growth.
After its usual opening date was put on hold due to COVID-19, Fort Ticonderoga will open for the 2020 season on June 30. The admission capacity this summer will be capped at 400 visitors at a time (unless otherwise announced) and advanced on-line ticketing will be required. You may purchase online tickets at www.fortticonderoga.org. The first initial opening phase will only allow visitors access to the exterior spaces during Tuesday through Sunday, from 9:30 am until 5:00 pm. The last ticket for the day will be sold at 4:30 pm.
On Monday, June 29 from 6-7pm, Nicky Hylton-Patterson, Director of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, along with a panel of black activist scholars from across the region will be holding an online discussion about racism and being black in America.
The seminar is titled: “Antiracism 101: From antiracist actor to ally to accomplice, how do we get there?” The web event is the second in a series dedicated to activating, mobilizing, and engaging the Adirondack community on issues presented by racism and inequality. The session will be 25 minutes long followed by a 30 minutes Q&A with expert panelists via chat.
Antiracism 101 is part of the ADI’s Antiracism Education and Mobilization campaign and each session will give its viewers the tools, language, techniques and strategies to identify and understand, as well as build more racially just and equitable communities within the North Country.
Friends of Moody Pond, in Saranac Lake, is an organization dedicated to the conservation and protection of Moody Pond and the surrounding neighborhood from invasive species- specifically Eurasian watermilfoil.
This invasive species was found in Moody Pond in 2018 and makes up at least 3.5 acres (14 percent) of Moody Pond, according to the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program.
A rapid response is essential in managing and eradicating aquatic invasives, and Friends of Moody Pond will be raising funds to educate the public and provide a rapid management response to that end.