Almanack Contributor Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff

Stories under the Almanack's Editorial Staff byline come from press releases and other notices.

Send news updates and story ideas to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at [email protected]


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

High Peaks Recommendations Should Connect to Management Plan

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


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Common Ground Alliance Forum to take place remotely

Adirondack Common Ground Alliance Forum group photo 2016The 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.

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Monday, June 29, 2020

Fort Ticonderoga Reopens for 2020 Summer Season

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.

 

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Monday, June 29, 2020

HAPPENING TONIGHT: ADI hosts Antiracism Seminar online

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.

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Monday, June 29, 2020

Friends of Moody Pond launch campaign to eradicate milfoil

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.

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Sunday, June 28, 2020

Weekly news roundup

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Saturday, June 27, 2020

Survey: Adirondackers split on welcoming back visitors

In a survey of more than 1,000 Adirondack residents, two-thirds thought it was safe to move around their own community, and 45 percent said it was safe to welcome back tourists and visitors

Prior to phase 3 of New York States reopening process, ROOST (The Regional Office of New York Tourism) released a Resident Sentiment Survey to gain a better understanding of the comfort level of North Country residents regarding reopening the economy and getting society back on track.

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Saturday, June 27, 2020

DEC extends online hunter education course

In order to get your hunting license, all aspiring hunters must complete a mandatory DEC hunter education course.

This course will continue to be available through Aug. 31, according to an announcement made by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) commissioner Basil Seggos.

The DEC is also making available an online bowhunter education course, available on July 15.

Since April, 24,000 hunters have completed the online hunter education course successfully. This is about a 20 percent increase from those who usually take the course, and of those who took it, 40 percent were women. This is also an increase from the typical in-person course, where 27 percent of students were women. Almost half of all who took the online course were 30 years or older.

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Friday, June 26, 2020

DEC expands campground openings; still not accepting new reservations

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that additional DEC campgrounds in the Adirondack and Catskill parks will open on July 1 to existing reservation holders for the 2020 season. To maintain social distancing and reduce the density of facilities and protect visitors, DEC is not accepting additional reservations or walk-in camping for the 2020 season at this time. Only existing reservations for all DEC campgrounds will be honored. Please visit DEC’s website for the latest updates on DEC campgrounds and information about each facility.

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Friday, June 26, 2020

View Arts debuts rustic show online

“A Select Rustic Show,” a new exhibit at View, the Center for Arts and Culture in Old Forge, will have an online virtual opening reception at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 26.  The online reception is being planned due to the uncertain nature of New York State’s Phase 4 reopening  schedule.  Everyone can participate in the reception by visiting ViewArts.org

The online opening will include the following: a Rustic design video introduction by acclaimed Rustic artist Barney Bellinger,  a presentation entitled “The Roots of Adirondack Rustic,” by Director Emerita of the Adirondack Museum, Caroline Welsh, and a digital magazine about the artists and their exhibiting work.

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Friday, June 26, 2020

Latest news headlines


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Socially Distanced Summer Camps at Lake Placid Center for the Arts

This summer, The Lake Placid Center for the Arts LPCA will be offering a variety of in-person, socially distant visual and performing arts summer camps.

They have taken care to ensure that the camps follow New York States, the CDC’s, and the Department of Health’s reopening guidelines. The class sizes will hold a maximum of 10 students, and all activities that the children partake in will be six feet from one another. State required health screenings and hygiene and cleaning protocols will be in effect and provide a foundation for both students and teachers to enjoy their summer activities while protecting the health of everyone involved.

Additional information can be found at their website: www.lakeplacidarts.org/summer-camp-faq. You may also contact the Director of Education and Outreach, Tara Palen, at [email protected].

The 2020 summer camp series will include the following events:

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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Great Camp Sagamore’s Annual Gala goes virtual

This week, Great Camp Sagamore is hosting a virtual gala and online auction. They ask that you join them while they pay tribute to music, and the artists who make it. You can register for free at the following link: https://e.givesmart.com/events/hgG/.

The online auction will culminate on June 24 with live, real-time countdown auctioneer Doug Stinson and special guests from 7:30  to 8 p.m. Also, tune into their website daily to hear a musical tribute to a Great Camp Sagamore honoree.


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Au Sable Forks’ Tahawus Center marks 10 year anniversary

Described as “an exciting new gem of a space” by the Lake Placid Visitors Bureau when it opened it Main Street Windows Gallerys, the Tahawus Center created a gallery for dynamic artists’ displays. The over 100-year old historic Tahawus building is situated on Rt 9N Main St, near the scenic Ausable River, in Au Sable Forks, Town of Jay, NY. By initially repurposing the storefront as an art gallery, Tahawus Cultural Center began to bring programming and creative curb appeal to a former Masonic lodge building which had lain dormant for decades.

The Windows Gallery presented its inaugural solo exhibit in January 2011 by local photographer Mark Hobson. Exhibits followed with works by Arto Monaco (pictured here), Rockwell Kent, photographer Todd Bissonette, a show of Detroit / Au Sable Forks artists curated by William Dilworth, “Mohawk of the Adirondacks,”curated by Margaret Horn, and “Here Come the Trains,” engineered by Lou Scavo and Carl Kokes.

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Monday, June 22, 2020

National Pollinator Week 2020

The Adirondack Pollinator Project (APP) is once again celebrating National Pollinator Week, June 22-28, to highlight the critical importance of pollinators to biodiversity, food availability, and the economy. Pollinators help produce approximately 1/3 of the food we eat. In New York State alone, bees and other pollinators provide some $350 million in pollination services each year. This year’s programs are being delivered digitally.

The Adirondack Pollinator Project is a project of AdkAction in partnership with The Wild Center, The Lake Placid Land Conservancy, and Paul Smith’s College, with the mission of inspiring individual and collective action to help pollinators thrive. Creative digital program offerings throughout National Pollinator Week will allow people of all ages to learn about pollinators, gardening with native plants, and more.

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