Almanack Contributor Guest Contributor

The Adirondack Almanack publishes occasional guest essays from Adirondack residents, visitors, and those with an interest in the Adirondack Park. Submissions should be directed to Almanack editor Melissa Hart at

Thursday, November 24, 2022

The power of giving

cali brooks and rich kroes adirondack foundation

By Rich Kroes

Giving back to the people and places we love is one of the most sustainable and reliable ways we can strengthen communities in the Adirondack region. When we support our friends and neighbors through generosity, we can leverage opportunities to improve quality of life and create resiliency that helps us get through the hard times.

Adirondack Foundation is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and it embodies that spirit of giving back. From providing emergency relief to investing in long-term strategies, the Foundation has worked tirelessly to become a lasting source of philanthropy for our region.

Over the last decade, I’ve had the privilege to serve our communities on Adirondack Foundation’s Board of Trustees, including five years as its chair. It seems like yesterday that I was sitting in one of the locker rooms at the 1980 Olympic Rink with former Trustee Vinny McClelland when he encouraged me to join. He told me then that he thought I would like it, and he was right — I have loved it.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2022

The Place I Live: Redford

gallagher farm in redford

I stayed with my grandmother on Standish Rd. in Redford for many summers. No running water and we cooked with the wood stove. Those were the happiest days of my life. The farm was settled by my Irish ancestors in the late 1800s Following a trip to Ireland it became crystal clear why they settled in this beautiful land. The mountains were very close to the beautiful land they were forced to leave. Fields of hay and handsome rock walls that separated properties were identical to their home country.
— Maureen Wrightsman

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Friday, November 18, 2022

STRs: Some food for thought


By Steve Hoepfl 

I came to the (Webb) town board in 2018 after seeing a news story and interview with a local resident of Cooperstown on the STR law they passed. In the interview they said it was a good law that it would help keep their community a place where people could and wanted to live. Since then we have had several residents served eviction notices so properties could be used as STR and locals are being out bid by as much as $70,000 for a house and when the new owner takes it over they turn it into a STR. So that covers the could part of the interview and the want part is also coming about. I have talked with many people that are rethinking their plans on retiring and staying in Old Forge and one person is to the point that they put road cones on the property line when the houses next to them are rented.

Because they are tired of the guests parking in his yard.

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Bringing the Adirondacks to a Global Audience at COP27 

aaron mair at cop-27

By Aaron Mair 

It is indeed an honor to represent the Adirondack Council and region at the most significant global discussions on climate known as the 27th Conference of the Parties to the 27th Conference of Parties United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – COP27.  Climate change is the most significant threat to humanity and global biodiversity.   

As recent studies indicate, temperatures are rising at unsustainable rates due to humanity’s inability to control carbon and methane emission rates. It isn’t because we lack the capacity, resources, or technology. It now comes down to the 193 nations and states to act. 

» Continue Reading.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

The Place I Live: Edwards

william hill lives in edwards

The place I live is Edwards NY (St. Lawrence County). Though I reside 4 miles out of the Blue Line, it makes no difference. My entire 55 years on earth thus far have been as an Adirondacker. I grew up fishing, trapping, camping, hunting, and just being on the Oswegatchie River. In fact, I live only a five-minute walk from the river.

» Continue Reading.

Monday, November 7, 2022

The Place I Live: Silver Lake Camp/Hawkeye

silver lake camp in hawkeye
I have loved the Adirondacks since I was a camper at Silver Lake Camp in Hawkeye, NY in the 1960s. Though to be honest, I didn’t know how much I loved it until I realized at age 15 that unless I applied to be a CIT ( Counselor in Training), I couldn’t come back – I would be too old.
So maybe for the first time in my life, I really thought about what mattered to me.

» Continue Reading.

Saturday, November 5, 2022

The Place I Live: Lake Ozonia/Hopkinton

onzonia lake sunset
Lake Ozonia in the Town of Hopkinton.
My family built the place back in 1970, and it was a great source of joy for the entire clan for many, many years. The dock faces the summer sunsets and the winter is spectacularly cold and isolated.  I currently live in Brewerton NY. Far too close to the massive Micron facility to be built in the Town of Clay, a facility that will destroy 1200 acres of undeveloped land, create unbelievable issues with traffic and pollution, and based on what I am hearing, drive many nearby residents and long time taxpayers out of the area. Consequently, in a few more years, I may be residing at Lake Ozonia year round to escape this environmental disaster in waiting.

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

The place I live: Hague

 Lake George as seen from hague, October 2022

Hard to get there. Harder to leave. It’s how we describe Hague, located on northern Lake George. Second-home owners abound during the warm summer months, heading back to their ‘real life’ around Labor Day. After that, Hague shuts down. That’s when the only thing you can buy in town is a stamp or a house. We can get groceries in Ticonderoga, which is about 12 miles away. That’s also where the kids go to school, ever since Hague Central School shut down in 1979. 

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

The Place I Live: Upper Saranac Lake

joan grabe photo of saranac lake
Since mobility issues have kept me from even the lowest peaks and even worse, out of my beloved Upper Saranac Lake, I had to turn to another way to enjoy my beautiful setting. And that turned out to be the people I have met since we built our house in 2008.

» Continue Reading.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

The Place I Live: Pottersville


Pictured here are two photos looking north on Mountain Spring Lake, our camp near Pottersville. It looks the same my entire life and before that. Though we are on a dirt road 1/2 mile off Route 9, it is an intensely peaceful place that has the feeling of Adirondack seclusion; a cocoon of continuity and stability buffering us from the outside world.  We know the reality, but the FEELING of peace is real. — Bob Meyer

Editor’s note: Share what you love about your part of the Adirondacks. What makes it special? Send your “The Place I Live” commentary to Melissa Hart:


Sunday, October 23, 2022

Mowing blues



by Bibi Wein

We’d been walking since dawn. The midday sun was hot, but the night we’d spent in the forest under a makeshift shelter of hemlock boughs had been cold and long. It was our second summer here. My husband and I had stepped out of our cabin for a short walk before dinner, lost our way. Sixteen hours later, we were still lost in the woods. We’d trudged uphill and down, slogged through swamps, followed old logging roads that led nowhere. Now we were on yet another narrow, winding track, dense with shrubs and wildflowers. Suddenly: a power pole. We were home! Or very nearly so.Until that moment, we hadn’t realized  our own road was as wild as the forest around it. 

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Author Candace O’Connor pens new local history book, A Gem of the Adirondacks: Garnet Lake

by Judy Thomson of the Garnet Lake Conservation Association

Garnet Lake, its north end in Johnsburg and its south in Thurman, is not one of the larger Adirondack lakes nor is it one of the best known.  With three-quarters of the lake surrounded by “Forever Wild” state land, fewer than 50 families live on and around it, though visitors stop by for kayaking and canoeing.

In her new book, A Gem of the Adirondacks: Garnet Lake, author Candace O’Connor—whose family is one of those 50— makes the case that this lake is one of the loveliest, with its undeveloped shoreline and its view of the majestic Crane Mountain. And in his foreword, environmentalist Bill McKibben echoes that view, calling it: “Not the biggest, not the deepest, not the clearest lake that ever was. But the sweetest.”

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Calling on the Park Service to do more for Indigenous people

National park service logo

As an advocate for our public lands, mainly managed by the US Park Service, I wholeheartedly agree with David Treuer in giving Indigenous peoples enhanced rights and management of their lands (“Return the National Parks to the Tribesthe Atlantic, May 2021). However, I was disappointed to see the lack of coverage of this in the Adirondack Almanack, and hope to create heightened awareness, especially following Indigenous People’s Day this week, and given the significance National Parks have in many residents’ lives in the Adirondack area. Native people should be given much more responsibility, management, and profit from National Parks, and as such, I call on the National Parks Service to put this control into the hands of Indigenous peoples, and you, as readers, to contact NPS and push them to do so.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Statement from Adirondack Health on planned closure of Lake Placid emergency room

lake placid health center

An open letter from Adirondack Health:

Six months ago, spirits at Adirondack Health were running high. We seemed to be on the right side of the COVID-19 pandemic, with things looking up for the first time in a long time.

» Continue Reading.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Land trusts are for the birds

Photograph of a sedge wren by Derek Rogers

By Derek Rogers
Stewardship Manager, Adirondack Land Trust

The Adirondack Park has long been a popular destination for bird-watching. Rugged yet accessible wildlands offer visitors and residents the chance to observe species that are not commonly found elsewhere in New York State.

From the highest peaks to the boreal lowlands and down to the shores of Lake Champlain, the mosaic of habitats presents birding opportunities unequaled in the Northeast.

» Continue Reading.

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