Almanack Contributor John Warren

John Warren

John Warren has been exploring the woods and waters of the Adirondacks for almost 50 years. After a career as a print journalist and documentary television producer he founded Adirondack Almanack in 2005 and co-founded the geolocation services company Adirondack Atlas in 2015.

John remains active in traditional media. His Adirondack Outdoors Conditions Report can be heard Friday mornings across the region on the stations of North Country Public Radio and on 93.3 / 102.1 The Mix. Since 2008, John has been a media specialist on the staff of the New York State Writers Institute.

John is also a professional researcher and historian with a M.A. in Public History. He edits The New York History Blog and is the author of two books of regional history. As a Grant Consultant for the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, he has reviewed hundreds of historic roadside marker grant applications from around New York State for historical accuracy.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Snowmobile ‘Connecter Trail’ Construction Criticised

Protect the Adirondacks (PROTECT) has published an online critique of a new snowmobile trail being built by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest.

DEC trail crews are building a new 5.1-mile snowmobile trail that will connect the Limekiln-Cedar River Road near Fawn Lake to State Route 28 near the Seventh Lake Boat Launch. The trail is phase one of a long-distance “community connector” designed to link Indian Lake, Inlet, Raquette Lake and Long Lake.

PROTECT reviewed the work being done along the new snowmobile trail and documented what they found. “Field work revealed that this ‘trail’, really a de facto new road, is much worse than we feared,” Protect’s Executive Director Peter Bauer wrote in an e-mail to the press. PROTECT detailed their specific objections to the way in which the trail is being constructed with more than 20 photos posted online. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Tracking Hurricane Sandy Into The Adirondacks

Hurricane Sandy is heading our way and is forecast to bring high wind and some heavy rain, especially to the southern half of the Adirondacks beginning this afternoon. Although summer camps are mostly buttoned-up and boats hauled for storage, year-round Adirondackers are preparing for power outages and the possibility for high water.

If history serves as a guide, this storm may change our landscape with downed trees, and maybe some new channels for rivers and streams, and a few landslides. Much of what happens depends on where the storm tracks and how long it remains overhead.  Here are a some of the best links to follow the storm as it rolls over the Adirondacks: » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Commentary: Journalism and Electoral Politics, Round Two

Last week I pointed out that the only female candidate in next month’s presidential election, the Green Party’s Jill Stein, had been arrested and handcuffed to a chair for eight hours during the presidential debate, and then gagged by local media. The episode was indicative, I argued, of a general tendency among political reporters to parrot the two dominate parties. I pleaded for fairer coverage of the wider spectrum of American political thought. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

John Warren’s Plea To Political Reporters: Do Your Job

Consider this a plea to our political reporters – do your job, please. As a class you continue to fail the American public, ignoring the issues and perpetrating the lies of machine candidates. American political reporters have become a tool in the criminal usurpation of American democratic principles.

Let me start with a quick story. In the nineteenth century when Tammany Hall Democrats dominated New York City politics,  their single biggest weapon was their control of the Tammany Hall building.  Time and time again, when faced with opposition from the rank and file the Tammany Society simply locked the doors to the hall, the keys of which they controlled.  “The Society’s key power, which throughout its history it rarely hesitated to invoke,” Tammany historian Oliver Allen noted, was “the power to grant legitimacy to any political force in the city by controlling the place that symbolized authority. Time and time gain it would turn aside threats to its hegemony simply by padlocking the doors.” The result was plain to see – corrupt one-party control. You, dear political reporters, are now holding the keys to the hall. » Continue Reading.


Friday, August 31, 2012

Adirondack Food Events: Harvest Time And Our Economy

It’s Harvest Time in the Adirondacks and events are planned across the region that feature locally-grown foods and local farms. The local food and farm economy is a growing part of Adirondack economic life as more residents and businesses choose local food first.

Over the past several years new farmers markets have sprung up in communities across the region. In Chestertown, a new weekly farmers market is bringing 500 people a week into the village. Local business people are praising the effort, the Grand Union has added staff for the Wednesday market, and local restaurants are seeing increased lunch business. “This is the biggest thing to hit Chestertown in 20 years,” one long-time businessman said at a recent town meeting. » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Finch Paper On State Land Deal, Company’s Future

Finch Paper’s future is secure, officials said last week during an interview session with the Adirondack Almanack.  In a wide-ranging conversation that touched on Finch’s forestry programs, the market for paper, and the recent State Land purchase,  company spokespeople stressed the need to protect forest lands, and the company’s commitment to playing a role in sustainably managing supplies of wood fiber for their plant in Glens Falls.

“I always stress keeping forest land forest land,” Finch Forest Management Manager Leonard Cronin said, adding that development is the biggest threat to forest lands. “Most paper mills have sold their lands and given up managing their forests,” he explained, saying that Finch chose a different approach.  » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Adirondacks Most Remote Spot: Not That Remote

It’s been said by photographer Gary Randorf, Clarence Petty, and others, that ninety-five percent of the entire Adirondack Forest Preserve, Wilderness included, is within about five miles of  one of the more than 5,000 miles of roads  in the Adirondack Park.

That statistic has been newly confirmed by two wildlife ecologists who say they have identified the most remote  spot in New York State, located in the High Peaks Wilderness – just 5.3 miles from the nearest road, and a less than a half-mile from the popular Northville-Placid Trail.

Rebecca and Ryan Means of Florida have been on a mission to identify, travel to, and document the most remote locations in all 50 states and recently came to the Adirondacks – with daughter Skyla in tow and Adirondack Explorer writer/photographer Josh Wilson along to report – to find ours. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lake Champlain: ‘Good News, And Not So Good News’

The Lake Champlain Basin Program, created by the Lake Champlain Special Designation Act of 1990 to coordinate the implementation of the Lake Champlain management plan, has released its 2012 Lake Champlain “State of the Lake Report”. The report, which is issued every 3-4 years, concludes that the water should be treated before drinking or bathing, most of the lake is safe to swim in most of the time, and some fish may be eaten, if “consumed responsibly” according to fish consumption health advisories.

Phosphorus levels and the potential threat of toxic algae blooms remain elevated. Mercury and PCB contamination in fish is declining, but new chemical threats are on the rise. Invasive species remain a serious problem, especially to game fish and native mussels, but biodiversity projects such as fish ladders, and wetland and riparian habitat restoration or enhancement has made progress in protecting sensitive ecosystems in some areas. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Brian Houseal Leaving Adirondack Council Leadership

Brian L. Houseal will be leaving his post as Executive Director of the Adirondack Council, after a decade leading the largest Adirondack-centered environmental conservation advocacy organization. Houseal is expected to be replaced at the end of October by Deputy Director Diane Fish of Lake Placid who will serve as Acting Executive Director while a new Executive Director is sought.

Reflecting on his tenure in a statement prepared for the press Houseal said, “I have had the honor of moving forward with a legacy endowed to us by some of the greatest conservationists in our country. Louis and Bob Marshall, Clarence Petty, the Council’s founders, and many other directors, staff and members over the years have all fought to uphold Article XIV – the Forever Wild Clause – of New York State’s Constitution, unique in the world as a people’s commitment to wilderness preservation. That vision and constellation of stars provides the compass bearing that guides our team every day.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Coleman Collectors to Light-Up Lake George

It’s probably safe to say most everyone who has ventured into Adirondack woods or waters in the last 50 years has at some time used a Coleman product. The company once sold Skiroule snowmobiles, Hobie Cat sailboats, and even its own pop-up trailers –  but most recreationists are familiar with some of the smaller Coleman products: coolers, canoes and other small boats, sleeping bags, tents, backpacks, and the ubiquitous camp stoves and Coleman lanterns.

The company was  founded in 1900 by William Coffin Coleman, known as  “W. C.”, and a  former school principal working as a typewriter salesman who founded the company while earning money for law school.  Coleman’s obsession with a lantern that burned a bright white light is matched by legions of Coleman collectors, who pour over the company’s American made designs (Coleman was born in Columbia County, NY and moved to the mid-west) and trade stories and knowledge. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

After 20-Yrs, NYS Recognizes Lows Lake as Wilderness

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) have dropped their appeal of a state Supreme Court decision that confirmed the classification of Lows Lake as Wilderness.

In August 2011, Supreme Court Justice Michael C. Lynch ruled on a lawsuit brought by the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) and Protect the Adirondacks! (PROTECT), that the lake was and should be managed as Wilderness. Lynch also noted that Lows Lake was included in a 1987 Wilderness classification of about 9,100 acres that was signed by then-Governor Mario Cuomo.  The APA and DEC appealed, but this week the state Attorney General’s Office, representing the APA and DEC, withdrew its appeal of Lynch’s decision. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Discussion: What Is Snowmobiling’s Economic Impact?

A number of debates in the Adirondacks revolve around snowmobiling, including opening long-closed backcountry roads to sleds, expanding trail networks or routing connector trials on state lands, and shared use of trails. Snowmobilers often cite their positive economic impact as a reason to expand the approximately 800 miles of groomed snowmobile trails on state land.

A new study of the 2010 – 2011 snowmobiling season commissioned by the New York State Snowmobile Association and undertaken by the SUNY Potsdam Institute for Applied Research, offers some insight. It concludes that snowmobiling statewide contributes more than $428.5 million annually in direct spending, but much of that money is spent in Adirondack feeder markets on sleds, trailers, maintenance, and equipment.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New Food Contributor Shannon Houlihan

Food Writer Shannon Houlihan Please join us in welcoming our newest contributor here at the Almanack, Shannon Houlihan. Shannon’s family was among the first settlers of a wide stretch of the Adirondacks from Warrensburg through Brant Lake and Bolton, and across Lake George to Hulett’s Landing. Shannon grew-up a city girl in Schenectady, but over the past 20 years she’s been exploring foods from all over the world. Her return to the Adirondacks 10 years ago sparked a new interest in raising and eating local foods from local gardens, forests, and waters.

Anyone who knows Shannon will tell you she’s an amazing kitchen raconteur and culinarian. I will tell you, (and I should know, Shannon and I have been together for 18 years) that she’s also an inventive cook without the pretense so common in today’s foodies. Her stock and trade is locally sourced foods using fresh ingredients, made from scratch. She makes the kind of food we all eat, but with an astoundingly fresh creativity, and an abiding interest in easily found local foods. Shannon is also a Warren County long-term care visiting nurse whose work brings her into contact with the food traditions of the old-timers she cares for – she’ll also be sharing some of those.


Friday, April 27, 2012

New Look Coming For Adirondack Almanack

We’re going to see some long-awaited changes here at the Almanack! A minor redesign planned for this weekend is the very first step in implementing a lot of the ideas that have been in the hopper for the past few years. I say minor, because the site will look and feel pretty much the same on the front side. There will be some exciting changes however, including new ‘departments’ to feature our bigger coverage areas and provide readers easier access to the stories you’re interested in most. There may be some brief outages while we make the change.

We’re going to begin this evening (Friday) and should be done by Monday. Except for a short time this evening when the actual transfer happens, the site should be up and running. There will likely be a delay for some readers, depending on how quickly some ISPs update their DNS entries, but everything should be back to normal for everyone by Sunday night. E-mail subscriptions, RSS, Facebook, and Twitter feeds should continue as usual.

This is a great time to say thanks to all our readers and contributors over the past seven years. The Almanack wouldn’t exist without the hard work of our nearly 30 contributors and the generous attention of our readers.

Thanks to all of you the Almanack is an outstanding example of community journalism – and there’s more to come!

Enjoy this fall – er, spring – weather, and we’ll see you on the other side of the mountain.

John Warren
Editor, Adirondack Almanack


Monday, April 16, 2012

Indentifying Adirondack First Growth Forests

The Adirondacks are home to the largest known contiguous tract of unlogged forest in the Northeast. Located in the Southern part of Five Ponds Wilderness Area (Herkimer and Hamilton Counties), estimates of this patch of ancient forest range from 42,000 to 50,000 acres.

According to researcher Mary Byrd Davis, “The state bought the tract to settle a claim for damages brought by a land owner who charged that construction of a dam had prevented his shipping and therefore selling the timber on his land.” » Continue Reading.