Almanack Contributor Melissa Hart

Melissa Hart

Melissa is a journalist with experience as a reporter and editor with the Burlington Free Press, Ithaca Journal and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. She worked as a communications specialist for the Adirondack North Country Association and runs her own New York State Women owned Business-Enterprise Bootstrap Communications, which includes digital marketing, strategy and design. She enjoys hiking, camping and other outdoors activities, and spending time with her husband, their twin daughters, and rescue animals -- two dogs and a cat.


Monday, March 15, 2021

Discussion topic: High Peaks use

Now that the High Peaks Advisory Group’s final report is out, have you had a chance to read through it?

Me either, ha ha. But here’s the Cliff Notes rundown from the DEC about the highlights:

Many of the report’s specific recommendations support DEC efforts that are currently underway with State and local partners to improve public safety and sustainably manage use of some of the High Peaks’ busiest trailheads, including:

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, March 6, 2021

Discussion time: the APA at 50

We’re gearing up at the Adirondack Explorer to run a series looking back over the formation of the Adirondack Park Agency 50 years ago, as well as looking into the future of the agency.

Here are a few recent posts that are critical of the APA:

Things fall apart at the APA

Local government club at the APA

Now it’s time to weigh in and share your thoughts: What role should the APA play in the next 50 years? What’s working, what’s not?


Sunday, February 28, 2021

Adirondacks the musical

Edward M. Shepard and the Making of a People’s ParkJust for fun discussion idea….I recently watched a filmed performance of the musical “Hamilton.” Which got me thinking: What would “Adirondacks, the musical” look like? Who would the main actors be? What would they sing about?

Some song title ideas (using existing songs for inspiration):
“Climb every mountain”

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”

“Misty Mountain Hop”

Maybe we can take these ideas and start an Adirondack-themed playlist…

Photo: Shepard Park amphitheater by Fred Thatcher/Almanack archive


Saturday, February 27, 2021

Share your winter trail cam pics

eagle trail cam picsA while back, an Almanack reader shared some photos of bald eagles eating carrion, caught on a trail cam. (One of those is pictured here.) Got me thinking that it would be cool to see more of these kinds of photos, as we start to emerge out of winter. Send in your winter trail cam pics to [email protected].


Saturday, February 20, 2021

How has border closure impacted you?

Recently, we’ve talked a bit about the year without Canadians in the Adirondacks (and on the flip side, our inability to travel north across the border). Here’s an article that ran recently in the Explorer (and will appear in the March/April issue of the magazine).

Now I’d like to hear from you: How has the border closure impacted you?


Sunday, February 14, 2021

Feeling the Adirondack love

love in a pandemicIn recognition of Valentine’s Day, here are some stories that speak to love in the Adirondacks, from the Almanack archive:

(Pictured here: Mary Welday and Duke Huntington, finding love and companionship in Saranac Lake. during the time of tuberculosis. Courtesy of Priscilla Goss/Historic Saranac Lake)

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, February 13, 2021

Share your community stories

Adirondack Communities logoThis week on the Adirondack Explorer website, we ran a story about the community of Indian Lake rallying to save their local branch of Community Bank from closing. (Read it here)

Now I’d like to hear from you: Who are the people in your community that make things happen? What are some other examples of Adirondack towns and villages coming together to creatively solve problems and come up with innovative solutions?

Leave a comment below or send me an email to: [email protected].


Saturday, February 6, 2021

When is a tree a tree?

Peter BauerIn the midst of our cold winter, a debate has been heating up around tree cutting for trails.

With the NYS Court of Appeals set to hear a case next month, environmental groups are taking sides. See this recent article by Adirondack Explorer’s policy reporter Gwen Craig: https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/stories/adirondack-advocates-clash-over-lawsuits-possible-effects-on-trail-work.

From the article, here’s an overview of the issue:

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 31, 2021

Green amendment: Yay or Nay?

Boreas River headwaters. Photo by Phil Brown 9/5/16.Have you been following the “Green Amendment” process?

A proposed state constitutional amendment would make clean air and water — two things plentiful in much of the Adirondacks — a right for all New Yorkers.

From Explorer reporter Gwen Craig’s Jan. 12 article:

“The proposed bill would add to the state bill of rights, giving citizens the “right to clean air and water and a healthful environment.” …The bill passed the state Senate and the Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee. It will now go to the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee.

The full Assembly will have to vote on the amendment for the constitutional change. Then it would appear before voters on a November ballot.”

Curious to hear your thoughts. If this moves forward, would you vote yay or nay and why?

Boreas River headwaters. Photo by Phil Brown/Almanack archive


Sunday, January 24, 2021

Where is the north country?

I was thinking it might be fun to try a new discussion thread each week. To get the ball rolling I was digging through the Almanack archive and came across this post from 2013 titled “Where Exactly is the North Country?”, written by Herb Hallas.

In his essay, Hallas traces the origin of the term North Country back to “the author, Irving Bacheller, when his novel, Eben Holden: A Tale of the North Country, became a literary sensation in 1900. Bacheller was born in Pierrepont, St. Lawrence County, NY in 1859 and graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1882. Two years later, he founded the first U.S. newspaper syndicate and introduced the writing of Stephen Crane, Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle and Joseph Conrad to American readers. Bacheller retired from newspaper work in 1900 to concentrate on writing novels. Eben Holden: A Tale of the North Country was his fourth novel and it became a runaway best seller.”

While Bacheller’s “North Country” referred to St. Lawrence County, Hallas cites five varying versions of what counties and places make up the North Country.

What are your thoughts? What comes to mind for you when hearing “North Country”? Does the North Country have a distinct identity apart from the Adirondacks or are the two forever linked together?

Image from NYS Empire State Development


Saturday, January 16, 2021

Helpful neighbors find pet pig on the lam

frank the pigFile under “only in the Adirondacks”:

A pet Vietnamese potbelly pig owned by the Gallaher family in Jay decided to go off on an adventure recently, only to be quickly rounded up thanks to the help of concerned neighbors.

An item in the Jay Community News email news digest on Jan. 9 spoke to the quick actions of getting “Frank the Lady Pig” back home safely:

“THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO LOOKED OUT FOR FRANK THE LADY PIG!
We just wanted to send a HUGE thank you out to everyone, especially Bobby Meconi, who called, texted, and spread the word (so quickly!) and Gary Dreiblatt who posted here on JCN that Frank was wandering off the property today. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Pete’s lasting Adirondack legacy

Ever since the news broke that iconic boatbuilder Peter Hornbeck died unexpectedly on Dec. 26, we’ve seen an outpouring of comments, remembrances and condolences. Take, for instance this piece by Peter Bauer, and this one by Lorraine Duvall.

Here are a few others, submitted by readers:

“In 1982 I was a young Syracuse based sales representative for a distributor of composite raw materials selling all the supplies a manufacturer of small boats would need. Accordingly, when I noticed an ad in Adirondack life for Hornbeck Boats, I dutifully called the number introducing myself and company while setting up a future sales call. Little did I know as I hung up the phone the call would be the genesis of a 38 – year friendship with one of the most beautiful and unique human beings my path would ever cross.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 3, 2021

Weekly news round up

A collection of interesting reads:

» Continue Reading.


Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year!


Friday, January 1, 2021

Latest news headlines

Happy New Year!
Here’s a look at news from around the Adirondacks this week:

» Continue Reading.