Almanack Contributor 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 is currently digital editor for Adirondack Explorer, overseeing both the Explorer's website and its community forum the Adirondack Almanack. She enjoys hiking, camping and other outdoors activities, and spending time with her husband, their twin daughters, and rescue animals -- two dogs and two cats.


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

It’s debatable: The last big piece of land

John Hendrickson, owner of the 36,000 Whitney Park estate outside of Long Lake, announced his intentions last month to sell the property, setting off speculations of who the next buyer could be — or should be.

Hendrickson, the widower of philanthropist, thoroughbred owner and Saratoga Springs socialite Marylou Whitney, told the Wall Street Journal at the end of July he was listing the property for $180 million — $5,000 an acre.

The news had environmentalists calling for the parcel, which includes 22 lakes and one of the great Adirondack camps called Deerlands, to be part of the Adirondack Park’s forest preserve.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Weekend read: Women’s suffrage

This week marked the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

For those fighting for women’s suffrage, this victory was hard-won. In honor of the milestone, here are a few stories from the Almanack archive.

Inez Milholland: A fervent fighter for suffrage and Adirondack resident. Born and is buried in Lewis, she died young and never lived to see the fruits of her labor.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Should ‘secret spots’ stay that way?

newcomb trail

SECRET SPOTS: We all have them. In a commentary in the Almanack, outdoors enthusiast Paul Kalac questions whether the rise in social media is doing a disservice to our treasured places.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS: Should ‘secret spots’ stay that way? Is the internet to blame? Join the conversation in the comments section or send an email to editor@adirondackalmanack.com.


Saturday, August 8, 2020

Weekend read: Leave no Trace

The DEC had a special reminder to treat the High Peaks with care and respect in this week’s Outdoor Conditions report.

Also, in the Adirondack Explorer, Mike Lynch reports on Marcy stewards’ frustration over lack of preparedness and the flood of hikers this summer. (Mike’s photo from the Marcy summit shown here)

One of those stewards, Michaela Dunn, wrote about her own experiences in this blog entry that’s been widely circulating online.

In the spirit of “Leave no Trace,” a look through the Almanack archive found this post from 2014: Brandon Wiltse writes about a wildlife encounter he had: http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2014/01/leave-trace-dont-feed-wildlife.html


Friday, August 7, 2020

What’s on your Adirondack summer bucket list?

Phil Brown canoes Shingle Shanty Brook in 2009People all over the country are flocking outside during this pandemic summer. And recent top stories from AdirondackExplorer.org and AdirondackAlmanack.com reflect the strangeness of recreating amid Covid-19, I as wrote about in my weekly “Adk News Briefing” e-mail newsletter. (Click here to subscribe to it.)

I’m curious to know what’s on your Adirondack summer “to do” list. Have you tried something new this summer? Have you joined the crowds or ventured into more remote territory? Feel free to leave a comment or share an email: editor@adirondackalmanack.com

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 1, 2020

Weekend reads: Some of our most-read wildlife stories

From time to time, an animal story (or two or three) pops up in the analytics as gaining a noticeable amount of attention, due to people’s searches that land them there, or other online referrals.

Here’s an offering of a few of those popular stories for your reading pleasure:

» Continue Reading.


Monday, July 27, 2020

‘Name that Place’ photo contest tests your Adirondack knowledge

How well do you know the Adirondacks?

Each day this week (July 27-31) we’re posting a photo of a “mystery location: to the Adirondack Explorer’s website.

You let us know where it is by leaving a comment in that post. Come back each day for a new photo/entry.

At the end of the week, we’ll draw a winner for a grab bag of Adirondack Explorer swag and books by locally renowned authors Bill McKibben and Phil Terrie. As a bonus, the first person who gets all 5 entries correct receives special recognition.


Saturday, July 25, 2020

Weekend read: Climbing the trap dike

A recent DEC ranger report about hikers getting stuck in Mount Colden’s trap dike had me searching the archive for stories about hiking the dike.

Is it a hike or a climb? In 2011, former Explorer editor Phil Brown tackles the tough question: Is the Colden trap dike a hike or a climb? Esp. in light of a hiker who died from a fall at the dike that year. http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2011/10/phil-brown-is-the-trap-dike-a-hike-or-a-climb.html

Magazine feature: In 2015, Brown writes about the tap dike being featured in Climbing magazine: http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2015/04/magazine-recommends-alpine-trek-adirondacks.html

Marcy’s trap dike: From 2017, Kevin “MudRat” MacKenzie writes about scaling Mount Marcy’s trap dike: http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2017/06/marcys-great-chimney-new-climb-mt-marcys-trap-dike.html

Photo: DEC Forest Rangers assist in hoist rescue on Trap Dike/provided by DEC

 


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Send us your story ideas; write for the Almanack

Is there something happening in your part of the Park that we should know about? Any topics we need to tackle? Let us know by commenting or sending an email to editor@adirondackalmanack.com.

We also invite you to contribute! Looking for people who are interested in writing about Adirondack history, arts and culture, current events, and environmental, recreation and nature/wildlife topics. Review the basic guidelines below and get in touch at editor@adirondackalmanack.com.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 19, 2020

Send us your story ideas

Is there something happening in your part of the Park that we should know about? Any topics we need to tackle? Let us know by commenting below or sending an email to editor@adirondackalmanack.com.


Saturday, July 18, 2020

From the archive: 1995 microburst

Twenty-five years ago, on July 15, 1995, a crazy storm hit the Adirondacks.

We posted this 2011 story from the Almanack archive on the anniversary of the microburst on Wednesday, and readers chimed in with their own memories of the storm: http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2011/07/extreme-adirondacks-surviving-the-1995-microburst.html.

Here’s another one from 2009 about the storm, also known as the Great Adirondack Blowdown: http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2009/07/anniversary-of-the-great-adirondack-blowdown-of-1995.html

 


Monday, July 13, 2020

What are your thoughts about dogs on the trails?

Dogs: Do they need to be hiking or should they stay home? To leash or not to leash? Those are the questions facing pet parents who want to include their furry four-legged companions on excursions.

Read up on hiking do’s and don’ts in this article that’s part of the July/August edition of Adirondack Explorer: https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/stories/dogs-in-the-adirondacks

And weigh in here with your thoughts and experiences.

Photo: Kim Douglas and her dog Stitch hike Haystack Mountain, a trail in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness, where leashes are required. By Nancie Battaglia


Saturday, July 11, 2020

From the Archive: NYCO Mine Amendment

Peter Bauer’s critique this week about the state’s role in the 2013 NYCO mine amendment stirred up some long-standing resentments.

A search for “NYCO” in the Almanack archive brings up 100 past articles. Here’s a sampling, in case you wanted to read up on the the history of this controversial amendment:

Leading up the vote: Pete Nelson presented his position on a “no” vote: http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2013/10/commentary-precedent-profit-vote-nyco-amendment.html

From 2013: Former Explorer editor Phil Brown breaks down the reasons why the amendment passed: http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2013/12/nyco-overcame-aversion-proposition-5.html

Also from 2013: Chris Amato looks at the “Facts and Fiction” surrounding the amendment: http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2013/12/nyco-amendment-fact-fiction.html

From 2014: Brown reports on the attempts to stop drilling from going forward: http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2014/09/state-argues-nyco-foes-thwarting-will-of-voters.html

From 2018: The Explorer reports on the amendment and lack of progress on the mine holding up its part of the deal: http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2018/08/nyco-mine-expansion-falters.html

 


Saturday, July 4, 2020

Weekend read: Constitutional amendments

Happy Independence Day!

Article 14, Section 1 — the “Forever Wild” clause of New York’s constitution — has been amended 16 times since 1938, and talks have been under way about three new amendments that could be put before voters.

In the Almanack, Peter Bauer, Executive Director of Protect the Adirondacks, has been working on a five-part series about these proposed amendments.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 20, 2020

Happy Father’s Day and Happy Solstice!

Happy Father’s Day weekend and happy start of summer. In recognition of both, I’ve pulled a few related stories from the Almanack archive to share:

Frog Jumping Contest: Even though this year’s event is sadly canceled due to COVID-19, Diane Chase wrote about this fun annual “Frog Jumping Contest” typically held on Father’s Day. This popular Old Forge tradition is approaching its 50th anniversary. From 2018: http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2018/06/forty-six-years-of-frog-jumping-fathers-days.html.

» Continue Reading.