Almanack Contributor Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch is a staff writer and photographer for the nonprofit Adirondack Explorer, the regional bimonthly news magazine with a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental issues.

Mike’s favorite outdoor activities include paddling, hiking, fishing and backcountry skiing. In 2011, he paddled the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail from Old Forge to Fort Kent, Maine.

From 2007 until 2014, Mike worked as an outdoors writer and photographer for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise in Saranac Lake.

Mike welcomes story ideas and can be reached at mike@adirondackexplorer.org.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Survey Finds Birds Are Moving Uphill On Whiteface Mountain

American Robin by Wikimedia user MdfA survey of birds on Whiteface Mountain has found that many species have moved uphill in the past forty years, possibly in response to climate change.

New York State Museum curator Jeremy Kirchman and Alison Van Keuren, a volunteer, conducted bird surveys on the 4,867-foot peak in 2013 and 2014. Their work replicated surveys by two University at Albany biologists, K.P. Able and B.R. Noon, in 1973 and 1974. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Man, Dog Injured In Bear Encounter

black_bear_mammalA 55-year-old Troy man and his dog suffered bite, scratch and puncture wounds after a run-in with a black bear in the southern Adirondacks Tuesday evening.

The bear incident took place at about 5 p.m. when the bear encountered the Troy’s man unleashed small dog in the Stewart’s Landing area of the Ferris Lake Wild Forest in the town of Stratford, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Adirondack Search and Rescue Highlights (July)

DEC Forest RangerState Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the backcountry.

July missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks include:

Distressed Swimmer
On  July 2 at 2:49 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a report of an unresponsive man in the water near the “Bluffs” on Lower Saranac Lake. The 31-year-old man, from West Barry, jumped off the Bluff and resurfaced face down and unconscious. A Saranac Lake Islands campground staffer, in a boat close by, witnessed the incident and maneuvered his boat to the swimmer who had regained consciousness and began yelling for help. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Northern Forest Canoe Trail Marks 15 Years

MikeLynchNFCTsignThe nonprofit that founded and organizes the Northern Forest Canoe Trail (and shares its name) is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2015.

The longest canoe trail in the nation, the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail starts in Old Forge and ends in Fort Kent, Maine. It goes through Vermont, Québec, and New Hampshire following Native American travel routes.

The organization was founded when Vermonters Kay Henry and Rob Center, former owners of the Mad River Canoe company, first heard the idea of the trail from a group of paddlers researching the route. They loved the idea of the adventure, but were compelled by a larger vision. “We knew that the region had been through decades of decline in the forest products industries that had been the economic driver for generations,” Henry said. “We saw this trail as a means to help support the development of nature-based tourism across the North Country and an opportunity to diversify the economy.” » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Protect Advocates For Cougars And Wolves

CreeAn Adirondack environmental group has asked the state Department of Environmental Conservation to consider reintroducing wolves and cougars in its State Wildlife Action Plan, which is currently in draft form and expected to be finished later this year.

“We cannot rely on natural recolonization for cougars from the west,” Peter Bauer, director of Protect the Adirondacks, wrote in a July 14 letter to the DEC. “Aggressive hunting seasons are starting to reduce the overall populations and it’s unrealistic to think that enough males and females will reach the Adirondacks to establish a viable population. New York leaders should take a hard look at reintroduction of cougars to the Adirondack Park. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Climate Change is Altering Nature’s Clock

Salamander-Stager-600x383Scientist Curt Stager walks along the edge of the woods, his flashlight shining into the shallow water of a leafy, roadside pool on a dark night in Paul Smiths. It’s late April, and he’s out looking for spotted salamanders, wood frogs, and spring peepers that have migrated to shallow vernal pools to breed. After poking around for a minute, he lets out an excited shout: “There’s a salamander! There he is! He’s early!”

In the water is a dark, four-inch-long creature with bright yellow spots. In the same pool not far away, wood frogs float on the surface. In another week, pools like this will be a filled with breeding frogs and salamanders, which will leave behind egg sacks that hatch into larvae.

Spotted salamanders spend most of the year underground, so seeing them is rare except during these annual breeding migrations. Their journeys are triggered by the first rains of spring. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Volunteers Sought For Saturday’s Loon Census

Loon in Adirondacks.JLM. (1)The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Adirondack Program is looking for volunteers to help with its annual Adirondack Loon Census, which takes place on Saturday, July 18.

Volunteers are asked to visit ponds and lakes on that Saturday from 8 to 9 am and count the number of adult and immature loons they see.

Loons generally arrive for the summer breeding season in May. Their young birds hatch from eggs in late June and early July during the first round of breeding. Loons can also lay eggs later in the summer during a second round.   » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Adirondack Search and Rescue Highlights (June)

DEC Forest RangerState Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the backcountry.

June missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks include: » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 6, 2015

Adirondack Moose Population Showing Positive Signs

July 2012 at Helldiver Pond, Moose River Plains (Linda Bohrer Erion photo)The Adirondack moose population appears to be healthy and growing, according to early indications from a moose study currently taking place.

“We don’t know how many moose we have yet. We don’t know how frequent the moose are on the landscape. We don’t know their densities,” said Ben Tabor, a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. “What we do know is that our moose seem to be bigger and healthier than New Hampshire’s and Maine’s.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Feds Look To Remove Eastern Cougar Protections

Cougar in Montana Photo by BigStockPhoto dot comThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed removing the eastern cougar from the endangered species list, claiming that scientific evidence shows the animal is extinct.

Thousands of cougar sightings have been reported in the eastern United States (including the Adirondacks) and Canada in recent decades, but the Fish and Wildlife Service says these animals are either dispersers from western populations or pets that have been released or escaped captivity. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Adirondack Search and Rescue Highlights (May)

DEC Forest RangerForest rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, forest rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the backcountry.

The following is a summary of rescue missions in May. The information was provided by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Experts Say Adirondack Lynx Return Unlikely

lynx by Larry MastersA fellow carnivore scientist once showed Cristina Eisenberg the skeleton of an animal and asked her to identify it. Looking at the large hindquarters and feet, she guessed snowshoe hare. Told she guessed wrong, she took a closer look.

“I looked at the skull, and it was a lynx,” said Eisenberg, a scientist with Earthwatch Institute, an international environmental organization.

Eisenberg might be forgiven for her initial mistake: the Canada lynx and snowshoe hare have some anatomical similarities. “They have very big, soft feet that don’t punch through the snow,” she said. “Their feet are like snowshoes.” » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Adirondack Search and Rescue Highlights (April)

DEC Forest RangerState Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents in the Adirondacks and statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, forest rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the backcountry. Here’s a list of incident that occurred in the Adirondacks during the month of April. The info was provided by DEC. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Questions Over DEC’s Trout Stocking Practices

Trout-rainbow-300x196When people think of invasive species in the Adirondack Park, they think of Eurasian watermilfoil, zebra mussels, Asian clams, or any number of other exotic plants and animals that have made the headlines.

People don’t usually think of brown trout and rainbow trout, but neither fish, though abundant now, is native to the region.

Brown trout are native to Germany and were introduced to New York State in the late 1800s. Rainbow trout, native to the West Coast, were introduced around the same time. In both cases, the goal was to enhance fishing opportunities. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Hiker Rescued After Two Nights In Woods

DEC Forest RangerForest rangers rescued a lost hiker in Ray Brook early this morning after he spent two unplanned nights in the woods.

Claude Denev, a 54-year-old from Ray Brook, hiked to the summit of the 3,088-foot-high Scarface Mountain Saturday. By trail, the hike is about 3.5 miles one way. After reaching the summit and starting the descent, Denev apparently became lost, according to DEC Region 5 Spokesman Dave Winchell. » Continue Reading.