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.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Adirondack Hut-to-Hut Style Effort Underway

AMC Highland CenterA new group is exploring the possibility of creating a network of trails that would link with new and existing lodging facilities in the Adirondack Park.

The concept is based on hut-to-hut systems that are popular in other parts of the world, including New Zealand and Spain. Closer to home, the Appalachian Mountain Club runs huts for hikers in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Cutting Road Salt On Adirondack Roads

Plow-600x382Standing next to a small, unnamed stream near where it empties into Mountain Pond on a cool September day, scientist Dan Kelting reads a sensor he just dipped in the water to measure electrical conductivity, which is used to gauge road-salt concentrations.

Pure water is a poor conductor of electricity, but road salt, or sodium chloride, increases conductivity. Based on the conductivity reading (285 microsiemens per centimeter), Kelting calculates that the water contains 80 milligrams of chloride per liter. This means the stream contains roughly 160 times more chloride than a similar size stream a few miles away.

Why the difference? The stream near Mountain Pond, north of Paul Smith’s College, is downstream from Route 30, a state highway that is heavily salted in the winter. The other stream, which Kelting refers to as Smitty Brook, runs through the Forest Preserve and is upstream of roads. » Continue Reading.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Eight Bridges To Be Repaired in Keene Area

Route 73 bridges mapThe state Department of Transportation plans to repair eight bridges on state Route 73 from Saint Huberts to Keene during the next two years.

The bridge work is intended to make the structures more resilient to flooding by widening them, DOT officials told residents at a public meeting at the Keene Fire House Thursday evening. In addition, new steel and concrete foundations will make them more secure. Several bridges will also be raised.

“What the project will do is protect the bridges from severe weather,” said DOT project manager Richard Filkins.

Seven of the bridges will be repaired with funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The DOT will put that work out to bid in the near future and plans to choose a contractor early next year. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Spruce Grouse: Help For A Rare Bird

Adult GrouseOnce abundant in the Adirondacks, the spruce grouse has struggled for much of the past century, but now scientists are trying to bolster the dwindling population by importing birds from out of state.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation released three spruce grouse last year and thirty this year, according to Angelena Ross, a biologist with the department.

The three birds released last year were adult females from Ontario. Only one survived the winter, and it was killed by a hawk in the spring.

In August, DEC released twelve adults and eighteen juveniles captured in Maine at three sites in the Adirondacks— two on private land, one in the Forest Preserve— near Tupper Lake and Paul Smiths. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

DEC Seeks Killer of Newcomb Moose Calf

MooseThe state Department of Environmental Conservation is trying to figure out who shot and killed a young moose in Newcomb recently.

The DEC received the report of the dead moose on Tahawus Road in Newcomb on Saturday, November 1, from a caretaker at the Santanoni Club, a hunting, fishing and recreation club located nearby.

A necropsy later found that the animal was “killed by a shotgun slug or muzzle-loading bullet fired through its chest,” DEC spokesman Dave Winchell told Adirondack Almanack.

The necropsy didn’t find any evidence that it was hit by a car or had other serious wounds, Winchell said.

Winchell said the female moose was 244 pounds. Its size indicates it was born this past spring.

Hunting moose is not legal in New York State. Killing a moose is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a $2,000 fine and a year in jail. » Continue Reading.


Monday, November 3, 2014

DEC Seeks Public’s Help In Finding Moose

Young_bull_moose(1)The state Department of Environmental Conservation is asking for the public’s help in locating moose in the Adirondacks, so they can put GPS collars on the animals for research purposes.

The DEC is currently in the early stages of a moose population study that is being undertaken with SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Cornell University, and Wildlife Conservation Society in Saranac Lake. As part of the study, state wildlife biologists plan to put GPS collars on four female moose. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Low Turnout For Open Space Plan Hearing

IMG_0014Only five people showed up to comment on the Open Space Conservation Plan at public hearings held at the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Region 5 headquarters in Ray Brook Thursday.

The Open Space Conservation plan outlines the state’s conservation priorities and lists lands the state should consider buying if they become available. It is written by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and DEC, with input from regional committees.

The plan lists four urgent priorities: promoting outdoor recreation; addressing climate change; ensuring clean water, air and land for a healthy economy; and protecting, using and conserving natural resources and cultural heritage. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Researchers Finding Lyme Disease in Adirondacks

#3 - HarringtonResearchers from Paul Smith’s College are finding Lyme Disease in ticks and small mammals in the Adirondack Park.

Paul Smith’s College professor Lee Ann Sporn is heading her college’s involvement in a Lyme Disease study that includes the state Department of Health and Trudeau Institute in Saranac Lake. Trudeau is working to develop a vaccine for Lyme, while Sporn and students are monitoring the disease by testing mammals and ticks for it. Researchers hope to get a better understanding of the biology of the disease, where it is found geographically, and what factors are influencing its spread.

So far, Sporn said that some of the test results have surprised her, including that a high percentage (eight of twelve) of small mammals tested positive for Lyme Disease in Schroon Lake.  The animals — mainly mice, shrews and voles — were trapped in the wild. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Acid Rain Work Not Finished

DZ4A3581Great strides have been made in recent decades to protect the Adirondack Park’s environment from acid rain, but more work still needs to be done. That’s according to scientists, environmentalists and natural resource managers who attended a conference about acid rain in the Adirondacks Thursday at the Hilton Hotel in Saratoga Springs.

The event was organized by the Adirondack Council and the Environmental Defense Fund. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

DEC To Address Lake Placid Bear Problems

black_bear_mammalState Department of Environmental Conservation wildlife technician Ben Tabor said his department had a high number of calls about nuisance black bears in Lake Placid this summer, leading DEC officials to host an informational meeting on the topic at the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery on Thursday, Oct. 16.

Tabor said there were about six bears feeding in dumpsters in Lake Placid, including some on Main Street. The DEC started receiving calls about them in early July, and the complaints continued into September.

The goal of the meeting is to educate business owners and local residents about ways to curb the problem, Tabor said. He said removing nuisance bears isn’t the solution because others will replace them. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

NYS Open Space Plan Considers Recreation, Climate

big dropThe public has until mid-December to comment on the newest draft of the state’s Open Space Conservation Plan.

Updated every five years, the plan guides the state’s decisions regarding land acquisitions and sets a strategy for land conservation. The plan is developed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Regional committees throughout the state provide additional input.

This plan listed four urgent priorities: promoting outdoor recreation; addressing climate change; ensuring clean water, air and land for a healthy economy; and protecting, using and conserving natural resources and cultural heritage.

In the outdoor recreation section, it specifically mentions promoting recreation for all types of users on both private and public lands, connecting children with nature, and connecting open space corridors. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Adirondack Road Salt Alternatives Sought

SnowplowA conference at Paul Smith’s College this week led to the formation of a working group that will look at alternatives to applying road-salt on local roads.

The all-volunteer group, which is still being finalized, will study the costs of alternative de-icers and their impact on roads, bridges, and water quality. It will also examine roads in the Adirondacks to see where sunlight could be used to assist with snow and ice removal. It will identify funding sources for further studies of groundwater contamination, salt toxicity, public education, and training of state and municipal employees.

The group is expected to include members of local and state highway departments, environmental groups, local elected officials, and scientists. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Inlet Boat Gathering Unofficially Breaks Record

OneSquareNBIt looks like Inlet is headed back into the Guinness Book of World Records.

On Saturday, more than 3,000 boats gathered on Fourth Lake for the One Square Mile of Hope cancer fundraiser in an attempt to form the world’s largest raft of canoes, kayaks and guideboats. The record still needs the approval of Guinness officials, but it looks to have beaten the current one of 2,099 boats set last year by a group on Sutton’s Bay on Lake Michigan. » Continue Reading.