Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Rail Or Trail: Warren County Weighs Options

The North Creek Station when D&H still operated the railroadThe time may have come for Warren County to retire from the railroad business, says Ron Conover, the chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

In his annual message to the board, Conover broached the possibility of replacing the rail line between Stony Creek and North River, which the County owns and currently leases to Iowa-Pacific’s tourist train, with a multi-use recreational trail.

“I think the prudent thing at this stage is to begin to investigate whether a recreational trail should be created, by whom, at what cost, for which users; we should also ask how to pay for its creation and maintenance,” Conover said in his message, delivered at the municipal center on January 4. » Continue Reading.


Monday, January 15, 2018

Adirondack Park Agency: An Obstacle to Wilderness?

APA Building in Ray Brook NYNews that the Adirondack Park Agency plans to subvert a minimal wilderness designation at Boreas Ponds with both motorized and mechanized access corridors is not just discouraging, it is frightening. This is not a word that I toss out for emotional effect. It is my genuine reaction to the idea that the agency is becoming an obstacle to the wilderness preservation narrative that defines part of the Adirondack Park’s proud history.

Throughout this current land classification process — initiated in October 2016 and still unresolved today — the state has been setting a poor leadership example by pitting so-called user groups against one another, setting the expectation that one side wins and the other loses in this zero-sum game we politely call Forest Preserve management. » Continue Reading.


Monday, January 15, 2018

LGLC Conserves Land on East Brook, Lake George

McPhillips East BrookThe Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) has protected 12 acres in the Town of Lake George along the main branch of East Brook, one of the top ten tributaries of Lake George. The property contains over 500 feet of stream corridor and riparian area as well as several acres of wetlands that help to naturally protect water quality.

Located on the west side of Bloody Pond Road, the heavily wooded property abuts Lake George Elementary School land. Some of the land was zoned as High Density Residential and the topography would have allowed up to five homes along East Brook. A statement from LGLC stressed that the organization was not anti-development, but that the protection of this sensitive land for the benefit of water quality made it a high conservation priority. » Continue Reading.


Monday, January 15, 2018

Erosion, Sediment Control, and Stormwater Training

Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation DistrictThe Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District is sponsoring an Erosion, Sediment Control, and Stormwater Training on February 13, 2018 from 9 am to 1 pm at the Indian Lake Municipal Center, 117 Pelon Road.

The DEC Stormwater Permit mandates that all construction site contractors and subcontractors must have at least one trained individual from their company on their construction sites daily who is responsible for implementing erosion controls and stormwater management for sites that disturb one or more acres of land. These individuals must have completed a four-hour training class renewed every three years. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Janeway: Adirondack Priorities, Proposed NYS Budget

NYS CapitolOn Tuesday, January 16, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to announce his proposed budget for the state fiscal year that starts April 1. The announcement is slated for the day after the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday, when we celebrate the progress made toward civil rights and urge new actions to realize his “dream” of racial equality.

A projected multi-billion dollar state budget deficit has made headlines. Everyone will want to see how the proposed budget is balanced, how the goals the governor announced in the State of the State Address will be accomplished – including environmental and clean water goals – and what projects are likely to be funded. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Cary Institute Planning Road Salt Forum

plowtruck The Cary Institute in Millbrook, NY in the Lower Hudson Valley, has announced a management-based forum exploring the impact that road salt has on natural areas and drinking water supplies, with a focus on successful salt reduction strategies being used regionally and nationally. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Testimony on Proposed Repeal of Clean Power Plan

On January 9, Adirondack Council Chairman Robert Kafin called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to drop its proposal to repeal the federal Clean Power Plan, calling the notion “illegal and unreasonable.” He urged the EPA to instead begin enforcing the plan.

His comments were part of his testimony on the impacts that the proposed repeal would have on the Adirondack Park’s environment and communities. He presented his testimony during a hearing held in Manhattan by NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio. Schneiderman and DeBlasio.

The two officials held their own Clean Power Plan hearing because the EPA had scheduled no such hearings in New York, despite evidence that a rapidly changing climate puts the entire state at risk. The officials will submit all of the testimony from the hearing to the EPA for inclusion in the official comment record. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Coalition Urges Governor to Reform 480 Forest Tax Law

The Empire State Forest Products Association, The Nature Conservancy and a bi-partisan group of state lawmakers as well as over 20 industry and conservation groups, have called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to fulfill his promise to reform the Forest Tax Abatement Program in the 2018 State Budget.

Coalition advocates say the existing law, the 480-a Timber Tax Law, is overly complicated, exacerbating the forest loss. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Dave Gibson: Protect Adirondack Boreal Habitat

Road Network affects boreal habitat near the Raquette-Jordan Primitive AreaThe state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced in September that it would construct 1.25 miles of new road on private lands between Carry Falls Reservoir and the West Branch of the St. Regis River. The new road would connect two existing, much longer forest roads. To understand what’s wrong with this idea, here is some background.

In 1988, large commercial forest owners began to sell their enormous holdings in the Adirondack Park. DEC entered a new era of acquiring conservation easements and public recreational rights. The first large easement acquisition occurred in the part of Park in question. There was a disagreement over who would maintain the miles of industrial haul roads — nearly twenty miles. As a result, the public has been blocked from this easement ever since. Only leaseholders and private owners have access. The new road, paired with negotiations to gain more public rights, would finally open year-round motorized access for the public. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

APA Agenda: Frontier Town Campground, ORDA Permits, More

APA Building in Ray Brook NYThe Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook, NY on Thursday, January 11th, 2018.

The meeting will address the proposed Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area in North Hudson, the proposed amendments to the Whiteface and Gore unit management plans, and more.

What follows is the agenda issued by the APA: » Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sheehan: Comptroller’s Letter Helped Move Rail Cars

stored tanker carsAll those who applauded Berkshire Hathaway’s recent decision to remove its derelict oil tank cars from a junkyard along the Boreas River should also applaud NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, whose unheralded Dec. 12 letter to CEO Warren Buffett helped to persuade the company to act.

It turns out that New York has a large stake in Berkshire Hathaway. New York’s Common Retirement Fund (CRF) owns 5.7 million shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock. DiNapoli administers the CRF. » Continue Reading.


Friday, January 5, 2018

10 Hopes for the Adirondacks in the New Year

Boreas River headwaters. Photo by Phil Brown 9/5/16.It’s January, time for a fresh, blank sheet on which to start our new year. Plenty of us are making renewed attempts at weight loss or looking to get better organized or at least vowing to break our addiction to twenty-four-hour cable news.

Here at the Explorer, we’re renewing our hopes for smart decision-making in the Adirondacks and more chances to work together to ensure that the Park that we all love so much is protected for generations to come.

Here are ten hopes we have for 2018. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Adirondack Council Responds To ‘State of State’

The Adirondack Council offers our praise to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for declaring that New York would lead the response to the “federal assault” on environmental protection and a host of other progressive issues in his State of the State Address.

We are pleased that the Governor proposed a strong environmental response to the policy changes enacted by the Trump administration. He also made it clear that he views the Adirondack Park as a national treasure and a legacy we hold in trust for future generations. His recent work to remove an oil train junkyard from the park is one recent example. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Bauer: Boreas Decision Will Bring Mountain Bikes To Wilderness

It is unlikely that there will be a decision on the classification of the Boreas Ponds at the January 2018 meeting of the Adirondack Park Agency (APA). The APA will reportedly take up this work at its February meeting.

The APA has received the preferred option for the classification of the Boreas Ponds from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which is still awaiting the final check off from Governor Cuomo, but the APA is taking this as a done deal. The DEC’s preferred option enjoys the support of APA Chairman Sherman Craig, long a proponent for mountainbike use in Wilderness areas. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Janeway: Let’s Rethink Future of Tahawus Rail Corridor

oil tanks in the adirondacksGovernor Andrew Cuomo, the Adirondack Council and many others have offered well earned thanks to Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, whose subsidiary Union Tank Car Company announced the day after Christmas the planned removal of its derelict oil tank rail cars from the Adirondack Forest Preserve.

This is a victory for the preservation of the wild character and wilderness of the Adirondack Park and efforts to foster more sustainable vibrant communities. After those who deserve it take a victory lap, there is an opportunity to switch from defense to offense and secure a more positive future for the Tahawus spur above North Creek. » Continue Reading.


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