Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Organizations mark 50th Anniversary of Clean Water Act with new museum exhibit, other events

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is marking the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Clean Water Act of 1972 this summer with a new exhibit and public activities. In tandem with partners around the Champlain Valley, the exhibit and activities give the public the chance to celebrate the importance of clean water through history, action, and educational events.

The new exhibit, “The Clean Water Act,” explores the history that led to the passage of the Clean Water Act, key parts to know about this federal legislation, how it relates to Lake Champlain, and people of the Champlain Valley who continue the fight for clean water. Featured locals include Tom Jorling, one of the architects of the Clean Water Act in 1972, former DEC commissioner for New York state, and professor and attorney; Kelley Tucker, executive director of the Ausable River Association; and Iris Hsiang, youth member of the Vermont Climate Council and founder of the Youth Organizing Coalition.

The exhibit was made possible with generous support from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership. The Clean Water Act exhibit is open for all to visit for free in-person at the museum in Vergennes, VT or online at www.lcmm.org/Clean-Water-Act.

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Monday, August 8, 2022

ADK Park: Recent Environmental Conservation Police News

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Division of Law Enforcement enforces the 71 chapters of New York State’s Environmental Conservation Law (ECL), protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York. In 1880, the first eight Game Protectors proudly began serving to protect the natural resources and people of New York State.

In 2021, 282 Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) and Investigators across the state responded to 26,207 calls and worked on cases that resulted in 11,562 tickets or arrests for violations ranging from deer poaching to solid waste dumping, illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.

 

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Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Lake George update

putnam

Lake George Park commissioners today got an update on a pair of initiatives that could have a major impact on the future of the lake.

A set of draft regulations to create a new septic inspection program around the lake is awaiting state approval before going up for public comments in the coming weeks. The proposed rules would establish a requirement that thousands of homes near the lake and its tributaries submit to a septic pump and inspection every few years.

Commission officials said they expected to be holding public hearings on the septic rules sometime this fall, possibly in October. The park commission will host a public information session on the program early next month.

Allison Gaddy, a senior planner with the Lake Champlain Lake George Regional Planning Board also updated the park commission on a forthcoming Lake George Watershed Plan. The plan will include an assessment of existing local ordinances, codes and planning documents, as well as an overall review of the condition of the lake, surrounding natural areas and development. It covers a range of issues, including septic issues, land acquisition and conservation, invasive species, climate resiliency, road salt impacts and more.

Focused on water quality, the plan will also outline proposed projects around the lake, providing a source of ideas for future grant applications.

Gaddy said a draft could be available to the public as soon as August or in the next couple of months. The public will have a chance to offer comments on the plan.

Also: the commission’s annual boat steward program has seen a slight uptick in boater contacts compared to the same time last year and has intercepted over 100 instances of invasive species, including two quagga mussels, which have not yet established in Lake George.

I will keep an eye out for more details on all of these topics.

OTHER READS:

Photo: The Clark Hollow Bay property in Putnam as seen from Lake George. Provided by Lake George Land Conservancy

Editor’s note: This first appeared in Zach’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Click here to sign up.


Sunday, July 31, 2022

Adirondack Lakes Alliance annual symposium slated for Aug. 5

 

PAUL SMITHS (July 27, 2022) – Registration is now open for the Adirondack Lakes Alliance symposium, which will take place 8:30am – 4:00 pm on Friday, August 5.   

The 7th annual event will be held at Paul Smith’s College and there is a $25 fee to register, which includes lunch.
Attendees will receive an update from Dr. Dan Kelting, executive director of the Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute, on the progress of the Adirondack Road Salt Reduction Task Force. Also featured is Chris Mikolajczyk, the current president of the North American Lake Management Society and senior aquatic ecologist at PrincetonHydro. Chris will present about the benefits to lake associations from developing a comprehensive lake management plan.
There will be a resource fair featuring regional organizations and agencies and a series of small group presentations focusing on three key topics. The first covers aquatic invasive species management tools including herbicide treatment and details about the new NYS Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention Certification Program. The second topic is about on-site wastewater systems on our lake shores, specifically looking at impacts and solutions. The final topic will discuss community education and training resources for lake association members, specifically engaging youth, residents, and other members of the public. All attendees will have the opportunity to attend all three sessions.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Stewardship projects enhance access to Franklin, Union Falls ponds

FRANKLIN, NY — The Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) has completed a series of stewardship projects that improve access to Franklin Falls Pond and Union Falls Pond and mitigate negative environmental impacts to both water bodies.

“These projects are the latest in a long string of work by the NFCT in this area,” said Noah Pollock, NFCT’s stewardship director. “Franklin and Union Falls ponds are two jewels along the Saranac River — they don’t see the same crowds or traffic as other Adirondack lakes, but are equally beautiful. Our crew worked to formalize an access at the northern end of Franklin Falls Pond long used by paddlers to access the lake. It was a steep, eroding bank that led folks to access the water from a variety of different places, which created a lot of impacts on the shoreline vegetation. We built an 8-foot-wide set of timber stairs that are attractive and easy to use, and installed rocks at other informal access points to discourage use.”

Monday, July 25, 2022

DEC Proposes Improvements to State’s Forest Tax Law Program

dec logo

Public Comment Period on Proposed New and Improved Regulations Now through September 19; Two Virtual Public Comment Hearings Scheduled for September 13

On July 13, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced proposed changes to the implementing regulations for Real Property Tax Law Section 480a, also known as the Forest Tax Law. The comprehensive overhaul of these nearly 50-year-old regulations will lessen the administrative burden on participating forest landowners, help DEC promote compliance with requirements in place, and maintain and improve sustainable timber management on enrolled lands.

“The Forest Tax Law Program provides private forest landowners a significant real property tax reduction on enrolled forest lands in exchange for managing their timber resource for the long-term with the support of professional foresters,” said Commissioner Seggos. “Privately owned forests make up to 74 percent of the total forest land area in New York, and healthy, well-managed forests are essential for supporting our economy, protecting water and air quality, providing wildlife habitat, and improving forest carbon storage and sequestration, supporting the State’s climate efforts.”

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Monday, July 25, 2022

ADK, The Nature Conservancy improve access at Silver Lake Bog Preserve

 

July 25, 2022 — Black Brook, NY — The Nature Conservancy’s Silver Lake Bog Preserve’s nature trail is now more safe, sustainable, and accessible after a month of work by ADK’s professional trail crew. Part of a multi-year effort to make the Silver Lake Bog Preserve more accessible to all, The Nature Conservancy in the Adirondacks contracted with ADK to rebuild a bridge, reroute unsustainable trail sections, and establish a formal trail to the bluff viewpoint, which includes wooden ladders to increase safety.

The Silver Lake Bog Preserve is a publicly accessible 98-acre property that features a boardwalk that winds through an ancient peatland bog, the unsung hero of carbon capture, hardwood forests, and spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. The improved trail travels 1.5 miles through the Preserve and features a 200-foot bluff overlooking Silver Lake and Whiteface Mountain.

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Monday, July 25, 2022

DEC seeks public’s help reporting Asian Longhorned Beetle sightings

Adult Asian Longhorned Beetles (ALB) are active from late July through September. The ALB (Anoplophora glabripennis) is an invasive wood-boring insect that feeds on a variety of hardwoods including maple, birch, elm, ash, poplar, horsechestnut, and willow, among others.

Native to China and Korea, the beetles are approximately 1.5 inches long and shiny black, with white spots on their wing cases. They have black and white antennae that can be up to twice as long as their body. (They should not be confused with the native white-spotted pine sawyer, which has a distinctive white spot on their back, below their head.)

If they are in your neighborhood, it’s possible one will end up in your pool. The more “eyes” we have looking for infestations, the better chance of finding new ones early and eliminating them. ALB attacks and kills hardwoods, and they emerge from infested trees in the late summer to find a new host.

The DEC invites pool owners to check filters for the invasive insect regularly and submit a report if any are found. YOU are the key to keeping our forests free of ALB.

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Saturday, July 23, 2022

Adirondack Watershed Institute wins grants to study road salt pollution and green infrastructure improvements

PAUL SMITHS (July 21, 2022) –Officials at Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) announced it was recently awarded two research grants from the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP). The first grant will help scientists and policy makers understand the extent of road salt pollution in Lake Champlain. The second grant will support AWI scientists to assess the effectiveness of recent stormwater upgrades in Lake Placid to improve water quality in Mirror Lake.
Road salt is as a significant source of pollution in the Lake Champlain Basin, which includes 11 sub-basins drained from major tributaries in New York, Vermont, and Quebec including the Saranac, Ausable, Winooski, Missisquoi, and Lamoille Rivers. With the generous support of the LCBP, AWI scientists will compile existing data from all water bodies within the Lake Champlain Basin to determine what is driving sodium and chloride levels. As a result, scientists will have a better understanding of the extent and cause of road salt pollution in the basin, which will help inform long-term practices to reduce road salt and protect the environment.
“We look forward to working with LCBP to understand long-term changes, their causes, and the trajectory of sodium and chloride concentrations in the Lake Champlain Basin,” said Dr. Brendan Wiltse, senior research scientist for AWI and Principal Investigator for both grants. “As a result, New York and Vermont decision makers will be better informed to make management decisions that benefit the environment and the public.”

Thursday, July 21, 2022

ADK Park: Environmental Conservation Police News

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Division of Law Enforcement enforces the 71 chapters of New York State’s Environmental Conservation Law (ECL), protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York.

In 1880, the first eight Game Protectors proudly began serving to protect the natural resources and people of New York State.

In 2021, 282 Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) and Investigators across the state responded to 26,207 calls and worked on cases that resulted in 11,562 tickets or arrests for violations ranging from deer poaching to solid waste dumping, illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.

All Hooked Up – St. Lawrence County
On July 4, ECO Atwood responded to a call about a small goose with a fishing lure stuck in its foot in the town of Colton.

 

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Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Controlling an Invasive Plant Without Herbicides

Invasive species are plants, animals, fungi, or microorganisms that spread rapidly and cause harm to other species. They are introduced species that can thrive in areas beyond their natural range of dispersal.

     Characteristically, invasive plant species are adaptable, aggressive, and usually lacking natural enemies that can limit their growth and populations. They have a high reproductive capability; growing rapidly in short life cycles and producing abundant amounts of seed. They aggressively compete with native plants and plant communities and often displace them, thereby disrupting the normal functioning of ecosystems and threatening biodiversity and already endangered native plant species.
     Purple loosestrife is a perfect example of an introduced plant species that has become a serious and widespread threat to native species, natural communities, and ecosystem processes. It was brought to North America by the European colonists as an herbal remedy for dysentery, diarrhea, and other digestive ailments and introduced in the 1800s as an ornamental. It was well-established in New England by the 1830s, and spread along canals and other waterways. Supposedly sterile species were offered for sale for many years, but researchers later found that those cultivars were fully capable of cross-pollinating with plants growing in the wild.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

ADK sells Member Services Center building, relocates operations

July 19, 2022 — Lake George, NY — The Adirondack Mountain Club has finalized the sale of its Member Services Center building to FISH307.com for $800,000. Located at 814 Goggins Road in Lake George, the property served as ADK’s headquarters for over 30 years.

Part of the sale includes a one-year lease allowing ADK to move its Member Services Center staff and operations into FISH307.com’s current location at 6 State Route 149 in Lake George. Just as it did at Goggins Road, ADK will provide retail, visitor information, and support services for members and donors at the new location.

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Monday, July 18, 2022

DEC: Public Encouraged to Report Potential Beech Leaf Disease Infections

On July 15, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that Beech Leaf Disease (BLD), which affects all species of beech trees, was identified in 35 counties in New York State to date. The DEC began tracking BLD in 2018 after it was confirmed in Chautauqua County. Fourteen of the counties with BLD were confirmed in 2022, and more are likely to be identified.

“Many American beech trees are already heavily impacted by beech bark disease, but Beech Leaf Disease appears to be an even bigger threat,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “The decline of beech in New York could have far-reaching consequences, including significant changes to the composition of our northern hardwood forests and the loss of a valuable food source for wildlife. Beech Leaf Disease affects all beech, so the impacts would also be felt in our urban forests where ornamental beech trees, including the popular copper beech cultivar, are widely used for landscaping and street trees.”

Much is still unknown about BLD, including how it spreads, but it can kill mature beech trees in six to 10 years and saplings in as little as two years. There is no known treatment for infected trees. BLD symptoms are associated with the nematode Litylenchus crenatae mccannii. It is unknown whether the nematode causes all of the damage, or if it is in association with another pathogen such as a virus, bacteria, or fungus.

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Sunday, July 17, 2022

ADKX Benefit Gala set for July 30, Dr. Ross S. Whaley honored as Harold K. Hochschild Awardee

Blue Mountain Lake, N.Y.  – The Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake (ADKX) will be celebrating their annual Benefit Gala & Harold K. Hochschild Award ceremony on Saturday, July 30 from 6 to 9 pm, under the stars at their museum in the heart of the Adirondacks. This yearly celebration and fundraiser highlights the organization’s accomplishments and achievements, as well as honors the yearly Harold K. Hochschild Award recipient.

This award, given annually to a different recipient, is dedicated to the memory of the museum’s founder, whose passion for the Adirondacks, its people, and environment inspired him to create the museum and establish the Adirondack Park Agency (APA). The 2022 award recipient is Dr. Ross S. Whaley, President Emeritus of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) in Syracuse, NY.

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Friday, July 15, 2022

DEC issues fire danger reminder

campfire courtesy DECOn July 14, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos urged New Yorkers to practice the utmost safety when building campfires this summer. Dry weather throughout June and July has increased the risk of fires.

“The sunny, summer weather is giving people ample opportunity to enjoy New York’s outdoors, but it’s also increasing the risk for fires,” Commissioner Seggos said. “When building a campfire, please make sure to always keep an eye on it and pay attention to the wind. And when finished, make sure the fire is fully out and cold to the touch.”

The majority of the state remains at a moderate risk for fires, meaning that any outdoor fire can spread quickly, especially if the wind picks up. Campfires are among the top five causes of wildfires (PDF).

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