Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Adirondack Council: Upcoming APA Meeting Comments

Adirondack Council logoThe Adirondack Council has reviewed the agenda for the upcoming February 14-15 Adirondack Park Agency Board meeting. We offer the following comments and suggestions: » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

APA Agenda: North Hudson, Saranac Lakes Changes, More

APA Building in Ray Brook NYThe Adirondack Park Agency will hold its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook on Thursday, February 14th and Friday February 15th, 2019. Thursday’s meeting will begin at 1 pm and Friday’s session will commence at 9 am.

The meeting will include discussion on the Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area in the Town of North Hudson; a presentation on climate change in the Adirondacks; consideration of Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan conformance for the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest Unit Management Plan; and more. What follows is the agenda issued by the APA: » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 11, 2019

Commission on the Adirondacks in the 21st Century: A Status Report

Governor Mario Cuomo greets school children at Adirondack conference, Silver Bay Conference Center, in 1994. Photo by Ken Rimany, the Association for the Protection of the AdirondacksAdirondack Almanack readers may recall that in 2018 Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget office introduced legislation which would have changed the way the state pays taxes on the public’s Forest Preserve. It was proposed to change the ad valorem system, in place since 1886, to a payment in lieu of taxes.

Local school districts and supervisors were alarmed by the negative consequences of the proposed change, as were Forest Preserve advocates. In response, legislative staff sought background information about how the Real Property Tax Law applied to the Adirondack Park, historically speaking. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 4, 2019

Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky Wins Statewide Award

Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky has been selected as the recipient of a statewide award for his work using the study of algae near the shore of the Lake to identify and prioritize potential sources of pollutants.

Navitsky will be formally presented with the Linn H. Enslow Memorial Award from the non-profit New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA), a statewide organization of leaders in water quality management, at the Association’s annual meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 6, in New York City. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Comments Sought on Changes to Remote Wilderness Area

Pepperbox Wilderness with Trails and TrailheadsThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking public for input prior to developing a revision to the Pepperbox Wilderness Unit Management Plan (UMP). A public meeting will be held on February 27, in Lowville, Lewis County. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 31, 2019

John Sheehan: Oppose Changes to Federal Mercury Rule

Adirondack Council logoLast month, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler proposed an amendment to the federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards and the Clean Air Act “risk and review” process that should worry everyone who cares about the Adirondacks and public health.

On the surface, the change looks like a routine adjustment of technical language about the way EPA calculates “side benefits” from proposed air pollution rules. That’s how EPA is describing it. As a result, few people have paid attention to the proposal. But if approved, it would have far-reaching effects that strike at the heart of some of the most important public health and environmental protections. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 24, 2019

John Sheehan On The Adirondack Council’s Budget Priorities

Adirondack Council logoWhile applauding the state’s efforts to boost tourism, protect clean water and fight climate change, on Wednesday the Adirondack Council called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature to protect the Adirondack Forest Preserve against overuse, all-terrain vehicle trespass and other threats. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 17, 2019

Viewpoint: New Cuomo Budget Misses Major Adirondack Priorities

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recently released draft budget for 2019-2020 is disappointing because it misses some major priorities for the Adirondack environment and communities.

Major issues across the Adirondacks, such as increased funding for the High Peaks Wilderness to build a sustainable trail network, more Forest Rangers, or a larger Environmental Protection Fund to meet major challenges of climate change, were all ignored in this budget. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Opinion: Adirondack Park Doesn’t Need More Wilderness

high peaks by carl heilman ii“It’s Debatable” appears in each issue of the Adirondack Explorer. This essay by Matthew J. Simpson of the Adirondack Association of Towns & Villages is a companion piece to “Opinion: Adirondack Park Needs More Wilderness” by Adirondack Wilderness Advocates’ Bill Ingersoll.

The Adirondack Association of Towns & Villages was invited to provide the “No” response in this debate, but in truth, this is not a yes-or-no question. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Opinion: Adirondack Park Needs More Wilderness

high peaks by carl heilman ii“It’s Debatable” appears in each issue of the Adirondack Explorer.  This essay is a companion piece to “Opinion: Adirondack Park Doesn’t Need More Wilderness” by Matthew Simpson, which will appear on the Adirondack Almanack on Wednesday, January 16th.

Do we need more wilderness? Don’t be silly — yes, of course we do. Wilderness has been a defining element of the Adirondacks for more than two centuries, as much an iconic part of the landscape as loons, black bears and red efts. Even if we can’t always be in the wilderness, we find inspiration knowing that it’s out there, somewhere past those foothills on the horizon. » Continue Reading.


Monday, January 14, 2019

Grants Available for Invasive Species Projects

DEC logoNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that $3 million is available in the first round of the State’s newly consolidated Invasive Species Grant Program.

To support projects that target both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species across the state, DEC combined previous funding opportunities, including the Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention and the Aquatic and Terrestrial Invasive Species Early Detection/Rapid Response grants, into a single grant program. DEC is accepting applications for these grants through February 15, 2019. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Bill McKibben to Discuss Climate Change in Plattsburgh

Bill McKibbenLast July I was fortunate enough to hear Bill McKibben speak about his latest book Radio Free Vermont at the Paul Smith’s College VIC. Though that particular talk was regarding a book of fiction, the conversation quickly turned to climate change.

As the author of numerous books on the subject (notably The End of Nature), as well as founder of the international climate change organization 350.org, McKibben’s passion as an environmentalist and educator has seemed to come through with each word. I left the event wondering how I could help my children understand. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Rick LeVitre Retiring From Cornell Cooperative Extension

Assemblyman Billy Jones thanks Rick LeVitre for his service to New York’s 115th District After 7 years of Executive Directorship at Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Franklin County and two years of double-duty as Executive Director at CCE of both Franklin and Essex Counties, Rick LeVitre is retiring.

I remember the apprehension I felt when Rick arrived at Franklin County Extension. I knew that our Board of Directors had been working long and hard for months; holding meetings with and about candidates, and that they’d appointed Rick to the position with good reason. But the appointment of a new Director, more often than not, is only the beginning of all sorts of organizational changes. Structural changes to the staff. Strategic changes with regard to Association goals. Changes that both the Board and the new leader believe will move the organization forward. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 30, 2018

Dave Gibson: Rail Trail Controversy Shows Master Plan Has Teeth

Headlined at this month’s meeting of the Adirondack Park Agency was a vote by the APA members to amend the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (SLMP) to allow Rail Trails to be added to the definition of a Travel Corridor, and to support a rail trail in the SLMP’s Travel Corridor management guidance.

Prior to the APA decision, which like all Master Plan amendments must be ratified by the Governor, rail trails were not defined or authorized under the SLMP’s Travel Corridor overlay classification. Travel Corridors  applied only to the strip of land constituting the roadbed and right of way of state and interstate highways and the Remsen to Lake Placid railroad right of way, as well those state lands immediately adjacent to these facilities.  Such facilities had to be transportation related- not just recreational. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 13, 2018

Deniers, Pearl Harbor and Climate Change

Pearl Harbor in the 1880s My father was a young high school teacher in Florida on December 7, 1941. Following Pearl Harbor, he joined the Army and made it his career, including in Army intelligence assessing future security threats.

I once asked him what he thought, on the day of the Pearl Harbor attack, were our chances of winning the war. His answer was “not good”. He was confident in 1941 that America would fight courageously, and could build a massive military force, and that our role as the arsenal of democracy could prove decisive. But the key question was whether there was enough time left? » Continue Reading.