Monday, November 20, 2017

Gibson: Boreal Road Construction Skirts Law

DEC and APA Staff Visit Jordan River in 2001 (Dave Gibson Photo)Previously I wrote in the Almanack about “a notice for public comment about what seems a relatively innocuous, relatively short (1.25 mile) road construction… has been circulated by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, or DEC… This is actually not a small deal at all.”

Indeed it is not a small deal. I wanted to follow up my earlier post with one that examines whether the State DEC has properly applied the law in its initial review of this project affecting more than 20,000 acres of private land easement, as well as State Land near the border of St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties. All of this area is part of a low-elevation boreal ecosystem identified for its significance by State and private ecologists since the 1970s. » Continue Reading.


Monday, November 20, 2017

LGLC Receives Grant from TNC, Dome Island Committee

lglc logoThe Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) has received a grant of $10,000 from The Nature Conservancy via its Dome Island Endowment, in support of the stewardship of Dome Island and other lands in the Lake George watershed.

The Nature Conservancy’s Dome Island Committee meets several times a year to review projects funded by past grants and advise future spending. Funds are sourced from an endowment that was created before John Apperson donated the 16-acre Dome Island in Bolton to The Nature Conservancy in 1956. John Apperson challenged The Nature Conservancy and the Lake George community to raise a $20,000 endowment to support stewardship of the property, which was to be protected in perpetuity.   » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Peter Bauer: Ban Motors on Weller Pond

Weller Pond and Little Weller Pond should be a quiet-waters area off limits to motorboats, accessible only by non-motorized craft. These ponds could offer a peaceful and beautiful refuge from the heavily used and extremely popular Saranac Lakes chain.

It would be easy to do. New York State owns the entire shoreline around both ponds. The state also owns the lands around the navigable channel that connects these ponds to Middle Saranac Lake. And the state has the authority to close these ponds to motorized boat traffic; it simply needs the will to do so. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tyler Socash Talk: 7,000 Miles to a Wilderness Ethic

tyler socashChamplain Area Trails (CATS) is partnering with the Northeast Wilderness Trust to sponsor Tyler Socash’s talk, “7,000 Miles to a Wilderness Ethic” at the Whallonsburg Grange on Friday, November 17, from 6 to 8 pm.

After years of outdoor recreation in the Adirondack Park, Tyler went on a yearlong trek across the Pacific Crest Trail, New Zealand’s Te Araroa and the Appalachian Trail. Socash says his adventure into wild lands inspired him to help defend the wildest remaining places in New York’s Forest Preserve. » Continue Reading.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Tracy Ormsbee: A Good Idea For Development

The Fund for Lake George has developed a low-impact development (LID) certification that, if widely adopted, could significantly reduce one of the greatest threats to water quality — storm-water runoff — by stopping it at its source. And in a region dependent on its three thousand lakes and ponds for their recreational value — and sometimes drinking water — that seems like a program we all should get behind. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Boreas Ponds Wilderness Advocate Will Hike To APA

adirondack wilderness advocates logoAdirondack Wilderness Advocates (AWA) has announced that Tyler Socash, AWA member and activist, will attend the Adirondack Park Agency’s next meeting on November 16th by walking from the Boreas Ponds Tract to the APA’s Ray Brook headquarters.

Socash will be carrying over 1,000 letters that AWA supporters have sent to the APA in the last three weeks, calling for a full Wilderness classification for the Boreas Ponds Tract with the entire length of Gulf Brook Road closed. Socash grew up in Old Forge, NY. » Continue Reading.


Monday, November 6, 2017

At Boreas Ponds Will Governor Cuomo Learn From His Mistakes?

There will be no decision on the classification of the Boreas Ponds at the November meeting of the Adirondack Park Agency (APA). The APA often does not meet in either December or January so it could be that there is no decision until February 2018 or after. The Governor has made it clear that he will make the final decision on Boreas Ponds and will instruct the APA on what to do. For it’s part, the APA has prepared the paperwork for the Boreas classification, but patiently awaits the decision by the Governor.

The Boreas Ponds sit as the centerpiece of a classification package of over 50,000 acres of Forest Preserve lands that the APA took to public hearing one year ago. Once the hearings concluded in mid-December a decision was supposed to be speedy with management set by the summer 2017 field season. Yet, here we are a year later with no decision in sight. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Adk Tanker Storage: Actions Governor Cuomo Could Take

stored tanker cars“They own the track so they believe they have the right to store their trains on their track in the Adirondacks. It is unsightly. It’s out of character with the Adirondacks. We don’t own the tracks. There’s a question as to what legal right we have to oppose it. But we oppose it one hundred percent and we are going to do everything we can do to stop the owner from storing the trains on those tracks.” – Governor Andrew Cuomo

So said Governor Andrew Cuomo to media gathered in Glens Falls last week concerning Iowa Pacific/Saratoga-North Creek Railroad (SNCRR) storage of old, supposedly cleaned tanker cars on rails in Minerva, Essex County, close to the designated “Scenic” Boreas River. The underlying land below and on either side of the tracks where tanker cars are being stored is “forever wild” Forest Preserve (Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest). » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Legal Case Against Storing Tank Cars In Adirondacks

A lot of people in New York State, including the governor, are upset that Iowa Pacific Holdings is storing empty tank cars on tracks in the Adirondacks. But what, if anything, can be done about it?

Iowa Pacific says that railroads are overseen by the federal government and so the state doesn’t have legal grounds to stop the storage.

But Neil Woodworth, executive director of the Adirondack Mountain Club, argues that storing rail cars has nothing to do with rail transportation and so the state can assert jurisdiction. And he believes the state can take steps now to force Iowa Pacific to remove the cars. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 30, 2017

More Oil Tanker Rail Cars Moved Into Adirondack Park

oil tanks in the adirondacksSome 25 more out-of-service oil tanker railcars were brought through North River, alongside the Hudson River in the Town of Johnsburg, Warren County en route to little used railroad track in Essex County Monday evening. This is the second shipment of out-of-service oil tanker cars delivered to the Adirondack Park. More than 50 tankers have arrived, some parked across ‘forever wild” Adirondack Forest Preserve land.  The cars are being brought for indefinite storage by Iowa Pacific Holdings.

Despite strongly worded statements of opposition to this activity by Governor Andrew Cuomo, neither the Adirondack Park Agency nor Department of Environmental Conservation have acted. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Forest Preserve Oil Cars And Iowa Pacific Intentions

stored tanker carsI have a history of missing the big picture. When I see that a cleaning product “kills 99.9 percent of household germs,” instead of being comforted I worry about that one tenth of 1 percent. What’s that germ got? And will it destroy us all?

So I might be missing a perfectly logical reason why the Chicago-based Iowa Pacific Holdings LLC would think it a good idea to junk 2,000 flaking old oil tankers in the heart of the Adirondacks, where hikers and fishermen are seeking natural and spiritual repast, not a chain of rolling testaments to a (nearly) bygone era of dirty energy.

You wonder how this is this even possible in a land where, to hear some people tell it, you can’t even look at a spruce sideways, and the regulators sit around just waiting for you to commit some overt act that they can take you to court for. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Paul Smith’s Sustainability and Resilience Forum

Ma’ikwe Ludwig, a TEDx speaker and longtime sustainable community activist, will lead a presentation and workshop at the Paul Smith’s College VIC on Nov. 1.

The TED-style talk, which begins at 9:30 am, will be based on Ludwig’s recently published book Together Resilient: Building Community in the Age of Climate Disruption and touch on ideas such as sustainability initiatives taken at a community level. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Governor Cuomo Speaks Out Against Storing Oil Tanker Railcars

stored tanker carsAt an address at the Glens Falls Hospital on October 25th concerning a new cancer study by his administration in Warren County and Upstate New York, Governor Cuomo addressed the recent controversy around storing used out-of-service oil tanker rail cars by Iowa Pacific Holdings on a remote line in the central Adirondack Park. The Governor starkly denounced the plan.

The Governor said: “It is unsightly, it is out of character with the Adirondacks, nobody goes to the Adirondacks to look at old trains, they go there to look at the natural beauty. We don’t own the tracks, there is a question as to what legal right we have to oppose it, but we oppose it 100% and we are going to do everything we can do to stop the owner from storing the trains on those tracks.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Mirror Lake Water Quality Workshop November 2nd

mirror lake water quality workshopThe Ausable River Association will hold a workshop on Thursday, November 2nd from 1 to 4:30 pm at the Crowne Plaza in Lake Placid to discuss issues related to the protection of Mirror Lake.

Mirror Lake is the jewel of the Village of Lake Placid and serves as a hub for many recreational activities in the Village and the Town of North Elba. For the past three years, AsRA, in partnership with the Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI), has been studying the water quality of Mirror Lake. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Pete Nelson: Be Wary of Corporate Power in a Constitutional Convention

Article 14, Section 1 New York State Constitution Forever Wild clauseOn Tuesday, November 7th, New Yorkers have an opportunity to vote on Ballot Proposition 1: whether the State will hold a constitutional convention in 2019. Many of my colleagues in the Adirondack environmental world are urging a “No” vote. Anticipating that such a convention would be heavily influenced by moneyed special interests, they are concerned with possible threats to the legendary “Forever Wild” constitutional amendment that protects the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserves. They reason correctly that Forever Wild, being the gold standard in wilderness protection, cannot be improved, only weakened, and they don’t want to see State take that risk.

I share my friends’ concern about Forever Wild and I agree with their basic argument, but I do not join them in urging a “No” vote. My political DNA is too deeply imbued with grassroots, democratic activism for me to oppose this opportunity for the people of New York to directly act on the condition of their government. I also recognize that simply convening a constitutional convention does not expose the welfare to the Adirondack Park to unfettered abuse by special interests who would exploit it. No matter the goings on among the delegates to the convention, the people of New York will have the final say in the process, by virtue of their vote on any amendments in November of 2019.

But count me as wary.

» Continue Reading.


Page 1 of 9512345...102030...Last »