Thursday, December 14, 2017

Katie Wilson: Senate Tax Plan Reaction

US Capitol at dusk 2013Last Saturday I woke up to an overwhelming sense of dread and sadness over the state of our government that I hadn’t felt since about this time last year.

In the dark of night the Senate voted to take away health care from 13 million people and increase the national debt by $1 trillion. They voted to further undermine the middle class and wage war on the poor. They also voted to give establishment donors a big Christmas present. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tim Rowland On Bears Ears, Vigilance and Overuse

bears ears national monument mapWe live in an age when a considerable duplication of services could be eliminated by merging the Congressional Record with the National Sex Offender Registry. So squalid behavior in Washington is no longer a surprise, with the hands of the politicians groping their way into all sorts of unwanted places, from middle-class wallets to the web to western public lands.

Now that I have lived through half of one, a century doesn’t seem like that long of a timeframe, so forgive me when I say it’s “only” been a hundred years or so that the last great conservative occupied the White House. Also, forgive me for being tone-deaf to political nuance, but to my mind if you want to call yourself a conservative, you actually have to want to conserve something. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Remembering Maurice Hinchey, 1992 Adirondack Park Centennial

Adirondack Park Centennial SignOn November 22, we lost one of the finest legislators in my lifetime, U.S. Congressman and former chair of the NYS Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee, Maurice Hinchey of Saugerties.

He was, no doubt, flawed like any human being. But he had remarkable qualities and political skills that allowed him to reach many of his public goals benefiting the Adirondacks, the Catskills and beyond.

My Adirondack career started in 1987. By that time, Assemblyman Hinchey had been a champion for the environment for well over a dozen years. All environmental legislation, including New York’s first-in-the-nation acid rain law of 1984 as well as our state’s leading wetland and stream protection laws passed the previous decade bore his influential stamp, as all sprung from and had to pass through his committee. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Conservation Groups To Congress: Keep Bikes Out of Wilderness

A coalition of 133 conservation and wilderness organizations from across America, including Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, has asked Congress “to reject an unprecedented call to amend the Wilderness Act to allow for the use of mountain bikes in designated Wilderness.”

The sign-on letter from the 133 organizations was prepared ahead of a December 7th hearing in the U.S. House’s Subcommittee on Federal Lands on a Republican-sponsored bill (H.R. 1349), which would open America’s 110-million acres of Wilderness to mountain bikes and wheeled contraptions. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

$3.8M Available for Geothermal Clean Energy

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and New York Power Authority (NYPA) have announced the availability of $3.8 million for the launch of a statewide Geothermal Clean Energy Challenge, an initiative designed to help stimulate financing and installation of large-scale geothermal systems at state and local governmental entities, public and private schools and healthcare facilities. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Whitehall Solar Installation Dedicated to Gore Mtn Ski Resort

whitehall solar arrayThe New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) and today announced the completion of Gore Mountain Ski Resort’s 5.3 megawatt solar array in Washington County, The installation is believed to be the largest solar installation dedicated to a ski resort in the nation.

Gore Mountain’s snowmaking system, lift operations, and other electrical equipment use about 13-million kilowatt hours of power and cost approximately $1 million in utility costs each year according to ORDA. The 14,589 solar panel system is ground-mounted and remote net metered, meaning it is built off-site and the energy produced is exported onto the electricity grid, which Gore will receive credits for on its utility bill. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Beamish: Vanquishing Rural Sprawl in the Adirondack Park

How best to protect the private backcountry of the Adirondacks while allowing for suitable development? How can we prevent future monstrosities like the resort project approved for Tupper Lake?

Here’s one way. A bill before the state legislature will help to preserve the biological integrity, wildlife and wildlife corridors, and the wonderful open-space character, of the Adirondack Park. It would require the state’s Adirondack Park Agency (APA) to mandate “conservation design” for future subdivisions over a certain size, starting with an ecological and forest stewardship plan for the entire property. The developer would then concentrate building lots for minimum impact, ensuring that at least 75 percent of the tract remains in contiguous and intact open space. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Comments Sought On Adirondack Tent Site Management

Primitive Campsites in the AdirondacksThe Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are holding a joint public comment period to solicit comments regarding proposed management guidance for the design and layout of primitive tent sites on State Lands in the Adirondack Park. The APA and DEC will accept comments until January 22, 2018.

The Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan defines a primitive tent site as “a designated tent site of an undeveloped character providing space for not more than three tents, which may have an associated pit privy and fire ring, designed to accommodate a maximum of eight people on a temporary or transient basis, and located so as to accommodate the need for shelter in a manner least intrusive on the surrounding environment.” » Continue Reading.


Monday, November 27, 2017

Adirondacks Come Together Over Road Salt Use

Conservation organizations and communities are looking at a variety of options for reducing road salt, including improved technology on salt trucks, improved monitoring of road conditions, and the use of alternatives to salt.

David Wick, executive director of the Lake George Park Commission, said the towns of Lake George, Bolton, and Queensbury and the village of Lake George will experiment with using a brine — a solution of road salt and water — this winter. Brine is applied to roads prior to winter storms to reduce the formation of ice and hence the amount of salt that must be applied after the storm. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Research: Road Salt Interrupts Turnover of Mirror Lake

road salt on mirror lake

Research and monitoring work on Mirror Lake over the past two and half years by the Ausable River Association has yielded some alarming results.

Association Science and Stewardship Director, Dr. Brendan Wiltse, recently presented his research work at the Mirror Lake Water Quality Workshop. Here are a few key findings he presented: » Continue Reading.


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Adirondack Historian Publishes Essay Collection

Philip Terrie bookThe historian Philip Terrie has come out with a new book that collects nearly sixty articles that have appeared in the Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine over the past two decades.

Seeing the Forest: Reviews, Musings, and Opinions from an Adirondack Historian covers a wide range of subjects: Adirondack art and literature, the history of the Forest Preserve, the scourges of acid rain and climate change, the meaning of wilderness, and the saga of a cougar that trekked from South Dakota to the Northeast.

Terrie, who lives in Ithaca and Long Lake, is retired from teaching American studies at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Seeing the Forest is his fourth book. His previous works also dealt with the Adirondacks. His best known is Contested Terrain: A New History of Nature and People in the Adirondacks. He also is the author of Forever Wild: A Cultural History of Wilderness in the Adirondacks and Wildlife and Wilderness: A History of Adirondack Mammals.

» Continue Reading.


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.


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