Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Hikers Seek Solitude and Wildness in the High Peaks, Survey Reveals

Temporary Parking Closures, Parking Permits, Shuttles & Trail Closures Acceptable to Users

Two leading conservation organizations, The Adirondack Council, The Adirondack Mountain Club, and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) released the preliminary results of a two month hiker survey for the High Peaks Wilderness Area, showing most hikers preferred solitude and wildness, and would welcome limits on visitation in order to prevent damage to the “forever wild” forest preserve.

The survey, “Recreational User Experience and Perspectives: Adirondack Park” is undergoing its initial analysis, but the institutions involved look forward to releasing the final results in a few months.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, November 2, 2020

Rangers return from stint fighting western fires

South Dakota, California, and Colorado
Fighting Wildfires:
 On Oct. 16, DEC welcomed back the State’s third team of Forest Rangers, staff, and volunteers deployed to help battle and contain wildfires raging in western states. The wildland firefighting crew began their assignment on Sept. 30. The crew includes a DEC Forest Ranger crew boss and nine firefighters from the ranks of Forest Rangers and other DEC programs.

Shown at left: New York State wildland firefighter in South Dakota

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Sunday, November 1, 2020

Invasion of the Murder Hornets 

They’ve been in the headlines since last December: Giant Murder Hornets Arrive in North America; Murder Hornet Nest Found in Washington State; A Sting that Can Kill.

They look and act like something out of a science fiction movie or taken straight out of a Steven King novel. They’re huge. They spit venom. And their stings can be lethal to humans.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, October 30, 2020

Rivers and Dams

Over the past several months, I’ve begun to explore the role that dams play in the Adirondacks.

There are about 750 in the North Country. About 30 are a hazard with known safety problems. That’s the worrying part about dams.

But, at the moment I write this, about 21 percent of the state’s power is coming from some dam or another, making hydroelectricity one of the cleaner sources of power available.

“Cleaner” — not necessarily greener.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Plant a Wildflower Habitat for Pollinators this Fall

fall wildflowersFall-blooming asters and goldenrods provide important habitat for pollinators. Many of these beautiful flowers thrive in sunny fields, roadsides, and woodland openings while a few prefer partial shade.

At home, simple changes to your lawn, garden, and landscaping can help increase and improve fall pollinator habitat.

In the garden, try planting native seed mixes or leaving a few goldenrod stems instead of weeding them out. In the yard, choose to be pesticide-free and consider leaving no-mow edges or patches in your lawn to grow over time.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Pupdate: Wild Center releases rehabbed otters

The Wild Center has released two female North American River Otters to the Shingle Shanty Preserve and Research Station (a 15,000-acre biological field research station in the Western Adirondacks) after 5 months of rehabilitation.

The Otter Rehabilitation was as first for The Wild Center and began last May after receiving two phone calls from residents of separate areas within the North Country that had each spotted a five-week-old abandoned otter pup in the wild. Leah Valerio, Wild Center Curator and the rest of the Animal Care staff then worked with local veterinarian Dr. Nina Schoch to retrieve the otter pups and transport them to the Center’s Tupper Lake facility.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Green Power and more of the week’s top stories

 

GREEN POWER, GREEN PARK: All this week on Adirondack Explorer’s website we’ve been digging into renewable/clean energy issues, highlighting recent Explorer stories. Each day focused on a different topic:

Here’ a look a those and more of the week’s recent stories:

Note: A version of this post first appeared in my weekly “Adk News Briefing” email. Click here to sign up.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The EPA, a gorilla in the closet

I’ll have more reporting that involves the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but here are a few key concepts:

The first head of the EPA, a Nixon appointee named William Ruckelshaus, said the newly-created agency was meant to be a “gorilla in the closet.”  As he explained in an oral history:

The belief was that the states had enough interest and infrastructure to enforce these laws. If they also had this “gorilla in the closet”–that is, the federal government, which could assume control if the state authorities proved too weak or inept to curb local polluters–the states would be far more effective. That’s the theory. Prior to EPA, there was no federal oversight. There was no “gorilla in the closet.” Absent that, it was very hard to get widespread compliance.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

$300,000 Challenge for the Future of Lake George

lglc logoManning and Virginia Rowan Smith, with the Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC), have announced a public challenge to raise $300,000 by Thanksgiving. This challenge is to encourage those who support the protection of Lake George to join LGLC’s Land and Water Society.

The Land and Water Society is the LGLC’s legacy society and celebrates those who choose to include the LGLC in their estate planning. You can include them through a bequest, or by naming the LGLC as a beneficiary in a life insurance policy or retirement fund, or through many other options that are available.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Adirondack Groups Urge Lawmakers to Invest in Environment

A coalition of Adirondack conservation organizations is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to support environmental agency spending and capital investments that protect clean water, preserve open space, fight climate change, and ensure visitor safety during the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, October 19, 2020

Wild Center partnership nets $449K to grow youth climate program

A $449,278 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Environmental Literacy Program will support The Wild Center as it helps empower young people to respond to climate change in their communities.

The three-year project builds upon a collaboration of The Wild Center, the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) as they support the development of leadership skills for rural youth by creating programming that demonstrates best practices for students and teachers to engage and partner with local municipalities on climate resilience planning. The project, called Empowering Rural Youth for Community Climate Resilience in New York State, will also increase awareness of the New York State Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 18, 2020

Enjoying our environment

We’re wrapping up production of our November/December magazine issue, and we think Mike Lynch’s photography and writing in it should alert a lot of readers to recreational and environmental aspects of the Adirondacks that they hadn’t previously considered. For one thing, it seems that a lot of people who enjoy our mountains weren’t aware that they were home to salmon — either historically or right now.

Well, they are, and Mike made a number of trips to the Boquet River to see and photograph them running there. (Above is a long exposure he snapped of a landlocked Atlantic salmon cresting in the river.) Those fish, which the state has stocked but in some years will also reproduce naturally in the river, offer hope for a thriving wild salmon fishery in the park.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 15, 2020

Council notes progress on Adirondack community water system upgrades

Boreas River headwaters. Photo by Phil Brown 9/5/16.The first five rounds of state clean water grant programs have provided more than $58 million directly to Adirondack communities, plus another $94 million in State Revolving Loan Fund low-interest loans, for a total economic boost of $152 million in clean water and drinking water infrastructure improvements since 2015, the Adirondack Council announced today.

The Adirondack Council applauded the fact that, in total, 72 NYS Clean Water and Drinking Water Grants have gone to 36 Adirondack communities, totaling $58,068,291, according to the Council’s report Adirondack Clean Water 2020: Success Made/Wastewater Treatment Needs Ahead.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

In-Person Hunter Education Courses Resume, Online Courses Extended

The DEC reported record-breaking sales of hunting and trapping licenses for upcoming seasons, nearly tripling prior years’ sales on opening day for big game hunting and trapping licenses, as well as Deer Management Permits. More then double were sold on the second day, and close to double on the following first two weeks.

The DEC has reopened in-person Hunter Education Courses, including Bowhunter Education, and Trapper Education courses, granted they will be following strict social distancing guidelines along with other precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19. The DEC turned the Hunter Ed program into an online certification course once Covid-19 began, which resulted in a dramatic 105-percent increase in participants completing the course compared to their traditional in-person courses offered the previous year.

Both Bowhunting and Hunter education courses are available at the DEC’s website by clicking this link. Or, if you would like to find more information on a traditional field-based course, you can visit the DEC’s website by clicking this link.


Sunday, October 11, 2020

Reporting for the future

I recently marked my first anniversary at the Explorer.

One of the interesting things about working for a magazine is thinking about how to tell stories that will stick around and still be news for a while. Since the magazine comes out once every two months, the stories in it ought to last at least as long as the time between issues.

A lot of journalism gets a bad rap as “clickbait” and transitory. This isn’t a new complaint — Schopenhauer compared journalists to barking dogs — nor is it particularly accurate, since most people I know are trying to work on something they can stand back and admire at the end of their careers. But it’s certainly true that much of what gets our attention, especially these days, is something that changes from one day to the next, or from one hour or one minute to the next.

» Continue Reading.



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