Monday, February 15, 2021

Progress made in Hamilton County following 2019 Halloween Storm

Since the Halloween Storm raged through Hamilton County on October 31, 2019, excellent progress has been made to mitigate damage.  In the wake of the storm, departments worked unceasingly to make roads passable.  Then, they spent the spring, summer, and fall repairing infrastructure and stabilizing streams.  Work continues, with more projects on tap for 2021.

Greg Boyer, Hamilton County Department of Public Works Road Supervisor II, reported that when the storm first hit, crew members spent countless hours making the roads passable.

“Crews were fabulous as far as getting together to get the work done, and making roads accessible for people to get in and out of their houses,” Boyer said.  “Everyone worked together really well.”

The Hamilton County DPW completed the following flood mitigation projects:

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 11, 2021

There’s something about the weather….

There’s something about the weather, particularly when it comes to hydrology, that creates an almost eye-rolling cycle of stories. If it’s not too dry, it’s too wet. With a changing climate, the normal also changes — for instance, while reporting a story on pollution running into Lake Champlain, I heard from officials on both sides of the lake that they’re seeing more rain and storms so intense they’re called “rain bombs,” a recipe for uncontrolled flashes of water that sweep pollution into the lake from fields and streets.

Some people notice all this. Others do not.

Two years ago, while I was reporter in the Southwest and had spent a few years covering a major drought, we had what seemed like an awfully rainy and cold winter for that part of the world. A few people I talked to regularly said, Oh yeah, this is strange weather for here. So, I called the National Weather Service and asked, Ain’t it awfully rainy and cold? Not really, the local meteorologist replied, it was only the 55th coldest stretch on record.

Such is the nature of human perception: We forget what happened or remember things that didn’t.

» Continue Reading.


Kid next to water
Tuesday, February 2, 2021

When nature calls…Lake George defenders answer

Cotton Point postcardI dropped into the Lake George Park Commission’s Zoom meeting to check on the status of pending rules to curb runoff into the lake. Known as stormwater regulations, these rules are designed to try to reduce the amount of water that runs across roofs, roads and lots when it rains or snows. Unchecked, this water picks up pollution and sends it straight into the lake.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 2, 2021

DEC calls for volunteers to track Spotted Lanternfly in NY

The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive pest that had made its way over to the US From Asia which feeds on a variety of plants such as grapes, hops, and maple trees. The SLF has been discovered in multiple locations around NY but still hasn’t spread throughout most of the state. A potential pathway for the spread of SLF is its preferred host plant, called the Tree of Heaven, a tree found in many locations across NY.

New York iMapInvasives is seeking volunteers to look for SLF and TOH in your area, where you can help protect New York’s agriculture and forests by catalouging invasive species in the iMapInvasives database.

To learn more about the Spotted Lanternfly and Tree of Heaven, check out iMapInvasives website, and sign up for the “Identifying and Reporting Spotted Lanternfly and Tree of Heaven with NY iMapInvasives” webinar, available Tuesday, February 23rd from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Register online here.


Sunday, January 31, 2021

Getting Lost in the Woods, Lest We Lose the Woods

balsamDo you have a favorite tree of the Adirondacks? I do. Among the many wonderful options, it’s quite hard to choose.

My favorite tree isn’t the beautiful sugar maple, responsible for both fiery autumn colors and delicious maple syrup. Though I love the deep green color of the Eastern hemlock, it too is passed over. I regrettably often don’t even notice the birches, the beeches, or the red maples. Although I greatly enjoy hiking uphill through a thick tunnel of red spruce, this conifer is a close friend but not my closest. The tall and delightfully shaped Eastern white pine comes in second, but even this icon of the woods doesn’t hold first place in my heart.

My favorite tree is perhaps many people’s favorite: the Adirondack classic, the balsam fir. If nature has produced a more wonderfully appealing, delightfully fragrant, overall MVP of conifer trees on the East coast, I have yet to encounter it. There isn’t a tree that I associate more directly with the deep sense of peace and wholeness that I feel while in the woods than the balsam fir.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 28, 2021

Pre-cycle: Think before you buy

garbage canCan I Pre-Cycle That?

PREvent waste before you reCYCLE. One of the main ways we can prevent waste while working toward wellness goals is through precycling, which includes thinking about purchases and choosing options that generate less waste. Precycling your way through your 2021 health goals is as easy as following these tips:

Reduce

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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

DEC gives update on fight against hemlock wooly adelgid

Hemlock with HWA egg masses_Connecticut Agricultural Experiment StationThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and partners issued an update about ongoing efforts to limit the spread of the invasive pest Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (HWA) on Forest Preserve lands in Washington County as part of an ongoing, multi-year initiative. DEC confirmed the HWA infestation in August 2020, and began treatment in October on affected hemlock trees in the Glen Island Campground on the shores of Lake George.

Treatment began Oct. 6, 2020 along the shorelines of Lake George and was conducted over a four-week period by DEC staff. DEC prioritized the infestation at Paradise Bay due to the site’s size and levels of infestation. Crews treated 2,374 trees with insecticide on 138 acres of Paradise Bay and injected insecticides directly into the trunks of 80 trees close to sensitive areas. In addition, the New York State Hemlock Initiative released 620 Laricobius beetles, a biological control for HWA, in the treatment area to feed on HWA.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 23, 2021

DEC Reminder – Seeking Comments for Proposed Trout Stream Fishing Regulations

NYS DEC has announced that there is still time to comment on the potential fishing regulations for inland trout streams in New York State. Those interested in posting comment can find the text of regulations proposed, as well as instructions for submitting comments on the DEC’s website. Public comments on proposed rule changes will be accepted until January 25.

If you need a quick reminder, the DEC is proposing an amendment to Trout Stream Sportfishing Regulations by creating new statewide regulations, 4 regulation categories, and a catch and release season from October 15th through March 31st.

 


Thursday, January 21, 2021

Adirondack conservation groups bring priorities to Albany

loonFour Adirondack conservation organizations this week called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to boost both public health and the Upstate economy with new investments in the Adirondack Forest Preserve and clean water.  They also urged him to fix lingering problems at the Adirondack Park Agency.  

“The Adirondack Park is a national treasure and the birthplace of the wilderness movement in our country,” noted the letter sent to the Governor by the groups.  “We urge you to uphold the 125-year, multi-generational, bipartisan tradition of protecting the Adirondack Park. At six million acres, the Adirondack Park is the largest park in the contiguous United States. It is also the largest intact temperate deciduous forest in the world, making it a primary source of our state’s clean water, a refuge for wildlife and biodiversity, and a sponge for greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.”

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

DEC to hold virtual public meeting on upcoming polystyrene ban

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, in partnership with the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I), invites stakeholders to attend a one-hour virtual public meeting about NY’s Expanded Polystyrene Foam Container and Polystyrene Loose Fill Packaging Ban.

Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 11 a.m. EST: The NYSDEC, in partnership with NYSP2I, will provide an informational presentation with interactive stakeholder engagement regarding the recently enacted law.

Beginning January 1, 2022, no covered food service provider or store (retail or wholesale) will be allowed to sell, offer for sale, or distribute disposable food service containers that contain expanded polystyrene foam in New York. In addition, no manufacturer or store will be allowed to sell, offer for sale, or distribute polystyrene loose fill packaging (commonly referred to as packing peanuts) in the state.

Registration is required to attend the virtual public meeting. Learn more about the law and sign up to receive the latest information.

For questions, email [email protected]

A polystyrene burger box pollutes a the reeds by the side of the river. DEC photo


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Let’s talk about bats, EPA and more

coffee and conversation eventThis Friday, the Explorer is hosting an online discussion with me and other Explorer reporters. Join us, if you can. Click here to sign up, and feel free to share with a friend.

There’s plenty we can talk about. For now, I wanted to share two recent stories, one on the Trump administration and the other on bats:

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

NYS Food Waste Law: Is Your Community Ready?

compostIn a little over 12 months, the New York State Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law will take effect, requiring businesses that generate an annual average of two tons or more of wasted food per week to donate excess edible food; and recycle all remaining food scraps if they are within 25 miles of an organics recycler.

AdkAction and their newest project, Compost for Good, are hosting a Zoom event on January 20th from 10-11:30am. The event is designed to help municipal officials and community advocates understand the new law, and to introduce various options for composting. Representatives from NYS DEC will join us to discuss the new law as well as the Climate Smart Communities program. There will be a question and answer session after the presentation.

To register for this event, visit adkaction.org/event/municipal-composting/

Cornell University has created a model that converts campus-generated organic waste into rich compost. It won a 2009 Environmental Quality Award from the U.S. EPA. – Cornell CALS photo/Almanack archive


Monday, January 18, 2021

Keep Standing Dead Trees in your Woodlot

Some of the most important trees in your woodlot are the ones that are no longer alive. Large, standing dead or dying trees—called snags—are an important part of healthy forests and a critical habitat feature for wildlife. They provide places for many birds and mammals to forage, den, nest, perch, and roost. Snags are very important for cavity-nesting birds like woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees; for bats that roost within cavities, crevices, and flaky bark; and for countless species that rely on insects, fungi, and lichens as a food source. As long as they aren’t in a hazardous location such as near a road or building, consider leaving snags for wildlife.

In woodlands where snags are sparse or absent, it’s possible to create a few by topping, girdling, or simply leaving several mature trees as legacy trees that may become snags in the future.

Biologists recommend having at least three large snags (>12” diameter) per acre to benefit wildlife. These stately spires also add structural complexity, provide an element of visual interest, store carbon, reflect a forest stand’s past, and will enrich soils in the future.

Photo by Katherine Yard.


Thursday, January 14, 2021

Wooden you know? Wooden satellites and other innovations

As a card-carrying, registered tree hugger, I have long touted the benefits of trees such as carbon storage, energy savings and improved mental health. And beyond the familiar tree-related blessings such as maple syrup, lumber and firewood, I’ve written about some obscure things like birch-based candy that fights tooth decay, and health-promoting chaga tea derived from a birch fungus. Then there’s basswood bark for fiber, elm bark for baskets, and pine bark for lunch. That stuff is all pretty straightforward.

More highly processed wood products, though, are a mystery to me. Even a fairly mundane example like how a pile of dirty logs becomes a decidedly coveted treasure – I’m speaking of toilet paper, of course – seems like rocket science. But recent developments are truly mind-blowing. Without a doubt, tree-derived stuff has risen to a whole new level: the Japanese will soon rocket a wooden satellite into space.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Start 2021 off on the right foot with recycling

A few simple changes can have a positive impact for your local recycling program. By learning the “ins and outs” of your local program, you can recycle right this year and help clear up confusion about items that cause contamination in recycling streams across NY.

Before you throw an item in the trash, take a second to search some alternative ways to use or manage it. Can it be reused? Can it be donated? Does your recycling program accept it?

» Continue Reading.



Kid next to water

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