Thursday, November 7, 2013

Peter Bauer:
Reflections on the Vote to Sell 200 Acres of Forest Preserve

Article 14, Section 1 - croppedMuch is already being made about the great victory in passing Proposition 5 – the controversial Constitutional Amendment known as Proposition 5 that was approved by New Yorkers on November 5, 2013 to sell 200 acres of forever wild Forest Preserve in the Jay Mountain Wilderness to NYCO Minerals, Inc., a mining company that plans to incorporate it into its adjacent open pit mine.

I believe that some who are jubilant now will come to rue this day. If Forever Wild can’t be saved from the jaws of a mining company to be clearcut, blasted and mined, then when can it be saved? » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

DEC Proposes New Invasive Species Rule

invasive_curveThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking comments on new regulations (6 NYCRR Part 575) entitled “Prohibited and Regulated Invasive Species”. These regulations, once implemented, are expected to help control invasive species by reducing the introduction of new invasives and limiting the spread of existing invasives.

The proposed regulations include a list of prohibited species which shall be unlawful to knowingly possess with the intent to sell, import, purchase, transport or introduce; a list of regulated species which shall be legal to possess, sell, purchase, propagate and transport but may not be knowingly introduced into a free-living state; and require a permit for research, education and other approved activities involving prohibited species and release of regulated species. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Open Letter:
From Adk Council, ADK and League of Conservation Voters

Entering-Adirondack-ParkWhat follows is an open letter issued today to Adirondack Almanack readers.

Dear Adirondack Almanack Readers:

Voters reaffirmed that the Adirondack Park belongs to all New Yorkers. Proposition 4 (Township 40) was approved by a wide margin. Voters also approved Proposition 5 that expands the Jay Mountain Wilderness as part of a land swap with the NYCO mineral company. The approval of this constitutional amendment expands access to all sides of the Jay Mountain Wilderness and adds important new resources to the Forest Preserve.

Election results show that New Yorkers care deeply about the Adirondack Park.  Clearly the Adirondack Council, Adirondack Mountain Club, and the New York League of Conservation Voters’ collaboration with local governments, unions, and property owners can produce victories and results that benefit the Forest Preserve and communities. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Environmental Journalist Elizabeth Kolbert Event Planned

kolbertAs the fall weather heads toward winter, join Elizabeth Kolbert for a conversation on climate change in our area. Kolbert is a reporter and author of the new book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. S he’ll speak at 7PM on November 14th, in the Adirondack Room of the Joan Weill Library at Paul Smith’s College.

Kolbert published Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change in 2005, in which she followed scientists and residents of high latitudes to report a local and global climate portrait. This time, she’s using the same journalistic savvy to investigate our effects on biodiversity. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Essex Chain Classification On Hold

Essex ChainWhen the Adirondack Park Agency board meets next week, it will not be voting on a question that has been the subject of public controversy for months: the classification of 21,200 acres of former Finch, Pruyn & Company lands.

“There will be no action on Finch at this month’s meeting,” APA spokesman Keith McKeever told Adirondack Almanack. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Conference: ‘Ideas For A Better Park’

 

crowd-conf2Now in its forty-second year, the Adirondack Park Agency is facing a critical time of public evaluation. Has it fulfilled its original mandate to protect millions of woodland acres and thousands of miles of waterways in the Adirondacks? Or has it fallen short, pressured by development interests and weakened by outdated regulations and inadequate funding?

These questions will not be put to rest easily, if ever. Local governments, developers, state authorities, environmentalists, and ordinary citizens will continue to struggle with competing interests and old grudges even as they face a growing number of challenges.

At a recent conference sponsored by the Adirondack Explorer, called “Strengthening the APA,” various experts discussed strategies for protecting the Park’s water quality and wilderness character. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

APA Seeks Comments on Use of Aquatic Herbicides

APA officeThe Adirondack Park Agency is seeking public comment for recently proposed Agency guidance for the use of the aquatic herbicides Renovate and Renovate OTF to manage the aquatic invasive plant Eurasian watermilfoil. The comment period will run through November 7, 2013.

Renovate and Renovate OTF are aquatic herbicides used in the management of Eurasian watermilfoil. They are approved for use in New York State and primarily target dicot classified plants such as Eurasian watermilfoil. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Strangle-Vine: Invasive Swallow-Wort

swallow-wort1The invasive plant sometimes called dog-strangling vine doesn’t harm pets, but it lives up to its name as a strangler, choking out native wildflowers as well as Christmas tree plantations and fields of prime alfalfa. In Northern New York, in Jefferson County, a nearly 1,000-acre tract on an island lies blanketed under this perennial Eurasian vine.

Dog-strangling vine grows in almost any soil type, has a prodigious root system, and is particularly good at making and dispersing seeds. It is so toxic that no North American bird, mammal or insect will eat it, and it bounces back from the most powerful herbicides. No wonder biologists and agronomists have been losing sleep over it. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Adirondack Council Releases “State of the Park” Report

State of the Park 2013Many of the Adirondack Park’s environmental organizations and local governments stopped fighting one another and worked together in this year on issues of common concern, advancing agreements that better protect the park’s environment while also encouraging community development, according to the Adirondack Council’s 2013 State of the Park Report.

State of the Park is a 20-page, illustrated review of more than 100 actions taken by local, state and federal government officials, briefly explaining from the perspective of the Adirondack Council what they did to help or hurt the ecology and economy of the Adirondack Park over the past 12 months.  State of the Park has been published each October since 1986 as a report card intended to hold government officials accountable. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dave Gibson:
Land Sought For Mining Company Is Hardly Ordinary

This Sugar Maple on Lot 8 may be 175 years old or moreBill Ingersoll’s recent post about the November 5 vote on the NYCO Minerals-State Land Exchange (Proposition 5 on the upcoming ballot) makes good reading – as do the comments.

His interpretation, that the land exchange stripped-down to its essence represents a straight commercial transaction that lacks any public need or benefit, is one Adirondack Wild shares, but Bill made an especially articulate case.

One of the interesting comments to Bill’s post comes from my colleague Dan Plumley. Dan notes that the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s characterization of “Lot 8,” the 200-acre section of Jay Mountain Wilderness the company wants to mine for wollastonite, is plain wrong. Dan’s opinion is informed by observations he and I made during recent field visits to Lot 8. We were impressed by the forest environment there, which I will get to in a moment. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Gary Randorf: Strong Link in an Historic Chain

Participants at Adirondack Wild's annual meeting at The Grange in Whallonsburg send greetings to Gary Randorf, recipient of the Paul Schaefer Wilderness Award. I don’t recall ever crying before at an annual meeting. I am pleased to catch up with people, I am excited to see members and friends gathered together in one place in support of our Adirondack and wild mission. I am proud of the efforts of my colleagues and our members as we talk about our accomplishments together over the past year, and anticipate the challenges in front of us.

But tears flooded my eyes at The Grange in Whallonsburg this past week when Bonnie MacLeod displayed the best of Gary Randorf’s photography set to some o f the most beautiful string music I have ever heard. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Surveying Adirondack Lakes for Aquatic Invaders

rake tossOver the last decade, I have monitored many lakes in Hamilton County for aquatic invasive plants.  I feel a sense of stewardship to these lakes because paddling, camping, swimming, fishing, and skiing are important aspects to my lifestyle that allow me to distress, reconnect, and stay healthy.  Invasive plant infestations can crowd out native aquatic plants that fish rely on for food and shelter; make boating and paddling unenjoyable; and be costly to manage. I survey lakes because I find it enjoyable and my efforts protect water quality.

This year my co-worker Lenny and I checked Spy Lake for invaders on two glorious September afternoons.  We were on the lookout for plants like Eurasian watermilfoil, water chestnut, fanwort, and curlyleaf pondweed.  The inventory was in accordance with the survey instructions of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program’s Aquatic Invasive Species Project. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

New State Lands: The Ecological Case for Wilderness

Essex ChainThe recent acquisition by the State of New York of the former Finch-Pruyn/Nature Conservancy lands means many things to many people. While economic, social, and political implications fuel many of the broader conversations occurring over these lands, these issues tend to drown out the quieter voice of the land itself.

Any visitor to the North Country knows that wild places are anything but silent, from the ever persistent hum of the mosquito, to the chittering call of the hunting kingfisher, to the push and pull of the wind through the forested hillsides. At the Adirondack Council we pay attention to these sounds, or more specifically, to the scientist and professionals who study how wild places and wild things are ecologically connected, and incorporate this critical input into our decision making process. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Commentary: Vote Yes on the Township 40 Amendment

Township 40 (Totten and Crossfield, 1900)On Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013 New York State voters will have an opportunity to vote on several state-wide propositions.  Proposition #4 (Prop 4), is one of two Constitutional Amendments affecting the Adirondacks.  It’s the result of long-standing title disputes between the State of New York and property owners on Raquette Lake in the old Township 40 of the Totten and Crossfield Purchase.

A positive vote will correct an injustice that has been perpetuated for over 100 years.

I write as an interested party, but I’m not directly involved in any aspect of the controversy that gives rise to Prop 4.  I don’t own property on or near Raquette Lake.  I’m not one of the contested property holders.  But, for nearly 35 years I have paddled the waters of this lake starting with a group of high school students, canoeing, camping, and learning about the outdoors.  I’ve paddled the lake with my wife, with friends, and with clients as an Adirondack guide.  In 2005, I paddled Raquette Lake  recreating the 1883 paddle of George Washington Sears (a.k.a. Nessmuk) and many times since as a trail steward for the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Commentary: The Adirondack Park Agency

APA officeAt the end of September I attended the “Strengthening the APA” conference organized by our sister publication the Adirondack Explorer and held at the Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center.  The day’s events, the roles and reactions of the various players in attendance have spurred me to write a series on various aspects of the Adirondack Park Agency and its ongoing role in the Adirondacks.

I invite Almanack readers to read the series of articles on the APA which have been published in the Adirondack Explorer over the last year (this one, by Phil Terrie, is the last in that initial series).  This is important work and part of a larger process – of which the conference was a part – that will culminate in a detailed proposal to revise the Agency and the Act which defines it.  Nothing I have to say is part of that process, nor will it overlap it.  For my purposes writing in the Almanack I consider myself an outside advocate. » Continue Reading.



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