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?

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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Diving into 2021’s water reporting

It’s 2021, and there’s lots to do.

I’ll keep investigating waters of the Adirondacks. Stories about what’s still wild, about what has been changed, and about what is at risk of ruin.

Water? That seems niche, one might say. But water is everywhere — and where it isn’t is also a story.

All of our greatest stories involve water. The baffling story about the punishment of Moses for bringing it out of a rock. The story about the reflective trap of Narcissus. Native American stories that focus on the turtle, straddler of water and land.

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Kid next to water
Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program launches Winter Learning Series

The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program APIPP will be hosting 5 new education events over the course of January through April 2021. The events will be based around the threat of invasive species, habitat integrity, and the economies of the communities which make up the Adirondacks. The APIPP needs your help to combat invasive species on land and in water throughout the Adirondacks, and they are offering the opportunity to sharpen your skills and join the effort.

The discovery of two emerging forest pests within the Adirondacks, the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid and the Emerald Ash Borer incited a race to understand and treat the scale of existing infestations across hundreds of acres. the APIPP’s Winter Learning Series reflects the rising threat of conservation, and challenges homeowners, recreationalists, local businesses, and all interested in citizen science to help prevent the spread of, and to help manage invasive species threatening the North Country.

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Monday, January 11, 2021

OSI Protects Herkimer County Property Adjacent to Adirondack Park

The Open Space Institute (OSI) has announced their latest acquisition of over 3,300 acres of land in the Herkimer County towns of Salisbury and Norway. The land consists of hardwood forests, softwood forests, and wetlands which will be protected under the OSI, expanding their regional connectivity of land which they protect.

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Saturday, January 9, 2021

Thousand Islands Land Trust acquires parcels along St. Lawrence River

DEC and the Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT) recently announced TILT’s acquisition of 527 acres in the Town of Alexandria as part of the Crooked Creek Preserve Water Quality Initiative. This acquisition will protect the surface water quality of the St. Lawrence River. TILT acquired the parcels with New York State Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) funding that provides resources to protect source waters.

The St. Lawrence River serves as a drinking water source for many nearby communities. As shoreline development and agricultural expansion continues along the River, the potential for water contamination of this widely used source water increases. The acquisition includes three parcels in the Goose Bay/Crooked Creek complex:

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Thursday, January 7, 2021

DEC seeks public input on Three Lakes Tract management planning

The Three Lakes Tract is an area of commercially managed forestland, composed of northern hardwood forest, Hitchcock, Grass, and Moose Ponds. It shares around 4.1 miles of boundaries with the State Forest Preserve lands (the Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness and Independence River wild Forest) as well as 2.5 miles with the Big Moose Tract Conservation Easement.

Until January 13, The NYS DEC will be seeking public input on the development of a draft Recreation Management Plan (RMP) for the Three Lakes Tract Conservation Easement. The conservation easement is privately owned and extends over 3,350 acres in the town of Webb, in Herkimer County.

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Thursday, January 7, 2021

Local power: Paul Smith’s electricity now 100% from nearby sources

Azure Mountain Power in St Regis FallsPaul Smith’s College electricity accounts are now 100%  sourced from local hydroelectric power stations, effectively transitioning over 40% of the colleges energy needs to renewable sources. That’s according to a recent news release from Northern Power and Lights (NP&L) and the college.

NP&L began supplying power to Paul Smith’s College in March after the college subscribed to electricity from the Azure Mountain Power Facility in St. Regis Falls. An addition of electricity from the Sissonville hydro station on the Raquette River allowed them to move to all-locally generated power.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Reduce food waste with this 30 day challenge

We look at January 1st as a new chapter, a time to start fresh. However, if you find the idea of drafting up a new list of New Year’s resolutions a bit too abstract, our 30-day wasted food challenge might be a fit, focusing on doing small tasks each day in order to build habits that will stick.

Forty percent of all food produced in the US goes uneaten. Wasted food is a major contributor to multiple environmental and social problems that we face today – and most of this waste is happening right under our noses! ReFED estimates US households alone waste 76 billion pounds of food annually, costing each household an average of $1,800 per year!

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Webinars on invasive species, native plants and more

Spend sometime this winter getting involved in the following learning opportunities provided by the NYS DEC. Do your part to help combat the ongoing threat of invasive species within the Adirondack Park.

Protecting Rare Species from Invasives (Finger Lakes PRISM) – Tuesday, January 12 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. – Join the Finger Lakes PRISM for their Invasive Species: How to Know, Observe and Report Webinar Series. This presentation will feature Steve Young, Chief Biologist from the NY Natural Heritage Program. Please register in advance.

Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Society Annual Meeting (NEAPMS) – January 12, 13, and 14 – View agenda and registration information on NEAPMS’s website.

The Power of Native Plants (SLELO PRISM and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saint Lawrence County) – Thursday, January 14 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Join us for a free online class about the power of native plants, alternatives to exotic and invasive ornamental plants, and invasive species to watch for. Participants will also learn about nature-based community science opportunities they can contribute to from home. Register for this session on Zoom.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Lessons learned from water

From water we can learn that:

One can never step in the same river twice. (Attributed to Heraclitus.)

Ripple in still water…when there is no pebble tossed nor wind to blow. (Grateful Dead)

What goes up must come down. (Everyone.)

As the year’s closing, I’ve been thinking about the lessons taught by the concept of retention time. That’s the average time water stays in a lake or pond. Think of it as the effect before has on after.

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Monday, January 4, 2021

Thoughts on snow

So far, the best I can say for this winter in the Adirondacks is that I haven’t had to shovel much.

Actually, that’s not all. I took my son downhill skiing this week, and we had a blast for several hours … until the rain soaked through our coats.

Here’s hoping for (and expecting) a 2021 that delivers the snow for all your outdoor adventures, and for our magazine’s suggested ski outings. Regardless of how much snow we get or when we get it, here are some seasonal safety tips we published last winter.

In the meantime, let us know if you have any insights on Adirondack snow to share with us. We’re working on a story about the history and future of snow in these mountains, and what it means to our economy and ecology. Besides what climate scientists and other experts have to say about changes in our winters, we’re interested in hearing personal stories about your experiences and observations through the years.


Monday, January 4, 2021

Adirondack Land Trust Buys Last Unprotected Shoreline on Thirteenth Lake

The Adirondack Land Trust has purchased 17 acres of land on the Thirteenth Lake’s 4.5-mile shoreline, marking the conservation of the last unprotected shoreline on Thirteenth Lake. The Lake is a headwater of Upper Hudson River and the largest body of water within the Siamese Ponds Wilderness.

New York State Forest Preserve borders the land on one side, while the Garnet Hill Property Owners Association borders the other. The latter is taking advantage of restrictive use covenants to ensure its lake shore property is protected.

The Adirondack Land Trust will be working along side the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to integrate the Thirteenth Lake land into the 114,010-acre Siamese Ponds Wilderness, allowing for it to become public, and thereby protected under the Forever Wild clause of the NYS constitution.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Adirondack Council’s Top 10 list of 2020 progress

Progress on reducing road salt, managing visitors to the overused High Peaks Wilderness Area and making the Adirondacks more welcoming to all New York residents led the Adirondack Council’s list of 10 reasons to be thankful as 2020 draws to a close.

 The Council’s 2020 highlights included:

State Budget is Good for the Adirondack Park – April 1, 2020 

The Adirondack Council and partners secured crucial funding for pristine Adirondack waters and wildlands in the state budget. New York State approved a $300 million Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). There was a total of $1 billion for new clean water infrastructure. Both are cornerstone sources of funding that go to keep Adirondack waters free of invasive species, sewage and pollution. Additionally, the budget included dedicated funding to combat overuse in the Adirondacks.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Activism, science and harmful algal blooms

The algal bloom last month in Lake George, the first of its kind, is one of two things: A sign of things to come. Or not.

While Lake George remains a relatively pristine lake, especially for its size, it has slowly deteriorated over time thanks to shoreline development and runoff from nearby roads. It’s still got a hot home market around it and is a draw for bustling tourists from downstate and out of state.

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Monday, December 28, 2020

175 Organizations Launch Coalition for Environmental Funding, Jobs and Clean Water

The New Yorkers for Clean Water & Jobs coalition is made up of over 175 organizations have joined together to advocate for important environmental programs, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs, fortifying local economies, protecting clean drinking water, creating new parks, advancing environmental justice, and mitigating an intensifying climate crises. State programs included In the funding are:

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Kid next to water

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