Thursday, July 26, 2012

Calls for Champlain Canal Closure; New Invasives Law

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed the Invasive Species Prevention Act, legislation designed to help prevent the spread of destructive invasive plants and animals by making it illegal to sell and transport invasive species in the state, amid calls to close the Champlain Canal immediately to prevent the spread of the latest invasive threat .

The new law, said by advocates to have been a collaborative effort by state agencies and stakeholders, including conservation organizations, lake associations, agriculture and forestry organizations, scientists and academia, was unanimously passed in June by the New York State Legislature. The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst) and Senator Betty Little (R-Queensbury), creates a statewide regulatory system to prohibit or limit the sale and transport of known invasive plants and animals that impact natural areas and industries that depend on natural resources. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Adirondack Maps: Mapping Drought Conditions

It’s been a bit surreal to read about this summer’s record-breaking drought from the lush, thunderstorm-drenched environs of Long Lake.  But while the central Adirondacks may have had plenty of rain this summer, other parts of the North Country have not.

I have been tracking drought conditions across the region with stream gage data from US Geological Survey that measures stream levels and transmits the information in real-time to the internet.   The USGS began stream gage construction in the late 19th century, and now maintains 7,500 gages across the country including dozens in the Adirondack region.   The data from these gages are used for many purposes including flood forecasting, water supply allocation, wastewater treatment, highway engineering and recreation (rafting anyone?). » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Local Events Promote Raquette River Awareness Week

This year the Raquette River Blueway Corridor’s Advisory Committee will be hosting several events throughout the corridor during Raquette River Awareness Week (Saturday, July 28th through Saturday, August 4th) to highlight the assets the Raquette River has to offer.

A variety of events held in communities all along the river will feature the grand opening celebration of a canoe access trail to the Raquette River near Moody Falls in Sevey Corners and will be punctuated with three screenings of “The Raquette River Experience”, a travel documentary on the Raquette River produced by the Raquette River Blueway Corridor’s partner, WPBS-DT, Watertown, NY. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Adirondack Philosophy: In Search of a Dwelling

My mind is full of questions and my heart follows, seeking in its own way.  Fortunately, the consolation of philosophy lies in the convergence of heart and mind deep within this process of inquiry born of struggle.  Coffee in hand to fortify me in the process and with a July mountain morning on the rise, my gaze wandered in the direction of a painting that my mother made many years ago.

Despite being obscured by the turned angle of his body and the quietly bent head, the subject of the painting would likely be known to anyone familiar enough to be in my home to see it.  The figure’s posture gives him away, more than the distinctive curve of the Lake Colden helipad, more than the maps jutting out of a pack lying at his feet and more than the wooden axe handle gripped and made small in his hand. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Is More Forest Fire Dialogue and Preparation Needed?

The woods are dry out there. This week, forest fire fighters needed state police helicopters to douse a carelessly set, poorly extinguished fire up on Sawteeth Mountain. In such cases, the informal NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) policy is to fight and extinguish the fire as part of its legal responsibilities for care, custody and control of the Forest Preserve.

Ought there be a state policy of graduated measures to address forest fires in the Forest Preserve, particularly in remote areas? Greater dialogue and sharing of information on the subject of forest fire in the wilds of the Park, public or private, would be helpful. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Eurasian Watermilfoil Management Summit Planned

Eurasian Watermilfoil Management Summit: Lessons Learned from the Adirondack Region will be a free event hosted at the Horicon Town Hall in Brant Lake from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 16th.

The program will feature presentations on the status of the Eurasian watermilfoil invasion and its management in the Adirondack region, control options, planning considerations, case studies from various lakes, permitting, financing, lake-friendly land-use recommendations and spread prevention. Speakers will include state agency staff, elected officials, not-for-profit representatives, shoreowners and lake managers.  » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hunting With Lead or Copper?
An Alternative Ammunition Comparison

What follows is a guest essay by Shawn Ferdinand of the New York State Department of Conservation (DEC). Traditionally, hunters have actively contributed to the conservation of wildlife. With new advancements in ammunition technology, they can now use state-of-the-art bullets and slugs for big game hunting that reduce the potential of harmful lead contamination and pollution.  » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Volunteers Needed Saturday to Survey Adirondack Loons

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Adirondack Program has issued a call for volunteers to help census loons on Adirondack lakes as part of the 11th Annual Adirondack Loon Census taking place from 8:00–9:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 21. With the help of local Adirondack residents and visitor volunteers, the census enables WCS to collect important data on the status of the breeding loon population in and around the Adirondack Park and across New York State. The results help guide management decisions and policies affecting loons.

Census volunteers report on the number of adult and immature loons and loon chicks that they observe during the hour-long census. Similar loon censuses will be conducted in other states throughout the Northeast simultaneously, and inform a regional overview of the population’s current status.  One of the major findings of the 2010 census: The Adirondack loon population has almost doubled since the last pre-census analysis in the 1980s, and now totals some 1,500–2,000 birds. A new analysis however, demonstrates the threat environmental pollution poses for these iconic Adirondack birds.  » Continue Reading.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Foxey Brown: Adirondack Outlaw, Hermit and Guide

Join author Charles Yaple at the Adirondack Museum on Monday, July 16 for “Foxey Brown: The Story of An Adirondack Outlaw, Hermit and Guide.”   Yaple will tell the story of railroad worker and college student David Brennan who, convinced he had killed a man in a Boston barroom brawl, fled to the Adirondack Mountain wilderness in 1890. Changing his name to David Brown, he became known as a crafty “Foxey” woodsman and popular guide, until a hunting trip tragedy led to one of the largest manhunts in Adirondack history.

Living through the beginning of the American conservation movement, some tried to cope with increasingly strict State conservation laws and private parks by resorting to thievery, poaching, setting forest fires and even murder. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Adk Action Informational Meeting Set for Old Forge

ADK Action will hold an information session and discussion from 5 to 7:30 p.m. this Thursday, July 12 at the Old Forge Library, 220 Crosby Blvd.  ADK Action was founded in the Tri-Lakes area as a non-partisan organization in 2007.  Membership is open to both seasonal and full-time Adirondack residents.

“The issues we tackle are politically neutral, but we believe they are of great importance to the future of the Adirondacks,” said Dave Wolff, the organization’s chair. “Some are economic, such as consistent property assessments, universal access to high-speed broadband, and more shared services among the many government jurisdictions of the Park. Some are environmental, such as water quality and salt pollution. We try to focus our limited resources where we can make a difference and, most importantly, we try to take action and make things happen.” » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Region-wide Activities for Invasive Species Awareness Week

Groups across the region are sponsoring activities geared to fun and education July 8-14 during the 7th annual Adirondack Invasive Species Awareness Week. Invasive Species Awareness Week provides an opportunity for communities to highlight the threats of invasive plants and animals and for residents and visitors to learn ways to prevent and manage invasive species spread.

This year’s line-up of public events includes an array of interactive activities including invasive plant paddles on Lake George, Fish Creek and Lake Pleasant; forest pest inventories in Long Lake; a nature walk at Point Au Roche State Park in Plattsburgh; forest pest presentations in Bolton Landing and Lake Placid; and, interpretive displays at the Paul Smiths VIC and Lake George Visitors Center. New this year is the Boat Steward Passport. Spend time with a boat launch steward at five of 13 select boat launches and learn about aquatic invaders to become a Watershed Steward Deputy and earn a free t-shirt. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Combating Yellow Iris on the Sacandaga River

Late afternoon daylight waned as I rounded the meander of the Sacandaga River that entered Duck Bay and paddled up to a gentle rapid.  Turning my kayak around for my home voyage, I took a couple strokes and just about had a heart attack.  There on the shore grew a small clump of gorgeous, yellow flowers.  I instantly knew it was invasive yellow iris.  A series of fortunate events shows how early detection / rapid response works to nip invasive species infestations in the bud. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Philosophy: Rethinking Land Use and Ethics in Newcomb

What follows is a guest essay by Ian Werkheiser, a PhD student in the Department of Philosophy at Michigan State University whose primary research interests are in the environment, communities, social justice, and epistemology. Werkheiser attended the recent symposium in Newcomb on Land Use and Ethics organized by Adirondack philosopher and regular Adirondack Almanack contributor Marianne Patinelli-Dubay. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hilary Smith: Invasive Swallow-Wort Vine Expanding Range

What follows is a guest essay by Hilary Smith Director of the  Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program in Keene Valley.  Swallow-wort is an invasive plant on the move on the periphery of the park. 

The field season is here and the hunt for invasive plants is underway.  Crews, volunteers and concerned citizens have eyes open for new infestations. The best time to detect invasive plants is when they are in flower. Detecting plants early is critical. The sooner an infestation is found, the more likely it is that it can be successfully eliminated.

Swallow-wort vine is in bloom now. It is relatively widespread throughout central and western New York but just starting to make in-roads into the Adirondack region. Time is of the essence to find new locations of this swiftly spreading plant. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Adirondack Wild Takes Big View On SLMP’s 40th

At the 40th Anniversary of the State Land Master Plan (SLMP), Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve has issued a report that calls upon Governor Andrew Cuomo and state agencies “to advance and expand upon the many positive values of wild lands in our Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserve.”

“The Forest Preserve was placed into state laws and its Constitution. It is where wilderness preservation began,” said Adirondack Wild’s David Gibson in a prepared statement (Gibson is a regular contributor at Adirondack Almanack). “However, government often approaches such an important landscape with a muddied sense of mission, and in an uncoordinated and shallow way. We are urging parties to venture deeper, and with greater purpose.” » Continue Reading.