Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Municipalities Can Save on Zero-Emission Vehicle Purchases

elelctric carDEC and the Office of General Services (OGS) have released details on their upcoming aggregate bid for plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles. All authorized users of the New York State Vehicle Marketplace (e.g., municipalities and state agencies) can participate.

Bid forms are due by the close of business on Tuesday, October 31, 2017.

The goal of this initiative is to reduce the costs associated with adding zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) to government fleets across the state. The first aggregate bid resulted in an 11% discount on Chevy Volts. The second round included a discount of 13% on the Prius Prime and a 28% discount on a Nissan Leaf. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Major Grant Funds Watershed Institute’s Invasives Work

Adirondack Watershed Institute stewardThe Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute has received a $594,276 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its ongoing work in controlling and preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species.

The funds will go toward work carried out by AWI stewards at approximately 10 different locations, including Upper St. Regis Lake, the St. Lawrence River and the lower Raquette River Reservoirs. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

First Oil Tanker Rail Cars Moved Into Adirondack Forest Preserve

stored tanker carsOn October 17th the first used oil tankers were transported through Saratoga and Warren counties by the Saratoga and North Creek Railway, part of Iowa Pacific Holdings, to a section of siding track along the banks of the Boreas River in the Town of Minerva, Essex County.

On October 18, twenty-eight used oil tankers cars were lined on track north of the North Woods Club Road on rail line traversing the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest area of the Forest Preserve. Each tanker car is roughly 58 feet in length and the 28 cars line nearly one-third of a mile of rail track. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Opinion: Clean Power Plan’s End Will Mean Littered Landscape

Railroad train of tanker cars transporting crude oil on the tracks earth justice photoFew places would have benefited more  from the 2015 Clean Power Plan than the Adirondack Park. Had the plan been enacted, it would have abated mercury poisoning, cleared the air above the High Peaks of smog and checked acid rain, while, of course, slowing climate change. (It committed the US to cut greenhouse gas emissions by one third before 2030.)

Now that the Environmental Protection Agency has repealed the plan, not only will our air, water and wildlife suffer. Our landscape will too. Thirty miles of railroad tracks deep within the Adirondack Forest Preserve are more likely than ever to become a warehouse for surplus coal cars. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Study: Artificial Lights Disorient Migrating Birds

Migrating birds circle through the light beams during the 2017 Tribute in Light Billions of birds undertake migratory journeys each spring and fall. Most of these spectacular movements go unseen, occurring under the cover of darkness.

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides some of the most compelling evidence yet that artificial light at night causes radical changes in the behaviors of migrating birds. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Pete Nelson: To Address Overuse, Focus on Parking

This Columbus Day weekend I decided to put the issue of overuse in the High Peaks region to a little test.  I visited three of the most crowded trail heads in the area and hiked from two of them.  I also investigated the State’s grand relocation of the Cascade trail and parking.

What I saw confirmed a working theory I have been informally discussing with both private folks and local and state government employees.  The theory isn’t mine, indeed a number of people have the idea.  It’s a simple concept, really: back country overuse can be mitigated in large part simply by addressing parking issues.  In other words, we can manage recreation capacity by more effectively managing transportation capacity. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Protect: Repeal of Clean Power Plan Enormous Step Backwards

protect the adirondacksWhat follows is a statement sent to the press by Protect the Adirondacks:

Protect the Adirondacks opposes the new plan by the Trump Administration and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to abandon the Clean Power Plan set up by the Obama Administration. This is an enormous set back for US policy on climate change and will have negative impacts in the Adirondacks as progress on significant reductions in acid rain over the past 20 years may be lost. The US EPA announced on October 9, 2017 that is was starting the process to take formal steps to officially repeal the Clean Power Plan. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

State of the Park Report: Adirondack Park Success ‘Threatened’

state of the parkThe Adirondack Park’s success is “threatened.”

The Adirondack Council’s annual State of the Park report has a gloomy and foreboding cover featuring storm clouds gathering above a mountain summit.

That’s because the Adirondack Park is a national treasure whose future success is clouded by an approaching storm of threats. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

New Road Development Affects Unique Boreal Ecosystem

A notice inviting public comment about what seems a relatively innocuous, relatively short (1.25 mile) road construction has been circulated by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, or DEC.

The Adirondack Almanack headlined the matter as “DEC planning new road east of Carry Falls Reservoir.”

This is not a small deal. In fact, the 1.25 miles of new road cut through the forest will result in nearly 20 miles of new public motorized access within a sensitive low-elevation boreal ecosystem. For many years, our DEC has been badly conflicted about balancing resource protection and motorized access to this area. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Adirondack Aquatic Invasives Science, Logistics Webinars Planned

boat inspectionInvasive species are increasingly challenging New York water resource managers. New research making it possible to identify waters at risk for future invasion is on the agenda during a new Watercraft Inspection Program Webinar Series developed by New York Sea Grant Extension of Cornell University and set to begin October 19th.

Richard R. Shaker of Ryerson University, co-author of Predicting aquatic invasion in Adirondack lakes will present one of the four sessions in the free webinar series.

Watercraft Inspection Data Collection App Pilot Program survey results, noting recent aquatic invasive detections aboard boats launching or leaving NY waters, as collected by six of the more than 20 watercraft inspection programs in New York State will be highlighted in another session. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 9, 2017

A Day On Cascade Mountain: Some Data

On September 16th I hiked Cascade Mountain and wrote about the experience. On that day over 500 people hiked Cascade. I returned the next weekend (on Saturday September 23rd), with a friend and survey sheets and clipboards to ask hikers a series of questions. The interviews took about two minutes and many people graciously answered questions. At busy points, we were both talking with groups as others walked by us. This was a rough survey, undertaken as much to learn about what is necessary for conducting this kind of survey as it was for getting some basic data from the hikers on Cascade Mountain. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 7, 2017

Lake George Gets $4M For New Wastewater Plant

The Village of Lake George took a step forward in plans to replace its more than seventy year old wastewater treatment plant on Thursday with a $4,273,923 grant from the state. The grant was the largest of the $44 million in grants announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to support 24 essential drinking water- and wastewater-infrastructure projects.

The village had already borrowed $1 million to begin designing a new plant, said Mayor Robert Blais. This grant will allow the village to reduce its borrowing.

“We’re grateful the governor recognized the importance of Lake George and the village being able to construct an entirely new waste-treatment plant,” he said. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

$500k to Help Wild Center Build Climate Literacy

A $494,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will support The Wild Center as it helps students and teachers in New York City, the Catskills and the Adirondacks respond to climate change in their communities.

The three-year Environmental Literacy Grant is a collaboration of The Wild Center, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County, the Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School in Brooklyn, and the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) to build climate literacy and preparedness among students and teachers.

As part of the project, called Convening Young Leaders for Climate Resilience in New York State, high schoolers are expected to learn to assess the effect climate change is likely to have on their communities, work on techniques to convey those impacts to others, and develop the leadership skills needed to shape localized solutions to resiliency challenges posed by the issue. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 2, 2017

DEC Planning New Road East Of Carry Falls Reservoir

Raquette Road alternativesThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proposing to amend both the 5 Mile Conservation Easement (CE) Interim Recreation Management Plan (IRMP) and the CE portion of the Raquette Boreal Wild Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP) to construct a road between the Five Mile and the Kildare Conservation Easements in Hopkinton, St. Lawrence County.

The project involves the construction of a new road approximately 1.25 miles in length. The road will provide access to many miles of motor vehicle roads on the Kildare Easement Lands. It will also provide non-motorized recreational access to the adjacent Raquette River Wild Forest and Raquette-Jordan Boreal Primitive Area. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Critter Shelf for Adirondack Wildlife Pilot Project Underway

culvert critter shelf courtesy dotThe New York State Department of Transportation and The Nature Conservancy are piloting what is said to be the state’s first-ever “critter shelf” for wildlife. Installed this summer inside a large culvert under State Route 12, south of Boonville, in the Black River Valley, the suspended walkway provides a two-foot wide platform for wildlife to scurry through the culvert instead of crossing over the busy road. It is attached to one side of the corrugated steel culvert with brackets and cables.

While Route 12 is an important travel corridor, it can also be a dangerous obstacle for wildlife. Alternatively, wildlife attempting to cross also pose danger to drivers. The Route 12 culvert carries a stream that averages about three feet in depth under the road. The new shelf sits above water level so as not to impede flow, or compromise structural integrity. At 138 feet, it runs along the full length of the culvert and expands the potential for use by wildlife by providing dry passage for bobcats and other wildlife that don’t swim. » Continue Reading.


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