There’s nothing like a generator to spoil a good, old-fashioned Adirondack power outage. We happen to have one, so even though the juice was out for 33 hours, instead of kerosene lamps, a good book, heavy blankets, and gin rummy by candlelight, it was the same old LEDs, microwave popcorn and reruns of The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
We had several friends who took the blame for the late-April snow, confessing that the weekend before they had moved the Adirondack chairs to the deck, or put up their skis and microspikes for the summer. And this was a real snow, this was not the more typical spring wintry mix.
The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) is honored to announce a second public challenge by Manning and Virginia Rowan Smith to encourage those who support the protection of Lake George to join LGLC’s Land and Water Society. The LGLC’s legacy giving program has grown to over 130 members.
The Land and Water Society is the LGLC’s legacy society, celebrating those who include the LGLC in their estate planning. It can be through a simple bequest, by naming the LGLC as a beneficiary in a life insurance policy or retirement fund, or one of many other options available. The gift can be large or small, and its benefits will continue long after one’s lifetime.
From now until November 30, 2022 the Smiths will donate $5,000 to the LGLC for every new legacy pledge received, regardless of method, amount or designation, up to a total of $300,000. For those who wish to include a specific dollar amount with their pledge that is above $5,000, they will match that amount.
After a two-year hiatus, Champlain Area Trails (CATS) will present a “shorter” Grand Hike on May 14 through the fields and forests of Westport. This year’s hike will be a six-mile loop on Viall’s Crossing trails. The hike starts at the Essex County Fairgrounds and ends at the Ledge Hill Brewing Company right next to the fairgrounds. All are invited to attend a “brew party” at the conclusion of the hike that will feature live music by the Bionic Band from Saranac Lake, drinks, food to purchase from DaCy Meadow Farm, a kids’ area, and a post-hike celebration.
“We are so pleased to start this up again,” said Chris Maron, CATS Executive Director. “With so many uncertainties, we chose to keep it simple—to have it be an afternoon walk beginning at the Essex County Fairgrounds in Westport, going on a number of CATS trails, then on easy roads through Westport and ending at Ledge Hill Brewery which is right next to the fairgrounds. That makes for convenient parking for all those who want to enjoy our family-friendly trails and for those coming from farther distances.”
In celebration of Earth Day 2022, the Adirondack Park’s largest environmental organization today awarded 15 micro-grants totaling $32,000 to local farmers and value-added food producers, in an effort to build a climate-friendly local economy in the Adirondack Park.
It was the seventh consecutive year that the Adirondack Council has awarded micro-grants to farmers and small business owners who want to reduce their environmental impact and adapt to a changing climate. This year’s grant criteria were modified to accommodate both larger operations as well as projects featuring collaborations between several qualified applicants.
The Ausable River Association (AsRA) and three regional Rotary Clubs are partnering to host an Ausable River cleanup on Saturday, April 23. This year, The Rotary Club of the Au Sable Valley and Lake Placid Rotary Club will focus on roadways and riverbanks in the Lake Placid, Wilmington, Jay, Upper Jay, and Keene Communities. The Plattsburgh Rotary Club is hosting a simultaneous cleanup event in and around Ausable Point near Peru, NY.
Hikers advised to temporarily avoid high elevation trails and prepare for variable conditions on low elevation trails.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today urged hikers to postpone hikes on Adirondack trails above 2,500 feet until high elevation trails have dried and hardened. DEC advises hikers on how to reduce negative impacts on all trails and help protect the natural resources throughout the Adirondacks during this time.
High elevation trails: Despite recent warm weather, high elevation trails above 2,500 feet are still covered in slowly melting ice and snow. These steep trails feature thin soils that become a mix of ice and mud as winter conditions melt and frost leaves the ground. The remaining compacted ice and snow on trails is rotten, slippery, and will not reliably support weight. “Monorails,” narrow strips of ice and compacted snow at the center of trails, are difficult to hike and the adjacent rotten snow is particularly prone to postholing.
As an extension of our recent post about an Old Forge grandmother, Beth Pashley, avid hiker and talented photographer, The Adirondack Almanack will be featuring snippets of Pashley’s hiking adventures on a year-round basis including her visually-striking and artistic nature photographs. Pashley was inspired to embrace the great outdoors with her grandchildren starting at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, dubbing the family bonding time as “The Grandma Chronicles.”
On April 6, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced proposed changes to wild turkeyhunting regulations, giving hunters additional turkeyhunting opportunities. The proposal, if enacted, would not be in place until later this year and among other changes, establishes a spring turkey season in Suffolk County in 2023, with a season limit of one bearded bird.
The Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) recently announced that the New York State Department of Health awarded it certification through the Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP).
The AWI Environmental Research Lab is a state-of-the-art laboratory specifically designed for the analysis of surface and ground water in the Adirondack region. The laboratory saw major upgrades in 2010 when Paul Smith’s College built the Countess Alicia Spaulding-Paolozzi Environmental Science and Education Center.
The governing boards of the Adirondack Lake Survey Corporation and the Ausable River Association have announced plans for a merger. The merger would advance their shared goal of deploying critical field and laboratory science in the Adirondack Park to inform the protection of waterways, lands, and air for the benefit of all stakeholders.
On April 5, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reminded New Yorkers to take down bird feeders and secure garbage to avoid potential conflicts with black bears.
Bears are emerging from their dens, and now is the time to take steps to reduce potential conflicts throughout the spring and summer. Bird feeders, unsecured garbage, and outdoor pet and livestock feed can attract bears and lead to potential conflicts for homeowners. Repeated access to bird feeders and garbage can make bears bolder, seeking additional sources of human-related foods inside vehicles or buildings, particularly when natural foods are scarce.
Feeding bears intentionally is illegal. Unintentional feeding through bird feeders and unsecured garbage also has consequences for communities and may ultimately be deadly for the bear if the bear becomes a greater threat to people and property after exposure to these sources of food. It is important to properly manage attractants to avoid human-bear conflicts.
The DEC advises everyone residing in or visiting bear country (most of upstate New York) to remove any attractants. People should take down bird feeders and clean up any remaining bird seed now, begin storing garbage inside secure buildings until the morning of collection, and feed pets indoors. By taking these simple steps, New Yorkers can help ensure bears will find food naturally, which protects people, property, and bears.
When I was camping a couple of summers ago at Sampson Lake in West Canada Lake Wilderness, all was silent in the dark night but the unforgettable calls of a pair of a loons.
Even someone with a tin ear for bird calls knew what they were hearing. It felt as if it was just me and the loons on that lake – maybe in the entire world. Visitors and residents of the Adirondacks have experienced that feeling of connectedness since time immemorial.
Have you noticed spongy moth egg masses in your neighborhood? Last year was a boom year for spongy moth (formerly known as gypsy moth) caterpillar populations, especially in Central and Western NY. Egg masses contain 600-700 eggs each and will hatch around May. If you find them now, you can scrape them off trees or buildings and drop them into a container of detergent to prevent the eggs from hatching.
Spongy moths are non-native, but are naturalized, meaning they will always be around in our forests. They tend to spike in numbers roughly every 10-15 years but outbreaks are usually ended by natural causes such as predators and disease. Removing their egg masses is not a cure for spongy moth infestations, but it is a small step you can take to help protect trees in your neighborhood. To learn more about this species and management efforts throughout the year, visit our website.
From sewers in North Creek to drinking water supplies in Essex and St. Armand, town supervisors often fight for years to get the funding to make improvements to their systems – updates that are often required under state directive. The economics of the park make these projects all the more challenging: too few residents to fund the work solely at the local level.
Scientist-like persons hired by the fossil fuel industry have long maintained we should celebrate an ever-increasing level of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. This gas, a key building block in the photosynthetic process, can enable plants to grow faster and get larger. It’s been called the “CO 2 fertilization effect.” Many crop yields are projected to increase. And bigger woody plants, the reasoning goes, can amass more carbon, thus helping to slow the rate of CO 2 increase in a handy negative-feedback loop.
In other words, they argue that climate change is good for plants, which in turn will help curb climate change. It’s an elegant win-win situation, and environmentalists no longer have to lose sleep over skyrocketing carbon dioxide. However, as with many supposed “truths,” this argument falls apart upon close examination. It’s like in 1981 when former President Ronald Reagan said “Trees cause more air pollution than automobiles do.” He was referring to terpenols (responsible for the pleasant piney-woods aroma in the forest), which can react with auto emissions to form ozone. In the larger picture, trees reduce air pollution of all sorts – and sequester carbon as well – on a colossal scale worldwide. His statement was “true” in a minor, technical sense for a single pollutant, but it was misleading, and for all intents and purposes, false.
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