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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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:
Recycling Bin “Do’s” and “Don’ts” – Holiday Edition
NYS DEC provides some important recycling tips so you can have a waste-free seasonal celebration! Check out all the following tips and information, as well as events offered this season in order to help spread information and reduce waste this season.
Holiday Recycling Tips
Cardboard Boxes: Do recycle! Flatten boxes to save space and remove loose tape.
Holiday Cards: Do not include cards with glittery, metallic, or foil elements. Do include all others.
Wrapping Paper: Do not include metallic, glittery, or foil-lined papers. Do include other wrapping papers by folding into flat sheets before recycling.
This month, the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy (MHLC), in partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), was awarded a Mohawk Watershed grant for $88,744 through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Mohawk Watershed Program. The grant stream is intended to protect the Mohawk Basin and help mitigate the impacts of climate change.
This topic holds a special place in my journalist heart. When I worked in Auburn, Owasco Lake, which is the drinking water source for a large part of Cayuga County, had harmful algal blooms (more accurately called cyanobacteria) near the City of Auburn’s drinking water intake pipe. Nearly every day in the summer and fall I was writing a story about whether the water was safe to drink and safe to swim in, not just for people, but for pets, too. I wrote about dogs that had died from ingesting the scum. Some cyanobacteria blooms have liver and neurotoxins that are fast-acting and kill pets, waterfowl and other animals.
Cornell Cooperative Extension Essex County (CCE Essex) received a $2500 grant from the International Paper’s Ticonderoga Branch, and the International Paper Foundation. The money will be used to host two “Game of Logging” courses through the Northeast Woodland Training with instructor David Birdsall, taking place at North Country Creamery in Keeseville.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced the start of the DEC’s Annual Arbor Day Original Artwork Poster contest. This contest is held by the DEC’s Urban and Community Forestry Program yearly in order to commemorate Arbor Day. The public is invited to submit original photos and artwork celebrating the immeasurable value of trees.
The contest is sponsored by the New York State Arbor Day Committee, and the DEC will be accepting photographs and artwork submissions for the committee through December 31, 2020. The photos and artwork submitted must include trees within New York State, and can be sent to [email protected]. Participants will be limited to five submissions and each submission should include a completed artist information form available on DEC’s website.
To obtain past New York State Arbor Day posters, contact any local DEC forestry office or call 518-402-9428.
Earlier this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that $11M in funds from the State’s allocation of the federal Volkswagen Settlement will be used to expand electric transportation infrastructure across New York.
The program addresses goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) to increase access to clean energy and the benefits of sustainable infrastructure. This latest announcement will advance EV adoption and improve access to charging stations in disadvantaged communities in upstate and northern New York.
Charging station developers for the North Country region are invited to apply by February 18, 2021.
This is great news, coming on the heels of ON-RAMP, ANCA’s clean transportation summit, where we convened stakeholders and partners who are committed to advancing clean transportation efforts in the region.
In the far north of the state, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Environmental Division announced it will use Volkswagen Settlement funds to invest in electric vehicles and charging stations in the Akwesasne community. Kudos to the National Tribal Air Association for advocating for Indigenous communities to be included in the federal settlement, and to St. Regis Mohawk Tribe Air Quality Program Manager Angela Benedict, whose hard work resulted in $249K for the purchase of two new trucks and installation of four charging stations in 2019. The second settlement payment will go toward the purchase of low-emission vehicles for the community’s casino and transfer station.
The Adirondack Almanack is a public forum dedicated to promoting and discussing current events, history, arts, nature and outdoor recreation and other topics of interest to the Adirondacks and its communities
We publish commentary and opinion pieces from voluntary contributors, as well as news updates and event notices from area organizations. Contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The information, views and opinions expressed by these various authors are not necessarily those of the Adirondack Almanack or its publisher, the Adirondack Explorer.
General inquiries about the Adirondack Almanack should be directed to editor Melissa Hart.
To advertise on the Adirondack Almanack, or to receive information on rates and design, please click here.