Thursday, January 10, 2019

Bill McKibben to Discuss Climate Change in Plattsburgh

Bill McKibbenLast July I was fortunate enough to hear Bill McKibben speak about his latest book Radio Free Vermont at the Paul Smith’s College VIC. Though that particular talk was regarding a book of fiction, the conversation quickly turned to climate change.

As the author of numerous books on the subject (notably The End of Nature), as well as founder of the international climate change organization 350.org, McKibben’s passion as an environmentalist and educator has seemed to come through with each word. I left the event wondering how I could help my children understand. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Rick LeVitre Retiring From Cornell Cooperative Extension

Assemblyman Billy Jones thanks Rick LeVitre for his service to New York’s 115th District After 7 years of Executive Directorship at Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Franklin County and two years of double-duty as Executive Director at CCE of both Franklin and Essex Counties, Rick LeVitre is retiring.

I remember the apprehension I felt when Rick arrived at Franklin County Extension. I knew that our Board of Directors had been working long and hard for months; holding meetings with and about candidates, and that they’d appointed Rick to the position with good reason. But the appointment of a new Director, more often than not, is only the beginning of all sorts of organizational changes. Structural changes to the staff. Strategic changes with regard to Association goals. Changes that both the Board and the new leader believe will move the organization forward. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 30, 2018

Dave Gibson: Rail Trail Controversy Shows Master Plan Has Teeth

Headlined at this month’s meeting of the Adirondack Park Agency was a vote by the APA members to amend the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (SLMP) to allow Rail Trails to be added to the definition of a Travel Corridor, and to support a rail trail in the SLMP’s Travel Corridor management guidance.

Prior to the APA decision, which like all Master Plan amendments must be ratified by the Governor, rail trails were not defined or authorized under the SLMP’s Travel Corridor overlay classification. Travel Corridors  applied only to the strip of land constituting the roadbed and right of way of state and interstate highways and the Remsen to Lake Placid railroad right of way, as well those state lands immediately adjacent to these facilities.  Such facilities had to be transportation related- not just recreational. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 13, 2018

Deniers, Pearl Harbor and Climate Change

Pearl Harbor in the 1880s My father was a young high school teacher in Florida on December 7, 1941. Following Pearl Harbor, he joined the Army and made it his career, including in Army intelligence assessing future security threats.

I once asked him what he thought, on the day of the Pearl Harbor attack, were our chances of winning the war. His answer was “not good”. He was confident in 1941 that America would fight courageously, and could build a massive military force, and that our role as the arsenal of democracy could prove decisive. But the key question was whether there was enough time left? » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Bauer: State Ignoring Lessons of Class II Snowmobile Trails

Public comments were illuminating at the public hearing in Raquette Lake on November 28th. Held at the Raquette Lake School, the hearing took comments on the state’s proposal to build a new 4-mile section of a 9-12-foot-wide community connector snowmobile trail through the northern edge of the Blue Ridge Wilderness Area where it borders NYS Route 28 between Raquette Lake and the Marion River Carry.

I attended the hearing and made comments. I was the only environmentalist among the crowd of 40 or so snowmobilers, local government officials, local residents and representatives of the NYS Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Busy December APA Board Meeting Planned

APA Building in Ray Brook NYThe Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook, NY on Thursday, December 13th and Friday December 14th, 2018. Both meeting days will begin at 9:30 am.

The meeting will address the Lyme Timber Company forest management project; consideration of authorizing a public comment period regarding State Land Master Plan conformance for proposed Ski Trail Guidance; a presentation from Dan Josephson from Cornell University; discussion on State Land Master Plan conformance; and more. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Acid Rain Controls Near Finish Line, Obstacles Remain

Dead Red Spruce GothicsAs the nation mourns the passing of George H. W. Bush, the President who signed the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 creating America’s first acid rain program – a conference of scientists and advocates has concluded that the fight to stop acid rain is nearly won. Sadly, victory is now in doubt due to the Trump administration’s proposed pollution rule changes.

It feels like we are a marathon runner who has been tripped with the finish line in sight. In 1990, President Bush understood that the United States was supposed to set an example for the rest of the world when it comes to protecting the environment. The current Environmental Protection Agency is pushing hard in the other direction, imposing reductions to environmental protections that took a generation to enact. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 3, 2018

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Workshop Set For Warrensburg

Hemlock woolly adelgidNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Warren County Cornell Cooperative Extension have announced a workshop on hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) has been set for December 15, at the DEC Region 5 Office in Warrensburg.

Charlotte Malmborg, a natural resources technician with the New York State Hemlock Initiative at Cornell University (NYSHI), will provide information on the importance of hemlock trees in northeastern forests, the threat presented by HWA, and how landowners can identify and manage HWA infestations. She will also introduce New York State Hemlock Initiative’s research of biological control opportunities and describe the role of NYSHI in promoting hemlock conservation in New York State. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Adirondack Wild: End Threat of Jay Mtn Wilderness Mining

adirondack wild

Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve says it will ask members of the New York State Legislature to impose a deadline for future mineral sampling and mining at Lot 8 in Lewis, a 200-acre portion of the NYS Forest Preserve’s Jay Mountain Wilderness.

The constitutional amendment allowing the mining company NYCO Minerals to collect mineral samples in advance of mining a portion of the Jay Mountain Wilderness, in exchange for land elsewhere, passed the NYS Legislature and was narrowly approved (53%-47%) by voters in 2013. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

ATVs On The Forest Preserve: A Constitutional Amendment?

A utility vehicle traverses a Whiteface road in August In mid-June, Whiteface Mountain advertised a summer activity — rides aboard big all-terrain vehicles on the ski slopes of the High Peaks landmark. Called the “4×4 Alpine Expedition,” marketing videos showed children and adults enjoying the guided tours.

Callers to the resort’s customer service line were told they could book 60-minute or 90-minute excursions through the fall.

But by July, the rides were abruptly canceled. That came after environmental watchdogs raised concerns to state officials, and after the Adirondack Explorer inquired about the propriety of the rides. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Oswegatchie Easement Rec Plan Comments Sought

DEC logoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking public comments on a revised Recreation Management Plan (RMP) for the Oswegatchie Conservation Easement.

The Oswegatchie Easement encompasses approximately 16,929 acres in the towns of Croghan and Diana in Lewis County, including more than 14-thousand acres located within the Adirondack Park.

The property includes 3.5 miles of the Middle Branch of the Oswegatchie River, shares 9.6 miles of boundary with forest preserve lands, and less than one mile of boundary with state forest land. » Continue Reading.


Monday, November 26, 2018

Gibson: Adirondack Land Use, Climate Change Linked

Satellite view of the Adirondacks with blue line superimposed courtesy Adirondack WildCongresswoman Elise Stefanik’s district has one of the great carbon banks in North America, its public and private forests. Governor Cuomo’s Department of Environmental Conservation and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation have, on our behalf, custody of over an even larger carbon bank in the Catskills, Adirondacks, State Forests and Parks and Conservation Easements all across the State.

Yet, despite their vocal and demonstrable commitments to combat climate change, I’ve not heard either official tout the great importance of New York’s forest policies and stewardship to store and offset our carbon pollution. Goals and policies on use of solar, wind, hydro, transportation, batteries, and efficiency are routinely and passionately enunciated and in some cases enacted. Rarely is forest policy in that mix. It’s curious. » Continue Reading.


Friday, November 23, 2018

Input Sought On Tug Hill East, East Branch Fish Creek Plans

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is asking the public for input on the development of the draft Tug Hill East Unit Management Plan (UMP) and the East Branch Fish Creek Easement Recreation Management Plan (RMP). DEC has encouraged the public to share comments on the plans at a session on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 22, 2018

Comments Sought On Adirondack Park Energy Plans

APA Building in Ray Brook NYThe Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is accepting public comment on its draft policy for Renewable Energy Production and Energy Supply.

The purpose of the policy is to provide guidance for the review and approval of renewable energy projects inside the Adirondack Park with regards to the Adirondack Park Agency Act, the Freshwater Wetlands Act and the Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers Act. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Nursery Hit For Transporting Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced a final Order on Consent, including a $2,500 penalty, with Tennessee Wholesale Nursery, LLC, Dennis Sons, and Tammy Sons for violating New York’s invasive species regulations.

The Tennessee nursery transported eastern hemlock seedlings infested with hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), a prohibited invasive species, to Oswego and Schenectady counties. Under the terms of the order, the nursery is required to provide DEC with monthly nursery stock orders for New York State through 2020 in order to continue doing business in New York State. » Continue Reading.