Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tyler Socash On Boreas Ponds Area Snowmobile Trail Plans

Frozen tracks across Vanderwhacker PondOn April 3rd, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) held a public scoping session in Newcomb, seeking suggestions for managing some 96,000 acres of recently-classified Forest Preserve lands, including the Boreas Ponds Tract. Hours before attending the meeting, I went on a bushwhack.

Armed with a map and a compass, I set out from Blue Ridge Road with an adventurous spirit into a dense coniferous forest. Meandering along the icy outlet of Vanderwhacker Pond, the sounds from the road began to fade as I followed a bearing of 31 degrees. The babbling stream flowed clearly between unstable ice bridges, beckoning me further along its sinuous path. A clearing in the trees signaled the presence of the frozen pond itself. I stepped onto the ice, surprised by the water body’s size, and was suddenly enraptured by wildness. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 16, 2018

Meeting On Perkin’s Clearing-Speculator Tree Farm Easement Plans

perkins clearing speculator tree farmThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking public input regarding public recreation on the 39,579-acre Perkin’s Clearing – Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Tract in the towns of Arietta, Lake Pleasant, and Wells in Hamilton County.

The area shares boundaries with the Siamese Ponds Wilderness, Jessup River Wild Forest, and West Canada Lake Wilderness.

Written comments will be accepted until May 11, 2018. » Continue Reading.


Friday, April 13, 2018

Celebrate Earth Day, Earth Week In The Adirondacks

McKenzie Trailhead Earth Day Cleanup - AdirondackFamilyTime.comApril 22nd is Earth Day. Time for some reminders that we all need to do our part to protect and preserve our environment. Throughout New York State there are events and activities scheduled to reconnect us with the earth, and to remember we all rely on the same planet.

Since 1970 this special day as been earmarked to “diversify, educate, and activate the environmental movement worldwide.” According to the Earth Day Network, they work with over 50,000 partners in more than 190 countries to provide a platform for the environmental movement.

Celebrating Earth Day doesn’t have to be complicated. It can simply be a way of looking at how we can reduce our own garbage and plastic waste. This year’s Earth Day Theme is “End Plastic Pollution.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Buildings on the Forest Preserve: Public Lodging Facilities

Buildings on the Forest Preserve are limited by state laws, regulations and policies to administrative and historic preservation purposes. The biggest looming threat to the Forest Preserve is the proposal to expand allowable buildings to include public lodging structures through some kind of formal hut-to-hut system.

The final report issued by Adirondack Community-based Trails and Lodging recommends four instances where Forest Preserve lands were included for “hut” locations as necessary stops for one of their proposed 59 hut-to-hut trips. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Revised APA Rules For Large Subdivision, Shoreline Projects

APA Building in Ray Brook NYThe Adirondack Park Agency (APA), which was established to protect the Adirondack Park from inappropriate development, has revised its application processes for large scale projects and variances.

The Large-scale Subdivision Application applies to all subdivisions involving five or more proposed lots, parcels or sites on Resource Management lands, ten or more proposed lots, parcels or sites on Rural Use lands, or twenty-five or more proposed lots, parcels or sites on Low Intensity Use lands. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 9, 2018

Trailblazer: Kathleen Suozzo

kathleen suozzoKathleen Suozzo’s work is at the heart of one of the more difficult issues facing the Adirondacks today: upgrading aging waste-water and drinking-water treatment facilities in small communities where the cost is borne on the backs of local residents, though the heaviest usage is when tourists and seasonal residents come to visit. At stake are the lakes, rivers, and streams of the region.

“After the summer tourists leave, we have infrastructure we need to maintain,” says Suozzo, an engineer who lives in Bolton Landing. She commends the people who work on skeleton crews managing the facilities and “just do what needs to be done.” » Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 7, 2018

Commentary: Make Adirondack Railroads A Priority

20th Century Transportation PrioritiesFour unprecedented March Nor’easters caused millions of dollars in damage, kept utilities scrambling to restore power, and disrupted transportation up and down the east coast in 2018.

Choosing policies that will make matters worse should be the last thing to do in New York State, but that is what is happening in the Adirondacks and the Catskills. » Continue Reading.


Friday, April 6, 2018

‘Unusual but Effective Coalition’ Killed Forest Preserve Tax Changes

Assemblyman Dan Stec questions DEC commissioner about the proposed tax cap at a February 27 budget hearing in Albany. At left on the panel, Senator Betty Little.

A controversial proposal to replace state tax payments on Forest Preserve lands with negotiated “payments in lieu of taxes” was jettisoned in the final rounds of state budget talks.

“I am both relieved and grateful that the budget does not change New York’s current method of paying taxes on state-owned lands to localities,” State Senator Betty Little said on March 31, shortly after the budget was adopted. “It would have overturned a practice, now more than a century old and clearly defined in statute, unfairly costing the local taxpayers. Getting this out of the budget was a priority for me and I’m very pleased we’ve gotten the result so many wanted.”

The state’s payments to Adirondack towns, schools and special districts in the form of property taxes on Forest Preserve lands, which some have been estimated to be as high as $80 million a year, are therefore likely to continue, at least for the time being. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 5, 2018

Local Railroad CEO Seeks $5M Payday

In March 2016, Ed Ellis stood before the Warren County Board of Supervisors and said that there would be no oil tanker railcars stored in the Adirondacks.

He said it again and again as he pushed county leaders to authorize a new five-year contract to operate the Saratoga and North Creek Railroad (SNCRR). He gave the Supervisors his “word.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 5, 2018

Dave Gibson: More On Inner Gooley Club

As noted in stories in Adirondack Explorer and Almanack, the Inner Gooley Club buildings on the shores of Third Lake in the Essex Chain, were nominated for inclusion in the State and National Register of Historic Places.

The nomination is controversial because the lake and lands around it, including the Gooley Club footprint, is publicly-owned Adirondack Forest Preserve classified Primitive, and managed as closely as possible to Wilderness guidelines. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 5, 2018

ADK Announces New Ambassador Program

adk mountain clubThe Adirondack Mountain Club’s ADK Stewardship Ambassador program, is a new volunteer program created to provide six recreationists to promote and advocate for the importance of protecting New York’s public lands by sharing their experiences through social media and blogs.

“Social media is a powerful tool for promoting stewardship efforts in wild places,” said ADK’s education director Julia Goren in a statement sent to the press. “ADK’s Stewardship Ambassador program will help us reach people where they are and help inspire people to protect their public lands.” » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Adk Council’s Budget Analysis Finds Good in Lean Year

NYS CapitolOn Friday of last week, Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature approved a 168.3 billion dollar budget, within the context of what was considered to be a lean budget year.

In spite of the budgetary challenges the Governor and Legislature faced this year, core environmental funds were upheld, including the Environmental Protection Fund and community water infrastructure funding approved over the last few years.

The final approved budget contained a mixed bag when it came to more detailed aspects of the budget; some were good, and some were bad. What follows is a review of the state budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year: » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 2, 2018

Land Trust Helps Protect High Peaks Vista in Keene

The meadow at the intersection of Routes 73 and 9N in Keene. The property protected by the Adirondack Land Trust is at the back of the meadow. A family’s donation of land to the Adirondack Land Trust will protect part of a beloved vista of Pitchoff, Cascade and Porter Mountains in the town of Keene.

Howard and Darcy Fuguet, whose families have owned land in Keene since the early 1900s, donated 4.6 acres near the intersection of Routes 9N and 73, including 1,000 feet on the East Branch of the Ausable River. The Adirondack Land Trust will protect the land until its expected eventual transferred to New York State’s Adirondack Forest Preserve. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, March 31, 2018

Spring Snow and Sunburn

With spring right around the corner, despite what seemed to be a nor’easter a week, I wanted to bring light to something we may not consider with these sunny days but colder temperatures: sunburn.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human services, exposure to UV rays can cause a number of health complications, such as problems with sight, and everything from age spots, wrinkles, and leathery skin to skin cancer, with about 5.4 million cases diagnosed per year. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, March 31, 2018

Mirror Lake Water Quality Report Released

Mirror LakeThe Ausable River Association (AsRA) and Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) have released the 2017 Water Quality Report for Mirror Lake.

The lake serves as a focal point for the Village of Lake Placid. For the past three years, AsRA and AWI have been studying the water quality of  Mirror Lake with a goal to provide science data for decision making. » Continue Reading.