Friday, January 10, 2020

Cuomo’s $3B Restore Mother Nature Bond Act Is A Big Deal

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2020 State of the State speech included two big pieces of good news for the Adirondack Park.

The first major highlight was his proposal for a $3 Billion Restore Mother Nature Bond Act that will support a variety of pressing environmental and climate change challenges across New York. This proposal is the first listed in the 2020 State of the State book that accompanied the speech.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 7, 2020

State Legislature EnCon Committee Chairs Talk Priorities

todd steven willie

The following essay was authored by Assemblyman Steven Englebright and State Senator Todd Kaminsky.

The 2019 legislative session was a great one for New York’s environment. As the chairs of the Environmental Conservation Committees in both houses, we were pleased to talk with Adirondack residents and visitors about the session in late September when we came to the park to discuss next year’s agenda.

The Adirondacks aren’t just New York’s largest park, they are a national treasure and a shining example of long-term conservation that serves as a model for the world. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2020 Marks DEC’s 50th Anniversary

Nelson Rockefeller signing legislationThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) was established in 1970 on the first-ever Earth Day.

In the 50 years since, Adirondackers have seen a revolution in the way we interact with our environment. The Clean Air Act was passed in 1970; in 1971 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was established, followed by the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972. The Adirondack Park Agency Act was passed in 1971, and the State’s Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) in 1980, the same year as the Superfund Law. In 1993 the Environmental Protection Fund was established.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, December 30, 2019

Siamese Ponds Wilderness Survey Underway

siamese ponds surveyA student at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry is conducting a capstone project about daily use of Siamese Ponds Wilderness. The research is focused on scenic quality of wilderness and wilderness use by residents and visitors.

The survey is anonymous and can be found here.


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Natural Christmas Tree Decorations

“What a horrifyingly garish sight,” I said to my friend as we surveyed my Christmas tree last year. We had just finished decorating it and my eyes were sending messages to my brain, like, “Hey, this is really tacky.”

Truth is, the décor I had accumulated after years of city dwelling in my sassy twenties looked awfully out of place in my humble Vermont cabin. What I once thought dazzling – glitter-coated icicles, a miniature disco ball, a purple-feathered bird with jeweled eyes, flocks of shiny gold and green balls – now looked as out of place as a pink flamingo at my bird feeder. Even the duck decoy my great uncle carved seemed to give the gaudy fiasco an alarmed stare. Such a tree no longer belonged in my world. » Continue Reading.


Friday, December 20, 2019

Giving More When We Need Less

One of the things I like the most about the holidays, besides the fact that I get to decorate my house with Victorian gaudiness, is that people don’t question other people’s need for food and gifts.

We give to Toys for Tots, Holiday Helpers, Tri-Lakes Humane Society, and “run” Turkey Trots for food pantries. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Viewpoint: Rethink Boreas Ponds Motor Vehicle Access

Large washout on Gulf Brook RoadThe Adirondack Park Agency’s decision to classify the magnificent Boreas Ponds Tract to authorize motorized use of Gulf Brook Road is a done deal.

The State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC’s) management plan to improve that road, establish parking, and allow permitted cars to drive to within a couple hundred yards of the Boreas Ponds is in the implementation phase.

In other words, the governmental custodians of the Boreas Tract will be allowing vehicular access deep into the Boreas Tract. Now the only question is whether the Adirondacks itself will allow vehicular access deep into the Boreas Tract. I would not be too sure about that. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 15, 2019

Ausable River Association To Replace Otis Brook Culvert

culvert on Otis Brook in JayThe Ausable River Association (AsRA) has been awarded a $100,000 Best Management Practices for Pollution Reduction grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP).

The funding supports replacement of an undersized and failing culvert on Otis Brook in Jay, NY. This will be AsRA’s sixth installation of a Climate-Ready-Culvert and is part of their wider effort to restore stream health by reducing sedimentation of waterways, to improve wildlife habitat, and to create flood resilience for communities in the Ausable watershed. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 14, 2019

Wilderness Advocates Incorporate As Nonprofit

adirondack wilderness advocates logoAdirondack Wilderness Advocates (AWA) has announced its incorporation as a non-profit 501(3)(c) charitable corporation dedicated to the purpose of advancing public knowledge, enjoyment, expansion, and protection of the Adirondack Park’s wildest places. AWA also named its initial Board of Directors.

“I am very excited to be a part of AWA,” Board Chair Bill Ingersoll said in an announcement sent to the press. “We want to make a difference. Our goal is to ensure our wilderness areas are managed in a sound, ecologically intact way, and enlarged in a manner that protects the remotest places in the Adirondack Park while respecting other forms of recreational access.” » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Man Arrested For Killing A Moose From Truck With Light

New York State Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) charged a Saranac, Clinton County, man with numerous counts related to killing a moose in the town of Franklin, Franklin County, following a month-long DEC investigation.

On December 4, 2019, ECOs charged Zachary Vaughn, 26, with four misdemeanors: taking of a moose; possessing a loaded firearm in a vehicle; use of an artificial light in a vehicle while in possession of firearm; and hunting deer with the aid of an artificial light. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Hetzler: Go Ahead, Paint That Oak Stump

leaf and whole tree symptoms of oak wilt in a red oak treeEach time I present on invasive pests, it begins with a slide of Chicken Little, a character who fomented mass hysteria by convincing other animals the sky was falling. It’s usually good for a chuckle. Inevitably I then proceed to unload a barrage of bar graphs, pie charts, alarming statistics, and photos of mayhem wrought by the featured pest. A final slide shows the position of the sky, with arrows in the direction of gravitational pull at 9.8 m/s/s, proof that the sky is indeed falling. For some reason, fewer people laugh at the end. Go figure.

Threats to forest health posed by invasive species are no joke. Yet I think we educators often come across like Chicken Little, squawking about yet another threat to trees. It would be hard to blame the average person for asking themselves, gosh – how many times can the sky fall, anyway? » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 9, 2019

APA Considering 95-Foot Tower, 500-Acre Logging, More

APA Building in Ray Brook NYThe Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook, NY Thursday, December 12th, 2019.

The meeting will address consideration of a proposed telecommunication tower in Elizabethtown, a timber harvest plan for lands in Arietta and Lake Pleasant, authorizing proposed amendments to the Town of Indian Lake’s Local Land Use Program, and will get an overview of Adirondack Diversity Initiative’s six-month strategies and goals.

What follows is the agenda issued by the APA: » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 8, 2019

Invasives Viewpoint: Add ‘Frozen Boat Permits,’ Educate Visitors

Adirondack Watershed Institute steward watches over the Second Pond boat launch near Saranac LakeAquatic invasive species pose a serious threat to the economy and the environment, not only in the Adirondacks, but in all of New York State.

The current debate over a voluntary vs. mandatory boat inspection program is the classic “carrot or stick” scenario. Forcing a mandatory program on the boating public in the Adirondacks, without even considering other intermediary options, is a mistake. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 8, 2019

Chazy Student Earns Recognition For Water Quality Research

Leanna Thalmann collecting water samples at a farm in northeastern NYLeanna Thalmann of Chazy, NY, earned nationally-recognized First Place honors for her poster presentation of the water quality research funded by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) at the joint annual meeting of the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America in November 2019 in San Antonio, TX.

Thalmann, a University of Vermont soil science graduate student, has been involved with data collection and analysis as part of the William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute team conducting the NNYADP-funded water quality research. This work plays a role in building the data-driven science needed to accurately guide water quality conservation. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 8, 2019

EPA Settles With Glens Falls’ Lehigh Cement Co

epa logoWhat follows is a press release issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Lehigh Cement Company LLC (Lehigh) and Lehigh White Cement Company, LLC (Lehigh White) have agreed to invest approximately $12 million in pollution control technology at their 11 portland cement manufacturing plants in eight states to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, announced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice. Today’s settlement will reduce more than 4,555 tons of harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 989 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) pollution each year. » Continue Reading.