Thursday, March 8, 2018

Public Comments Sought On Rail Corridor Amendment

APA Building in Ray Brook NYThe New York State Adirondack Park Agency (APA) has proposed an amendment to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (APSLMP) changing the Travel Corridors classification category definition, the guidelines for management and use, and amendments of related provisions. The APA will accept public comment until May 7, 2018. Three public hearing sessions will be held on April 11, 24 and 25, 2018.

What follows is an announcement sent to the press by the APA, Phil Brown has much more of the story here. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

APA Meeting: SLMP Amendments, ORDA Plans, More

APA Building in Ray Brook NYThe Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook, NY on Thursday, March 8th, 2018.

The meeting will address proposed amendments to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (including changes to the  Travel Corridor definition), Invasive Species management, and proposed actions involving Gore and Whiteface Mountains. The Public Awareness Committee will hear a presentation on the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, and the Regulatory Programs Committee will be briefed on revisions to the Variance and Large-Scale Subdivision Applications.

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


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Gibson: DEC Should End Uncertainty of Old Mountain Road

old mountain roadThis past week, the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court ruled that the Old Mountain Road that runs through the public’s Sentinel Wilderness between Keene and North Elba remains a town road and is not abandoned by either town. The court thus overturned a decision by former Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens in 2016 and affirms an enforcement proceeding decision by former DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis in 2009.

It’s been a long, bumpy and controversial legal ride to this point. What is so perplexing about it is that the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation could have prevented it from ever happening if the DEC had asserted certain legal authority it has been wary of asserting. In a few places where it’s obviously warranted, DEC should start to employ that legal authority again. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Adirondack Pollinator Project Plant Sale Underway

monarch on echinaceaAn online Pollinator Plant Sale hosted by the Adirondack Pollinator Project is underway, and will continue through May 31st.

All flowers are local to the Adirondacks and were selected for their ability to attract pollinators, like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The plants are being cultivated without the use of pesticides by locally-owned Cook & Gardener Nursery in Plattsburgh. » Continue Reading.


Monday, March 5, 2018

APA Proposal Would Allow Other Rail Trails

The Adirondack Park Agency’s proposal to amend its definition of a Travel Corridor was prompted by the state’s desire to build a rail trail between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake, but the change also could affect another rail corridor in the news.

We mean the line between North Creek and Tahawus. This is where Iowa Pacific Holdings has been storing used oil-tanker cars, much to the consternation of state and local officials.

As reported in the March/April issue of the Adirondack Explorer, local officials and others are now talking about someday converting this corridor into a rail trail. However, the story points out that there are legal questions, among them: since the corridor passes through forever-wild Forest Preserve, would it be lawful to create a rail trail suitable for road bikes? » Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Saranac River Superfund Site Public Meeting Set

NYSEG – Plattsburg Saranac St. MGP Site #510007A public meeting addressing the contamination related to the NYSEG – Plattsburg Saranac Street MGP Site #510007 along the Saranac River in Plattsburgh has been set for March 14th, 2018 at 7 pm, at the Plattsburgh City Hall, 41 City Hall Place, Plattsburgh.

In addition to the meeting, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is accepting public comments about the proposal through March 30, 2018. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Cranberry Lake Wild Forest, Easement Rec Plans Being Considered

Public input is sought on development of the draft Cranberry Lake Wild Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP) and the Conifer-Emporium Conservation Easement Recreation Management Plan (RMP).

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is holding a public session on March 21, 2018, at 6 and 8:30 pm. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

50 Years of Forest Preserve Purchases and Classifications

In thinking about the final decisions in early February by the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on the recent Forest Preserve classification package, which included the Boreas Ponds, I took a look back at Forest Preserve acquisition and classification over the years. This led me to dig back and look at how the Forest Preserve has changed in the modern era of the Adirondack Park, a period of nearly 50 years.

I went back to 1970, to the technical reports of the Temporary Study Commission on the Future of the Adirondacks. The main Forest Preserve data is provided in the private and public lands set of reports. All of the Temporary Study Commission reports are important historical markers. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 26, 2018

Lake Flower Contamination Clean-Up Planned

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced they will begin remedial construction activities to address contamination in Pontiac Bay of Lake Flower and Brandy Brook.

A public availability session has been set for Tuesday, March 13th from 7 to 9 pm at the Harrietstown Town Hall, 39 Main Street, Saranac Lake. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 26, 2018

APIPP: No New Aquatic Invasives Found In 2017

Adirondack lakes surveyed since 2002 and number of aquatic invasive species documented in each. For the first time in a decade, no new Adirondack lakes were reported to be infested by aquatic invasive species (AIS) by the Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP).

Nearly 75% of Adirondack lakes surveyed by APIPP for aquatic invasives were found to be invasive-free. 12 species were found to be present in interior lakes. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Resistance: Ron Stafford’s Gift to Local Governments

Senator Ron Stafford with a former Town of Bolton Supervisor, Frank Leonbruno, in Bolton Landing, July 2001Having spent more than a decade as an aide to an upstate New York senator, the late Ron Stafford, I retain some residual habits, one of which is flipping through the Governor’s budget proposals as soon as they’re released, alert, I would hope, to anything that might have an impact on our region, positive or negative.

That’s how I happened to become aware of a proposal in this year’s budget to remove Forest Preserve lands from the real property tax standard and authorize New York State to send Adirondack communities “payments in lieu of taxes.”

I gave it more than a cursory glance because in 1989, when I worked for Senator Stafford, the current governor’s father, Mario Cuomo, proposed something very similar. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Weather Extremes And Maple Syrup Production

Sugarhouse at Brandy Brook Maple Farm in EllenburgNorthern New Yorkers are definitely not strangers to cold winter weather. But most of us would rather have not had to deal with the brutally relentless cold that gripped much of the nation during December and January.

According to data from the Southeast Regional Climate Center, cities including Buffalo, New York; Worcester, Massachusetts; and Bangor, Maine all experienced their coldest 2-week-stretch of weather ever recorded last Dec. 23 – Jan. 5. The week between Christmas and New Year’s was the coldest on record in Buffalo’s history. And, on Dec. 28, 30 record low temperatures were set across the country; the lowest of which was recorded in Watertown, NY; -32°F. Eighteen east coast cities saw record lows on January 2, including Morrisville, Vermont; -29°F. Their previous low for that date was -14°F. And let’s not forget he first major storm of 2018; the infamous ‘bomb cyclone’ or bombogenesis. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

2018 Lake Champlain Boat Launch Stewards Sought

boat launch stewardThe Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) has announced they are hiring up to twelve boat launch stewards to work at New York and Vermont public boat launch access areas during the steward program’s 12th season.

The stewards help to reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species by identifying high-risk boats for courtesy inspection and providing information about invasive species spread prevention. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Lake George Facing Threat To Hemlocks

Hemlock with HWA egg masses_Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

The Eastern hemlock is one of the most abundant trees in New York and a major component of the forests in the Lake George – visible in nearly every corner of watershed.

Hemlock stabilize streambanks and shorelines, protect water quality of the streams that flow into the lake, and provide value to local forest products economies.

But last summer, a small population of hemlock woolly adelgid was found on Prospect Mountain in Lake George. The terrestrial invasive insect, native to East Asia, has been killing large swaths of hemlock trees from the Great Smokey Mountains to the Catskills and is making its way north, having finally reached Lake George. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Bauer: Empire Forests of the Future Initiative Worthy of Support

NYS capital buildingA major new program in Governor Andrew’s Cuomo’s 2018-19 state budget is the Empire Forests of the Future Initiative, referred to as “EFFI.”

This new program seeks to overhaul and modernize two longstanding “Preferential Forest Tax Law Programs” known by the shorthands “480” and “480a” for their respective parts of the Real Property Tax Law. These programs provide tax exemptions for forestland owners who enroll their lands and manage them for long-term for forestry purposes. » Continue Reading.