Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Matty’s Mountain Management Plan Includes Selective Tree Cutting

Berry Pond Preserve and Matty’s MountainSince the Lake George Land Conservancy was established in 1988, the organization has protected more than 10,000 acres from development, largely to maintain the clarity and water quality of Lake George. But when conserving a property, its Board of Directors also considers a preserve’s broader value – for recreation, education and wildlife habitat.

In 2009, for instance, the Conservancy hired ecologists to study bird populations and in 2010, it began working toward establishing a managed wildlife refuge on one of its preserves.

And earlier this year, the board approved a Stewardship Plan for Matty’s Mountain, a 175 acre parcel in Lake George bordered on three sides by the Berry Pond Preserve. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

DEC Announces Final Sewage Pollution Right to Know Regulations

lake champlain no swimming signNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation has finalized regulations needed to implement the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act. The goal of this regulation is to make it easier for municipalities to notify the public of sewage discharges in their areas.

Under the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act, publicly owned treatment works and publicly owned sewer systems are required to notify DEC within two hours of a sewage discharge. Through the NY-Alert system, municipalities are expected to make the information available to the public and neighboring municipalities. Alerts are available via text messages, emails and/or telephone calls, to keep residents informed about sewage overflows, and the new funding available will help municipalities comply with the law. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Great Lakes Research Focuses On Fisheries, Algal Blooms

Dr. Jacques RinchardThe Great Lakes Research Consortium has awarded $44,819.00 for research projects that will investigate vitamin B deficiency in Lake Ontario fish, analyze a dataset on harmful algal blooms in nearly 200 lakes in New York State, and test DNA-based barcoding as a way to more accurately analyze the Great Lakes food web.

The Great Lakes Research Consortium, based at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) in Syracuse, is awarding funds to The College at Brockport, Cornell University, the Upstate Freshwater Institute, and SUNY-ESF. Project collaborators include the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Federation of Lake Associations, and U.S. Geological Survey Lake Ontario Biological Field Station. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Adirondack Council’s Kevin Chlad: The End of the Legislative Session

NYS CapitolAdirondack Council supporters are grateful to the Legislature for paying careful attention to the needs of Adirondack Park communities at the end of the 2016 session.

Some important community initiatives were addressed, with the help of thousands of letters from Council members and others who wrote to lawmakers in support of legislative initiatives proposed by local governments last week.

We are environmental advocates and we were pleased to help Adirondack communities achieve legislative successes this year. The park’s 130 rural communities are an important part of our globally unique park. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Paul Hetzler: Pining For The Good Old Days

Adirondack Rain StormEver find yourself pining away for the “good old days” when things were simpler, a time when 911 was just a number, and no one was allergic to peanut butter? Maybe you like the era of Beatles concerts, big collars and even bigger hair, or you dream of living in the horse-and- buggy days.

Personally, I get misty-eyed when I think back to the early 2000s. It’s not that I can’t remember further back—my memory isn’t quite that bad yet. But those were the good old days when you could grow tomatoes free of blight, and pine needles were green. (Have you taken a look at the eastern white pines and Scots pines this summer? I’m pretty sure yellow and brown are not their normal colors.) Plant diseases have really blossomed recently. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

State Senate Confirms Basil Seggos As New DEC Commissioner

seggosBasil Seggos was unanimously confirmed by the New York State Senate and has become the 15th Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Seggos previously served as both Deputy Secretary for the Environment and Assistant Secretary for the Environment for Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Since 2012, Seggos has advised the Governor on environmental policy and overseeing the operations of the state’s environmental agencies, including DEC, the Office of Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation, the Environmental Facilities Corporation, and the Adirondack Park Agency. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

How Much Is Road Salt Costing Us?

SnowplowAdkAction.org has announced a new campaign on Adirondack Gives, Adirondack Foundation’s crowdfunding site for nonprofits, community groups and municipalities.

AdkAction.org is raising money to help fund a study to calculate the cost of bridge maintenance and repair correlated with the amount of road salt used by counties. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 13, 2016

Bill To Reform How APA Handles Major Subdivisions Introduced

Woodworth-Lake-2New home construction in large subdivisions in the Adirondack Park would be friendlier to wildlife, forests and water quality under legislation introduced by Assembly Conservation Committee Chairman Steve Englebright.

Four Adirondack conservation groups are praising the introduction of a bill that would amend the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) Act to require conservation-oriented design for large subdivisions in the Adirondack Park. The Adirondack Mountain Club, Adirondack Council, Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve and Protect the Adirondacks support the legislation, calling it the most important set of reforms to the APA Act since it’s enactment in 1971. » Continue Reading.


Friday, June 10, 2016

Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed In Saratoga County

emerald ash borerEmerald ash borer (EAB) has been confirmed for the first time in Saratoga County by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the Capital-Mohawk Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) and the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

DEC staff and the CapMo PRISM coordinator verified the presence of EAB in Waterford, NY after a concerned landowner contacted the organization to report their discovery. Additionally, APHIS confirmed EAB in Ballston Lake as a result of the regular monitoring efforts to detect the beetle.

With the confirmation in Saratoga County, the number of New York counties with EAB has climbed to 34 according to a statement sent to the media by the DEC. A northern portion of Saratoga County lies within the Adirondack Park. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Work Begins On Keene Scenic Viewing Area

area of future viewing platform at the corner of 9N and 73 Kim Rielly photoThe New York State Department of Transportation has begun work this week on a project to create a parking and scenic viewing area at the intersection of Routes 73 and 9N in Keene, Essex County.

The estimated $40,000 project at the southwest corner of the intersection will create an area to parallel park eight cars, along with an approximately 35-foot long gravel walking path leading to an approximate 20-foot diameter viewing area. Boulders will be placed at the rear of the parking area to help define the space. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Dave Gibson On The State Forest Preserve’s Camp Gabriels

Article 14, Section 1 New York State Constitution Forever Wild clauseLegislation in the form of a constitutional amendment has been introduced in Albany this session which would “convey certain Forest Preserve that was never intended to be included in the Forest Preserve.”  That land is the 92-acre former Camp Gabriels prison in the Town of Brighton, formerly part of Paul Smith’s College, and before that a tubercular sanitarium. How this property and those interested in its conversion from a prison to another use came to this stage is a bit of a long story.

Given that this legislative session has just five days remaining, this 11th hour introduction of a constitutional amendment to Article XIV, the forever wild clause, should be viewed as both very surprising and controversial. It is neither. It’s a lesson learned, I trust, for the State of New York which turned a deaf ear in 2011 to the warning and recommendation of Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, Protect the Adirondacks and the Atlantic Chapter of the Sierra Club. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 6, 2016

Birding In The Rain On Hadley Mountain

Hadley Mtn firetower in sunnier weatherSunday’s Bird Walk at Hadley Mountain (a part of our Adirondack Forest Preserve near the Warren-Saratoga County line) was a wash-out. Linda Champagne, intrepid newsletter editor for the Hadley Firetower Committee, was the exception. As we walked up the trail a ways, the drumbeat of rain on our heads slowed, and the migratory birds breeding and raising young here could not help themselves. They sang not for our sake but for the life force that seizes and keeps a territory, and a mate in the right habitat, with the right food for that species and its nestlings.

From the parking lot we heard the incessant song of red-eyed vireo; then a veery; an ovenbird; then a hermit thrush. The rain picked-up again, all song was drowned-out, and we headed back to the parking lot. On the way down, I noticed a red eft salamander crossing the trail. These are the dramatically changed terrestrial stage of the common newt or yellow spotted salamander. Having left their natal ponds, these efts are in the forest making a living until their return to aquatic life in a year, two or three, or more. Their dramatic red-orange color warns off potential predators, and fortunately warned me from stomping on him. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 6, 2016

AdkAction Hires Director, Celebrates 5 Years

Brittany ChristensonAdkAction.org, established in 2011 by a group of local residents, is celebrating its 5th anniversary and has hired a new full-time Executive Director. According to an announcement sent to the press, the organization’s core mission is “getting things done for the Adirondacks by taking on non-partisan projects with widespread support that will benefit both permanent and seasonal residents.”  Originally formed over property assessments, the group has since worked on Monarch butterfly preservation, a park-wide arts symposium, road salt and stream monitoring, and more.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Lives of Pileated Woodpeckers

tos pileated woodpeckerWuk-wuk- wuk-wuk! With a rattling call, a large bird took off from a tree and flew in an undulating fashion across our field towards the woods. It was black and the size of a crow, but flashes of white on the underside of its wings and a red crest on its head easily identified it as a pileated woodpecker.

We had seen the unmistakable signs of pileateds foraging for insects in the adjacent woodland: huge rectangular holes excavated in trees with big wood chips littering the ground below, long strips of bark pulled off a dead elm, a rotten log torn apart. We had heard their loud drumming echoing through the forest. There was likely a nest nearby, although we never found it. The pileated woodpecker, up to 19 inches long with a wingspan up to 30 inches, is North America’s largest woodpecker. (The ivory-billed, of southeastern swamps and Cuba, was larger, but that species is believed to be extinct.) Pileated means “crested”; years ago, the bird was often called a log-cock. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

New Report On The State of North America’s Birds

north american birds 2016The North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) just released The State of North America’s Birds 2016, the first comprehensive report assessing the conservation status of all bird species that occur in Canada, the continental United States and Mexico. NABCI was created by Canada, the United States and Mexico as a tri-national commitment to protect birds and their habitats.

The report argues that more than one third of all North American bird species need urgent conservation action and calls for a renewed, continent-wide commitment to saving birds and their habitats. » Continue Reading.


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