Even if its precise definition isn’t at the tip of your tongue, most everyone gets the general drift of what is meant by the term biogas — there’s biology involved, and the result is gas. One might guess it’s the funk in the air aboard the bus carrying the sauerkraut-eating team home after a weekend competition. Others would say biogas is cow belches, or the rotten-egg stink-bubbles that swarm to the surface when your foot sinks into swamp ooze.
Those are all examples of biogas, which is composed primarily of methane, CH4, at concentrations ranging from 50% to 60 %. Methane is highly combustible, and can be used in place of natural gas for heat or to run internal-combustion engines for the generation of electricity and other applications. Formed by microbes under anaerobic conditions, it is a greenhouse gas twenty-eight times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in Earth’s atmosphere. The fact that it can be useful if harnessed but dangerous if released is why we need to trap biogas given off by landfills, manure pits, and someday, maybe even cow burps. » Continue Reading.
Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Basil Seggos is stepping down. A replacement has not been announced, but the next DEC Commissioner with be the third named by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was just elected to a third term.
During his tenure as DEC Commissioner Seggos completed the state’s purchase of the 69,000-acre Finch, Pruyn & Company lands. His tenure also coincided with several important Adirondack Park Agency (APA) classification decisions, including the High Peaks Wilderness and Boreas Ponds and Essex Chain Tracts. DEC writes Adirondack Forest Preserve Unit Management Plans. The APA is tasked with ensuring those plans meet the requirement of the New York State Land Master Plan.
Currently on the Adirondack Park Agency website (apa.ny.gov) are links to “large scale subdivisions currently under review,” an entirely new feature. What is that new feature all about?
Earlier this year, APA adopted a new application for large-scale residential subdivisions, as the agency defines them. In the green land use color, Resource Management, large scale subdivisions are defined as 5 or more lots or parcels in a given project. In the yellow land use color, Rural Use, they are defined as 10 or more lots or parcels. In the orange, or Low Intensity use, they are defined as 25 or more lots or parcels. All subdivisions in those colors meeting those size thresholds, says the APA, must meet new application guidelines. » Continue Reading.
Scientists in the 1970s began to notice and be alarmed by the abnormally acidic lakes and streams they were discovering throughout the Adirondacks. In some cases, fish populations were disappearing. Their groundbreaking work coined the term acid rain, caused by fossil-fuel emissions that drifted on high-altitude winds and were flushed down in cloud bursts.
Today, just as science-driven rules limiting industrial and vehicular emissions have helped our local waterways begin to recover, evidence we are seeing supports new approaches to safely managing snow and ice on roadways, driveways, and sidewalks while protecting our freshwater resources. » Continue Reading.
New York State public campgrounds are managed under what is called “Intensive Use” rules. These lands are the most developed (least restrictive of development) public lands in the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. “Wilderness” is the most restrictive. Interestingly, when it came to establishing management plans for Moose River Plains Camping Area, special guidelines were agreed upon to preserve its unique version of primitive/public campground. The Department of Environmental Conservation may not “upgrade” the area with features found in regular campgrounds. “Keep it simple” is what the people wanted. » Continue Reading.
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently wrapped up a public hearing on proposed changes to the 18,950-acre Long Pond Conservation Easement located in the Town of Colton, St. Lawrence County. The state purchased this easement for $1.667 million in 1999 and the taxpayers of New York State have paid the state’s share of all local taxes on the property since then. The DEC held this public hearing because it wants to rewrite this conservation easement to allow 15 leased residential camps to remain on the property in perpetuity.
At the time that the state purchased the Long Pond Conservation Easement in 1999 there were six camps that were allowed to remain on the tract in perpetuity due to special deeded rights. At that time there were nearly three dozen other smaller hunting and fishing camps on the property that were grandfathered and given exclusive hunting and fishing rights for 15 years. The 1999 easement purchase included blanket public recreational rights, but they were deferred until 2014 to keep the peace among the club members and local politicians. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC Region 6) Potsdam offices will be unavailable to the public through October 31, 2018, while the offices are relocated from Route 11 to 190 Outer Main Street, Suite 103, Potsdam, NY.
This is a permanent move. The public is asked to call the Watertown headquarters during this time of transition at 315-785-2263 during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. » Continue Reading.
All of the buildings of the Gooley Club hunting camp on Third Lake on the Essex Chain Lakes have been removed. The site is cleared. The dozen or so cabins, the shower building, the main lodge clubhouse, the various storage buildings, and the network of docks are all gone.
Under the terms of the state’s purchase from The Nature Conservancy in 2012, the hunting camps and clubs on these lands were allowed to remain until the end of September 2018. Their last exclusive big game season was 2017. The Essex Chain Lakes Complex Unit Management Plan (UMP) called for the removal of the Gooley Club buildings once their term of exclusive use was up, but some members of the Gooley Club, along with allies at Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) and local government leaders, made a last stand to keep these buildings. They argued that the Gooley Club should stay and be preserved and maintained by the state as a kind of living museum of Adirondack hunting and fishing camp culture. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Land Trust and a private landowner have partnered to protect an intact forest and a unique strain of brook trout on 2,122 acres in the town of Long Lake.
The Little Charley Pond tract contains Snell, Bear and Little Charley ponds and five miles of undeveloped shoreline. A new owner, Charley Pond Preserve, has donated to the Adirondack Land Trust a perpetual conservation easement to keep the forest whole and safeguard a rare fish community. » Continue Reading.
On October 18, the Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) closed on the purchase of 317 acres on French Mountain, which lies within the Towns of Lake George and Queensbury, for $525,000.
The LGLC will sell the property subject to a conservation easement to the Towns of Lake George and Queensbury; these transactions are expected to take place within the following months, according to an announcement sent to the press. » Continue Reading.
The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) is set to host a series of informational and training sessions for the terrestrial invasive pest, the hemlock woolly adelgid. The sessions are free and open to the public.
There are two opportunities to hear from LGLC staff and Charlotte Malmborg of the NYS Hemlock Initiative to learn about the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), including its threat to our forests and water, current research, and what residents can do to help. » Continue Reading.
The Lake Placid Land Conservancy (LPLC) has announced the promotion of Kerry Crowningshield to Executive Director. Crowningshield joined LPLC in 2016 as the Outreach Coordinator.
In a statement to the press, Ms. Crowningshield said: “Growing up in the area gives me a unique understanding of the communities LPLC serves and their relationship to the Adirondacks. I choose to live and work here because I developed a connection to the lakes, rivers, and forests as a child, and want to ensure future generations and visitors have this same opportunity.” » Continue Reading.
The Fort Ticonderoga Association has announced that it has acquired 47 acres on the east face of Mount Defiance, to help protect the historically important mountain from which the British took Fort Ticonderoga in 1777.
The acquisition was made possible through partnership with the Open Space Institute (OSI) which provided a $46,000 grant for the purchase and related expenses. » Continue Reading.
ANCA’s annual Clean Energy Economy Conference is set to return to the Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls on October 24-25, 2018. The annual forum attracts clean energy leaders from across Northern New York and Vermont who are driving renewable energy adoption in the region.
This year’s conference focuses on “disruptive innovation” and will explore advancements affecting the region such as transportation and battery storage. The conference agenda includes special tracks for residential consumers, small businesses and industry professionals, as well as professional training opportunities that provide continuing education credits. » Continue Reading.
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