Monday, October 19, 2015

Promises Ignored: Adirondack Resort Seeks State Funding

REDC-Regions-300x236This week, New York State will host the ten Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) to examine their annual round of project submissions. This is the fifth year of the statewide funding competition created under Governor Andrew Cuomo.

I say good luck to those projects which seek to enhance the Park’s human communities, quality of life, and job growth and retention grounded upon protection and appreciation of the Park’s natural resources, wilderness and scenic beauty, and outdoor recreation.   One project however, is seeking state funding which exploits rather than enhances the Adirondack Park: the Adirondack Club and Resort. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Adirondack Demographics: Don’t Blame the Park

Census Rural CountiesAt the conference on Adirondack demographics recently held in Albany (described last week by Pete Nelson), there were some familiar faces and some familiar facts. And there were also some familiar but unsupportable conclusions.

The speakers reminded us of two main demographic trends: First, the average age in Adirondack towns is going up. And second, the number of school-aged children in Adirondack school districts is declining. These numbers are not in dispute. They are derived from unimpeachable research conducted by the Center for Applied Demographics at Cornell University (CAD). They suggest a serious challenge to the welfare of our friends and neighbors who live and work in Adirondack towns. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Cyanobacteria: A Primordial Lake Monster

TOS_Blue_Green_AlgaeIt came from the lake. It is a life form nearly as old as life itself. Living peacefully in the depths for eons, it is awakened by humankind’s abuse of the environment. It strikes out with toxins that attack nerves or the liver. Attempts to kill it only make it more toxic.

It sounds like the plot of a 1950s horror movie. But this horror plays out in lakes and ponds across New York, Vermont and New Hampshire on hot, sunny days each summer. This year, a September heat wave extended the season of blue-green algae blooms past Labor Day at Lake Champlain. In the second week of September there were blooms in Missisquoi Bay, a northern, shallow bay of Lake Champlain, and St. Albans Bay, another lake trouble spot. This summer blooms, or suspected blooms, were also reported in Lake Placid, Schroon Lake, Friends Lake. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Whiteface Seeks Changes To Porcupine Lodge

Early Whiteface Mountain Trail MapThe Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) are seeking public comments about a proposal from the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) to renovate and expand Porcupine Lodge on Lookout Mountain at the Whiteface Mountain Ski Area.

The lodge is located in an Adirondack Sub-alpine Forest Bird Conservation Area a short distance from the top lift terminal of the newly developed Lookout Mountain Triple Chairlift.  Public comments are being accepted until October 22, 2015» Continue Reading.


Monday, October 12, 2015

Demographics: Lies, Damned Lies and the Blue Line

The_Normal_DistributionI have always felt that there were three prevailing dispositions towards statistics: professional – by those who know how to use statistics and do so legitimately; political – by those who use (or typically misuse) them for propaganda; and cynics. Cynics have an attitude toward statistics best captured by the aphorism popularized by Mark Twain: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Iowa Pacific: No Plans Now To Store Oil Cars

rail car 2Iowa Pacific is nearing an agreement to move waste rock from an old mine in Tahawus and has no immediate plans to store empty oil railcars on its tracks, according to Ed Ellis, the railroad’s president.

Ellis touched off a controversy in late July when he told a committee of Warren County supervisors that Iowa Pacific was exploring the possibility of storing hundreds of oil tankers on its tracks, which run twenty-nine miles from North Creek to Tahawus. » Continue Reading.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Cuomo Nominates Basil Seggos To Head DEC

seggosGovernor Andrew Cuomo has nominated one his top advisers, Basil Seggos, to serve as commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Seggos joined Cuomo’s administration in 2012. He has served as the governor’s deputy secretary for the environment since 2013.

If approved by the legislature, Seggos will replace Joe Martens, who resigned the post this summer. Marc Gerstman, who has been filling in as acting commissioner, will continue as executive deputy commissioner.

John Sheehan, a spokesman for the Adirondack Council, said his organization is pleased with Cuomo’s choice. “He cares about the environment, and he cares about communities,” he said.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Railroad Warns Bauer To Keep Out Of Corridor

rail car 2A rail company that wants to store used oil-tanker cars on tracks in the Adirondack Park is threatening to press charges against the executive director of Protect the Adirondacks if he returns to the rail corridor — even though the corridor runs through publicly owned Forest Preserve.

Iowa Pacific Holdings, which is based in Chicago, sent a letter to Peter Bauer, executive director of Protect the Adirondacks, warning him to stay out of the corridor after Bauer and Brian Mann, a reporter for North Country Public Radio, hiked a section of the tracks and posted photos of old railcars. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Essex Chain Lakes Management Comments Sought

Full Essex Chain MapThe Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is accepting public comments on how their Essex Chain Lakes Complex Plan conforms to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. The comment period will conclude on October 16, 2015.

The plan addresses the continued development of controversial bicycling and snowmobiling projects, including the construction of a bridge over the Cedar River continued maintenance of the Polaris (Iron) Bridge over the Hudson River, and the construction of a new snowmobile trail between Indian Lake and Minerva. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

NOLS Gives Back, Plans 50th Anniversary Event

IMG_6170The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), educates more than 21,000  of students every year in locations all over the world, including the Adirondacks. NOLS Northeast has been based at Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) since 2011.

Over the past five summers NOLS Northeast has brought together over 250 students in the Adirondacks while developing skills of leadership, stewardship, and minimal impact camping. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Paul Schaefer’s ‘Whole Scheme of Life’

Paul Schaefer at Beaver House, 1990My father Howard Zahniser wrote the following in his monthly Nature Magazine book review column in 1945, the year before he first met Paul Schaefer and first came to the Adirondacks. Nevertheless, Paul would have been one of the “few of those” my father invokes:

“Many of us seldom get, or take, the opportunity to sense the magnitude of the whole scheme of Life of which we are only a part. We know only the rush of human events, and we seldom even challenge the presumption of those who call this rush the march of time. Only a few of those who are in the midst of this rush, and it includes us all, can ever be expected to break pace long enough to fall in step with the greater procession that moves through the natural seasons.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Climate Change Threatens Adirondack Boreal Species

Tabor-moose-600x438On a warm day in June, state wildlife biologist Ben Tabor knelt in a dark forest in the northern Adirondacks, peering through his binoculars at a dark shape a few hundred feet away that he suspected was a moose with a GPS collar. After a few minutes, he moved forward for a closer look. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Willie Janeway: Adirondack Park Poised for Change in 2016

SOP 2015The globally unique Adirondack Park is poised for change.

That change could be very good or very bad. Much will depend on political leadership from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, according to the Adirondack Council’s State of the Park report for 2015. The report is being released to the public on Wednesday.

The future of the Adirondack Park depends on change that is good for clean water, wildlife, wilderness and communities. The park’s most difficult problems affect both the environment and the economy. They include the recent proposal to store derelict oil tanker cars on local railroads, the continuing battle against invasive species infestations and the long-standing need to update the rules for siting new homes on the park’s most remote private lands. » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Dave Gibson: The State’s Double Standard

biking along the Chain Lakes Road South towards Indian Lake, July 2015This week, Adirondack Park Agency (APA) Member Richard Booth continued his efforts to get his Agency to focus on its policy and legal obligations.

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which has a seat on the APA, presented its Final Draft Unit Management Plan (UMP) for the Essex Chain of Lakes Primitive Area. Mr. Booth, who chairs the APA’s State Land Committee, has repeatedly advised the DEC that drafts of the controversial UMP are not ready for APA public comment because they violate key sections of the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan, which has the force and effect of law.

The DEC, apparently prodded by Governor Andrew Cuomo, bulldozes ahead irrespective of the law. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

High Peaks Oil Trains: A Primer On The Issues

Iowa Pacific oil trainsThe Iowa-Pacific rail company took state officials and environmental activists by surprise in July when it unveiled a plan to store hundreds of drained oil-tanker cars on its tracks near Tahawus on the edge of the High Peaks Wilderness.

Ed Ellis, the president of Iowa Pacific, says revenue from storing the cars will help keep afloat its tourist train, the Saratoga & North Creek Railway, which has been losing money. Critics contend Iowa Pacific is creating a quasi-junkyard in the Adirondack Park. » Continue Reading.


Page 28 of 95« First...1020...2627282930...405060...Last »