On April 3rd, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) held a public scoping session in Newcomb, seeking suggestions for managing some 96,000 acres of recently-classified Forest Preserve lands, including the Boreas Ponds Tract. Hours before attending the meeting, I went on a bushwhack.
Armed with a map and a compass, I set out from Blue Ridge Road with an adventurous spirit into a dense coniferous forest. Meandering along the icy outlet of Vanderwhacker Pond, the sounds from the road began to fade as I followed a bearing of 31 degrees. The babbling stream flowed clearly between unstable ice bridges, beckoning me further along its sinuous path. A clearing in the trees signaled the presence of the frozen pond itself. I stepped onto the ice, surprised by the water body’s size, and was suddenly enraptured by wildness. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking public input regarding public recreation on the 39,579-acre Perkin’s Clearing – Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Tract in the towns of Arietta, Lake Pleasant, and Wells in Hamilton County.
The area shares boundaries with the Siamese Ponds Wilderness, Jessup River Wild Forest, and West Canada Lake Wilderness.
April 22nd is Earth Day. Time for some reminders that we all need to do our part to protect and preserve our environment. Throughout New York State there are events and activities scheduled to reconnect us with the earth, and to remember we all rely on the same planet.
Since 1970 this special day as been earmarked to “diversify, educate, and activate the environmental movement worldwide.” According to the Earth Day Network, they work with over 50,000 partners in more than 190 countries to provide a platform for the environmental movement.
Celebrating Earth Day doesn’t have to be complicated. It can simply be a way of looking at how we can reduce our own garbage and plastic waste. This year’s Earth Day Theme is “End Plastic Pollution.” » Continue Reading.
Buildings on the Forest Preserve are limited by state laws, regulations and policies to administrative and historic preservation purposes. The biggest looming threat to the Forest Preserve is the proposal to expand allowable buildings to include public lodging structures through some kind of formal hut-to-hut system.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA), which was established to protect the Adirondack Park from inappropriate development, has revised its application processes for large scale projects and variances.
The Large-scale Subdivision Application applies to all subdivisions involving five or more proposed lots, parcels or sites on Resource Management lands, ten or more proposed lots, parcels or sites on Rural Use lands, or twenty-five or more proposed lots, parcels or sites on Low Intensity Use lands. » Continue Reading.
Kathleen Suozzo’s work is at the heart of one of the more difficult issues facing the Adirondacks today: upgrading aging waste-water and drinking-water treatment facilities in small communities where the cost is borne on the backs of local residents, though the heaviest usage is when tourists and seasonal residents come to visit. At stake are the lakes, rivers, and streams of the region.
“After the summer tourists leave, we have infrastructure we need to maintain,” says Suozzo, an engineer who lives in Bolton Landing. She commends the people who work on skeleton crews managing the facilities and “just do what needs to be done.” » Continue Reading.
A controversial proposal to replace state tax payments on Forest Preserve lands with negotiated “payments in lieu of taxes” was jettisoned in the final rounds of state budget talks.
“I am both relieved and grateful that the budget does not change New York’s current method of paying taxes on state-owned lands to localities,” State Senator Betty Little said on March 31, shortly after the budget was adopted. “It would have overturned a practice, now more than a century old and clearly defined in statute, unfairly costing the local taxpayers. Getting this out of the budget was a priority for me and I’m very pleased we’ve gotten the result so many wanted.”
The state’s payments to Adirondack towns, schools and special districts in the form of property taxes on Forest Preserve lands, which some have been estimated to be as high as $80 million a year, are therefore likely to continue, at least for the time being. » Continue Reading.
In March 2016, Ed Ellis stood before the Warren County Board of Supervisors and said that there would be no oil tanker railcars stored in the Adirondacks.
He said it again and again as he pushed county leaders to authorize a new five-year contract to operate the Saratoga and North Creek Railroad (SNCRR). He gave the Supervisors his “word.” » Continue Reading.
As noted in stories in Adirondack Explorer and Almanack, the Inner Gooley Club buildings on the shores of Third Lake in the Essex Chain, were nominated for inclusion in the State and National Register of Historic Places.
The nomination is controversial because the lake and lands around it, including the Gooley Club footprint, is publicly-owned Adirondack Forest Preserve classified Primitive, and managed as closely as possible to Wilderness guidelines. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Mountain Club’s ADK Stewardship Ambassador program, is a new volunteer program created to provide six recreationists to promote and advocate for the importance of protecting New York’s public lands by sharing their experiences through social media and blogs.
“Social media is a powerful tool for promoting stewardship efforts in wild places,” said ADK’s education director Julia Goren in a statement sent to the press. “ADK’s Stewardship Ambassador program will help us reach people where they are and help inspire people to protect their public lands.” » Continue Reading.
On Friday of last week, Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature approved a 168.3 billion dollar budget, within the context of what was considered to be a lean budget year.
In spite of the budgetary challenges the Governor and Legislature faced this year, core environmental funds were upheld, including the Environmental Protection Fund and community water infrastructure funding approved over the last few years.
The final approved budget contained a mixed bag when it came to more detailed aspects of the budget; some were good, and some were bad. What follows is a review of the state budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year: » Continue Reading.
A family’s donation of land to the Adirondack Land Trust will protect part of a beloved vista of Pitchoff, Cascade and Porter Mountains in the town of Keene.
Howard and Darcy Fuguet, whose families have owned land in Keene since the early 1900s, donated 4.6 acres near the intersection of Routes 9N and 73, including 1,000 feet on the East Branch of the Ausable River. The Adirondack Land Trust will protect the land until its expected eventual transferred to New York State’s Adirondack Forest Preserve. » Continue Reading.
With spring right around the corner, despite what seemed to be a nor’easter a week, I wanted to bring light to something we may not consider with these sunny days but colder temperatures: sunburn.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human services, exposure to UV rays can cause a number of health complications, such as problems with sight, and everything from age spots, wrinkles, and leathery skin to skin cancer, with about 5.4 million cases diagnosed per year. » Continue Reading.