On August 25, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the grand opening of the final three regions of the New York State Birding Trail, highlighting the state’s world-class and wide-ranging birding opportunities. The Adirondacks-North Country, Catskills, and Southern Tier segments bring the total number of birding trail locations across the state to more than 300, providing a variety of quality birding experiences for New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy.
Deciduous trees, ice-cream stands, and marinas close each fall for the same reason: as daylight dwindles and cold creeps in, they become less profitable. When income dips down to equal the cost of doing business, a wise proprietor will turn out the lights and lock the doors until spring. Some enterprising holdouts stay open longer. Perhaps they have less competition, or a better location. Conversely, a few close shop at the first whiff of autumn. Those are the ventures which just scrape by at the height of summer. I’m talking about trees here, of course. Trees whose leaves show color ahead of their same-species peers are doing so because they are barely breaking even.
The 9th Annual Fire Tower Lighting event is scheduled for Saturday, September 3 from 9 to 9:30 p.m. and will include several fire towers in the Adirondacks and Catskills. On the evening of the event, volunteers will light fire tower cabs with high-powered lights, and invite people to visit locations where they could look up, see the light on the horizon, and pay homage to fire observers who would stand watch in the towers, protecting the community and surrounding forest.
Established in 2014, this statewide event is the brain child of Doug Hamilton of the Red Hill Fire Tower Committee, and is meant to showcase the history of fire towers around the state. They were erected in the early 20th century, as fires ravaged hundreds of thousands of square miles of wild forest.
Adirondack History Museum staff are pleased to host a Fires of the High Peaks Lecture by Sharp Swan on the evening of Thursday, September 1 at 7 p.m. The start of the 20th Century saw massive forest fires throughout the Adirondack region. Between 1903 and 1913, about 862,000 acres of forest burned.
Adirondack Council weighs in on NYSERDA’s draft Climate Scoping Plan, importance of wild forests and farms
ELIZABETHTOWN, N.Y. – As owners of the largest intact temperate deciduous forest on Earth, New Yorkers have an awesome responsibility to save the Adirondack Park from the ravages of climate change. But that “forever wild” forest is also New York’s greatest weapon in the fight to prevent global overheating, the Adirondack Council told the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority recently.
The Adirondack Park’s largest environmental organization was commenting on NYSERDA’s draft Climate Scoping Plan, which will spell out how the state intends to combat climate change and comply with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. The Act requires New York to stop emitting all greenhouse gases by 2050.
Adirondack Watershed Institute boat stewards this summer continued their education-focused mission of protecting Adirondack lakes by preventing the spread of invasive plants.
As a new law requiring boaters certify they have cleaned their boat and that it does not contain any visible plant or animal material before launching in the park goes into effect, though, staffing remains a key challenge to both the stewards and the environmental conservation officers tasked with enforcing the new law.
All are welcome to join ANCA‘s board, staff and friends for ANCA’s 2022 Annual Meeting, Growing the New Economy of Tomorrow, where the group will explore the future of the North Country economy with a focus on small businesses, clean energy, local food systems, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- What: ANCA Annual Meeting: Growing the New Economy of Tomorrow
- When: Friday, September 23, 2022, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. with reception to follow
- Where: The Wild Center, Tupper Lake, NY
- Cost: $25 registration includes meeting, reception & admission to The Wild Center
ADK receives $303,960 Northern Border Regional Commission grant for Cascade Welcome Center renovations
Lake Placid, NY — ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club) has been awarded a $303,960 Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) State Economic & Infrastructure Development (SEID) grant for renovations at Cascade Welcome Center. The grant was announced by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik on Wednesday as part of a $4.1 million package awarded to projects in NY-21.
The funding will be used to make Cascade Welcome Center available to the public for skiing and other outdoor activities, as well as to develop the Center into a fully accessible, year-round, world-class outdoor education and visitor information center. This will help visitors and residents connect with the Adirondack Park’s numerous outdoor opportunities as they travel to and from the region.
KEENE, NY — The Adirondack Land Trust at its annual meeting in North Creek recognized two Volunteers of the Year: Jess Grant, of Willsboro, and Jon Kislin, of Wilmington.
Grant, a former land trust Intern for the Future of the Adirondacks, was recognized for the key role she plays in building and co-leading the land trust’s Next Gen Council. The Next Gen Council engages a variety of individuals—primarily in their 20s and 30s—in environmental conservation. With different career fields, backgrounds and identities, Next Gen Council members have in common a deep interest in the health and sustainability of the Adirondack Park and are committed to helping to ensure it is a place for all to enjoy and care for. Grant represented the council this summer during two events on the land trust’s porch in Keene that attracted more than 50 interns and young professionals.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature recently added the migratory monarch butterfly, known for their flight to California and Mexico during the winter, to their “Red List,” a compilation of animals that they deem endangered. The native populations of this butterfly have shrunk by at least 22% in the past decade, due to numerous factors, including deforestation, pesticides, and climate change.
Deforestation in Mexico and California to clear the way for urban spaces, has destroyed much of the monarch’s shelter. Pesticides and herbicides used in large-scale agriculture have killed butterflies and milkweed, the plant that the larvae feed off of. Drought, wildfires, and extreme weather and temperatures caused by climate change has also damaged these butterflies’ homes, as well as killed many of them.
In celebration of these beautiful creatures, Paul Smith’s VIC has organized a Monarch Fest which is scheduled for September 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.
If you’ve visited a boat launch this summer, you may have met some of our friendly watercraft inspection stewards who monitor incoming and outgoing boats for signs of hitchhiking invasive species. Stewards educate over 500,000 water recreationists every year on “Clean, Drain, Dry” practices. This year, Stewards have intercepted more than 6,611 invasive species from leaving or entering NYS waterbodies!
Watercraft inspection stewards also collect data about potential travel vectors for aquatic invasive species (AIS). This data helps our AIS team determine which waterbodies are the most vulnerable so they can increase surveying and outreach efforts.
Check out our interactive map to find a watercraft inspection steward located near you.
Boating in the Adirondacks? Please see our watercraft inspection steward webpage to learn about the new law requiring ADK boaters to self-certify that their watercraft has been cleaned, drained, and dried.
The Heating Season is Coming and Heating Fuel Costs are High
It’s the time of year when North Country homeowners and renters start to think about and prepare for the upcoming heating season. The price of heating oil, propane, and natural gas all reached record highs earlier this year. And, what we’ll be paying for those fuels during the winter is anyone’s guess. The price will depend on many factors, including the weather, supply and demand locally and worldwide, and inflation. Whatever the cost, it’s apparent that high fuel prices aren’t going away. And that fuel prices are just one of several inflation pressures that everyone’s facing.
The Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) — with support from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), the Lake Champlain Basin Program and volunteers — has completed long overdue maintenance of campsites on the historic Valcour Island.
Valcour Island, located southeast of Plattsburgh near Lake Champlain’s western shore, offers abundant opportunities for paddlers, campers and anglers. The NFCT’s stewardship crew rehabilitated more than 10 campsites over the course of six days, and made numerous improvements elsewhere on the island.
“Valcour Island is one of Lake Champlain’s finest recreation areas and is an important tourist destination,” said Noah Pollock, NFCT’s stewardship director. “We were happy to put our crew and volunteers to work to help the NYSDEC complete a variety of important maintenance tasks.”
On August 19, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos urged New Yorkers to practice the utmost safety when building campfires, and consider going without a campfire unless absolutely necessary.
“If you’re enjoying the backcountry these last few weeks of summer, please think about whether you really need that campfire.” Commissioner Seggos said. “It’s been a hot and dry summer, leading to a drought watch and high fire danger. If you build a campfire, keep an eye on it to make sure the wind doesn’t spread it unexpectedly and when you’re finished, make sure the fire is completely out and cold to the touch.”
Lake Placid, NY — Earlier this month, New York State Senator Dan Stec presented ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club) with a legislative resolution recognizing ADK’s 100 years of teaching people how to explore and protect New York’s public lands and waters. The resolution acknowledges the many ways in which ADK has achieved this over the last century, including through educational outreach, stewardship programs, and trail work.
The resolution was sponsored by Senator Dan Stec in the Senate, Assembly member Matt Simpson in the Assembly, and co-sponsored by Assembly members Jones, Ashby, Byrne, Salka, Mikulin, DeStefano, Hawley, Manktelow, Cusick, McDonald, Smullen, McMahon, and Walsh. A physical copy was given to ADK Deputy Executive Director Julia Goren during an event at the Adirondack History Museum.
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