Thursday, October 24, 2019

New Invasive Intercepted at Lake Champlain Boat Launch

Hydrilla verticillataIn early September, The Lake Champlain Basin Program’s boat launch steward Matthew Gorton was conducting routine boat inspections at the South Hero John Guilmette. There to help prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species, Gorton noticed an unusual looking plant hanging off a trailer backing into the Lake.

While Lake Champlain is host to 51 known nonnative and invasive aquatic species, Hydrilla verticillata has not yet been found there. The watercraft carrying the plant was last in the Connecticut River, a system in which the highly invasive plant hydrilla is well established. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

ANCA Meeting Focuses on NYS Clean Energy Legislation

ANCA Annual Meeting Group 2019More than 60 people participated in a discussion about New York State’s new Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) at the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) annual meeting last month.

Meeting attendees gathered at Great Camp Sagamore on Friday, September 20 — the same day that over 4 million people attended Global Climate Strike events in over 150 countries all over the world.

At the heart of the meeting, invited State leaders — Amanda Lefton, First Secretary of Energy and the Environment in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office and Mark Lowery, Climate Analyst for the Department of Conservation — gave presentations about the CLCPA and participated in a panel discussion moderated by ANCA board member Aaron Woolf. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 21, 2019

Forever Wild And Cutting Small Diameter Trees

In the July 2019 legal decision in favor of Protect the Adirondacks, regarding the constitutionality of excessive tree cutting by state agencies to build a network of Class II community connector snowmobile trails in the Adirondack Forest Preserve, the Appellate Division, Third Department, ruled that the cutting of over 25,000 trees to build these trails violated Article 14, Section 1, of the state Constitution, the famed “forever wild” provision.

This article looks at the meaning of Article 14, Section 1, in light of this new ruling. (A related article dealt with use of the word “timber” in Article 14 of the state Constitution). This article looks at how small diameter trees have long been protected in Forest Preserve legal practice. Article 14 reads: “The lands of the state, now owned or hereafter acquired, constituting the forest preserve as now fixed by law, shall be forever kept as wild forest lands. They shall not be leased, sold or exchanged, or be taken by any corporation, public or private, nor shall the timber thereon be sold, removed or destroyed.”

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 20, 2019

Blue Mountain Wild Forest Comments Being Sought

Blue Mountain Wild Forest Map Courtesy Adirondack AtlasThe Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are holding a joint public comment period to solicit comments for an amendment to the Blue Mountain Wild Forest Unit Management Plan.

Public comment will be accepted until October 30, 2019. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 17, 2019

DEC Redesigns Trail Supporter Patch

dec trail supporter patchThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) had release of the latest design of the New York State Trail Supporter Patch.

Trail Supporter Patches resemble DEC trail markers, with the newest patch representing markers for connector trails, a yellow round disc with black lettering. The previous red design is no longer available.

Patch sale proceeds help maintain and enhance DEC’s non-motorized recreation trails throughout the state. All monies raised from patch purchases will be deposited in the Conservation Fund’s Outdoor Recreation, Trail Maintenance, and Development Account. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 17, 2019

New Research Evaluating Nutrient Runoff From Farms

monitoring station courtesy Leanna Thalmann Miner InstituteField-level research funded by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is responding to the need to better understand how tile drainage influences nutrient efficiency, water quality, crop production, farm economics, and environmental stewardship.

Results from the most recent data collection from tiles installed at the Lake Alice Wildlife Management Area in Chazy, and on a working farm in Clinton County are adding to a database designed to quantify surface and underground movement of nutrients beyond field boundaries. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Assessing A New Model For High Peaks Hiking Trail Construction

By the metric of public use the High Peaks Wilderness Area, and nearby Giant, Hurricane and Sentinel Range Wilderness areas, are major successes. The crowds hiking in the High Peaks are at an all-time high. The current dismal state of many of the hiking trails does not seem to be a major deterrent to the throngs of people eager to hike one of the High Peaks.

For many people hiking a mountain like a High Peak is no sure thing and is, and should be, a challenge. There are plenty of highly used and popular smaller mountains throughout the Adirondacks that provide stunning views, but the allure of hiking a High Peak is immense.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

NYSERDA Buildings Best Practice Guidelines

nyserda logoThe New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has announced best practice standards to advance more resilient and energy efficient buildings across the state.

The release of the NYStretch Energy Code – 2020 (2020 NYStretch) toolkit is expected to aid municipalities interested in voluntarily adopting higher efficiency standards for new and renovated building construction projects.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, October 14, 2019

Advocates Seek Sentinel Range Management Plan Improvements

Adirondack Sentinel Range Wilderness Map courtesy Adirondack AtlasThe Adirondack Council on October 4th sent a letter to Adirondack Park Agency Deputy Director for Planning Richard Weber urging that the proposed Sentinel Range Wilderness Area Unit Management Plan be incorporated into a larger landscape-scale plan for all public and private lands around the High Peaks Wilderness Area.

The Council also urged the APA to improve its monitoring of impacts of recreation on the ecology and wild character of the Forest Preserve, especially in wilderness areas. As it does with other unit management plans, the APA must decide whether it complies with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 10, 2019

Advocates Offer Guide To Better Land Use Decisions

Pathways to a Connected Adirondack ParkAdirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve will make free hard copies of its guidebook Pathways to a Connected Adirondack Park available during its Keene Valley meeting on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at the Keene Valley Congregational Church.

The illustrated guidebook, authored by conservation biologist Dr. Michael Klemens, was written to de-mystify the process of ecologically-informed land use and development for a general audience. It defines and describes the threat to people and wildlife of fragmentation of large contiguous areas in the Adirondack Park by being broken up into ever smaller, isolated patches of land. The publications describes ten strategies for localities and for regional entities like the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) to adopt which can lead to better land use decisions that avoid or minimize fragmentation, reduce the ecological footprint of development and still accommodate vibrant human communities, working forests and outdoor recreation. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Court Blocks New Snowmobile Bridge Over Cedar River

On Tuesday New York Supreme Court Judge Robert Muller granted a motion by two Adirondack environmental groups to preliminarily enjoin the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) from constructing of a new snowmobile bridge over the Cedar River until a decision is reached in an ongoing lawsuit.

The river is designated as a Scenic River under New York’s Wild, Scenic, and Recreational Rivers System Act.

The preliminary injunction was issued in response to a lawsuit brought by Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve and Protect the Adirondacks!  The court decision halts construction of the trail at the banks of the Cedar River for now. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 7, 2019

Warren County, Hague Certified for Sustainable Winter Management

Fund Hague TeamWarren County and the Town of Hague have earned the Sustainable Winter Management (SWiM) Program certification for reducing the use of road salt — and its runoff into Lake George and other waterways — while maintaining safe driving conditions.

The SWiM certification was developed and is administered by winter management consulting firm WIT Advisers, LLC, of Delanson, NY. In 2018, the Town of Lake George became the first municipality in North America to earn the certification. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 6, 2019

DEC Accepting Applications for Urban Forestry Projects

DEC logoState Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced up to $1.2 million in grant funding is available for urban forestry projects across New York. Grants are available for tree planting, maintenance, tree inventory, community forest management plans, and for educating those who care for public trees. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 3, 2019

Adirondack Mountain Club Announces New Executive Director

adk mountain club logoAdirondack Mountain Club (ADK) has announced that Michael Barrett has been appointed as the new Executive Director of ADK, which will be effective in November. The appointment was unanimously approved by the ADK Board of Directors at its September 28, 2019 meeting the announcement said.

Barrett is a former foreign language interrogator for the United States Army. He went on to obtain his law degree in 2002 before serving as an attorney to the NYS Assembly Codes Committee. He later held executive-level positions in both the Spitzer and Paterson administrations. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 29, 2019

2019 State of the Adirondack Park

2019 state of the parkThe Adirondack Council’s 2019-20 State of the Park report is subtitled “Challenged by Success,” noting that the success of state tourism campaigns is straining the park’s lands and waters, as record numbers of hikers climb the state’s tallest mountains and as recreational boating and off-road vehicles gain popularity.

The challenge is especially noticeable in the High Peaks Wilderness Area, but can be seen in popular locations throughout the park, the report notes. State of the Park is the organization’s annual comprehensive assessment of the actions of local, state and federal government officials. This 38th edition rates 106 separate government actions. » Continue Reading.