Monday, May 8, 2017

Champlain Watershed Restoration Projects Sought

The Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP), in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), is soliciting Letters of Request for watershed restoration projects. The Lake Champlain Watershed Environmental Assistance Program awards design and construction services provided by the New York District of the Corps. Letters of Request may be submitted at any time for determination of a project’s eligibility, and projects are reviewed periodically throughout the year by the LCBP.

The goal of the Lake Champlain Watershed Environmental Assistance Program is to provide assistance with planning, designing and implementation of projects that protect and enhance water quality, water supply, ecosystem integrity, and other water related issues within the watershed. Any municipal entity, state or interstate agency, Native American nation, or qualifying non-profit organization within the Lake Champlain Watershed is eligible. The emphasis of the Invitation for Letters of Request is on water quality protection for projects too large to be funded at the local municipal or state level. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Philip Terrie: Constitutional Convention Could Hurt Forest Preserve

Article 14, Section 1 New York State Constitution Forever Wild clausePhilip Terrie’s commentary is the third of three essays about the vote coming this November on whether New York State will hold a Constitutional Convention.  The first commentaries, by Christopher Bopst and Peter Galie, can be found here.

In the American political climate of 2017, is it really a good idea for people to insist that they can accurately predict the future? Peter Galie and Christopher Bopst appear to think it is. They claim that a constitutional convention (concon) will not diminish the authority of the provision in our current constitution – Article 14, Section 1 – stipulating that the state Forest Preserve be “forever kept as wild forest lands.” Their argument advances the case one hears circulating all around the state these days, as we gear up for the vote in November, 2017, when New Yorkers will vote yes or no on this simple question: “Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same?” If this passes, delegate elections will he held in 2018, and the concon will sit in 2019. A vote on a new constitution would probably be held in November, 2019.

Along with a committee of the New York Bar Association, the League of Women Voters, and other prominent organizations, Galie and Bopst, duly noting both the culture of corruption in Albany and the labyrinthine and antiquated nature of much of what we have now, ask us to approve a concon and seek to convince those of us who have spent a good part of our lives defending the forever-wild provision that nothing bad can happen. Count me as unconvinced. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Commentary: Convention Unlikely to Undo Protections for Forest Preserve (Part II)

Article 14, Section 1 New York State Constitution Forever Wild clauseWhat follows is the second of three essays about the vote coming this November on whether New York State will hold a Constitutional Convention.  This is part two of a commentary by Christopher Bopst and Peter Galie. An essay opposing a convention by Adirondack historian Philip Terrie will run on Sunday afternoon.

Part I of this two-part article discussed the history of the forever wild provision since its adoption by the Constitutional Convention of 1894. The absolute nature of the prohibition has made it the most amended section of the New York State Constitution (Peter J. Galie & Christopher Bopst, The New York State Constitution, 2d ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), p. 312). Despite the number of amendments to the provision during the last 120 years, most of the forest preserve has retained its wilderness character, and the preserve has expanded significantly since it was first created. The preserve has functioned both as a success story and a point of pride that New Yorkers can take in their state constitution. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Commentary: Constitutional Convention Will Protect Forest Preserve

Article 14, Section 1 New York State Constitution Forever Wild clauseWhat follows is the first of three essays about the vote coming this November on whether New York State will hold a Constitutional Convention.  This first commentary in support is by Christopher Bopst and Peter Galie. Part two of Bopst and Galie’s essay will run Sunday morning, followed by an essay opposing a convention by Adirondack historian Philip Terrie on Sunday afternoon.

On November 7, 2017, New Yorkers will be asked whether they want to convene the state’s tenth constitutional convention, to consider amendments and revisions to the state’s 120-year old constitution. The question, which is automatically placed on the ballot every 20 years (N.Y. Const., art. XIX, sec. 2), causes considerable angst among those concerned a convention may jeopardize protections currently enshrined in the constitution, such as the beloved forever wild provision. The first part of this article will provide a brief history of the forever wild provision, and in particular how this provision has been treated at state constitutional conventions. The second part of the article will discuss how and why the provision has remained over one hundred years after its adoption a viable and vital part of our constitutional tradition while other constitutional prohibitions have not. The viability and vitality of the provision augur well for the likelihood that it will retain its significance should a convention be called in 2017. » Continue Reading.


Friday, May 5, 2017

Hudson Riverkeeper Sweep Extends to North Creek Saturday

riverkeeper sweepA one-day event, the 6th Annual Riverkeeper Sweep will stretch from Brooklyn to the Adirondacks and will bring out more than 100 teams of volunteers – about 2,200 people in all – to clean up and restore the Hudson River Valley and New York City shorelines on Saturday, May 6.

A scout troop will be part of a cleanup at North Creek, a community on the Upper Hudson in Adirondack Park, where the 60th Annual Hudson River Whitewater Derby will be under way. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Conference On The Adirondacks Set For May 24-25

The Adirondack Research Consortium has announced that Aaron Mair, the President, Sierra Club, is a keynote speaker at the 24th Annual Conference on the Adirondacks, May 24 and 25, at the Conference Center at Lake Placid. He will present his vision for a Veteran’s Memorial Trail from Fort Drum to the Adirondacks as well as other topics.

This day and a half event will also feature presentations on the Adirondack Atlas project, the NYS Clean Water Infrastructure Program, Gathering Places in the Adirondacks, and an Ecological Tools presentation by Jerry Jenkins of the Wildlife Conservation Society. Mark Lynch, President of NYSEG will discuss his company’s plans in the Adirondacks, and longtime Adirondack scientist Ray Curran will be presented with the 2017 Elizabeth Thorndike Adirondack Achievement Award. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Adirondack Land Trust Awarded Grants to Expand Capacity

glenviewThe Adirondack Land Trust (ALT) has been awarded two New York State Conservation Partnership Program grants: $30,000 to increase its impact as a conservation organization, and $10,000 to begin care and management of Glenview Preserve in the town of Harrietstown.

The funding was announced as part of the Land Trust Alliance and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s 2017 round of NYS Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP) grants. Funded by the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), 58 awards of $1.8 million will leverage an additional $1.5 million in private and local support for projects across the state that protect farmland, wildlife habitat, and water quality, and conserve open spaces that are important for community health, tourism and regional economies. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Is Frontier Town ‘Gateway’ A $32 Million Boondoggle?

North Hudson Frontier Town Adirondack Gateway Vision DrawingThe plan to rebuild and reinvent the former Frontier Town wild west theme park site in North Hudson has not received much scrutiny, but it’s now being fast-tracked for planning and construction by the state. It’s short on details, but has a $32 million allocated in the new state budget. There are many questions around this project. Generally, the news following Governor Cuomo’s announcement to revitalize the former Frontier Town site has been greeted with great enthusiasm from local government officials and Adirondack leaders, but it has left me scratching my head.

My one clear thought among many questions is that it’s stacking up as one of the great boondoggles of all time. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Community Air Screening Program Tests Local Air Quality

The Department of Environment Conservation (DEC) has announced that the next round of the statewide Community Air Screen program is accepting applications. The program partners with community groups to conduct air quality surveillance. Applications to participate in the program will be accepted until May 19.

The program enables local community groups and residents to take air samples in neighborhoods across the State to help identify and address local air quality concerns. DEC will analyze the samples for possible air pollutants. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Conservancy Supports Adirondack Land Trust with Grant

The Nature Conservancy is making a grant to the Adirondack Land Trust (ALT) to provide $498,000 in funding to increase ALT’s capacity and scope of operations.

For over 25 years, The Nature Conservancy and ALT have worked closely together on land conservation projects in the Adirondacks, with the Conservancy providing staffing services to ALT. This grant represents a new phase in their partnership while helping to expand and diversify conservation capacity in the Adirondacks. The funding will strengthen ALT’s work as it establishes a new office and builds staff capacity. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Mirror Lake Water Quality Report Issued

mirror lakeThe Ausable River Association (AsRA) in partnership with Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) have released the Mirror Lake 2016 Water Quality Report. Over the last two years AsRA has worked with AWI to collect baseline information on the lake. They compiled this information, along with historical water quality data dating back to 1971.

Mirror Lake has been enrolled in a variety of water quality monitoring programs over the past 45 years. These range from citizen volunteer water quality monitoring programs to studies conducted by a variety of contractors and researchers. The purpose of this report is to summarize all the available water quality data on Mirror Lake to develop a comprehensive understanding of the current state of the lake. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Adirondack Park At A Crossroad Program in Saratoga Thursday

A report about the Adirondack Park by Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve will be the subject of a presentation at the Saratoga Springs Public Library on Thursday, April 27. The presentation will be held at noon in the Library’s H. Dutcher Community Room is free and open to the public. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Home Owners Encouraged to Practice Sustainable Lawn Care

To protect water quality this spring, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is urging New Yorkers to practice sustainable lawn care by going phosphorus free, using native plants and grasses, and reducing fertilizer use. DEC has launched the “Look for the Zero” campaign to encourage New Yorkers to purchase phosphorus-free lawn fertilizer, as more than 100 water bodies in New York State cannot be used or enjoyed as a result of too much phosphorus.

New York’s nutrient runoff law prohibits the use of phosphorus lawn fertilizers unless a new lawn is being established or a soil test shows that the lawn does not have enough phosphorus. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

David Gibson: A World Class Park And The North Hudson Gateway

How many times can we use the phrase “world class” and have it mean much?

Governor Cuomo has used that term to describe the $32 million Gateway to the Adirondacks around Northway Exit 29 in North Hudson. This “world class recreational experience will be realized through the establishment of state, local and private partnerships,” said the Governor’s State of the State report. “Transforming this site into an attractive destination will link local and regional resources and provide year round recreation opportunities and services for multiple uses, users and businesses… Drawing  visitors to North Hudson to connect with premier opportunities for hiking, biking, horseback riding, snowmobiling and boating. This, coupled with commercial business development, will revitalize communities and help transform this region.”

I join others in certainly wishing this Gateway project well. But in a sense every I-87 Northway exit is a kind of gateway for visitors and residents who seek what the Adirondack Park has to offer – not just recreation but re-creation of ourselves in some cases, not just adventure but transformative experience in some cases, not just an automotive gateway but a gateway to the mind, the emotions and the senses that highly contrasts with our response to populous, pressure packed, polluted places and imagery not far away. When you drive into the Park you immediately realize this is not anyplace USA. That’s not an accident but a result of policies to protect the Park. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

New Analysis: Freshwater Lakes Getting Saltier

lake mononaNorth America’s freshwater lakes are getting saltier due to development and exposure to road salt. A study of 371 lakes published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that many Midwestern and Northeastern lakes are experiencing increasing chloride trends, with some 44% of lakes sampled in these regions undergoing long-term salinization.

The study is the first large-scale analysis of chloride trends in freshwater lakes. It was conducted by a team of fifteen researchers as part of the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) Fellowship Program, an initiative that seeks to train the next generation of freshwater scientists and practitioners. » Continue Reading.