Monday, March 4, 2019

Debatable: Should Renewable Energy Be An APA Priority? Yes

APA Building in Ray Brook NY“It’s Debatable” appears in each issue of the Adirondack Explorer. This essay by Adirondack North Country Association’s Sean Connin is a companion piece to “Debatable: Should Renewable Energy Be An APA Priority? No” by John Droz Jr., physicist and environmental advocate at Brantingham Lakes.

Locally sourced renewable energy — whether from wood, water, wind, sun, geothermal, or plant and animal waste — is important to the park’s future. It provides a multiplier for local economies, builds on traditions of self-reliance, and can provide environmental and social benefits. The trick is to design these renewable projects and practices to fit the local landscape and to provide value to communities. Such convergence can emerge through bottom-up strategies that optimize wealth retention at the local level and that benefit from equitable frameworks for land-use and energy policy at regional and state levels. The Adirondack Park Agency must lend its capacity to these outcomes and secure a best fit for resource use, protection, and quality of life within the park. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 3, 2019

Debatable: Should Renewable Energy Be An APA Priority? No

APA Building in Ray Brook NY“It’s Debatable” appears in each issue of the Adirondack Explorer. This essay by John Droz Jr., physicist and environmental advocate at Brantingham Lakes, is a companion piece to “Debatable: Should Renewable Energy Be An APA Priority? Yes” by Adirondack North Country Association’s Sean Connin.

It’s very appropriate that the Adirondack Park Agency periodically review regional issues to decide what items should be added, deleted or re-prioritized, to best meet its mission.

Recently, the APA released a proposed renewable energy policy. » Continue Reading.


Friday, March 1, 2019

DEC Seeking Input on 480a Forest Tax Law

DEC logoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced an upcoming series of public meetings to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to offer input on the Forest Tax Law Program’s Section 480a.

The purpose of these meetings is to discuss areas of the program that could be improved including increasing compliance, reducing administrative burdens, and improving forestry outcomes. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 25, 2019

APA Approves Expanded Saranac Lakes Development

APA Building in Ray Brook NYThe Adirondack Park Agency Board (APA) has recommended approval for the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest (SLWF) Unit Management Plan (UMP).

Its recommendation will be forwarded to the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for their concurrence. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 25, 2019

DEC Providing Free Trees for Water Quality Plantings

treed buffer along a riverNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced a new Trees for Tribs Program initiative, “Buffer in a Bag,” designed to help increase riparian buffers throughout New York State.

Qualifying public and private landowners may apply for a free bag of 25 tree and shrub seedlings for planting along streams, rivers, or lakes to help stabilize banks, decrease erosion, protect water quality, and improve wildlife habitat. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Moxham Protected: Climbing, New Trail Access Sought

The view west from Moxham Mountain250 acres of the south face of Moxham Mountain have been protected by private sale to the Adirondack Land Trust.  There is no recreational access presently. The Land Trust and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation are working to transfer the land to the Adirondack Forest Preserve, at which time it will become public.

Moxham Mountain is located between Minerva and North Creek and is part of the Vanderwhacker Wild Forest. It’s lofty cliffs have been eyed by climbers, although no public access to the face of Moxham was possible.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, February 18, 2019

Viewpoint: Coming to Terms with Solar Energy Development

Early stage project construction at the at the former village of Malone landfill sitePerhaps the most significant energy question in the North Country in the coming year will be the potential long-term advantages and/or disadvantages of advancing industrial-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) project development in the region.

Solar power represents a significant opportunity for economic development and job creation in North Country communities. And PV energy production is playing an increasingly important role in how states meet their (renewable) energy needs. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 18, 2019

Conservation Minute: Microplastics

lplc conservation minuteAs their name suggests, microplastics are small – very small. They can measure up to 1/5 of an inch, but most are microscopic. These plastic fragments, beads, and fibers originate from the breakdown of every-day products we use and wear, such as water bottles, plastic bags, sponges, and clothing.

Some make their way into our environment as trash that has degraded over time due to wind or wave action – others enter directly via our drains. Wastewater treatment plants do trap some microplastics, but many are too small to be filtered so they are discharged back into our lakes and streams. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 18, 2019

Habitat Management Plans Set for Jeff County WMAs

DEC logoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced they are holding a public information session on Habitat Management Plans (HMPs) for three Jefferson County Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) from 6 to 8 pm, on Tuesday, March 19, at the Dulles State Office Building, Watertown.

The HMPs cover the Lakeview, Black Pond, and Honeyville WMAs, just outside the Adirodnacks. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Adirondack Council: Upcoming APA Meeting Comments

adirondack council new logoThe Adirondack Council has reviewed the agenda for the upcoming February 14-15 Adirondack Park Agency Board meeting. We offer the following comments and suggestions: » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

APA Agenda: North Hudson, Saranac Lakes Changes, More

APA Building in Ray Brook NYThe Adirondack Park Agency will hold its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook on Thursday, February 14th and Friday February 15th, 2019. Thursday’s meeting will begin at 1 pm and Friday’s session will commence at 9 am.

The meeting will include discussion on the Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area in the Town of North Hudson; a presentation on climate change in the Adirondacks; consideration of Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan conformance for the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest Unit Management Plan; and more. What follows is the agenda issued by the APA: » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 11, 2019

Commission on the Adirondacks in the 21st Century: A Status Report

Governor Mario Cuomo greets school children at Adirondack conference, Silver Bay Conference Center, in 1994. Photo by Ken Rimany, the Association for the Protection of the AdirondacksAdirondack Almanack readers may recall that in 2018 Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget office introduced legislation which would have changed the way the state pays taxes on the public’s Forest Preserve. It was proposed to change the ad valorem system, in place since 1886, to a payment in lieu of taxes.

Local school districts and supervisors were alarmed by the negative consequences of the proposed change, as were Forest Preserve advocates. In response, legislative staff sought background information about how the Real Property Tax Law applied to the Adirondack Park, historically speaking. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 4, 2019

Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky Wins Statewide Award

Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky has been selected as the recipient of a statewide award for his work using the study of algae near the shore of the Lake to identify and prioritize potential sources of pollutants.

Navitsky will be formally presented with the Linn H. Enslow Memorial Award from the non-profit New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA), a statewide organization of leaders in water quality management, at the Association’s annual meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 6, in New York City. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Comments Sought on Changes to Remote Wilderness Area

Pepperbox Wilderness with Trails and TrailheadsThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking public for input prior to developing a revision to the Pepperbox Wilderness Unit Management Plan (UMP). A public meeting will be held on February 27, in Lowville, Lewis County. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 31, 2019

John Sheehan: Oppose Changes to Federal Mercury Rule

adirondack council new logoLast month, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler proposed an amendment to the federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards and the Clean Air Act “risk and review” process that should worry everyone who cares about the Adirondacks and public health.

On the surface, the change looks like a routine adjustment of technical language about the way EPA calculates “side benefits” from proposed air pollution rules. That’s how EPA is describing it. As a result, few people have paid attention to the proposal. But if approved, it would have far-reaching effects that strike at the heart of some of the most important public health and environmental protections. » Continue Reading.