This Wednesday on April 7th, from 2pm to 3:30 pm the Zero Waste Committee of Warren County, NY will be hosting a Zero Waste Webinar with a focus on local economic growth through reuse and repair enterprise programs. The program is entitled: “Creating new jobs and enterprises through Zero Waste”, with the committee being a project of the Clean Air Action Network (CAAN) of Glens Falls.
The webinar will feature four of the country’s most respected leaders in the field of reuse and repair:
Funding Available to Local Government and Non-Profit Owners of ‘High Hazard’ Dams for Pre-Construction Activities New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced $650,000 in grant funding is now available to assist eligible dam owners with infrastructure repair costs. Funding is provided through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) High Hazard Potential Dam (HHPD) grant program. Of the dozens of states that applied to this federal program, New York was one of two states that received the maximum amount of funding. DEC is now accepting applications for grants to assist with technical, planning, design, and other pre-construction activities associated with the rehabilitation of eligible dams classified as High Hazard dams.
The climate crisis, by its very nature, is tough to wrap your head around. We can feel some of its immediate effects, but most of the most severe changes happen on a scale that is beyond the ability of one person to see. Many of the actions we can take as a society to mitigate those effects have proven challenging to do. More and more of us agree that collective, systemic action is needed to combat climate change. In addition to systemic action, it is important that individuals still do our part. It can be really tough to figure out what to do!
When faced with the enormity of the climate crisis, we often find ourselves asking: what can we do to help?
I’d like to present a very simple answer to that question.
This is the third article in a series examining the ideas in the final report of the High Peaks Strategic Planning Group (HPAG) that outlines a plan to build a new and improved management program for the High Peaks Wilderness Complex (HPWC). This article focuses on recommendations and ideas in the “Visitor Experience” section of the report.
HPAG’s recommendations will require a significant investment in state resources on an ongoing basis and additional staffing to improve the management of the HPWC by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). HPAG recommends a long-term, broad-based advisory group to help coordinate management reforms. Without greater funding, enhanced staffing, and a management committee to lead the process, many of the HPAG report ideas will rust.
The Visitor Experience section is a big part of the HPAG report. I count 35 separate recommendations, some that try to breathe new life into dormant actions from existing Unit Management Plans (UMPs), others that spotlight ideas that have been in the wind for a while, and others that try to introduce new and different management options.
The long promised public unveiling of the Wildlands Monitoring Guidance by the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), once again, did not occur. It was planned for the March APA Board meeting and was pulled from the agenda during that two-day meeting. What is so secret about it? Nothing, actually. So, why the repeated lack of transparency over multiple years?
It appears that APA and DEC administrators are not understanding that Wildlands Monitoring is a planning and management process and framework – it is NOT a final plan, so it will never be “finished for presentation.” A report would start a process. Or maybe the implied accountability of using monitoring is daunting to administrators? Let’s explore these issues.
AdkAction’s Adirondack Pollinator Project, in partnership with Lake Placid Land Conservancy, The Wild Center, and Paul Smith’s College is delighted to announce the start of its fourth annual Pollinator-Friendly Native Plant Sale, and the opening of applications for this year’s Community Pollinator Garden Assistance Program.
Pollinators sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources by helping plants reproduce, but are facing many threats, including habitat loss, pesticides, climate change, and disease. The Adirondack Pollinator Project envisions a future where pollinators thrive, native habitat abounds, and residents and visitors are engaged pollinator advocates. Both the plant sale and garden assistance program work to increase native habitat that will help rebuild the monarch butterfly population, attract hummingbirds, and strengthen native bee and moth populations.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s website reveals that 777,206 acres of private land in the Adirondack Park are protected by a state-owned conservation easement. During the Adirondack Park Centennial year of 1992 there were 93,000 acres of private lands under state-owned easement in the Park.
That number jumped to 250,000 acres early in this century as the former pulp and paper companies in the Park, such as International Paper, Champion International and Domtar, all negotiated easements under the state’s program. Lyme Timber acquired many of these eased holdings in the 21st century and is now the largest private forest landowner in the Park.
The Finch, Pruyn Company also sold just under 100,000 acres of private lands under conservation easement in 2007 (plus about 60,000-acres that has become Forest Preserve). The acreage under easement has steadily grown since then. And that doesn’t even count all of the private easements negotiated and acquired by groups such as the Adirondack Nature Conservancy, Adirondack Land Trust, Lake Placid Land Conservancy, Champlain Area Trails, and others.
The Adirondack Council’s Essex Farm Institute (EFI) will offer grants of up to $1,500 per applicant for projects that are both environmentally beneficial and sustainable. They will be seeking applicants starting today for their 2021 micro-grant cycle until the end of the month.
To date, the micro-grant program has awarded over $129,000 in the support of over 85 projects since the programs conception in 2016, with 13 farms being awarded grants during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
In a recent press release, the Lake Placid Land Conservancy (LPLC) has revealed that it has been awarded accredited status by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission- a significant achievement in the field of land conservation. The Land Trust Accrediation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, granted the accreditation after an in-depth review of the LPCA’s programs, activities and policies. The seal of accreditation represents a commitment to meeting national standards of quality for the permanent protection of important natural places throughout the Adirondacks.
Where agriculture is concerned, dairy is king (or is dairy queen?) in northern NY State. Looking out the window now in late February, though, it looks like we should be growing snow peas or iceberg lettuce. Actually, for farmers, maple producers, foresters and gardeners, there is an up-side to having plenty of winter white stuff.
Snow has been called “the poor person’s fertilizer” because it’s a source of trace elements and more importantly, of plant-available forms of nitrogen, a nutrient often in short supply. When snowmelt releases a whole winter’s worth (i.e., almost six months) of nutrients in a short time, the nitrogen value can add up.
Since air is 78% nitrogen, you’d think plants would have all they needed. But atmospheric nitrogen, N2, is a very stable, inert molecule that plants are unable to use – you might say that for plants, nitrogen gas is broken. Fortunately, some soil bacteria can “fix” gaseous nitrogen, converting it to water-soluble forms that plants can slurp up. Lightning also turns nitrogen gas into plant “food.” But this only accounts for a small percentage of the nitrogen found in snow.
Photo: Boat stewards assist the public with checking their watercraft for aquatic invasive species. They also provide education and at some locations, free boat washes. (Photo by Adirondack Watershed Institute, Paul Smith’s College)
Each of the following presentations will take place online.
Take Action Against Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Part 2) (Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program) – Wednesday, March 3 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Participants will learn how to adopt a trailhead, carry out self-guided HWA field surveys, and collect environmental data using iMapInvasives, a free, easy-to-use, mobile mapping tool. Register in advance online. Part 1 of this webinar will occur on 2/25 from 3-4:30 pm.
The Adirondack Park is known for its Forever Wild Forest Preserve, but a good majority of conservation efforts are done by private landowners themselves.
At 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 2nd, three landowners who have put in the effort to conserve their land will talk about their motivations, the methods they used and the challenges that they face in doing so. They will also discuss some of the benefits of private conservation.
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