An upcoming presentation at 6:30 pm tonight via Zoom will focus on boreal species such as Black-backed Woodpecker, Olive-sided and Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, Canada Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Bicknell’s Thrush, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Rusty Blackbird, and Blackpoll and Palm Warblers, among others, and their high and low elevation habitat. The presentation will utilize photographs, video, and audio of these iconic bird species of the Adirondacks, along with a few mammal species.
Effects of climate change on birds in the Adirondacks
Living the Green Life: Time to Weatherproof
As leaves and temperatures are falling it’s that time of year for sweaters, apples, and pumpkins. It is also the right time to prepare your home for winter. We have a few tips that you can use to save energy and money, help curb climate change, and preserve natural resources. So, roll up your sleeves – or roll them down and put on proper safety gear if insulating – and let’s start weatherproofing.
Tips for your home:
- Test run your furnace early in the season to make sure it is ready when cold weather hits.
- Use foam electric outlet and switch sealers on the inside and outside walls of your home. These sealers are one way to prevent cold air from entering through outlets.
- Seal cracks in your driveways, walkways, and stairs. This can protect against water seeping in, freezing, and making cracks worse.
Interested in more weatherproofing tips? Visit Living the Green Life on DEC’s website for monthly updates to help you be a friend of the environment. Follow DEC on social media and share your pictures and ideas with us by using #LiveGreenNY in your social media posts — we would love to hear from you.
Hikers Seek Solitude and Wildness in the High Peaks, Survey Reveals
Temporary Parking Closures, Parking Permits, Shuttles & Trail Closures Acceptable to Users
Two leading conservation organizations, The Adirondack Council, The Adirondack Mountain Club, and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) released the preliminary results of a two month hiker survey for the High Peaks Wilderness Area, showing most hikers preferred solitude and wildness, and would welcome limits on visitation in order to prevent damage to the “forever wild” forest preserve.
The survey, “Recreational User Experience and Perspectives: Adirondack Park” is undergoing its initial analysis, but the institutions involved look forward to releasing the final results in a few months.
Rangers return from stint fighting western fires
South Dakota, California, and Colorado
Fighting Wildfires: On Oct. 16, DEC welcomed back the State’s third team of Forest Rangers, staff, and volunteers deployed to help battle and contain wildfires raging in western states. The wildland firefighting crew began their assignment on Sept. 30. The crew includes a DEC Forest Ranger crew boss and nine firefighters from the ranks of Forest Rangers and other DEC programs.
Shown at left: New York State wildland firefighter in South Dakota
Invasion of the Murder Hornets
They’ve been in the headlines since last December: Giant Murder Hornets Arrive in North America; Murder Hornet Nest Found in Washington State; A Sting that Can Kill.
They look and act like something out of a science fiction movie or taken straight out of a Steven King novel. They’re huge. They spit venom. And their stings can be lethal to humans.
Rivers and Dams
Over the past several months, I’ve begun to explore the role that dams play in the Adirondacks.
There are about 750 in the North Country. About 30 are a hazard with known safety problems. That’s the worrying part about dams.
But, at the moment I write this, about 21 percent of the state’s power is coming from some dam or another, making hydroelectricity one of the cleaner sources of power available.
“Cleaner” — not necessarily greener.
Plant a Wildflower Habitat for Pollinators this Fall
Fall-blooming asters and goldenrods provide important habitat for pollinators. Many of these beautiful flowers thrive in sunny fields, roadsides, and woodland openings while a few prefer partial shade.
At home, simple changes to your lawn, garden, and landscaping can help increase and improve fall pollinator habitat.
In the garden, try planting native seed mixes or leaving a few goldenrod stems instead of weeding them out. In the yard, choose to be pesticide-free and consider leaving no-mow edges or patches in your lawn to grow over time.
Pupdate: Wild Center releases rehabbed otters
The Wild Center has released two female North American River Otters to the Shingle Shanty Preserve and Research Station (a 15,000-acre biological field research station in the Western Adirondacks) after 5 months of rehabilitation.
The Otter Rehabilitation was as first for The Wild Center and began last May after receiving two phone calls from residents of separate areas within the North Country that had each spotted a five-week-old abandoned otter pup in the wild. Leah Valerio, Wild Center Curator and the rest of the Animal Care staff then worked with local veterinarian Dr. Nina Schoch to retrieve the otter pups and transport them to the Center’s Tupper Lake facility.
Green Power and more of the week’s top stories
GREEN POWER, GREEN PARK: All this week on Adirondack Explorer’s website we’ve been digging into renewable/clean energy issues, highlighting recent Explorer stories. Each day focused on a different topic:
- Monday: Key takeaways from New York State’s groundbreaking climate legislation
- Tuesday: A live event and discussion
- Wednesday: Recent park projects
- Thursday: Renewables and the APA
- Friday: Wood/biomass
Here’ a look a those and more of the week’s recent stories:
The EPA, a gorilla in the closet
I’ll have more reporting that involves the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but here are a few key concepts:
The first head of the EPA, a Nixon appointee named William Ruckelshaus, said the newly-created agency was meant to be a “gorilla in the closet.” As he explained in an oral history:
The belief was that the states had enough interest and infrastructure to enforce these laws. If they also had this “gorilla in the closet”–that is, the federal government, which could assume control if the state authorities proved too weak or inept to curb local polluters–the states would be far more effective. That’s the theory. Prior to EPA, there was no federal oversight. There was no “gorilla in the closet.” Absent that, it was very hard to get widespread compliance.
$300,000 Challenge for the Future of Lake George
Manning and Virginia Rowan Smith, with the Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC), have announced a public challenge to raise $300,000 by Thanksgiving. This challenge is to encourage those who support the protection of Lake George to join LGLC’s Land and Water Society.
The Land and Water Society is the LGLC’s legacy society and celebrates those who choose to include the LGLC in their estate planning. You can include them through a bequest, or by naming the LGLC as a beneficiary in a life insurance policy or retirement fund, or through many other options that are available.
Adirondack Groups Urge Lawmakers to Invest in Environment
A coalition of Adirondack conservation organizations is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to support environmental agency spending and capital investments that protect clean water, preserve open space, fight climate change, and ensure visitor safety during the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn.
Wild Center partnership nets $449K to grow youth climate program
A $449,278 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Environmental Literacy Program will support The Wild Center as it helps empower young people to respond to climate change in their communities.
The three-year project builds upon a collaboration of The Wild Center, the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) as they support the development of leadership skills for rural youth by creating programming that demonstrates best practices for students and teachers to engage and partner with local municipalities on climate resilience planning. The project, called Empowering Rural Youth for Community Climate Resilience in New York State, will also increase awareness of the New York State Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program.
Enjoying our environment
We’re wrapping up production of our November/December magazine issue, and we think Mike Lynch’s photography and writing in it should alert a lot of readers to recreational and environmental aspects of the Adirondacks that they hadn’t previously considered. For one thing, it seems that a lot of people who enjoy our mountains weren’t aware that they were home to salmon — either historically or right now.
Well, they are, and Mike made a number of trips to the Boquet River to see and photograph them running there. (Above is a long exposure he snapped of a landlocked Atlantic salmon cresting in the river.) Those fish, which the state has stocked but in some years will also reproduce naturally in the river, offer hope for a thriving wild salmon fishery in the park.
Council notes progress on Adirondack community water system upgrades
The first five rounds of state clean water grant programs have provided more than $58 million directly to Adirondack communities, plus another $94 million in State Revolving Loan Fund low-interest loans, for a total economic boost of $152 million in clean water and drinking water infrastructure improvements since 2015, the Adirondack Council announced today.
The Adirondack Council applauded the fact that, in total, 72 NYS Clean Water and Drinking Water Grants have gone to 36 Adirondack communities, totaling $58,068,291, according to the Council’s report Adirondack Clean Water 2020: Success Made/Wastewater Treatment Needs Ahead.
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