Thursday, June 25, 2015

Brandon Park Sold To Chinese Conservationist

Brandon coverBrandon Park, the 28,100-acre former estate of William A. Rockefeller, Jr. (a co-founder of Standard Oil with his brother John D. Rockefeller) has been purchased by Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma of China for $23 million according to the Wall Street Journal. Alibaba is the world’s largest e-commerce company. The property was put on the market in 2012, and the sale was completed in May of this year.

He bought the property “principally for conservation purposes, but also plans to use [it] as an occasional personal retreat,” the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a spokesman for Ma. Brandon Park is located west of Paul Smiths and north of the St. Regis Canoe Area and includes about eight miles of the Middle Branch of the St. Regis River, nearly a dozen trout ponds, and 2,200-foot Buck Mountain. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

EPA: Climate Change Destroying Trout, Salmon Fisheries

Fly fishing on the Ausable in Wilmington (John Warren photo)The Adirondack Park’s trout and salmon fishing would likely disappear by 2100 without global action to counteract climate warming according to a new report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA’s study concludes global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would save 70 percent of Adirondack trout and salmon from extinction.  The EPA report also predicts widespread damage to other cold-water fisheries, public health, clean water, electricity grids, roads and bridges, forestry, agriculture and coastal communities.

The EPA’s report is titled Climate Change in the U.S.: Benefits of Global Action is a summary of the Climate Change Impacts and Risks Analysis (CIRA) project, a peer-reviewed study.  It compares impacts in a future with significant global action on climate change to a future in which current greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

‘Adirondack Explorer’ Launches Climate-Change Series

July 2015 coverHere’s a word you may not have heard of: phenology. Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines it as “the study of natural phenomena that recur periodically, as migration or blossoming, and of their relation to climate and changes in season.”

Mike Lynch writes about Adirondack phenology in the July/August issue of the Adirondack Explorer, the first article in a series about regional climate change. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Lake George Invasive Plant Trade-In June 29th

barberry.jpg(1)If you live in the Lake George watershed and you want a free native plant for your property, you can get one for free on Monday, June 29th.

There is, however, a catch: You must dig up one of the invasive plants on the list below from your property and bring it to the Lake George Association (LGA) to trade it in. » Continue Reading.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Illegal Wilderness Trails: Intention Is Everything

Bushwhack Fallen Spruce and DuffA few weeks back there was quite a kerfuffle here at the Almanack over this post by Dan Crane, concerning illegal trails he came upon along the border of the Five Ponds and Pepperbox Wilderness areas.

Comments, accusations and counter-accusations flew back and forth over whether illegal trials in the Wilderness constituted a big deal or not, who knew they were there and whether they were in fact a common and accepted part of the back country. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

DEC’s 11th Hour Forest Preserve Plans Criticized

Polaris Bridge and the Upper Hudson (courtesy Protect the Adirodnacks)Another thick set of Forest Preserve recreational plans and maps was sent by the Department of Environmental Conservation to the Adirondack Park Agency at the 11th hour,  just before the APA’s June meeting. It’s the second time in as many months that APA members felt unprepared.

In May, APA Member Richard Booth spoke of having to review 80 pages and 45 maps of alternative snowmobile trails through the Forest Preserve just a few days before his State Land Committee was expected to consider them in public. This month, APA Member Art Lussi  said he had less than 24 hours to review the 141-page Essex Chain of Lakes Complex Draft Unit Management Plan (UMP), which includes more than 20 maps before the Committee’s most recent meeting. “I have to comment that these plans are thrown at us in a way that doesn’t allow for us to give you input,” Mr. Lussi said to Rob Davies of the DEC. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Success In Lake George Campaign To Preserve Pinnacle

Pinnacle Lake georgeThe Pinnacle, the Bolton landmark visible from Lake George and the Cat and Thomas Mountains Preserve, will be safely protected from development in perpetuity.  More than five years after Ernest Oberer first proposed building houses on the ridgeline, the Lake George Land Conservancy exercised its option to purchase the property in May, two days before the option was scheduled to expire.

By then, the Conservancy had raised the funds necessary to purchase the property, helped in part by a $10,000 donation from the Sagamore, contributions from local residents and a matching grant from Neil and Jane Golub and two anonymous donors, said Sarah Hoffman, the Lake George Land Conservancy’s director of communications. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

NY State Wildlife Action Plan Being Revised

DSCN6067The proposed New York State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) to protect rare and declining wildlife species is now available for public comment. The deadline for comment is Friday, July 17th.

DEC will hold nine public information sessions throughout the state in June – two in Northern New York – to present the draft plan and accept comments.  Meetings are planned for SUNY Potsdam (8th Floor, Raymond Hall) from 2 to 4 pm on June 19th, and DEC’s Region 5 Office in Ray Brook from 2 to 4 pm on June 29th. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Dave Gibson: Consider Big Policy Issues Early, Openly

MRP-Snowmobile-Trail-3Not quite twenty years ago, Governor George Pataki’s administration made some decisions about snowmobiling on the Adirondack Forest Preserve which are still playing themselves out today. Governor Pataki’s first DEC Commissioner, Michael Zagata, signaled in 1995-96 that he would support a minimum of 15-foot wide routes (roads) for snowmobiling, cleared in order to accommodate 52 inch sleds and two-way travel. A hue and cry erupted and Commissioner Zagata did not survive in the job past 1996. The cleared width standard remained 8 foot, 12 foot for sharp curves. However, two years later in 1998 the Governor recommitted to new snowmobiling initiatives in the Adirondack Park as a way to balance, in the Governor’s view, the State’s acquisition of Whitney Park in Long Lake for the Forest Preserve. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Is Solar Right For You?

rtaImageGoing solar has always been a dream of mine. I realize that it can be accomplished, but it hasn’t been the first, second or third step in our plan for energy efficient, green living. Our drafty, poorly insulated farmhouse has gone through some major changes during our tenure. My family has put up with spray foaming and putting in new storm windows, but there always seems to be a new area of heat loss. There is also the issue of my neighbor’s enormous white pine casting its massive shadow. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Yellow Days: Adirondack Forest Fires And Air Quality

May 31 Forest Fire Haze 002 - EnidWe tend to think of air pollution only occurring in cities, especially over a century ago when there were no air pollution regulations in place and the industrial revolution was in its hey-day. But it appears that air pollution plagued city-dwellers wherever they went.

I spent a day at the Adirondack Museum reading through the camp diary of the Stott family on Raquette Lake (1882-1900). One of the first entries in 1882 is a remark that it was the year of the ‘Yellow Day’ because for a week or so the sky had a peculiar yellowish color to it and the sun hung in the air like a hazy red ball, obscured by fire smoke that filled the atmosphere. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Aaron Mair Named President Of Sierra Club’s Board

TMDA LogoMembers of the new Adirondack Diversity Advisory Council were pleasantly surprised on May 16 when the Sierra Club’s national board of directors elected Aaron Mair of Schenectady as its first African American president.

Since it was founded, Aaron has helped to spread the word about the ADAC to people who care about the Adirondack Park. He and we want to see the park become a more welcoming place to people of all races and cultures. He has also been a tireless advocate for environmental justice, social equity and political empowerment for under-represented minority voters in Upstate New York. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Crazy Worms: Fish Bait And Forest Pest

Crazy WormRaise your hand if you’re tired of hearing about new invasive species. Yeah – right there with you. Aside from the fact that there’s too much bad news around as it is, we’re still working on a solution for those good old-fashioned pests that rival the common cold in terms of eluding conquest. Japanese beetles, European chafers, buckthorn, wild parsnip, Japanese knotweed – enough already. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Planting Roadside Milkweed For Monarchs

Milkweed_newLast year I saw only one monarch butterfly and found only one monarch caterpillar at our house. This is after cultivating milkweed at numerous spots around my yard and planting three seasons of nectar plants. The only other monarchs my family was lucky enough to see were hatched by the Wild Center and at the Paul Smiths VIC Butterfly House as part of their programs to raise awareness regarding the perils of the monarch habitat.

Since milkweed is critically important to monarchs, both butterfly and caterpillars, we decided to widen our milkweed patch. Last fall we did a bit of seed sprinkling along the berm across the street from our house. I followed up with a few phone calls to our town supervisor and highway crew to let them know I could maintain the patch. It was important for me to communicate with as many people as possible. It was an encouraging conversation.

Now that the trees are finally starting to bud, my children and I are on the lookout for young milkweed shoots. We hope that this new patch will encourage a few more butterflies to make our street a monarch stopover.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Adirondack Boat Inspection Program For 2015

invcheckboatBoat stewards are being deployed at 14 new locations and 11 new decontamination stations will be available across the Adirondacks this summer as part of a collaborative program to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in the Adirondacks.

The program is the result of an agreement reached among more than 60 conservation groups, owners associations, and local and state governments in March.  » Continue Reading.


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