Thursday, January 11, 2018

Dave Gibson: Protect Adirondack Boreal Habitat

Road Network affects boreal habitat near the Raquette-Jordan Primitive AreaThe state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced in September that it would construct 1.25 miles of new road on private lands between Carry Falls Reservoir and the West Branch of the St. Regis River. The new road would connect two existing, much longer forest roads. To understand what’s wrong with this idea, here is some background.

In 1988, large commercial forest owners began to sell their enormous holdings in the Adirondack Park. DEC entered a new era of acquiring conservation easements and public recreational rights. The first large easement acquisition occurred in the part of Park in question. There was a disagreement over who would maintain the miles of industrial haul roads — nearly twenty miles. As a result, the public has been blocked from this easement ever since. Only leaseholders and private owners have access. The new road, paired with negotiations to gain more public rights, would finally open year-round motorized access for the public. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

APA Agenda: Frontier Town Campground, ORDA Permits, More

APA Building in Ray Brook NYThe Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook, NY on Thursday, January 11th, 2018.

The meeting will address the proposed Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area in North Hudson, the proposed amendments to the Whiteface and Gore unit management plans, and more.

What follows is the agenda issued by the APA: » Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sheehan: Comptroller’s Letter Helped Move Rail Cars

stored tanker carsAll those who applauded Berkshire Hathaway’s recent decision to remove its derelict oil tank cars from a junkyard along the Boreas River should also applaud NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, whose unheralded Dec. 12 letter to CEO Warren Buffett helped to persuade the company to act.

It turns out that New York has a large stake in Berkshire Hathaway. New York’s Common Retirement Fund (CRF) owns 5.7 million shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock. DiNapoli administers the CRF. » Continue Reading.


Friday, January 5, 2018

10 Hopes for the Adirondacks in the New Year

Boreas River headwaters. Photo by Phil Brown 9/5/16.It’s January, time for a fresh, blank sheet on which to start our new year. Plenty of us are making renewed attempts at weight loss or looking to get better organized or at least vowing to break our addiction to twenty-four-hour cable news.

Here at the Explorer, we’re renewing our hopes for smart decision-making in the Adirondacks and more chances to work together to ensure that the Park that we all love so much is protected for generations to come.

Here are ten hopes we have for 2018. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Adirondack Council Responds To ‘State of State’

The Adirondack Council offers our praise to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for declaring that New York would lead the response to the “federal assault” on environmental protection and a host of other progressive issues in his State of the State Address.

We are pleased that the Governor proposed a strong environmental response to the policy changes enacted by the Trump administration. He also made it clear that he views the Adirondack Park as a national treasure and a legacy we hold in trust for future generations. His recent work to remove an oil train junkyard from the park is one recent example. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Bauer: Boreas Decision Will Bring Mountain Bikes To Wilderness

It is unlikely that there will be a decision on the classification of the Boreas Ponds at the January 2018 meeting of the Adirondack Park Agency (APA). The APA will reportedly take up this work at its February meeting.

The APA has received the preferred option for the classification of the Boreas Ponds from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which is still awaiting the final check off from Governor Cuomo, but the APA is taking this as a done deal. The DEC’s preferred option enjoys the support of APA Chairman Sherman Craig, long a proponent for mountainbike use in Wilderness areas. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Janeway: Let’s Rethink Future of Tahawus Rail Corridor

oil tanks in the adirondacksGovernor Andrew Cuomo, the Adirondack Council and many others have offered well earned thanks to Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, whose subsidiary Union Tank Car Company announced the day after Christmas the planned removal of its derelict oil tank rail cars from the Adirondack Forest Preserve.

This is a victory for the preservation of the wild character and wilderness of the Adirondack Park and efforts to foster more sustainable vibrant communities. After those who deserve it take a victory lap, there is an opportunity to switch from defense to offense and secure a more positive future for the Tahawus spur above North Creek. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Bauer: Another Setback For Adk Tanker Storage Plans

stored tanker carsThe plan by Iowa Pacific Holdings and its owner/CEO Ed Ellis to use the Adirondack Park as a junkyard to store thousands of out-of-service oil tanker railcars has hit significant stumbling blocks in the recent days.

Last week, the Cuomo Administration announced plans to petition the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) to reject use of the Sanford Lake Railway, which stretches 30 miles from North Creek to the Tahawus Mine in Newcomb, for storage of used, out-of-service oil tanker railcars. Ed Ellis has claimed that he could store between 2,000 and 3,000 railcars along the 30-mile line. Ellis will now have to lawyer-up and fight the state in the official proceedings before the STB. » Continue Reading.


Friday, December 22, 2017

LGLC Gets $50k for Pilot Knob Preserve Reconstruction

pilot knob gazeboThe Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) has been awarded a $40,000 from the New York State Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) and a $10,000 grant from the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust for a Trail Reconstruction and Enhancement Project at the Schumann Preserve at Pilot Knob in Fort Ann.

In total, more than $123,000 has been raised through grants and individual donors to complete the project, which includes an expanded parking area (completed this summer), the re-routing of the preserve’s trails and the installation of features that will result in less erosion from storm water, and a safer pathway for users. The LGLC has contracted with Tahawus Trails to design and complete the trail work. The Pilot Knob Project also includes the creation and installation of a new kiosk and trail-side educational signage to better promote the land’s ecological and conservation values. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Janeway: Adirondack Park Should Be A Budget Priority

NYS capital buildingLast week, Adirondack Council members called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to build on his Adirondack successes by providing funding in his 2018-19 budget plan to help the Adirondack Park survive acid rain and climate change, sustain its healthy environment and build its tourism and outdoor recreation industries by welcoming a more diverse group of visitors and residents.

The Governor’s Adirondack successes are threatened by climate change and acid rain, aging wastewater treatment systems, overuse in some areas of the Forest Preserve and by invasive species.  Dedicated funds will be needed to address these concerns in 2018.  We wanted to reinforce these needs before the Governor completes his budget plan.

The Governor is due to present his annual State of the State message on January 3. His budget will be released later in the month. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

State Steps In To Oppose Adirondack Oil Tanker Storage

stored tanker carsGovernor Andrew Cuomo and Basil Segos, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released a petition to the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) arguing against continued use by Iowa Pacific Holdings for rail operations and storage of oil tanker railcars on the 30-mile Sanford Lake Railway, which runs from North Creek to the Tahawus Mine in Newcomb. The State is requesting immediate action. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 16, 2017

John Sheehan: Adirondack Land Bank Amendment Results

Article 14, Section 1 New York State Constitution Forever Wild clauseAdirondack Park local government officials and conservation organizations both spent a nervous few hours after the polls closed on Election Day this year, worrying that Proposal Three – the community health and safety land bank – would be defeated. It passed by a slim 52 percent to 47 percent margin (about 100,000 votes out of 3.1 million cast).

As Adirondackers from across the political spectrum look towards working together in 2018 and beyond, there are important lessons to learn from this close vote. The park’s continued success depends on our understanding the state’s voters. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Katie Wilson: Senate Tax Plan Reaction

US Capitol at dusk 2013Last Saturday I woke up to an overwhelming sense of dread and sadness over the state of our government that I hadn’t felt since about this time last year.

In the dark of night the Senate voted to take away health care from 13 million people and increase the national debt by $1 trillion. They voted to further undermine the middle class and wage war on the poor. They also voted to give establishment donors a big Christmas present. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tim Rowland On Bears Ears, Vigilance and Overuse

bears ears national monument mapWe live in an age when a considerable duplication of services could be eliminated by merging the Congressional Record with the National Sex Offender Registry. So squalid behavior in Washington is no longer a surprise, with the hands of the politicians groping their way into all sorts of unwanted places, from middle-class wallets to the web to western public lands.

Now that I have lived through half of one, a century doesn’t seem like that long of a timeframe, so forgive me when I say it’s “only” been a hundred years or so that the last great conservative occupied the White House. Also, forgive me for being tone-deaf to political nuance, but to my mind if you want to call yourself a conservative, you actually have to want to conserve something. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Remembering Maurice Hinchey, 1992 Adirondack Park Centennial

Adirondack Park Centennial SignOn November 22, we lost one of the finest legislators in my lifetime, U.S. Congressman and former chair of the NYS Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee, Maurice Hinchey of Saugerties.

He was, no doubt, flawed like any human being. But he had remarkable qualities and political skills that allowed him to reach many of his public goals benefiting the Adirondacks, the Catskills and beyond.

My Adirondack career started in 1987. By that time, Assemblyman Hinchey had been a champion for the environment for well over a dozen years. All environmental legislation, including New York’s first-in-the-nation acid rain law of 1984 as well as our state’s leading wetland and stream protection laws passed the previous decade bore his influential stamp, as all sprung from and had to pass through his committee. » Continue Reading.



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