One of the most striking maps coming out of the 2016 Presidential election is the red-blue county map. Despite Clinton winning the popular vote by 3 million, the county map shows a sea of red across the U.S. as Trump won 2,632 counties and the country is flecked with blue dots in the interior and on the coasts where Hillary Clinton won 489 counties. In our part of New York, Trump swept everything north of the Mohawk River with the lone exception of Clinton County. He won Lewis, Hamilton, Fulton, and Herkimer counties by wide margins. Having poured over maps of Rural and Urban America in the last few years, the interesting thing to me is that the 2016 Trump victory map tracks closely to the rural-urban divide in the U.S. » Continue Reading.
The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) is set to celebrate its 20th anniversary by launching a new public awareness campaign focused on the simple steps Adirondack residents and visitors can take to prevent invasive species from spreading into the places they love.
The “Keep Invasive Species Out” campaign is centered around a new logo and a website, KeepInvasiveSpeciesOut.com that provides an overview of the problem and offers simple, preventive solutions for limiting the likelihood of unintentionally spreading an invasive. Tips are given for specific outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, boating, fishing, hunting, mountain biking, horseback riding, gardening/landscaping, and farming. The site is designed to provide information quickly and easily, and serves as a complement to APIPP’s longstanding website, adkinvasives.com. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook, NY on Thursday, June 8th, 2018.
The meeting will cover proposed enhancements to the Olympic Jumping Complex, proposed amendments to the Black River and Cranberry Lake Boat Launch, Lake George Battlefield, Gore Mountain, Saranac Lake Wild Forest, and Grasse River UMPs, a private RV campground, and more.
What follows is the agenda issued by the APA: » Continue Reading.
What follows is a press release issued by Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve:
At public meetings held in Albany and Newcomb this week, the non-profit advocate Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve told the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and NYS Adirondack Park Agency (APA) that the agencies are rushing to approve complex amendments to management plans for the High Peaks Wilderness and nearby Forest Preserve units. Such haste risks exposing these wilderness landscapes to more overuse and degradation of their natural resources and wild character.
The agencies are on course to approve the amendments in just over 45 days, or half the time that the agencies previously agreed should be taken to consider complex unit management plans for “forever wild” state lands. » Continue Reading.
On May 14, the Saranac Lake Village Board voted unanimously to join the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program.
In joining this program, Saranac Lake joined 221 other communities around NYS in leading on climate action, and became one of a few communities in the Adirondacks to participate. » Continue Reading.
The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) has been awarded a $20,000 matching grant from the Cloudsplitter Foundation to be used to leverage new donations for land protection efforts within its Indian Brook/Northwest Bay Brook Conservation Initiative.
The Cloudsplitter grant award is expected to be put towards the acquisition costs of the 159-acre Wing Pond property, purchased by the LGLC in December of 2016. This property, which is within the scope of the Conservation Initiative, includes 15 acres of sensitive wetlands, 750 feet of stream corridor, important habitat for birds and wildlife (including critical rattlesnake breeding habitat), and four-season public recreational opportunities. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has advised that although the State’s ban on brush burning ended May 14, several open burning regulations are still in effect across New York State year-round. Residents are encouraged to use caution when burning brush and other legal materials.
It is illegal to burn garbage, leaves, and leaf piles in New York State year-round. Residents in “fire towns,” towns located within the Adirondack Park, must obtain a DEC permit to burn. Residents should always check with local authorities first to find out if local law requires a permit or prohibits open fires in their area. » Continue Reading.
While casting her vote for the Boreas Ponds land classification known as Alternative 2 on February 2, 2018, one Adirondack Park Agency board member told the audience gathered at the agency’s headquarters in Ray Brook that we should “take a leap of faith,” even if the public wasn’t getting the wilderness classification it wanted. She said that we should trust the Department of Environmental Conservation to protect the Boreas Ponds in its forthcoming unit management plan (UMP) for the area, where environmental safeguards would be written into the proposals for recreational access.
Unfortunately, that faith has proven to be unwarranted. DEC has released a pair of management plans that will impact the future of not just the beautiful Boreas Ponds, but the entire High Peaks Wilderness. The scope of these two documents far exceeds the available time to read and assess everything they contain, but even with a cursory review it is abundantly clear that our state agencies are failing to meet the public’s expectations. » Continue Reading.
The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) has protected 37 acres in the hamlet of Huletts Landing, Washington County, by purchasing a 33.3-acre upland piece and a conservation easement on the adjoining lower 3.7-acres lakefront property on Lake George. This conservation project is expected to provide permanent water quality protection by preventing the development of uplands directly above the lake, viewshed protection, and the addition of a small, family-friendly recreational opportunity.
A press release from the LGLC said the organization intends to make “modest improvements to the uplands property to allow for minimal passive recreational use.” A small parking area is expected to be identified so as to not interfere with traffic on Bluff Head Road, and a short trail will lead to one or two picnic tables installed at the lookout area. » Continue Reading.
The Ausable River Association (AsRA) is set to host a benefit for Mirror Lake on Thursday, May 31st at The Breakfast Club in Lake Placid. Entry is $30 per person and includes two cocktails and appetizers. All net proceeds go to support the work AsRA is doing to protect Mirror Lake. » Continue Reading.
With the start of camping season, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reminding campers that New York State’s firewood regulations are still in effect.
Untreated firewood may contain invasive pests that kill trees, and to protect New York’s forests, it may not be moved more than 50 miles from its source or origin.
Homeowners should not move firewood from trees that died on their property for use while camping. Moving untreated firewood is one of the main ways tree-killing invasive pests hitch rides to new areas, spreading these pests faster and farther than they would have on their own. A variety of invasive species can be transported on firewood, from wood boring beetles and defoliators to fungi and diseases. » Continue Reading.
The Memorial Day long weekend is often a time to put in the garden, spruce up the yard, and of course, mow the lawn. After the snow from our prolonged winter melted away, many homeowners were disappointed at the condition of their lawn. Areas of dead grass are sometimes, but by no means always, due to heavy feeding by last fall’s grub crop. Grubs, of course, are beetle babies. Not like Ringo Junior, but the larval stage of European and rose chafers, and Japanese, Asiatic-garden, and Oriental beetles.
Unfortunately, you will have to wait until late summer to exact revenge, because short of becoming a skunk-herder and letting your flock dig up all the grubs, absolutely nothing you do to right now will kill the grubs responsible for vandalizing your lawn. Or kill any grubs for that matter. They are done feeding and are in the pupal stage, essentially impervious to poisons. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Transportation (DOT) and Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (State Parks) has announced that beginning this weekend, boat stewards will be deployed at nearly 200 locations across the state as part of a collaborative program to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). » Continue Reading.
AsRA’s River Steward, Nicole Pionteck, started her field season last weekend at the Ausable River Two-Fly Challenge. She was at the Whiteface Visitor’s Bureau with a Wader Wash Station, educating participants on invasive species spread prevention methods and encouraging the anglers to “Check, Clean, and Dry” their equipment before entering the water.
Pionteck’s duties include educating river users on how to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, attending local events to educate the public on river ecology and indicators of water quality, monitoring the river and watershed for new invasive species infestations, and maintaining wader wash stations throughout the watershed during fishing season. » Continue Reading.
I’d like to recognize the Adirondack Daily Enterprise for its recent editorial “APA, DEC Skimp on Public Meetings.” The newspaper wrote that two public meetings, both held on the same day (Wednesday, May 23) about numerous management amendments to the High Peaks Wilderness and Vanderwhacker Wild Forest:
“while important, are also severely wanting. These lands belong to the people of New York, and folks near New York City, in Syracuse and Buffalo, Watertown and Ithaca all deserve to have APA and DEC staff come explain what the plans mean and hear the public’s concerns. Together, the two UMP amendments run to more than 300 pages, and it would be beneficial to the public to have them explained by the people who wrote them.”