Monday, September 25, 2017

DEC’s Drone Program Includes A Fleet Of 22 UAVs

DEC Drone Video Still (2017)The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that the agency has deployed a fleet of 22 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, across the state. An announcement from the state agency said the drones will “enhance the state’s environmental management, conservation and emergency response efforts.”

“DEC has a wide range of responsibilities in protecting the state’s environment and ensuring the safety of our citizens and visitors, and well-being of our communities,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in the statement, which was sent to the press. “The use of drone technology will help us do our jobs better and faster while saving taxpayer dollars. We live in a changing world with technological advances being made at an exponential rate, and UAVs give us a safe and efficient way to collect and analyze data, assess threats to the environment, and quickly respond to emergencies. This technology is helping DEC with everything from petroleum spills and wildlife surveys to search and rescue missions, forest fires, and natural disasters.” » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Opinion: Hold APA Board Accountable for Boreas Ponds

Photo by Phil Brown 2016. View of Gothics from Boreas Ponds.What happened to the Adirondack Park Agency’s classification of the Boreas Ponds Tract?  Months have passed with no sign of it on the APA’s monthly agenda.  Information does seep out here and there, and it’s not encouraging.  By now it’s no secret that plans are afoot for the Boreas classification that have nothing to do with the intended, legal process: namely development of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS), public hearings and public written comments and analysis, all leading to a recommended alternative.

Instead, the State is scrambling to find a way to accommodate the wishes of Governor Cuomo, who fancies a “hut-to-hut” system in the Adirondacks that includes facilities at Boreas, a development not contemplated in any of the four currently proposed alternatives.  This is not how it is supposed to work and it raises questions of who is accountable for a classification process gone wrong.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

$500k in Grants Available for Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites

parks and trails nyParks & Trails New York (PTNY) and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP), have announced the third round of $500,000 in competitive grants through the NYS Park and Trail Partnership Program funded through the NYS Environmental Protection Fund.

The grants are available to organizations that support parks, trails, historic sites and public lands, and are administered by PTNY, in partnership with OPRHP. This year, for the first time, grants will also be available to organizations that support public lands managed by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Jen Kretser On Her Work With The Youth Climate Program

Jen Kretser is featured as the “Trailblazer” in the September/October edition of the Adirondack Explorer. Read more about Jen in the issue, which you can get through the Adirondack Explorer app. Download it from iTunes or Google Play.

Work on climate change is hard. And emotional, says Jen Kretser, director of programs for the Wild Center and project director for the Youth Climate Program run through the science museum.

It’s devastating, for example, to watch a community in Sri Lanka affected by “crazy flooding” when they themselves produce no carbon emissions at all, she said. » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Draft Adirondack State Highways Management Plan Released

New York State Department of Transportation and the State Department of Environmental Conservation have released a draft comprehensive plan for managing state highways in the Adirondack Park. Comments on the plan are now being sought.

An announcement sent to the media said The Draft Generic Travel Corridor Unit Management Plan for State Highway Corridors in the Adirondack Park (TCUMP), “is the result of collaboration between the New York State Department of Transportation, the State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Adirondack Park Agency, the State Department of State, local government groups, and organizations that promote protecting the Adirondacks.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

‘Explorer’ Editorial: Consider a Convention for New York

PHOTO BY JOHNATHAN ESPER

This November’s election may be an off-year, but it’s an important one for New Yorkers. The ballot will include the question of whether to hold a convention to make changes to the New York State Constitution, a chance that comes along once every twenty years.

New York State residents with ties to the Adirondacks should be conflicted: on the one hand, their state constitution is in desperate need of revision — punctuated by a string of corruption convictions against state leaders in recent years. The changes needed to fix this problem aren’t likely to come from lawmakers themselves through constitutional amendment.

But while taking back control of our constitution seems a desirable goal, opening the potential for harm to Article 14, which includes the forever-wild clause protecting the Forest Preserve in the Adirondacks and Catskills, is a proposition scarier to some than politicians lining their pockets with public money. » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Champlain Watershed Road Salt Deicing Conference Planned

AdirondackMuseum-CabinFeverSundays_RoadSalt_Jan10On Sept. 29 University of Vermont (UVM) Extension, Lake Champlain Sea Grant and the Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District will host a Lake Champlain Watershed Deicing Conference.

This free, day-long educational event will be held from 8 am to 5 pm at the Dudley H. Davis Center on the UVM campus in Burlington. Although open to everyone, it specifically targets municipal road maintenance staff, private winter maintenance contractors and elected officials, businesses and nonprofits tasked with decision-making or public education about deicing roads, driveways, sidewalks or parking lots in local communities.  » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Buzz Over Adirondack High Peaks Helicopter Tours

A Go Aviation helicopter flies low over Duck Hole in the High Peaks Wilderness. Chip Moeser hiked fifteen miles from Lake Placid in early July to spend the night at Duck Hole deep in the High Peaks Wilderness. He was looking for quiet, but in the late afternoon, a helicopter started descending from overhead.

“It was coming in like it was going to land,” Moeser said, adding that it got as close as ten feet to the ground before taking off.

At first, he had assumed it was a state helicopter. In fact, it was owned by Go Aviation, which this summer started flying helicopter tours out of Lake Placid and Lake Clear. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Constitutional Convention Vote Raises Article 14 Fears

Monuments at Monument Falls along the West Branch of the Ausable River near Lake Placid Every two decades, New Yorkers go to the polls to decide whether they want to rewrite the language in their state constitution. Historically, they take a pass on this opportunity — in more than a century, only three constitutional conventions have been called by the voters, the most recent in 1967. And even in that year, the same voters who called for the convention decided they didn’t like the result and rejected the changes proposed by the convention’s delegates.

But if last year’s presidential elections and the rise of a self-styled populist to power were reflective of anything, it was that much of the electorate is irritated with business as usual and might be willing to take chances in the name of draining the swamp. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

New Leadership For Lake George Land Conservancy Board

Mike O'ReillyDuring its Annual Meeting in August, the Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) announced the appointment of Michael O’Reilly as the organization’s new President of the Board of Directors. O’Reilly is taking over the role from 11-year President John J. Macionis.

O’Reilly joined the LGLC Board of Directors in January of 2010, and served as Treasurer since August of 2011, and Vice President of Finance since August 2012. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

APA Awaits Governor Cuomo’s Final Decision on Boreas Ponds

Photo by Phil Brown 2016. View of Gothics from Boreas Ponds.The best information to trickle out so far is that the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will take up the Boreas Ponds classification deliberations starting at the October 2017 meeting in Ray Brook, but that it could be delayed until November. The APA has, apparently completed much of the paper work on the Environmental Impact Statement and organized its response to public comments. The APA has also organized various options for consideration by the APA Board; mostly they are similar to those taken to public hearing last fall. The missing piece is final layout of the classification of the Boreas Ponds tract that will be used as the APA’s “Preferred Option.” For that, the APA is waiting on Governor Cuomo to make the final call and tell the APA what his, and their, “Preferred Option” will be.

Governor Cuomo’s preferred option faces a number of questions, which will affect the process and timing of the APA’s final decision. For instance, if the Governor decides he wants a new Intensive Use area on any of the lands in question this will necessitate a change to the EIS and a new round of public hearings. If the Governor decides to leave a blank 5-acre cutout that remains unclassified “pending classification,” the decisions on the surrounding classifications will limit what can eventually be authorized in the unclassified tract. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Peg Olsen to Lead TNC’s Adirondack Chapter

The Nature Conservancy has announced Peg Olsen as the Adirondack Chapter’s new director.  Olsen most recently served as The National Audubon Society’s Chief Conservation Officer and Atlantic Flyway Vice President, overseeing 23 state programs, including 46 nature centers, as well as international programs.

She is returning to The Nature Conservancy, where she worked from 1989 – 2003, holding various positions, including Eastern New York Chapter Director, overseeing a staff of 17, and Asia Pacific Region Deputy Director, managing operations with 185 staff across 14 times zones in China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, the Solomon Islands, Palau, Australia and the United States. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Acid Rain Still Impacting Adirondack Lakes and Forests

In a recent newsletter from Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, she mentioned visiting the facilities of the Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation to discuss strategies for measuring and combating acid rain in the Adirondacks. Although acid rain remains an important topic of study and discussion, the once commonplace phrase has become somewhat obscure in recent years and the problems associated with acid rain have taken a back seat to other, more widely discussed environment-impacting issues.

Like global warming, acid rain results from burning fossil fuels, either to generate electricity at large power plants or to run vehicles and heavy equipment. As the resulting ‘acid gasses’ are released into the air, they combine with water vapor, producing sulfuric and nitric acids, which fall to earth in acidified rain, snow, sleet, fog, mist, or hail. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Still No Source For Contamination At Million Dollar Beach

As the season draws to a close, Lake George partner groups, including the Fund for Lake George, Lake George Waterkeeper Program and the Lake George Association, along with state and local governments, continue to search for the source of contamination to the lake water at Million Dollar Beach. The Department of Environmental Conservation closed the beach again recently after detecting bacterial contamination.

“Unfortunately, Lake George continues to be compromised through contamination from an apparent human source at Million Dollar Beach,” said Chris Navitsky, the Lake George Waterkeeper, in a press release issued by the Fund for Lake George. “While tracing the exact origin of the contamination is a complicated issue, we are confident this problem can be solved with a focused, science-driven plan of action.” » Continue Reading.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Louis Marshall: Wilderness Conservationist; Seeker of Social Justice

Louis Marshall Wilderness preservationist Louis Marshall would have not only commented about the extremism, murder and related tragic loss of life in Charlottesville, VA. He would have been outspoken against the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazi followers that caused it. Further, he would have responded vigorously and explicitly against President Trump’s persistent equivocation about who caused the violence and loss of life. To the lawyer and civil rights advocate Louis Marshall, love of justice and love of nature bubbled up from the same headwaters.

We continue to live in a time of specialists where our humanity is defined and constrained as lanes we live and practice within. The messages we receive daily are to stay in our separate lanes, interests and specialties. By dint of his and world history and by force of personality, Louis Marshall (1856-1929) would not stay in any lane. Nor did Martin Luther King. Nor do young people today. Nor should any of us. » Continue Reading.



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