The Adirondack Park Agency held public hearings on Boreas Ponds at eight different locations around the state in November and December. Hundreds of people spoke, offering a potpourri of opinions. But one constant was a sea of green T-shirts bearing the slogan “I Want Wilderness.”
BeWildNY, a coalition of eight environmental groups, created the T-shirts to push the idea that Boreas Ponds should be classified as motor-free Wilderness. » Continue Reading.
As I review notes from several public hearings on the State Land Classifications, including Boreas Ponds, the apparent gulf between voices to “keep it or make it wild” and “this isn’t wilderness anyway and we need motorized access” seem unbridgeable.
Well, perhaps not. More than one or two speaking out for “more access” to the Boreas Ponds (usually meaning motorized) also addressed how experiencing quiet, serenity and wildlife undisturbed moved them personally as much as any wilderness advocate. For their part, several wilderness advocates stressed that economic benefits of access (usually non-motorized) should interest local businesses and governments. The personal values expressed by all the speakers clearly demonstrated the common ground for all of us – a deep appreciation, even love for being in the out of doors Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.
The New York State (NYS) Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced nine different sources of financial support for a variety of climate, energy, and sustainability initiatives.
DEC Electronic Waste Assistance Grants – $1.8 million
Applications Accepted between January through 31, 2017
Eligible Entities: all municipalities within New York State (“Municipality” means a local public authority or public benefit corporation, a county, city, town, village, or Indian tribe or nation residing within New York state, or any combination thereof, or a school district or supervisory district.)
DEC announced that a second round of grant funding from the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) is being made available to help municipalities across the state address costs associated with the collection and recycling of eligible electronic wastes (e-waste). Municipalities may receive reimbursement of up to 50 percent of eligible expenses incurred for recycling of e-waste between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017. Application materials, guidance documents, and important information for Electronic Waste Assistance Grants are available on DEC’s website. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack chapter of the Nature Conservancy has purchased 753 acres with a two-mile stretch of the Main Branch of the Moose River on the western edge of the Adirondack Park.
The conservancy bought the property for $880,000 and intends to sell it to a buyer who will protect it.
The two miles of river are part of a 13-mile stretch of whitewater that is rafted in the spring. “It’s nice to know that this section of the Moose River will be preserved in its wild state,” said Garry Staab, a rafting guide and owner of Adirondack River Outfitters.
Newly published research in the journal PLOS ONE by scientists at Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Colorado State University (CSU), and University of California-Berkeley finds that human recreation activities in protected areas are impacting wildlife, and more often than not, in negative ways.
Nature-based, outdoor recreation is the most widespread human land use in protected areas and is permitted in more than 94 percent of parks and reserves globally. Inspiring an estimated eight billion visits per year to these areas, outdoor recreation is typically assumed to be compatible with conservation. Increasingly, however, negative effects of recreation on wildlife are being reported. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that online registration for the 2017 summer camp program will open January 25, 2017 at 10 am. Applications will be submitted through the online registration program available through DEC’s summer camp website.
Now in its 70th year, the summer camp program offers week-long adventures in conservation education for children ages 11-17. DEC operates four residential camps for children: Camp Colby in Saranac Lake (Franklin County); Camp DeBruce in Livingston Manor (Sullivan County); Camp Rushford in Caneadea (Allegany County); and Pack Forest in Warrensburg (Warren County). All four camps offer programs for children aged 11-13, while Pack Forest hosts children aged 14-17 for six weeks and Camp Rushford offers two weeks of programs for children aged 14-17. The complete schedule of camp offerings is available on the summer camp’s website and the online registration program. » Continue Reading.
Alternatives analysis is at the very heart of the State Environmental Quality Review Act. A state or local government agency cannot claim to have rationally chosen a preferred alternative course of action if other alternative approaches to achieve the same project with fewer environmental impacts have not been evaluated with the same degree of rigor and detail. That’s the law.
The eight public hearings about classifying more than 50,000 acres of Adirondack Forest Preserve are winding down this week (final public hearings at Bear Mountain and Albany), and the Adirondack Park Agency, sponsor of these hearings, is not following the law in several crucial respects. These include the fact that APA has neither evaluated nor compared the four alternative ways to classify the Boreas Ponds tract, nor has it chosen at least one additional, reasonable alternative which has fewer environmental impacts than all the others: that being a classification alternative as Wilderness for all or most of the tract, necessitating the closure of all or most of the Gulf Brook Road to public motorized uses. » Continue Reading.
New York Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced February 3, 2017 as the application cutoff date for Signup 1 of the USDA’s Conservation Stewardship Program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017.
The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is among the largest working-lands conservation programs in the United States. Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners are paid for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, rotational grazing, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and pollinator and beneficial insect habitat – while maintaining active agricultural production on their land. » Continue Reading.
The Greater Adirondack Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc. (RC & D), with financial assistance from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Lake Champlain Basin Program, is implementing a free Skidder Bridge Loaner Program for landowners and loggers.
RC & D says the free Skidder Bridge Loaner Program is hoping to encourage the use of the skidder bridges and other Best Management Practices in forest management to protect water quality and assist landowners in increasing economic activity in their communities. » Continue Reading.
A draft Recreation Management Plan (RMP) for the Oswegatchie Conservation Easement is now available for public review and comment. The Oswegatchie Conservation Easement encompasses approximately 16,929 acres in the towns of Croghan and Diana in Lewis County, including more than 14-thousand acres located within the Adirondack Park.
The property includes 3.5 miles of the Middle Branch of the Oswegatchie River, shares 9.6 miles of boundary with forest preserve lands, and less than one mile of boundary with state forest land. The Oswegatchie Conservation is primarily accessed from Bald Mountain Road, leading north from Long Pond Road in the Town of Croghan. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Landowners Association (ALA) has announced that the Adirondack Lakes Alliance will be the 2016 recipient of the ALA Stewardship Award. This award is given periodically to groups or individuals who have made a tangible impact on the stewardship of Adirondack lands, water or communities. The award will be presented at the ALA winter meeting in Old Forge on December 2nd, 2016. » Continue Reading.
The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) recently acquired 72 acres in the Town of Putnam from Thomas and Mary Ellen Eliopoulos. The land, known as the Beaver Pond property, joins another 65 acres purchased from the Bain family in September as the latest additions in a focused effort to protect the 2,000-acre watershed of Sucker Brook, a major tributary of Lake George.
As one of Lake George’s ten largest tributaries, Sucker Brook drains directly into the lake at Glenburnie, and makes a significant impact on the lake’s water quality. Its protection provides a safeguard against excess storm water runoff, erosion of the stream corridor, and nutrient loading from neighboring sources of fertilizers and road salt. » Continue Reading.
A rose is a rose is a rose, Gertrude Stein said. Defining a tree is not so simple.
That question — what is a tree? — has emerged as a central issue in a long-running dispute over the construction of “community-connector” snowmobile trails in the Forest Preserve. These trails, which link hamlets, are nine feet wide (twelve feet on curves) and graded to make them smooth. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is accepting public comments on Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan conformance for proposed activities to the Lake Champlain Islands Management Complex Unit Management Plan (LCIMC-UMP). Public comment should address if the proposed activities conform to the guidelines and criteria of the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (APSLMP). The APA will accept public comment until January 6, 2017.
The islands that comprise the LCIMC encompass approximately 1,133 acres of Forest Preserve lands on six of the seven state-owned islands in Lake Champlain – Valcour, Schuyler, Cole, Garden, Sheepshead, and Signal Buoy.
There are also approximately 28 acres of land that make up the three boat launch sites included in the LCIMC which are administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Bureau of Fisheries: Peru Dock, Port Douglas and Willsboro Bay. » Continue Reading.
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