Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Dave Gibson on EPA: Rachel Carson, Richard Nixon, and Judith Enck

Congressional representative Elise Stefanik should invite the new head of the U.S. EPA, Scott Pruitt, to visit her district. She might introduce Mr. Pruitt to the homeowners in Ballston Spa whose homes have been turned upside down thanks to release of some very bad chemicals from a nearby, now closed dry cleaning facility.

In July 2016, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation requested that EPA perform an environmental assessment. In August 2016, the EPA collected air samples and detected high levels of chloroform; TCE (trichloroethylene); PCE; vinyl chloride; benzene; and naphthalene. These chemicals are likely in the ground water as well. This winter, EPA is evaluating homes downstream of the dry cleaners for vapor intrusion into those homes. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Boreas Ponds: A Rare Addition To Forest Preserve

Photo by Phil Brown 2016. View of Gothics from Boreas Ponds.Some might wonder: What’s the big deal about Boreas Ponds? Yes, it boasts a fantastic view of the High Peaks, but you can paddle the waterway in less than an hour. And then what?

Unlike Lake Lila, Boreas Ponds has no sandy beaches where you can loll in the sun or go for a swim. Nor is there a nearby peak to climb for a lookout (though you could bushwhack to the top of Boreas Mountain).

Nevertheless, Boreas Ponds is a big deal. It’s one of our last chances to add a sizable water body to the Forest Preserve and declare it motor-free.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Climate Change in the North Country Talk Planned

The Alice T. Miner Museum has announced that Dr. Curt Stager, professor of natural sciences at Paul Smith’s College, will speak on the regional impact of climate change on March 2nd.

Climate change is about more than distant polar bears and rising sea levels. It is happening here, too. The talk will look at what changes are already under way, and what changes may be coming in the future. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 27, 2017

CATS Protects 25 Acres at Long Pond

The Long Pond Conservancy, a program of Champlain Area Trails (CATS), recently conserved 25 acres at Long Pond in Willsboro through a gift from Frank White and Christine Babson.

The property is located at the lake’s southwest corner with extensive shoreline wetlands and forested hills. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

ECO and Forest Ranger Recruits Starting Basic Police Training

Forest Ranger and ECO recruits marching at the academyIn mid-February, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) opened the 21st Basic School for Uniformed Officers, the 28-week training academy in Pulaski that prepares recruits for positions as Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) and Forest Rangers.

The academy began with 34 ECO and 11 Ranger candidates. The recruits are from 28 of New York’s 62 counties and range in age from 22 to 44 years old. Graduation is tentatively scheduled for August 25. » Continue Reading.


Friday, February 24, 2017

2017 Lake Champlain Boat Launch Stewards Needed

The Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) has announced they are hiring as many as ten boat launch stewards to work at New York and Vermont public boat launch access areas during the Program’s 11th season.

The stewards aim to reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species by identifying high-risk boats for courtesy inspection and providing information about invasive species spread prevention. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

John Sheehan: Adirondack Highlights of Proposed State Budget

NYS CapitolGov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget proposal for FY2017/18 includes a $300-million appropriation for the Environmental Protection Fund.  This is complemented by a five-year, $2-billion dollar commitment to clean water infrastructure grants; a $50-million “AdventureNY” proposal for recreational infrastructure; $32 million in public and private funds to establish the former Frontier Town in North Hudson as a new High Peaks gateway; and, $153 million for an “Empire State Trail” that would include a leg through the Adirondacks, near Lake Champlain.  The Adirondack Council and others have been enthusiastic about these proposals. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

DeRossi of Saratoga Joins Land Conservancy Staff

The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) has announced the addition of Michele DeRossi as the organization’s community engagement and events manager. In her new role, DeRossi is expected to manage community and fundraising events for the LGLC and work with the staff to raise funds and awareness of the importance of land protection in the Lake George watershed.

DeRossi brings a background in development, event planning, and conservation. Prior to joining the LGLC, she worked for The Nature Conservancy, where DeRossi spent three years working in development, most recently as a Donor Relations Manager around the eastern New York region and in New York City. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

State Planning More Access For Lands Near Paul Smiths

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that they are revising the Unit Management Plan to allow more access to more than 88,000 acres of Adirondack Forest Preserve lands north and east of Paul Smiths in the Debar Mountain Wild Forest, the Madawaska Pond/Quebec Brook Primitive Area, and the Deer River Primitive Area. (Adirondack Atlas Map).

These Forest Preserve lands are required to be managed in a manner consistent with Article XIV, Section 1 of the New York State Constitution, which includes the “forever wild” clause. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

DEC Announces New Director for Environmental Justice

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the appointment of Rosa Méndez as Director of the Office of Environmental Justice.

Méndez comes to DEC from the New York Department of State’s Coastal Management Program. In this position, she analyzed federal proposals in coastal areas to ensure consistency with state policies and worked to meaningfully involve impacted communities in local waterfront revitalization programs. Her prior experience includes working in criminal defense law, and as a Public Service Fellow, empowering New York’s vulnerable homeless population. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Saratoga Tree Nursery Annual Tree and Shrub Sale

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that more than 50 species of trees and shrubs from the DEC’s Saratoga Tree Nursery are now available to public and private landowners and schools.

Spruces, pines, shrub willows, dogwoods, high bush cranberry, winged sumac, white cedar, and wetland rose are among the 50 species available. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Unitarian Universalists: Boreas Ponds Classification Commentary

What follows is a letter sent to the APA.

The Board of Directors, Congregational Delegates, and Members of Camp Unirondack, by vote of our 2016 Annual Meeting, hereby ask you to reject all of the four alternatives that you have set forth for the Boreas Ponds land classification. None of these alternatives truly protect the area around the Boreas Ponds as Wilderness.

Only an action that prohibits motorized vehicles and/or equipment on or within one mile of these ponds, and protects these lands as Wilderness to the south, is acceptable to the long-standing visionary legacy of the writers of Article XIV of the New York State Constitution. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Lake George Towns Embrace Road Salt Reduction Strategies *winter

lg highway garageLake shore towns could reduce their salt usage by half simply by applying a liquid solution to roads before a storm arrives, highway superintendents, contractors and town officials were told at a workshop in Lake George in December.

Using the salt and water solution, commonly known as brine, as well as more advanced plows, especially when combined with conservation-minded practices, could reduce the amount of salt spread on local roads and highways even further, perhaps by 75%, said Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky, whose organization co-sponsored the workshop. “The more we learn about the impacts of road salt on the Lake George watershed, the more motivated we are to achieve road salt reductions in the earliest possible time frame,” said Navitsky. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Moffitt Beach Campground Invasive Species Survey

Tom Colarusso and I teamed up for an invasive insect forest survey on a sunny, warm January day.  Tom is a Plant Protection and Quarantine Officer for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.  We survey one campground a year for invasive insects, and his expertise has fueled my understanding of these hungry bugs.

We headed to Moffitt Beach Campground to check trees for hungry bugs like Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), emerald ash borer (EAB), and hemlock woolly Adelgid (HWA). » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Dave Gibson to APA: Protecting Open Space Should Be Paramount

Something’s not right when the APA stops writing about open space protection in permits for Resource Management and Rural Use lands – precisely where the State Legislature places great emphasis on open space and resource protection.

The latest example is the draft permit now on the APA website authorizing 15 new residences on 590 acres in Resource Management overlooking the High Peaks, to be accessed off Route 73 near Adirondack Loj Road in North Elba. This subdivision (Barile, Project No. 2016-0114) is up for a vote by the APA Thursday.

In the draft permit for Barile’s North Elba subdivision, project impacts and some mitigation to limit impacts of the 15 new homes, driveways, and accessory buildings are listed for a lot of resources, including Visual, Wetlands, Habitat, Soils, Surface Waters, Groundwater, Invasive Species, Vegetation, Infrastructure, Historic Sites or Structures, and Nearby Land Uses.

But not open space protection. » Continue Reading.



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