Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Wilderness Management of Boreas Ponds Favored by Commenters

The APA recently reported that it received more than 11,000 comments on the classification of the Boreas Ponds Tract.

Adirondack Wilderness Advocates has reviewed the comments (more than 16,000 pages worth) and found that more than 37 percent support classifying the entire tract as motor-free Wilderness.

Altogether, 84 percent of the comments support either AWA’s or BeWildNY’s plan, according to AWA, whereas only 15 percent support a Wild Forest classification that could allow motorized access all the way to Boreas Ponds.

BeWildNY, a coalition of eight environmental organizations, and Protect the Adirondacks all support opening Gulf Brook Road to within a mile of Boreas Ponds. Adirondack Wilderness Advocates and Adirondack Wild propose classifying nearly all of the Boreas Pond Tract as Wilderness. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Climate Resiliency Planning Grants Available

The NYS Department of State (DOS) is seeking applications for the Countywide Resiliency Planning Grant Program. This is a competitive funding program for the development of Countywide Resiliency Plans that primarily address climate change risks and vulnerabilities associated with: an increase in frequency and severity of storm and precipitation events; sea-level rise; storm surge; and flooding. The Countywide Resiliency Planning Grant Program is available to upstate counties in New York that were not previously covered by the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program. » Continue Reading.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Infrastructure Construction at Boreas Ponds?

Governor Cuomo’s proposed new public-private initiative to revitalize Northway Exit 29 in the Adirondack Park, the former Frontiertown theme park, and to create a new visitor center and “gateway” there to benefit not just the town of North Hudson, but Essex County and the entire Adirondack Park is a good proposal.

After the Governor spent public funds to acquire the nearby Boreas Ponds for the Forest Preserve as a kind of gateway to the High Peaks and Dix Mountain Wilderness, this well-traveled sector of Essex County so close to I-87 deserves a gateway information and interpretive center that helps attract, orient, inform and inspire curious travelers – whether or not those visitors intend an outdoor adventure at Boreas Ponds.

What concerns me is one sentence buried in that same State of the State report (on page 271): “Specifically, DEC will construct infrastructure at Boreas Ponds in the Adirondacks and build trails as part of the “Hut-to-Hut” system that links State lands to community amenities.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Road Salt Impacts Waterways, Soils and Infrastructure

Living in the Northeast we depend on clear roads during winter to maintain our way of life. Organizations, agencies and municipalities throughout upstate NY and VT understand that there is an impact to the environment from road salt application practices. We must find the balance that protects the environment and still allows for safe roads.

Road salt (sodium chloride) was first utilized within the U.S. on roads in NH in 1938. By 1941 a total of 5,000 tons of salt were applied to highways nationwide. Today, between 10-20 million tons of salt are applied annually. This increase in road salt application is having a negative impact on our waterways, soils, cars, and infrastructure. Lake Champlain alone has seen a 30% increase within the past 10 years in chloride levels and many bodies of water within the Adirondack Park have levels high enough to impact native aquatic organisms including fish populations. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Ethan Winter: Boreas Ponds Classification Commentary

Thank you for this opportunity to comment on the classification of the Boreas Tract. I’m writing to urge the APA to reject the classification alternatives it has proposed in lieu of a designation for the Boreas Tract that ensures uncompromised Wilderness and a buffer of at least one mile for the Boreas Ponds.

I attended the Schroon Lake hearing in November and appreciated the polite and eloquent positions of various stakeholders expressed there. Many comments, both for and against specific alternatives, reflected the complexity of managing wilderness areas in a way that protects fragile natural characteristics while accommodating appropriate recreational uses and benefitting local communities. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Conservancy Acquires 135 Acres At Otis Brook In Jay

otis brookLake Placid Land Conservancy recently acquired a 135-acre habitat and open space conservation easement in the Town of Jay, that was donated by local resident Gregory Claude Fetters. The property includes approximately 44 acres of northern Appalachian-Acadian, conifer- hardwood, acidic wetlands and over 90 acres of Laurentian-Acadian pine forest.

Conservation of the property permanently protects a variety of terrestrial and aquatic habitats, and allows the property to remain available for sustainable timber harvesting and eligible for enrollment in New York’s 480-A forest tax law. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Boreas Ponds Dam Drives Debate

boreas ponds damThe 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.


Friday, January 6, 2017

Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies Call for Submissions

The Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies (AJES) is now accepting submissions for Volume 22, which will be published in the summer of 2017.

Articles of a broad disciplinary scope will be accepted for review, including topics in natural and social sciences related to the region.

Special consideration will be given to articles to be published in the featured section dedicated to women, leadership, and the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Monday, January 2, 2017

Dave Gibson: Planning for Wilderness Management

Photo by Phil Brown 2016. View of Gothics from Boreas Ponds.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.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Funding Opportunities for Climate Smart Communities

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.


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Nature Conservancy Buys Two Miles Of Moose River

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.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 11, 2016

New Study Details Recreationists’ Harmful Effects On Wildlife

dog-black-birdNewly 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.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

DEC Summer Camp Registration Opens January 25th

DEC LogoThe 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.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Dave Gibson: Boreas Ponds Alternative 1 Shouldn’t Be There

Boreas Ponds APA Alternative 1Alternatives 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.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Forest Land Conservation Program Opportunities

nrcs-logoNew 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.



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