Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Report From The Adirondack Lakes Alliance Symposium

Raquette Lake Dave GibsonAt Paul Smith’s College in late July, the Adirondack Lakes Alliance hosted their second Lake and River Symposium, aiming to educate lake and river associations in watershed and lake/river management. Issues addressed included invasive species, road salt, and stormwater runoff. One clear theme throughout the event was we should be encouraged, as much progress has been made in a short period of time, however, much remains to be done to protect our water resources.

There were several eye opening presentations by many prominent leaders in their area of expertise. Cathy Dove, President of Paul Smith’s College, and Ed Griesmer, Executive Director of the ALA, welcomed us with some opening remarks. Hilary Smith, the Invasive Species Coordinator for the US Department of the Interior, gave us a broad view of the invasive species problems across the country as well as insight into how the Department of the Interior functions to tackle problems. » Continue Reading.


Friday, August 5, 2016

Former Finch, Pruyn Lodge At Boreas Ponds Demolished

Boreas lodge webA large lodge at Boreas Ponds built by Finch, Pruyn & Company has been demolished, removing one thorny issue facing state officials responsible for drafting a management plan for a recently acquired tract of Forest Preserve.

The Adirondack chapter of the Nature Conservancy, which sold the ponds to the state this year, hired a contractor to dismantle the lodge. The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) agreed that the lodge should be removed — even though local officials wanted it to stay.

Rob Davies, director of DEC’s Division of Lands and Forests, told Adirondack Almanack that it was not feasible to keep the lodge, partly because of the cost of maintenance, partly because it was a “non-conforming structure” in the Preserve. He said the project, including removal of debris and rehabilitation of the site, should be complete this month.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

An Innovative Culvert Replacement At Otis Brook In Jay

Aluminum Arch CulvertThe Town of Jay, Ausable River Association, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and NYS Department of State are restoring an upstream portion of Otis Brook, a tributary of the Ausable River’s East Branch.

The partners are replacing an undersized, 30-inch pipe culvert under Jay Mountain Road – a frequent source of flooding that requires repeated maintenance by the town highway department – with a 17-foot wide aluminum arch culvert designed and sized specifically for the site. The new culvert will allow Otis Brook, its population of native brook trout, and other wildlife to move unimpeded under the road. » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 1, 2016

Forest Preserve Advocates Modify Boreas Ponds Proposal

Proposed_Expanded_High_Peaks_Wild_July2016-2-1024x659A coalition of environmental groups that includes the Adirondack Council, Adirondack Mountain Club, and Adirondack Wild has significantly altered its proposal for the recently acquired Boreas Ponds Tract, calling for less of the region to be classified Wilderness.

Under the original proposal, about 15,000 of the tract’s 20,758 acres would have been added to the High Peaks Wilderness. This included land north and south of Gulf Brook Road, a durable logging road that leads to Boreas Ponds. The road itself would have been designated a Primitive Corridor, allowing visitors to drive as far as LaBier Flow, some six miles from County Route 2.

Under the new plan, Gulf Brook Road and the land south of it would be Wild Forest, a less-restrictive classification that allows motorized use. Thus, it would not be necessary to designate Gulf Brook Road a Primitive Corridor to allow people to drive to LaBier Flow. Some 13,000 acres north of the road would be Wilderness.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, August 1, 2016

Research Puts Price Tag On Clean Water

carillon fall foliageNew University of Vermont and Lake Champlain Basin Program research puts a hefty price tag on Lake Champlain’s natural beauty.

According to the study, Vermont lakeside communities would lose $16.8 million in economic activity and 200 full-time jobs – in July and August alone – for every one-meter (three-foot) decrease in water clarity.

The study is the first to investigate the relationship between home values, tourism and Lake Champlain’s visual appearance, which is regularly impacted by algae blooms, nutrient runoff, sewage and other pollutants. » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 1, 2016

Parking Lot Will Showcase Low Impact Development

Bolton Councilwoman Sue Wilson, the LA Group’s Ted Larsen and Waterkeeper Chris NavitskyBolton’s new Cross Street parking lot, built on a residential parcel purchased by the town for $257,000 in 2014, is poised to become the first municipal project to be awarded LID certification by the Lake George Waterkeeper.

LID, as Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky explains, is an acronym for Low Impact Development. Projects that disturb landscapes the least and leave the lake’s water quality undiminished are eligible for LID certification – much as green buildings are LEED certified. » Continue Reading.


Friday, July 29, 2016

New Leadership For Lake Champlain Basin Program

Eric Howe - LCBP DirectorThe New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) and the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) have announced that Dr. Eric A. Howe has accepted the position of program director of the LCBP, replacing Dr. William (Bill) Howland who retired in June after seventeen years. Howe has worked on water quality and watershed management issues in the Lake Champlain basin for nearly 20 years; for the past seven years he has served as Technical Coordinator for LCBP.

As the program director for LCBP, Howe is expected to work to administer a federally-funded program designed to protect and preserve Lake Champlain and its bi-state and bi-national watershed through partnerships that conserve and restore natural resources, promote the use of sound science to support management decisions, enhance water quality, and promote community involvement and stewardship. Howe will also serve as director of the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership, a federally recognized Heritage Program and subprogram of LCBP whose focus is to increase knowledge and appreciation of the area’s cultural heritage, outdoor recreational opportunities, and historic landmarks. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Dave Gibson: Testing Gov Cuomo’s Wilderness Convictions

Wallface, Henderson Mtn from Goodnow Mtn firetowerWill the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and Adirondack Park Agency write to urge the U.S. Congress not to gut the federal Wilderness Act of 1964? Would Governor Cuomo allow this or encourage it?

Why should these state agencies write to Senators McConnell, Schumer and Gilllibrand to strongly oppose a bill that opens up all federal Wilderness areas to bicycling? Our Adirondack State Land Master Plan echoes the federal Wilderness Act of 1964. Bicycling in Wilderness areas is disallowed in our federal and Adirondack Wilderness (and Primitive, Canoe) areas because bikes are gear-leveraged mechanical transport, a highly complex machine, just not a motorized one. And machines – motorized or not – cancel out the values and benefits of an enduring wilderness, those very rare places where human beings exercise humility and are not allowed to dominate the landscape as we do everywhere else on earth. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Loon And Trails Center Opens In Saranac Lake

LoonHHCenterTwo Adirondack organizations have come together to form the Adirondack Loon and Trails Center in Saranac Lake.

The center is combined effort between Biodiversity Research Institute’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation and Adirondack Hamlet to Huts, the new initiative to connect trail systems to lodging in communities. The organizations recently had a ribbon-cutting ceremony to announce the center’s opening.

The loon program has been in existence for years under director Nina Schoch, who has operated out of her home in Ray Brook. The program has conducted extensive research projects on mercury and led educational campaigns to protect loons from the dangers of lead fishing tackle, among other things. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Myths About Solar Power And The Adirondacks

us solar pv instalationsSolarize Tri-Lakes is a group of volunteers raising awareness about the benefits of installing solar or photovoltaic electricity (PV).

With solar technology changing so rapidly, it can be difficult to tell the difference between truth and common misconceptions. Here is our attempt to debunk some of these myths. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Adirondack Private Lands Symposium Wednesday

lake placidLake Placid Land Conservancy (LPLC) is hosting a panel discussion about conservation and stewardship opportunities on private lands in the Lake Placid region on Wednesday, July 27th at 6:30 pm at Heaven Hill Farm, located at 302 Bear Cub Lane in Lake Placid.

Through a recent mapping initiative, LPLC identified important land use characteristics and attributes (including important ecological and economic characteristics) on almost 100,000 acres of private lands in the region. LPLC staff will provide an overview of its mapping initiative and experts from the Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy (TNC), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and Adirondack Council will serve as panelists and discuss wildlife habitat, approaches to conservation and stewardship, and biological monitoring on private lands within the Adirondack Park. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Comments Sought On Development Plans For Adirondack Lands

view from schroon lake boat launchA draft amendment to the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest Unit Management Plan and a draft Unit Management Plan for the Horicon Boat Launch (known popularly as the Schroon Lake Boat Launch) are now available for public review and comment.

Both the draft UMP for the Horicon Boat Launch and the draft UMP amendment for the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest contain proposed management actions that are located within the Schroon Recreational River Area. Pursuant to Part 666 of Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York -also known as the Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers regulations – a public hearing is required. » Continue Reading.


Friday, July 22, 2016

Court Upholds Halt Of DEC’s Forest Preserve Tree Cutting

minerva to newcomb snowmobile trailThe Appellate Division, Third Department, of state Supreme Court issued an order today to uphold an injunction against tree cutting by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on a new 9-12 foot wide snowmobile trail between Newcomb and Minerva in the central Adirondacks.

The DEC cut over 4,000 trees on 2.9 miles of this trail in the fall of 2015, had recently cut over 1,000 more trees on a new 3-mile section, and was about to cut thousands more trees, including many located in old growth forest habitat. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Visiting The Lake George Association Floating Classroom

GroupofkidswithnewlifejacketsThe Lake George Association (LGA) continues its on-water educational programing through the summer with public tours each Wednesday in July and August.

In 2009, the 40-ft catamaran-style Rosalia Anna Ashby, named for LGA member Bruce Ashby’s mother, was built specifically to further the on-water aspect of the  Lake George Association’s educational programming. The Floating classroom’s two-hour tour covers a variety of topics from earthquakes and glaciers to storm water and invasive species. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Forest Pests Could Change Adirondack Forests

Hemlock woolly adelgidAdirondack forests could see major changes in the coming decades as a result of forest pests, according to experts who attended a forest pest summit in North Creek recently.

Both the hemlock woolly adelgid and the emerald ash borer have been found south of the Adirondack Park, and the balsam woolly adelgid appears to be causing more damage to balsam firs inside the Blue Line in recent years. » Continue Reading.