Friday, July 21, 2017

Trailhead Porta-John Initiative Needs Your Help

New ADA-approved Porta-John and regular one at Cascade trailheadWhere people who are active outdoors in the Adirondack Park go to the bathroom is of concern to all of us. Human waste – and don’t think it doesn’t happen on mountaintops, lakeshores, and any peaceful wooded area — can pollute water bodies and ruin the nature experience for other hikers.

One way to solve the problem is better education about poop etiquette. Bury it or carry it out. Better yet, go before you enter the woods.

The Ausable River Porta-John project is making that easier. Started 10 years ago, it expanded to the High Peaks last year. It now has eleven Porta-Johns at popular locations throughout the region (See map here) and is seeing good results, as in fewer incidences of poop and toilet paper left behind. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Kate Fish Joins NYSERDA Board Of Directors

Kate FishThe New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has announced that Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) Executive Director Kate Fish has joined its Board of Directors. Fish will serve six years on the NYSERDA board. Her new role coincides with the appointment of Alicia Barton as NYSERDA’s president and chief executive officer.

Kate Fish has served as Executive Director of ANCA since 2010. “Early in her tenure with the regional economic development nonprofit, she identified renewable energy as a critical path to more resilient local economies and focused ANCA’s strategies on creating stronger local economies, including a clean energy economy,” a statement to the press said. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

DEC Commissioner Eyes Major Changes to Forest Preserve

Hamlet to Hut demonstration project in Long LakeEarlier this year I wrote two articles in the Adirondack Almanack (here and here) about how state agencies had switched their focus from a classification of the Boreas Ponds with various Wilderness-Wild Forest options to a new option that included some form of public lodging facilities. My purpose in writing these pieces was to convey the fears of many at the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and state government who were alarmed at these ideas cooked up by Governor Andrew Cuomo and DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. These articles in the Almanack triggered a round of press scrutiny and helped to inform the public about how state leaders had changed their focus on the Boreas classification (see some here, here, and here). These press reports also authenticated what I had written.

Last week, we saw an op-ed published in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise by Commissioner Seggos making the case for building some kind of rental cabins, lodges, huts, or glamping-style tent platforms in the Forest Preserve. The op-ed talked about the possibility of “full service” and “self service” buildings. It was premised on the idea that the Forest Preserve needs to add a new and different type recreational amenity to facilitate broader public use. The Commissioner promoted the ideas of the hut-to-hut initiative from the Hamlets to Huts organization and listed the ways in which some kind of cabin on the Forest Preserve could provide different opportunities for public use. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Loon Center Open House Coincides with WCS Loon Census

With its black and white markings, haunting call, and bright red eyes, the Common Loon is one the most recognizable animals in the Adirondacks. As a top aquatic predator, the loon is also an indicator of a healthy ecosystem. This year marks the 17th annual Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Loon Census, which has helped track environmental toxins, disease, climate change, and habitat loss by monitoring these iconic birds.

Though Saturday’s Loon Census is organized by WCS, the organization relies on volunteer citizen scientists to help with field work. Individuals are encouraged to sign up to monitor a specific lake by canoe or by foot to count the loons and chicks on July 15 between 8-9 am. This event, as with other Citizen Scientist projects, puts important data in front of scientists while allowing participants to learn more about loons. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 10, 2017

APA Meeting: Utilities in Wetlands, Wilderness, Campground Changes

APA Building in Ray Brook NYThe Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook, on Thursday, July 13th, 2017.  The meeting will include the renewal of a general permit for utility companies operating in wetlands, amendments to the Blue Mountain Wild Forest, Jessup River Wild Forest and Siamese Ponds Wilderness management plans, and the Buck Pond and Caroga Lake state campgrounds.

Also, the Adirondack Watershed Institute’s boat launch stewardship program and a discussion of aquatic invasive species invasion pathways, and a presentation by Dave Mason and Jim Herman on the past six years of strategic planning vision ideas.  » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 10, 2017

Dick Booth Receiving Zahniser Adirondack Award July 15th

Protect the Adirondacks has announced that the Howard Zahniser Adirondack Award 2017 will be given to Dick Booth, a former Adirondack Park Agency Board member and a professor in Cornell University’s Department of City and Regional Planning, located within the University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning.

The award will be presented at the 2017 annual public meeting for members of Protect the Adirondacks at Heaven Hill Farm in Lake Placid on Saturday July 15th at 9:30 am.  PROTECT also plans to honor Steve Englebright, the Chair of the State Assembly Conservation Committee, as the Legislator of the Year. » Continue Reading.


Friday, July 7, 2017

Invasive Species Awareness Week July 9-15

So far this summer has been rain with just enough sun to grow everything I’ve planted and sprout other seeds I never knew existed. Since I like the weeds and wildflowers (Joe-pye weed, milkweed, bunchberry, and wild wintergreen), I just leave the unidentified plants alone.  I save wildflowers from the center of our yard by transplanting them into flowerbeds or alongside our house, fences, and roadside.

Since not all non-native plants are invasive, it’s important to find out what plants are causing harm to the environment and make sure I’m not contributing to the problem. I don’t want to bring anything into the yard that is considered an Adirondack invasive, I’ve always taken advantage of the Cornell University Cooperative Extension team of master gardeners to answer questions, look at samples, and provide a bevy of useful information. I want my garden to be a safe haven for any pollinators. » Continue Reading.


Friday, July 7, 2017

Common Ground Alliance Meeting Planned In Old Forge

Adirondack Common Ground Alliance Forum group photo 2016The annual Common Ground Alliance Forum will be held on Tuesday, July 11, from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, at View in Old Forge. Topics for this year’s event range from attracting young people to the region to combating invasive species, and were selected based on survey responses from nearly 300 community leaders, business owners, government officials and Adirondack residents.

Community stakeholders from all over the Adirondacks are expected to come together to coordinate their efforts for collective action. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Invasive Species Awareness Week Events Announced for the Adirondacks

invasive species awareness weekNew York State’s fourth annual Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) will take place July 9th-15th. The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) is collaborating with various partner organizations to offer more than 15 invasive species related events, including  Backcountry Water Monitors Training, Terrestrial Invasive Plant ID & Survey Training, Lake Champlain Water Chestnut Paddle & Pull, and Adirondack Invaders Day at The Wild Center. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Wild Center Adds 34 Acres from the Adirondack Club and Resort

The Adirondack Club and Resort (ACR) planned for Tupper Lake donated 34 acres of land to the Wild Center in celebration of the Hull family, it was announced Monday. The land includes the oxbow on the Raquette River where the natural history museum holds canoe and stand-up paddleboard trips in the summer. The gift expands the Wild Center campus to 115 acres.

“The Hull Family loved the Adirondacks, and more than anything wanted to encourage people from across New York and the country to come and see this incredible natural beauty. That’s the same thing the Wild Center has tried to capture, which is why we are honored to make this donation today,” ACR developer Tom Lawson said in a press release.

The Hull family were leaders of the Oval Wood Dish Corporation, which moved to Tupper Lake in 1915. William Cary Hull donated the land and helped found the Tupper Lake Country Club. » Continue Reading.


Friday, June 30, 2017

Effort To Find Pollution Impacting Million Dollar Beach Expands

Add The Fund for Lake George and its Lake George Waterkeeper program to the list of groups working diligently to discover what may be causing E.coli to show up in water testing at Million Dollar Beach. The beach — as of Thursday — is open, though water testing by DEC continues daily.

The Fund was invited to its first meeting about the problem last week and signed on to provide technical leadership, “expertise and advice,” said Chris Navitsky, Lake George Waterkeeper and a licensed engineer. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

John Collins’ Stewardship, Friendship, Respect, and Mentorship

My admiration of the late John Collins of Blue Mountain Lake and Indian Lake grew significantly after hearing the eulogies by John’s family and friends at the Adirondack Museum (Experience).

The slivers of time that I shared with John since I first met him at the Adirondack Park Agency thirty years ago became tall pillars of pine after hearing from those who grew up with John, or grew better and stronger thanks to their interactions and positive influence. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

E.coli Testing Continues At Reopened Million Dollar Beach

Million Dollar Beach reopened again Saturday, June 24, after E.coli tested at a level safe for swimming, according to a DEC press release that also said if the levels rise again, signs will be posted at the beach letting swimmers know of a closure. Daily sampling of the water will continue.

The town, village, DEC and a number of other local organizations concerned with the lake water continue to try to identify a possible source of E.coli affecting the beach.

Patrick Dowd, director of communication for the Lake George Association, said the agencies have had some success eliminating potential sources. For instance, dye-testing was completed on some of the main lines on the east side of the lake on Beedy Road, Rose Point Lane and Front Street. The town and village also used a closed circuit camera to rule out breaks and cracks in storm and sanitary lines and approved a contract to continue the testing of more lines. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

DEC Releases Proposed Solid Waste Regs For Public Comment

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced they are proposing amended revisions to the state’s Solid Waste Management Regulations, commonly referred to as Part 360. DEC’s Part 360 regulations set design standards and operational criteria for all solid waste management facilities.

A link to the text of the proposed revisions and associated rulemaking documents is available on DEC’s website.

Oral and written comments on the proposed rulemaking will be accepted at a public hearing on Thursday, July 13 at 1 pm at DEC’s headquarters at 625 Broadway, Albany. Comments may also be emailed to SolidWasteRegulations@dec.ny.gov until 5 pm on July 21, 2017.

 


Monday, June 26, 2017

Lake Champlain Program Releases Updated Management Plan

The Lake Champlain Basin Program has released a new version of Opportunities for Action: An Evolving Plan for the Future of the Lake Champlain Basin.

The management plan is expected to guide the LCBP’s work over the next five years in improving and restoring water quality and ecosystem integrity in the watershed.

The report lays out objectives and strategies to address four primary goals: Clean Water, Healthy Ecosystems, Thriving Communities, and an Informed and Involved Public. » Continue Reading.


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