Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Nature Conservancy Adk Chapter: New Board Members

The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter has added three members to its board of trustees: David and Hannah Darrin, a father and daughter with longstanding ties to conservation efforts in New York and elsewhere, and Takeyce Walter, a painter whose work has prominently featured the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Bauer: Poorly Designed Subdivision Proposed in Southern Adirondacks

Woodward Lake DevelopmentA new major subdivision project is under review by the Adirondack Park Agency (APA). It’s the first to use the new application process developed by the APA earlier this year for large-scale subdivisions.

The project is shaping up as an important test drive of both the new review process and to see if the APA can convince a major developer that has undertaken a series of conventional checkerboard subdivision projects across New York to do business in the Adirondacks differently by utilizing land use development practices that protect open space and natural resources. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

NYS Wildfire Response Speaks To Ranger Staffing Crisis

Rangers next to their Engines in 1934 The last few years have brought a dramatic shift in fire behavior in the Western United States. Fires are more intense, more common in the wildland-urban interface, and the burning seasons are longer. Most fire professionals no longer even recognize “fire seasons” in parts of the country, but rather “fire years.” All of this is occurring while there is shrinking pool of human resources to fight fires.

The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), is the country’s support center for wildland firefighting. Its policy states that “Wildland fire recognizes no ownership or jurisdictional boundaries on the landscape; nor do the complex issues of fire management. As a result, perhaps nowhere is the practice of interagency and interdepartmental cooperation more prevalent and effective as in the nation’s wildland fire community.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Will DEC Rubber Stamp New Bridge Over the Cedar River?

State agencies in the Adirondack Park are full of dedicated, hardworking employees who want to do their level best under their relevant laws and jurisdictions. However, in a situation where the same agency acts both as the applicant and the decider of an application, the public has good reason to be skeptical that there will be sufficient independence to raise difficult questions, much less objections.

This situation is apparent in the August 22, 2018 edition of the Environmental Notice Bulletin (ENB) issued weekly by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, or DEC. This edition of the ENB gives the public notice that a “Cedar River Bridge and Recreational Trail” is the subject of a permit application by the DEC’s Division of Lands and Forests. The decider of that permit application is the Permits Division of the same DEC. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Brendan Wiltse: Time to Lead on Wilderness

High Peaks by Brendan WiltseNew York State is one of the birthplaces of the American idea of wilderness. The Adirondack Park stands with Yellowstone and Yosemite as iconic landscapes that helped shape our ideas of the value of wild places. The Adirondacks served as inspiration to many of the early champions of wilderness preservation, from Ralph Waldo Emerson and his compatriots at the famed Philosophers’ Camp to Bob Marshall and Howard Zahniser, who pushed to create a national wilderness-preservation system.

Indeed, the Adirondack Park is of global significance. UNESCO recognized the value of these lands and waters when it established the Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve in 1989. It is one of just thirty Biosphere Reserves in the United States. » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 27, 2018

Tony Goodwin: Peaks Don’t Need Permits

hiker on Giant MountainThe July/August issue of the Explorer carried an impassioned call from Chris Amato for the Department of Environmental Conservation to implement a permit system for the High Peaks Wilderness Area.

Amato’s rationale was that the High Peaks no longer meet the definition of a “wilderness area” contained in the Adirondack State Land Master Plan (ASLMP). The ASLMP definition includes the phrases “untrammeled by man” and “outstanding opportunities for solitude.” » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 27, 2018

High Peaks Projects Underway, New Regulations Taking Effect

High Peaks boundariesThe High Peaks Wilderness Complex and the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP) Amendments are final and implementation of the management actions described in the two amendments has begun according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

Currently group size regulations for all of the High Peaks Wilderness, including the former Dix Mountain Wilderness lands, are in effect, limiting day use groups (hikers) to no more than 15 people and overnight use groups (campers) to no more than 8 people.  Parking areas along Route 73 have been striped and parking rules are now being enforced there. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, August 26, 2018

Questions Raised Over Adirondack Conservation Easements

lumberyard by Mike LynchWhile some conservationists are concerned about what they perceive as recently increased logging in the Adirondack Park, New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation has begun providing more information about the nearly 781,000 acres of privately owned timberlands covered by state conservation easements.

Those agreements govern many of the larger logging tracts and prevent other commercial development. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 23, 2018

NYCO Mine Expansion Into Wilderness Falters

NYCO mineRemember when New Yorkers approved an Adirondack land swap to keep a mine in business and its employees on the job?

It hasn’t exactly worked out as planned so far.

Five years ago voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing NYCO Minerals to pursue a mine expansion onto the Adirondack Forest Preserve on the east side of the Jay Mountain Wilderness. Local politicians backed it for its potential economic boost, while some environmentalists got on board because of a proposed land swap that could grow the preserve.

Others feared the precedent of permitting resource development in a wilderness.

As it turns out, none of it has happened. The company’s new owners never pursued the swap and have laid off workers. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Sheehan: Kavanaugh Nomination Bad News for Park

West face of the United States Supreme Court building in Washington DCAt the conclusion of his visit to Bear Pond in the St. Regis Canoe Area on August 10, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer answered questions from press and local residents who were worried about Federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Senator Schumer confirmed that Kavanaugh would be bad news for clean air, clean water and public health in the Adirondack Park.

The Senator had come to celebrate Bear Pond’s recovery from acid rain and to warn federal officials not to backslide on clean air rules. The Senate Minority Leader said he was opposed to Kavanaugh’s confirmation. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

20 Years After Canoe-In for Wilderness at Little Tupper Lake

Motorless lakes protest courtesy Nancie BattagliaWednesday marks the 20th anniversary of the Canoe-In for Wilderness on Little Tupper Lake. On August 15, 1998, over 300 people in over 200 canoes, kayaks, guide-boats, rowboats, and one small sailboat, rallied on the sloping lawns of the Whitney Headquarters on the shore of Little Tupper Lake and then paddled out onto the lake in a massive flotilla in the Canoe-In for Wilderness at Little Tupper Lake.

This event was the biggest environmental rally in a very challenging and divisive time in Adirondack Park history. Those who gathered that day were unabashed in their support for a Wilderness classification for the newly purchased Little Tupper Lake. A number of important motorless waters were created in the years after the Canoe-In for Wilderness. In 1998, there had not been a major piece of land classified as Wilderness since the late 1980s when the Blue Ridge and West Canada Lake Wilderness Areas were expanded around Cedar River Flow. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Invasives: POOL Owner Citizen Science Program

Asian longhorned beetle The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has encouraged New York pool owners to participate in DEC’s annual Asian Longhorned Beetle Swimming Pool Survey during the month of August.

This is the time of year when Asian longhorned beetles (ALB) emerge as adults and are most active outside of their host tree. The goal of the survey is to look for and find these exotic, invasive beetles before these pests cause serious damage to our forests and street trees. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Wildlife Refuges Opening To Public Visits

Western Adirondacks Upper Mohawk Valley Eastern Lake Ontario WMAs - Region 6 Several typically restricted Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties will be open to the public from Saturday, August 11, through Sunday, August 26, 2018.

Portions of these WMAs are marked as “Refuge” or “Wetlands Restricted Area” to allow waterfowl and other listed species to breed and raise young without interference from people. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

At APA Thursday: Caroga, Gore Mountain, LG RV Park and More

APA Building in Ray Brook NYThe Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook, NY on Thursday, August 9th, 2018.

The meeting will address Town of Caroga’s Approved Local Land Use Program’s zoning ordinance; expansion Lake George Riverview RV Park; State Land reclassifications involving the Gore Mountain Intensive Ski Area, and more. In the afternoon, the Board will tour Mt. Van Hoevenburg Olympic Sports Complex (the public is invited).

What follows is the agenda issued by the APA: » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 6, 2018

180 Acres Protected At Wash Co Grasslands

Birder at Washington County Grasslands provided by DECNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that the State has purchased 180 acres of land to add to the Washington County Grasslands Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The $326,000 land acquisition, located along Plum Road and County Route 46 in the town of Fort Edward, will increase the amount of grassland habitat protected in the WMA to 466 acres.

The Washington County Grasslands WMA is home to more than 100 bird and animal species, including wintering snowy owls and state endangered short-eared owls. The area also provides critical habitat to 10 of the 11 grassland bird “species of greatest conservation need,” including Northern harriers, upland sandpipers, Eastern meadowlarks, horned larks, and American kestrels. » Continue Reading.



Wait, before you go,

sign up for news updates from the Adirondack Almanack!