Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Questions About The Light Usage Of The Essex Chain Lakes

Photo of Sue Bibeau on Third Lake by Phil BrownI have heard from many who have gone into the Essex Chain Lakes area and encountered relatively few other people. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has stated that public use has been very high but provided no numbers. When I rode my bicycle from Newcomb to Blue Mountain Lake on a beautiful 75 degree Saturday of Labor Day weekend last year there were two cars at the Deer Pond parking lot to the Essex Chain Lakes area. This contrasted with the fairly heavy use of people hiking into OK Slip Falls, which is part of the Hudson Gorge Wilderness area.

Through a freedom of Information letter, I requested trailhead logbooks from the DEC to look at the use of other flatwater canoeing locations in the Adirondack Forest Preserve – Little Tupper Lake, Low’s Lake and Lake Lila. These are all wonderful motorless areas that provide incredible flatwater canoeing and overnight opportunities. I had certainly envisioned that the Essex Chain Lakes would become another such vaunted Wilderness destination where visitors were guaranteed a wild experience, away from motor vehicles.

Here’s what I found. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 9, 2016

APA Promoting Lake George Economic Development Plan

Dan at APA (2)The Town and Village of Lake George, in collaboration with The Adirondack Park Agency (APA), will prepare an economic development plan for the Hamlet areas and commercial centers of the communities of Lake George. The APA is working in partnership with the municipalities through its Hamlet Economic Planning and Assistance (HEPA) initiative.

The planning process is expected to involve public outreach to local stakeholders, identify a vision for the communities, and formulate plan components. An initial kickoff meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 18th at 6 pm. The public is encouraged to attend.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

#BeWildNY Alliance Cites Science In Call For Wilderness At Boreas Ponds

boreas pondsThe state’s newest piece of Adirondack Forest Preserve shelters rare plants, pure waters and sensitive wildlife species, while exhibiting high ecological integrity and wild character, according to two recently released scientific studies. The studies are being cited by advocates for expanding the High Peaks Wilderness to include the Boreas Ponds area between North Hudson and Newcomb, north of Blue Ridge-Boreas River Road.

The #BeWildNY alliance argues that the 20,500-acre Boreas Ponds Tract should be shielded from automobiles, invasive species, and motorized or mechanized recreation and called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Adirondack Park Agency to classify most of the new tract Wilderness, and add it to the High Peaks Wilderness. The studies were completed by Adirondack Research LLC and by the Wildlife Conservation Society. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Planting Trees Along The Hudson With YENN, Adirondack Wild, And Forest Rangers

DEC Forest Rangers working with YENN and Adirondack Wild“I never thought I’d be getting my hands dirty and planting trees in such a big forest,” said Jody last Saturday.

She had joined others from the Youth Ed-Venture and Nature Network, Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation for a day of hard work along the Hudson River.  YENN volunteers from tye Capital District met me at the Adirondack Mountain Club Headquarters off of Northway Exit 21 (thanks to Danielle for hosting us).  After a brief orientation to the Adirondack Park, we drove to Luzerne and then up River Road into the Town of Warrensburg. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 2, 2016

Bauer: Checks And Balances Should Protect The Forest Preserve

DEC Headquarters in AlbanyWe’re moving into an era of one-agency rule in the Adirondack Park and that should be very troubling to everyone. For nearly 45 years, management of the public Forest Preserve has been based on checks and balances between the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The APA set management policy and the DEC administered the on-the-ground management of trails and other facilities. The APA created and updated the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan, while DEC drafted individual Unit Management Plans (UMPs), which the APA reviewed for compliance. By and large this joint administration, which provided oversight, accountability, and public participation, worked well for the natural resource protection and public recreational use of the Forest Preserve.

All that is changing. There is little effective oversight by the APA and little accountability by the DEC. We’re in a new era of one-agency control. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Pete Nelson: Close The Road Into The Boreas Ponds

Paddling on Boreas Ponds as guest of The Nature ConservancyThe State of New York has completed purchase of the Boreas Ponds Tract, the final stage of its acquisition of the former Finch Pruyn lands from the Nature Conservancy.  Now the classification process will begin.  As with the Essex Chain acquisition the debate will be over recreational access and protection of its biological assets and its aesthetic experience as a wild place.  As with the Essex Chain the debate will largely come down to roads, in this case Gulf Brook Road, a dirt and gravel road that provides access to the interior of the tract from Blue Ridge Road.

It’s obvious why arguments between wilderness protection and recreational access so often come down to roads, but I think that’s unfortunate.  I think it distracts us from the larger issues of land use and protection with which we should be more concerned.  The issue of Gulf Brook Road in the Boreas classification makes a perfect example.  So let’s look at it in a little more detail. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Lake George Land Conservancy Volunteer Day

IMG_9254Just when I thought winter was over, Mother Nature decides to put me in my place with a late dumping of snow around the High Peaks. Though we may be dragging out the shovels and breaking out the skis, some places in the Adirondacks are getting ready for a bit of spring cleaning.

This weekend, on Arbor Day, The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) office in Bolton Landing is requesting some volunteer help from anyone willing to put in a little elbow grease. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ausable River Management Meeting Wednesday

ausable riverThe public is encouraged to attend and provide comment on the final draft of the Ausable River Watershed Management Plan at an open house on Wednesday, April 27th from 5:30 pm to 7 pm at the Town of Jay Offices at 11 School Lane in Au Sable Forks.

Over five years, people in the Ausable watershed and beyond came together to develop the Ausable River Watershed Management Plan, a snapshot of ecological and community challenges in the Ausable River watershed and a vision for planning that hopes to include community interests and needs. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 25, 2016

The Essex Chain Lakes Lawsuit Explained

Critics contend that incorporating the Polaris Bridge over the Hudson into a snowmobile route would be illegal.Photo by Nancie BattagliaTwo of the Adirondack Park’s major environmental groups are suing the state over the management plan for the Essex Chain Lakes region—a large tract of forest, ponds, and streams that the state acquired from the Nature Conservancy as part of the blockbuster Finch, Pruyn deal.

Protect the Adirondacks and Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Albany contending that the management plan violates the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan, the state Wild, Scenic, and Recreational Rivers System Act, and state snowmobile-trail policy. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Adirondack Climate Change: Deluges In The Forecast

Tropical Storm Irene destroyed or damaged many buildings in Keene and other hamlets in 2011.Photo by Nancie BattagliaA few years ago, Paul Smith’s College scientist Curt Stager came across a rare find that he says helps tell the story of climate change in the Adirondacks: the journal of Bob Simon, a retired engineer and longtime resident of Cranberry Lake.

Simon, who died in 1991, kept a meticulous journal with entries for temperature, wind direction, barometric pressure, water level, ice cover, when loons arrived, and when thunderstorms occurred. He made entries twice a day, morning and night, for the last thirty-two years of his life. Stager received the journal from someone who found it in Simon’s former home, years after the man died. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Children’s Passport to Earth Day in North Creek

IMG_8246For the second year North Creek is focusing children ages 3-10 on Earth Day during a event April 23 from 10 am to 1 pm that features over 15 activities around the village. Children will have the chance to solve everyday problems and learn how to leave the world in a better place.

According to Johnsburg Youth Committee Organizer Kate Hartley the Earth Day Passport activities are within walking distance and teen volunteers will be on hand as guides. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Dave Gibson On The Boreas Ponds Acquisition

Boreas Ponds, Fall 2011 003My first reaction to the announcement of the state’s acquisition of magnificent Boreas Ponds for the Forest Preserve is to celebrate, and to recall how long the Adirondack Nature Conservancy has owned this 21,000 acre tract – the last of the big Finch Pruyn tracts which the state committed to purchase. It was April 2007 when Finch Pruyn employees, then Governor Spitzer, and the rest of the world learned that Finch was selling everything – all 161,000 acres – to the Conservancy, with help from the Open Space Institute. And in the same announcement, that the mill in Glens Falls would continue operations and employment.

This news that April day nine years ago was breathtaking. Adirondack Wild’s mentor Paul Schaefer had dreamed and worked for such a result from the early 1960s until his death in 1996. That was the significance of the Finch forests even fifty years ago. George Davis of the Temporary Study Commission on the Future of the Adirondacks (1968-70) put Boreas Ponds on the cover of the Commission’s final report. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

State Buys Boreas Ponds, Completing Finch, Pruyn Deal

Boreas-600x343The state has purchased the 20,760-acre Boreas Ponds Tract on the edge of the High Peaks Wilderness, the final phase in a multi-year deal to acquire 65,000 acres of former Finch, Pruyn lands from the Adirondack Nature Conservancy.

One of the natural gems of the former Finch property, Boreas Ponds is expected to become a destination of paddlers, hikers, and backpackers. The waterway offers breathtaking views of the High Peaks, including Mount Marcy, the state’s tallest summit, and much of the Great Range.

The state paid $14.5 million for the tract, according to a deed filed April 5 in the Essex County clerk’s office.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Council: State Budget Is Good For Adirondack Park

NYS CapitolGov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders deserve praise for approving a state budget that increases appropriations for the Environmental Protection Fund, enhances programs to fight invasive species and helps communities build needed clean water infrastructure.

The Adirondack Park is a national treasure and a global legacy for us and for future generations. This historic budget enhances that legacy with a $300 million Environmental Protection Fund, $350 million for clean water infrastructure grants, and more. It is a blueprint for how the nation should invest in water, wildlife, wilderness and communities. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

DEC Still Working On Boreas Ponds Purchase

Boreas Ponds aerialThe state hoped to buy the 20,760-acre Boreas Ponds Tract this fiscal year, which ended today (March 31). Although it didn’t happen, the acquisition is still in the works, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation.

“DEC remains committed to the purchase of the Boreas Ponds and is in the final stages of the acquisition,” said Lori Severino, a spokeswoman for the agency.

The purchase will be the last phase in a multi-year deal to acquire 65,000 acres of former Finch, Pruyn lands from the Adirondack Nature Conservancy.

» Continue Reading.



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