On October 17th the first used oil tankers were transported through Saratoga and Warren counties by the Saratoga and North Creek Railway, part of Iowa Pacific Holdings, to a section of siding track along the banks of the Boreas River in the Town of Minerva, Essex County.
On October 18, twenty-eight used oil tankers cars were lined on track north of the North Woods Club Road on rail line traversing the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest area of the Forest Preserve. Each tanker car is roughly 58 feet in length and the 28 cars line nearly one-third of a mile of rail track. » Continue Reading.
Few places would have benefited more from the 2015 Clean Power Plan than the Adirondack Park. Had the plan been enacted, it would have abated mercury poisoning, cleared the air above the High Peaks of smog and checked acid rain, while, of course, slowing climate change. (It committed the US to cut greenhouse gas emissions by one third before 2030.)
Now that the Environmental Protection Agency has repealed the plan, not only will our air, water and wildlife suffer. Our landscape will too. Thirty miles of railroad tracks deep within the Adirondack Forest Preserve are more likely than ever to become a warehouse for surplus coal cars. » Continue Reading.
Billions of birds undertake migratory journeys each spring and fall. Most of these spectacular movements go unseen, occurring under the cover of darkness.
A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides some of the most compelling evidence yet that artificial light at night causes radical changes in the behaviors of migrating birds. » Continue Reading.
This Columbus Day weekend I decided to put the issue of overuse in the High Peaks region to a little test. I visited three of the most crowded trail heads in the area and hiked from two of them. I also investigated the State’s grand relocation of the Cascade trail and parking.
What I saw confirmed a working theory I have been informally discussing with both private folks and local and state government employees. The theory isn’t mine, indeed a number of people have the idea. It’s a simple concept, really: back country overuse can be mitigated in large part simply by addressing parking issues. In other words, we can manage recreation capacity by more effectively managing transportation capacity. » Continue Reading.
What follows is a statement sent to the press by Protect the Adirondacks:
Protect the Adirondacks opposes the new plan by the Trump Administration and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to abandon the Clean Power Plan set up by the Obama Administration. This is an enormous set back for US policy on climate change and will have negative impacts in the Adirondacks as progress on significant reductions in acid rain over the past 20 years may be lost. The US EPA announced on October 9, 2017 that is was starting the process to take formal steps to officially repeal the Clean Power Plan. » Continue Reading.
A notice inviting public comment about what seems a relatively innocuous, relatively short (1.25 mile) road construction has been circulated by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, or DEC.
The Adirondack Almanack headlined the matter as “DEC planning new road east of Carry Falls Reservoir.”
This is not a small deal. In fact, the 1.25 miles of new road cut through the forest will result in nearly 20 miles of new public motorized access within a sensitive low-elevation boreal ecosystem. For many years, our DEC has been badly conflicted about balancing resource protection and motorized access to this area. » Continue Reading.
Invasive species are increasingly challenging New York water resource managers. New research making it possible to identify waters at risk for future invasion is on the agenda during a new Watercraft Inspection Program Webinar Series developed by New York Sea Grant Extension of Cornell University and set to begin October 19th.
Richard R. Shaker of Ryerson University, co-author of Predicting aquatic invasion in Adirondack lakes will present one of the four sessions in the free webinar series.
Watercraft Inspection Data Collection App Pilot Program survey results, noting recent aquatic invasive detections aboard boats launching or leaving NY waters, as collected by six of the more than 20 watercraft inspection programs in New York State will be highlighted in another session. » Continue Reading.
On September 16th I hiked Cascade Mountain and wrote about the experience. On that day over 500 people hiked Cascade. I returned the next weekend (on Saturday September 23rd), with a friend and survey sheets and clipboards to ask hikers a series of questions. The interviews took about two minutes and many people graciously answered questions. At busy points, we were both talking with groups as others walked by us. This was a rough survey, undertaken as much to learn about what is necessary for conducting this kind of survey as it was for getting some basic data from the hikers on Cascade Mountain. » Continue Reading.
The Village of Lake George took a step forward in plans to replace its more than seventy year old wastewater treatment plant on Thursday with a $4,273,923 grant from the state. The grant was the largest of the $44 million in grants announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to support 24 essential drinking water- and wastewater-infrastructure projects.
The village had already borrowed $1 million to begin designing a new plant, said Mayor Robert Blais. This grant will allow the village to reduce its borrowing.
“We’re grateful the governor recognized the importance of Lake George and the village being able to construct an entirely new waste-treatment plant,” he said. » Continue Reading.
A $494,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will support The Wild Center as it helps students and teachers in New York City, the Catskills and the Adirondacks respond to climate change in their communities.
The three-year Environmental Literacy Grant is a collaboration of The Wild Center, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County, the Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School in Brooklyn, and the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) to build climate literacy and preparedness among students and teachers.
As part of the project, called Convening Young Leaders for Climate Resilience in New York State, high schoolers are expected to learn to assess the effect climate change is likely to have on their communities, work on techniques to convey those impacts to others, and develop the leadership skills needed to shape localized solutions to resiliency challenges posed by the issue. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proposing to amend both the 5 Mile Conservation Easement (CE) Interim Recreation Management Plan (IRMP) and the CE portion of the Raquette Boreal Wild Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP) to construct a road between the Five Mile and the Kildare Conservation Easements in Hopkinton, St. Lawrence County.
The project involves the construction of a new road approximately 1.25 miles in length. The road will provide access to many miles of motor vehicle roads on the Kildare Easement Lands. It will also provide non-motorized recreational access to the adjacent Raquette River Wild Forest and Raquette-Jordan Boreal Primitive Area. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Transportation and The Nature Conservancy are piloting what is said to be the state’s first-ever “critter shelf” for wildlife. Installed this summer inside a large culvert under State Route 12, south of Boonville, in the Black River Valley, the suspended walkway provides a two-foot wide platform for wildlife to scurry through the culvert instead of crossing over the busy road. It is attached to one side of the corrugated steel culvert with brackets and cables.
While Route 12 is an important travel corridor, it can also be a dangerous obstacle for wildlife. Alternatively, wildlife attempting to cross also pose danger to drivers. The Route 12 culvert carries a stream that averages about three feet in depth under the road. The new shelf sits above water level so as not to impede flow, or compromise structural integrity. At 138 feet, it runs along the full length of the culvert and expands the potential for use by wildlife by providing dry passage for bobcats and other wildlife that don’t swim. » Continue Reading.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has announced that it is a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) 2017 Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems program award. WCS will receive about $500,000 in funding for its project, “Experimental Investigation of the Dynamic Human-Environmental Interactions Resulting from Protected Area Visitation.”
Work on the 4-year project will be managed by the WCS Adirondack Program office in Saranac Lake with research expected to begin in 2018.
The project is expected to test the common assumption that expanding access to protected lands will inspire a broader conservation ethic among park visitors. It’s hoped the study results will ultimately inform state and federal policies to increase participation in outdoor recreation and manage public access. » Continue Reading.
Adirondack Wilderness Advocates will receive Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve’s highest honor – the Paul Schaefer Wilderness Award. The wilderness award will be conveyed on Saturday afternoon, September 30th at Adirondack Wild’s annual meeting at the Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek. The meeting includes a Community Forum about Practical Steps to Better Land Use Decisions in the Adirondack Park beginning at 1 pm. » Continue Reading.
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