Sunday, April 29, 2018

Mute Swans: An Adorable Invasive Species

swan by Adelaide TyrolThe big white birds paddling gracefully across a Massachusetts pond last November surprised me. I’d grown up in the town I was visiting and had never seen swans there, although my friend assured me they were resident birds. The only mute swans I’d seen before, years ago, were floating along the River Thames between Eton College and Windsor Castle.

Swans in England have a long history, and the mute swans along the Thames are, by law, the property of the queen. Mute swans on our side of the Atlantic are a more modern phenomenon and have no such protection. In fact, wildlife managers have been working for years to reduce the population of this species in order to protect native habitat and waterfowl. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 28, 2018

Opinion: New York State’s Plastic Carrying Bag Ban

My family has always spent Earth Day cleaning up a trailhead parking area. We’ve managed to gather plenty of disgusting items throughout the years, but the one thing we’ve never seen is a smaller amount of garbage.

There is always plenty of styrofoam containers, to-go cups, plastic straws, and plastic bags tucked into trees or buried in streams. We find paper, personal mail and crates of items that should be in a recycle bin. Cleaning the trailhead never seems to lessen the amount of plastic, or help people recycle. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Arbor Day: What Is An Arbor Anyway?

Muskrat Day. Velcro Appreciation Month. Hair Follicle Hygiene Week. Arbor Day. You know it’s an obscure event when the greeting-card trade hasn’t bothered to capitalize on it. I like to think the industry knows Arbor Day is worthy of a Hallmark line, but that they’ve decided to honor its spirit by conserving paper. (C’mon, it’s possible.) While not the best-known observance, Arbor Day has a respectable history, as well as a local connection.

Rooted in Jefferson County in New York’s northern tier, Arbor Day, which is observed on the last Friday in April, has become recognized around the world. Mr. J. Sterling Morton of Adams, NY germinated the concept of Arbor Day in 1872 to highlight the need to conserve topsoil and increase timber availability in his adopted state of Nebraska. Mr. Morton went on to a sterling career in business, founding the Morton Salt Company, still in existence today. Arbor Day went on to become a somewhat obscure, if virtuous, tradition. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Great Lakes Invasives Writer to Keynote FUND Meeting

death and life of the great lakesPrize-winning reporter and The Death and Life of the Great Lakes author Dan Egan is set to deliver the keynote address at the 2018 FUND for Lake George Annual Meeting on Saturday, July 7, 2018, at the Sagamore Resort Conference Center.

An account of how invasive species have devastated the largest freshwater ecosystem on earth, Egan’s The Death and Life of the Great Lakes shows what the future could hold for Adirondack waterways if invasive species are not stopped. Only hours from the Adirondacks, the Great Lakes are among the main sources of invasive species directly threatening the region. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Adirondack Wild: Limit Motors at Boreas Ponds

Photo by Phil Brown 2016. View of Gothics from Boreas Ponds.What follows is a press release issued by Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve:

In a letter submitted today to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the nonprofit advocate Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve recommends that the Boreas Ponds tract be managed in ways that avoid damage to natural resources and enhance opportunities to experience solitude.

The highly controversial decision by the NYS Adirondack Park Agency in February, approved by Governor Cuomo, not to consider an all-Wilderness alternative, but to split the 20,000-acre Boreas Pond tract between Wilderness and Wild Forest classifications was opposed by Adirondack Wild, which offered many reasons why the entire tract should be managed as an addition to the High Peaks Wilderness area. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

DEC Releases Draft Invasive Species Management Plan

LGA Lake Steward Monika LaPlante inspects a boat in 2010 at the Norowal MarinaThe New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Agriculture and Markets (DAM) has announced the release of the State’s draft Invasive Species Comprehensive Management Plan for public comment.

The proposed plan is designed to minimize the introduction, establishment, and spread of invasive species throughout New York. Comments will be accepted through June 1, 2018. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

25th Annual Conference on the Adirondacks

24th Annual Conference on the AdirondacksThe 25th Annual Conference on the Adirondacks has been set for May 22nd and 23rd at the Conference Center at Lake Placid.

Sherburne Abbott, Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy at Syracuse University and former Senior Science Advisor to President Barack Obama, is set to keynote the conference. Shere will discuss her research and teaching interests at the interface of science and society, principally on issues related to climate change, energy, and sustainability. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 23, 2018

Monroe and Siy: Act Now To Stop Invasives

ais sources for adk parkNo place in the state or nation is more vulnerable to aquatic invasive species (AIS) than the pristine waters of the Adirondacks. New York already has the highest number of non-native forest pests in the country and is adjacent to the continent’s main gateway for the introduction and spread of aquatic invasives — the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. As the map shows, the Adirondack Park is literally surrounded by waterways that harbor dozens of destructive species threatening the Park. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 23, 2018

DEC Offers Plans For Black River Snowmobile Trails, National Scenic Trail

Black River Wild Forest The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is accepting public comment for a proposed amendment to the Black River Wild Forest Unit Management Plan. According to an announcement sent by DEC:

“The primary purpose of this UMP amendment is to classify snowmobile trails to conform to the trail classification system and guidelines set forth in the Management Guidance for Snowmobile Trail Siting, Construction, and Maintenance on Forest Preserve Lands in the Adirondack Park.” » Continue Reading.


Friday, April 20, 2018

Make A Simple Leopold Bench

One of the most memorable occasions I have had with my children is an afternoon workshop at the Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC) in Newcomb.

The day was spent skiing the free AIC trails, sipping hot chocolate while counting birds at the window feeder, and building a Leopold bench. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tyler Socash On Boreas Ponds Area Snowmobile Trail Plans

Frozen tracks across Vanderwhacker PondOn April 3rd, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) held a public scoping session in Newcomb, seeking suggestions for managing some 96,000 acres of recently-classified Forest Preserve lands, including the Boreas Ponds Tract. Hours before attending the meeting, I went on a bushwhack.

Armed with a map and a compass, I set out from Blue Ridge Road with an adventurous spirit into a dense coniferous forest. Meandering along the icy outlet of Vanderwhacker Pond, the sounds from the road began to fade as I followed a bearing of 31 degrees. The babbling stream flowed clearly between unstable ice bridges, beckoning me further along its sinuous path. A clearing in the trees signaled the presence of the frozen pond itself. I stepped onto the ice, surprised by the water body’s size, and was suddenly enraptured by wildness. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 16, 2018

Meeting On Perkin’s Clearing-Speculator Tree Farm Easement Plans

perkins clearing speculator tree farmThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking public input regarding public recreation on the 39,579-acre Perkin’s Clearing – Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Tract in the towns of Arietta, Lake Pleasant, and Wells in Hamilton County.

The area shares boundaries with the Siamese Ponds Wilderness, Jessup River Wild Forest, and West Canada Lake Wilderness.

Written comments will be accepted until May 11, 2018. » Continue Reading.


Friday, April 13, 2018

Celebrate Earth Day, Earth Week In The Adirondacks

McKenzie Trailhead Earth Day Cleanup - AdirondackFamilyTime.comApril 22nd is Earth Day. Time for some reminders that we all need to do our part to protect and preserve our environment. Throughout New York State there are events and activities scheduled to reconnect us with the earth, and to remember we all rely on the same planet.

Since 1970 this special day as been earmarked to “diversify, educate, and activate the environmental movement worldwide.” According to the Earth Day Network, they work with over 50,000 partners in more than 190 countries to provide a platform for the environmental movement.

Celebrating Earth Day doesn’t have to be complicated. It can simply be a way of looking at how we can reduce our own garbage and plastic waste. This year’s Earth Day Theme is “End Plastic Pollution.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Buildings on the Forest Preserve: Public Lodging Facilities

Buildings on the Forest Preserve are limited by state laws, regulations and policies to administrative and historic preservation purposes. The biggest looming threat to the Forest Preserve is the proposal to expand allowable buildings to include public lodging structures through some kind of formal hut-to-hut system.

The final report issued by Adirondack Community-based Trails and Lodging recommends four instances where Forest Preserve lands were included for “hut” locations as necessary stops for one of their proposed 59 hut-to-hut trips. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Revised APA Rules For Large Subdivision, Shoreline Projects

APA Building in Ray Brook NYThe Adirondack Park Agency (APA), which was established to protect the Adirondack Park from inappropriate development, has revised its application processes for large scale projects and variances.

The Large-scale Subdivision Application applies to all subdivisions involving five or more proposed lots, parcels or sites on Resource Management lands, ten or more proposed lots, parcels or sites on Rural Use lands, or twenty-five or more proposed lots, parcels or sites on Low Intensity Use lands. » Continue Reading.



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