We have plenty of snow, and snowmobile trail conditions are very good around the Adirondacks. Trails will be busy this weekend, and some areas will be a little icy, especially on turns, so it’s a good time to review basic snowmobile safety.
Everyone operating a snowmobile should be familiar with safe riding practices and all applicable laws, rules, and regulations. The best way to learn is by taking a snowmobile safety course. To find a course, go to the State Parks Snowmobile Education webpage. A safety certificate is required for youth between ages 10 and 18. » Continue Reading.
An oldies channel recently played an old favorite of mine from the past: “Signs,” which originated with a Canadian group in 1971, the Five Man Electrical Band. A line of the song called to mind a rather interesting hike from long ago. The second stanza begins with, “And the sign said anybody caught trespassin’ would be shot on sight,” a lyric reminiscent of certain signs that once caused me more than a little consternation.
In the late 1970s, while exploring the fringes of a unique natural area in Clinton County, I found myself on a very old, rocky, uneven road that crossed both state and private land. The owners of the private land, according to my map, had taken liberties with their property claims, planting some of their posted signs on state-owned land. » Continue Reading.
Dr. Michael Bridgen will speak about the Wanakena Ranger School, and the events and figures that formed it at a St. Lawrence County Historical Association Brown Bag Lunch event on Thursday, February 15th, at noon.
Since the Wanakena Ranger School was established in 1912, it has trained over 5000 students in forest and environmental technology.
The Cuomo Administration has proposed to cap Forest Preserve property tax assessments and change state law from the current system of locally assessed property taxes to a system of Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOTs) with a rate set by the State Comptroller.
The state is doing this to save money because Forest Preserve assessments and the PILOT for tax payments would be centrally controlled. This proposal raises issues about a likely decrease in state lands tax payments over time and subsequent tax shift to private lands in Forest Preserve communities in the Adirondacks and Catskills. » Continue Reading.
While driving down from Isle La Motte in early December, my son and I noticed a fine skim of ice floating down the Alburg Passage. As it collided with the Route 2 bridge supports, it broke into rectangular fragments. I wondered if what I was seeing was typical, or a symptom of changing climate? But a single observation tells you only about the current weather, and says nothing about climate trends.
To understand long-term patterns requires long-term data. So I reviewed ice formation data on Lake Champlain. I learned that between 1816 and 1916, the lake was “closed” to navigation in 96 of 100 winters. In the last 30 winters, the lake has closed 13 times, and just three times this past decade. At first blush, this might seem like overwhelming evidence for less ice, but again, this is not the whole story. » Continue Reading.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents in the Adirondacks. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the Adirondack backcountry.
What follows is a report, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.
Whiteface Mountain, in Wilmington opened its third peak for skiing and riding. The Wilmington trail, off Lookout Mountain is now open. The Wilmington trail, the northeast’s longest intermediate run, is 2.5-miles long, overlooking Wilmington’s Wild Forest.
Photo of Wilmington Trail, courtesy ORDA/Whiteface.
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