Monday, April 4, 2022

Town of Inlet seeks support for APA project: Shared Use Public Safety and Wireless Communication Tower, comments due April 7

By Adele Burnett and Margie O’Hara for the Town of Inlet
It’s public comment time for APA Project 2021-0207 – Town of Inlet Shared Use Public Safety and Wireless Communication Tower. The proposed project includes the installation of two monopine telecommunications towers, one 90-feet tall and the other 95-feet tall (95 feet and 100 feet tall to the top of simulated branching); installation of antennas on the towers for T-Mobile, AT&T, Herkimer County, Hamilton County, and the Town of Inlet; and construction of three separate equipment shelters/pads at the base of the towers. The project involves construction of an access drive 1,130± feet in length from Limekiln Road, to connect with an existing 3,010±-foot-long access drive, and then to connect with an additional 830± feet of existing access drive (to be widened) to reach the tower site. Underground utilities will be installed along the access drive.

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Monday, April 4, 2022

Following the funding

water and infrastructure

For our March/April magazine, I sifted through dozens of clean water infrastructure projects in the Adirondack Park. I found around $500 million in projects either planned or under construction, a massive need to improve the critical infrastructure underlying the region and its future.

From sewers in North Creek to drinking water supplies in Essex and St. Armand, town supervisors often fight for years to get the funding to make improvements to their systems – updates that are often required under state directive. The economics of the park make these projects all the more challenging: too few residents to fund the work solely at the local level.

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Kid next to water
Monday, April 4, 2022

National PBS Show Features Adirondack Region

documentary

The Adirondack Region is being featured in two episodes of the PBS television docu-series “Fly Brother With Ernest White II.” One episode is currently airing nationally; the other will be airing later this year.

The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) worked with the show’s producers to bring the show’s host and his team to the region. The ROOST team provided location scouting, background information, and made arrangements for the crew to meet, interview, and learn about the region from those directly involved in the tourism industry.

Now in its second season, PBS’s “Fly Brother” is an award-winning travel series, hosted by Ernest White II, that focuses on friendship and connection in some of the most intriguing destinations around the world.

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Sunday, April 3, 2022

April Harvest of the Month | Spring Greens 

high tunnels

Spring Greens are the edible young leaves or new growth of plants. Spring greens are the tender new growth that first emerges in early spring. In the Adirondacks, spring greens start to appear in greenhouses at the end of March and early April. 

These tender greens are the unofficial start of the new year. They are the first fresh growth of the season! They indicate that young radishes, asparagus, and scallions are coming soon. 

When we say “spring greens”, we mean baby cut lettuce, kale, chard, spinach, and other plants like bok choy. Many times, a variety of different spring greens or types of lettuces are packaged together and called “Spring Mix” or “Salad Mix.”

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Sunday, April 3, 2022

Climate change and debunking the ‘CO2 fertilization effect’

Young beech trees retain their leaves throughout the winter months

Scientist-like persons hired by the fossil fuel industry have long maintained we should celebrate an ever-increasing level of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. This gas, a key building block in the photosynthetic process, can enable plants to grow faster and get larger. It’s been called the “CO 2 fertilization effect.” Many crop yields are projected to increase. And bigger woody plants, the reasoning goes, can amass more carbon, thus helping to slow the rate of CO 2 increase in a handy negative-feedback loop.

In other words, they argue that climate change is good for plants, which in turn will help curb climate change. It’s an elegant win-win situation, and environmentalists no longer have to lose sleep over skyrocketing carbon dioxide. However, as with many supposed “truths,” this argument falls apart upon close examination. It’s like in 1981 when former President Ronald Reagan said “Trees cause more air pollution than automobiles do.” He was referring to terpenols (responsible for the pleasant piney-woods aroma in the forest), which can react with auto emissions to form ozone. In the larger picture, trees reduce air pollution of all sorts – and sequester carbon as well – on a colossal scale worldwide. His statement was “true” in a minor, technical sense for a single pollutant, but it was misleading, and for all intents and purposes, false.

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Sunday, April 3, 2022

Weekly news round up

A collection of interesting reads:

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Saturday, April 2, 2022

A traditional Adirondack Spring with the return of old man winter, lots of bird watching

Old man winter returned today (Sunday, March 27) as it snowed most of the day. I hadn’t checked my little pond behind the house, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there would be some wood frog eggs in it after the warm week we’ve had. Last year I saw eggs in some little pond along Trail 5 when there was snow all the way around them. I don’t know if those made it, but the ones behind the house hatched.

The newts feed on those little polliwogs and so do baby painted turtles. I watched them catch some right by the dock at Francis Lake one day. It was a busy day in the bird world today (March 27) as the snow was on the ground when I got up and it snowed most of the day. Looking down on the dam at the carcass there was a Red-tailed Hawk, six Ravens and two Turkey Vultures working for a snack.

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Saturday, April 2, 2022

Be on the Lookout for Amphibians Crossing the Road

amphibiansWith the arrival of spring temperatures, amphibians have begun their annual migrations to woodland pools to breed. Often, they must cross roads to reach these pools. In New York, this migration usually occurs on rainy nights in early April, when the night air temperature is above 40 degrees. When these conditions exist there can be explosive, “big night” migrations, with hundreds of amphibians on the move. Volunteers can help document these locations and help amphibians like wood frogs, spotted salamanders, American toads, or spring peepers safely cross the road. Drivers on New York roads are encouraged to proceed with caution or avoid travel on the first warm, rainy evenings of the season. Amphibians come out after nightfall and are slow moving; mortality can be high even on low-traffic roads.

Photo of wood frog by Laura Heady. 


Saturday, April 2, 2022

This month in Almanack history: Top stories from past Aprils

Adirondack carouselHere’s a look back at top stories from Aprils in past years:

In 2020: Additional clarification of the “NY PAUSE” definition of “non-essential” businesses has resulted in the shuttering of boat launches, marinas and golf courses across the state. READ MORE

Also from 2020: Introverts unite! (From a distance). Tim Rowland comments on how introverts are reacting to social distancing. READ MORE

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Friday, April 1, 2022

Get ticked off

deer tickThese days it’s no shock to learn that officials may not always give us the most up-to-date information on a fairly new disease which poses a grave threat to the public. The surprise is that it doesn’t involve COVID-19.

Since 2016, a nonstop avalanche of new findings on Lyme has crushed a lot of long-held beliefs about this disease. It is regularly misdiagnosed, harder to treat than one might assume, and can debilitate a person for months or years. In a few instances, its effects last a lifetime. Lyme is a huge – perhaps the biggest – health risk to farmers, forestry workers and others whose jobs are principally outdoors. In this first of a three-part series, I hope to correct some misunderstandings about Lyme disease, and explore why it’s so hard to diagnose.

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Friday, April 1, 2022

Outdoor conditions (4/1): Even though it’s April Fool’s mud season is no joke

outdoor conditions logoThe following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Trails are a mix of ice, slush and mud. Higher elevations have 6-12 inches still on trail. Snowshoes are still required at high elevations. Crampons and gators should be carried and worn when needed.
  • Snow report as of 03/31: There is just over 2 feet of snow at the Lake Colden Outpost. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden have spots of open water and slush and are considered unstable in parts. Rivers are crossable but hazardous.

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Friday, April 1, 2022

Latest news headlines

Here’s a look at news from around the Adirondacks this week:

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Thursday, March 31, 2022

Why do we eat what we eat?

farming
What will we eat when the Bugs are gone? Part 2

What you eat and drink is often no less a matter of fashion and tradition than what you wear, with the important qualifier that what you eat has generally much more impact on your health than what you wear, assuming that what you wear at least correlates with the seasons of weather and climate conditions and doesn’t offend people to such an extant that it invites abuse from others. Our Cro Magnon ancestors, who left Africa about 80,000 years ago, were hunter-gatherers who hunted mammals, fished, and routinely ate insects, all of which are good protein sources. They foraged plants which provided nuts, seeds, berries, fruit and roots. Proponents of the paleo diet claim that the fact that we subsisted for 200,000 years on such a diet, and evolved to accommodate such a diet, points to its efficacy. 

What if you want to cut back on your meat consumption, whether for health or environmental reasons, but you lack the imagination to eliminate red meat from your diet altogether? I try to avoid beef whenever possible, and if I am cooking at home, substitute bison, which browse free range, and are much tastier and healthier for you anyway. Bison have lighter impact on the land, being like deer more browser than grazer (grass eater). The word “moose” is derived from “moswa”, a Native American word meaning “twig eater”. Elk are more grazer than browser, but unlike cattle move around to fresh graze, thus allowing grazed lands to recover. 

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Thursday, March 31, 2022

Gardening with native plants workshop

native plant workshop
Get a Jump on Spring Garden Planning with APIPP’s Webinar, Native Plants for Adirondack Landscapes

As the snow melts and red-winged blackbirds arrive, it is time to think spring gardens! And you can support wildlife and help keep invasive species out of the Adirondacks by planting native gardens. Join the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) on Wednesday, April 6 at 10 am for a free webinar to learn how to design beautiful landscapes using native plants.

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Thursday, March 31, 2022

ECOs help catch bank robbers, assist with ice fishing contest

ECOs iceRecent NYS Environmental Conservation Officer actions:

Walleye Challenge – Great Sacandaga Lake, Fulton/Saratoga/Franklin/Essex Counties
On Feb. 18, ECOs and Sheriff’s Deputies in Fulton and Montgomery counties conducted patrols on Great Sacandaga Lake the evening before the annual Walleye Challenge ice fishing contest. Officers checked ice ridges on the lake and alerted event organizers about safety hazards and open water. On the morning of Feb. 19, ECOs were joined by local law enforcement from the New York State Police, Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office, and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office to monitor the challenge, which drew 2,000 participants. Using snowmobiles, ATVs, and UTVs, the Officers focused on public safety. Throughout the day, the ECOs responded to four calls for machines and individuals through the ice and into the water; all who fell through made it out safely. A half-submerged snowmobile was recovered, as well.

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Kid next to water

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