Monday, December 7, 2020

On late-season toxic algal blooms

Recently, I wrote a follow-up to my colleague Ry Rivard’s coverage of harmful algal blooms. Lake George has had a few late blooms this fall.

This topic holds a special place in my journalist heart. When I worked in Auburn, Owasco Lake, which is the drinking water source for a large part of Cayuga County, had harmful algal blooms (more accurately called cyanobacteria) near the City of Auburn’s drinking water intake pipe. Nearly every day in the summer and fall I was writing a story about whether the water was safe to drink and safe to swim in, not just for people, but for pets, too. I wrote about dogs that had died from ingesting the scum. Some cyanobacteria blooms have liver and neurotoxins that are fast-acting and kill pets, waterfowl and other animals.

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Monday, December 7, 2020

Winter Memories – Journaling during a June Day at Beaver Lake

A slight fever only adds to my mood to see the Moose River, the Plains, and to take some walk to an isolated lake. Sitting by the Moose, swelling downstream but pooled where I sit above, I imagine Paul Schaefer here*, speaking before a camera in 1948 to let the world know what would be lost by the building of Higley and Panther Mountain dams.

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Sunday, December 6, 2020

Paying a visit to Debar Pond Lodge

Our Covid-19 socially distanced excursion last week took us to the Debar Tract on NYS Route 30, north of Paul Smith’s College and south of Malone. I wanted to see this area for myself after reading about the controversy over removal of the historic buildings on the shore of Debar Pond. (Click here for the latest article from Adirondack Explorer.)

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Sunday, December 6, 2020

DEC releases deer, trout management plans

Plan Would Help Guide Current and Future State Deer Management Using Science and Public Input

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)  announced the release of a draft Deer Management Plan for New York State for public review and comment. The plan builds upon the progress made by DEC’s first deer management plan, released in 2011, and will guide DEC’s deer management actions to balance natural resource protection, public safety, and recreational and economic interests for the next 10 years. The draft plan is available on DEC’s website and public comments will be accepted through Dec. 28, 2020.

 

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Sunday, December 6, 2020

Weekly news roundup

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Saturday, December 5, 2020

History Matters: Bartók’s Birds

“I have been so upset by world events that my mind has been almost completely paralyzed.”  — Béla Bartók

In the midst of the dark days of World War II, a frail man named Béla Bartók came to Saranac Lake for his health. Although he was one of the greatest composers in human history, many Saranac Lakers might have seen him as just another invalid, tiny and pale, wrapped in his dark cape against the cold Adirondack weather.
Bartók and his second wife Ditta fled their native Hungary eighty years ago, as fascism and antisemitism swept across Europe. He had dedicated his life not only to composing, but also collecting and arranging the folk music of Eastern Europe. Nazi Germany was threatening to erase the cultures of the Roma and other peasant peoples of the region. In the face of such terror, Bartók was depressed, impoverished, and sick with a form of leukemia that acted like tuberculosis. He and his wife moved from one cramped, loud, New York City apartment to another. He had ceased composing.

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Saturday, December 5, 2020

CCE Essex receives grant for logging training courses

Cornell Cooperative Extension Essex County (CCE Essex) received a $2500 grant from the International Paper’s Ticonderoga Branch, and the International Paper Foundation. The money will be used to host two “Game of Logging” courses through the Northeast Woodland Training with instructor David Birdsall, taking place at North Country Creamery in Keeseville.

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Saturday, December 5, 2020

Poetry: Harvest

Harvest

Brown soil is cool and moist in my hands,

Reminding me of who I am,

And of what came before me.

Planting, replenishing, giving back,

Restores me to myself.

This land belongs to everyone,

And no-one,

Though men plant flags to claim dominion.

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Saturday, December 5, 2020

DEC: Give the gift of the outdoors this holiday season

Are you looking for gift ideas this holiday season? DEC’s lifetime sporting licenses make a great gift for outdoors enthusiasts. In addition, for a limited time DEC is offering a one-year subscription to its award-winning Conservationist magazine at half price, as well as gift cards to DEC operated campgrounds.

Sporting licenses

Lifetime Licenses are available to New York State residents who have resided in New York for at least one year prior to purchase (proof of residency required). Lifetime licenses may be purchased at any license-issuing agent, by phone (866-933-2257), or online with a current NYS DMV driver or non-driver ID containing a valid New York State address. Allow 14 days for delivery of Lifetime Licenses purchased online or by phone.

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Friday, December 4, 2020

Bob Marshall’s long-lost arguments for wilderness

The original ideas and arguments organizers used to create roadless wilderness were created by New York’s Bob Marshall. All our ideas about the value of wilderness began with him.  If we ever have to mobilize to save public lands, or if we want to create more of it we need to revisit his arguments that motivated the country to acquire it in the first place. Unfortunately, in the last 50 years many of his arguments have been lost and forgotten, but they worked well once and will work again if we can recover and reintroduce them into the next generation’s advocacy conversation.

From the 1930s through the ’70s, the arguments used to persuade voters that roadless wilderness must be preserved, originated in Bob Marshall’s 1930 essay, “The Problem of the Wilderness.”[1] In that essay, parts of which ended up in the 1964 Wilderness Act, he creatively explained the many diverse and marvelous reasons the preservation of roadless wilderness was essential if mankind’s basic humanity and civilization itself were to survive.

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Friday, December 4, 2020

The Museum Association of NY announces North Country grant awards

north star underground railroad musuemThe Museum Association of New York (MANY) has announced in a press release that 98 museums across New York State have been selected to participate in an IMLS CARES Act grant program, titled “Building Capacity, Creating Sustainability, and Growing Accessibility.”

The grant project is designed to help support those museums that have been impacted by the pandemic and subsequent quarantine, so they may share their collections and reach audiences who cannot physically visit their museums. Under the program, 200 staff will be trained in using new hardware and software in order to engage communities and reach new audiences.

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Friday, December 4, 2020

Outdoor Conditions (12/3): South Meadows, other seasonal road closures

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

Hoffman Notch Wilderness: The Severance Hill trailhead parking lot needs improvement. DEC will be stockpiling gravel and stone in the parking area this fall and will use it to make improvements in spring 2021. Please do not disturb the materials and park only in the remaining designated parking spaces.

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Friday, December 4, 2020

Latest News Headlines

News from around the Adirondacks this week:

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Friday, December 4, 2020

Ski centers gear up for a different kind of season

Some years ski season is in full swing by late November. That isn’t the case this year, but that hasn’t kept me from considering where I’ll be headed during the upcoming ski season.  And I’m wondering where everyone else will be headed.

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Thursday, December 3, 2020

An infamous librarian, the Lake Placid Club and the making of a winter sports hub

For nearly a century the Lake Placid Club Resort complex occupied the eastern shore of Mirror Lake. It began in 1895, when Melville and Annie Dewey leased a farmhouse called Bonniblink on a five-acre parcel of land that he referred to as ‘Morningside.’ They chose this site as a place where they could establish contact with nature, find relief from their allergies, and to foster a model community that would provide for recreation and rest for professional people, specifically, educators and librarians. Dewey and his wife felt that occupations involving “brain work put people at higher risk of nervous prostration that, if not checked, would lead to fatigue and even death”

Melville Dewey was born on December 10, 1851 in Adams Center, Jefferson County, NY. At the age of 21, while attending Amherst College in Massachusetts, he invented the Dewey Decimal System. He then went on to become chief librarian at Columbia College (now University), secretary of the Regents of the University of New York State and state librarian. Dewey was also one of the founding members of the American Library Association (ALA), whose aim was “to enable librarians to do their present work more easily and at less expense.” In 1884, Dewey founded the School of Library Economy, the first institution for the instruction of librarians ever organized.

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