Monday, April 29, 2024

Meet a Retired Ranger in Wanakena who wears many hats

Adirondack Almanack contributor, Susan Sweeney Smith, who has written stories about Cranberry Lake, has shared a series of profiles highlighting Cranberry Lake community leaders who dedicate much of their time and energy to volunteer work. These profiles were originally published on the Cranberry Blog. Check out the Cranberry Blog here, and please enjoy Susan’s third submission, a profile on Bernie Siskavich below.

What brought you to Cranberry Lake? When?

New York State Forest Ranger – was working in Region 3 (Southern NY) and this position came open. I’m a North Country boy – wanted to get back into the Adirondacks. I was a Ranger School grad, so it made sense.

We came to Wanakena in 1976 – so much work going on with the mills and mines there wasn’t a place in Star Lake, Newton Falls to rent. So we found a place in Wanakena and rented it – lived there one year and then bought across the street next to Otto’s Abode – still there since 77.

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Monday, April 29, 2024

Over $5.4 million awarded to Catskill & Adirondack Parks for affordable housing, recreation, and more

Exterior of Adirondacks Welcome Center

Funded Projects Will Support Housing Initiatives, Enhance Cultural Amenities and Recreation Opportunities, and Spur Economic Growth that is Compatible with Environmental Protection

On April 24, Governor Kathy Hochul announced more than $5.4 million in awards to 48 communities and organizations in the Catskill and Adirondack parks for smart growth initiatives. The funded projects will support regions renowned for connecting visitors to nature by improving and expanding recreation opportunities; addressing hamlet infrastructure, energy, and affordable housing needs; providing visitor center, theater, and museum enhancements; improving accessibility and safety issues; and supporting comprehensive planning efforts.

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Monday, April 29, 2024

Summer Outlook

Chubb River in June 2023

Muddy trails and warm air are expected in the Adirondacks this summer, as scientists predict above-average temperatures and precipitation. Using a series of climate projection tools, NOAA scientists calculate the chances of weather patterns like temperature and precipitation across the country.

Last year seized the record for warmth, the administration announced in January, and 2024 has a one-in-three chance of exceeding that troublesome title. There’s a 99% likelihood that this year will be among the five hottest, NOAA stated. The switch from El Niño to La Niña later this summer plays a large role in the projections, as the natural weather phenomenon influences temperatures differently across the country. Read more here.

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Sunday, April 28, 2024

A Childhood in Randall: Fishing, penny candy & playing in Grandpa’s barn

A couple pose at their home

During the 1970s-80s my family lived in Randall. When my siblings and I weren’t building forts in the woods behind our house, we were riding our bicycles through a tunnel which went under the thruway and led to Lock 13. If I was alone, I would bring a book to read next to the Mohawk River. With friends, we would bring fishing poles in hopes of catching a perch. Sometimes we hit the jackpot when a big boat would pass through the locks and the people would give us a dollar. We would pedal to Joe’s gas station and spend it all on penny candy. Sadly, the tunnel is now blocked off, but there is a fairly new welcome center.

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Sunday, April 28, 2024

Adirondack Foundation works to make Adirondack voices heard in Albany

The Adirondack Foundation logo

NYS budget boosts resources for child care providers and housing efforts, falls short on child care provider compensation

Lake Placid, NY— Adirondack Foundation has weighed in on the recently adopted New York State budget, noting it will make strides to support child care and affordable housing in the Adirondack region, but falls short of adequately addressing low pay for child care workers. Reacting to the $237 billion budget this week, Adirondack Foundation President & CEO Cali Brooks thanked lawmakers for restoring funding for the Rural Preservation Program, the Small Rental Development Initiative (SRDI) and land banks, and expressed gratitude to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, Sen. Jabari Brisport and Assemblywoman Andrea Clark for placing an emphasis on several critical child care initiatives.

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Sunday, April 28, 2024

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Saturday, April 27, 2024

Sprouting wildflowers & little birds mobbing feeders

A male yellow-bellied sapsucker

Today is Earth Day 2024 and what I see outside isn’t a heavy frost that came overnight, but light snow and 22 degrees on the thermometer. The bird bath is a frozen skating rink for the birds as it was also yesterday morning, April 21. The high temperature yesterday was only 39 degrees, and the little birds were mobbing the feeders as they must have known what was coming. I had a new bird at the feeder for this year yesterday, a Chipping Sparrow, which went away with a band. The day before, I saw three Northern Flickers on a lawn along Limekiln Road feeding with two Robins.

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Saturday, April 27, 2024

Most Adirondack Priorities Restored in Final State Budget

Adirondack Council logo

Lake Climate Studies, Clean Water Grants Secured; Timbuctoo Career Institute Funding Lower

Albany, NY – The Adirondack Council thanked Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie for working with Gov. Kathy Hochul to restore key Adirondack priorities in the $237-billion state budget, including money for scientific research and municipal clean water projects.

The Council also expressed thanks for the Legislature’s efforts to restore the full $500 million in annual funding to the state’s Clean Water grants program. The $250 million boost above the Governor’s original proposal will significantly improve the opportunities for Adirondack communities to obtain funding, the organization said. Rivers that flow from Adirondack lakes bring drinking water to millions of state residents.

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Saturday, April 27, 2024

APA Board approves use of ProcellaCOR to combat Eurasian Watermilfoil

Eurasian watermilfoil

Ray Brook, NY – At the April Agency meeting, the Adirondack Park Agency Board approved a permit authorizing the use of ProcellaCOR to combat Eurasian Watermilfoil, issued an Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan conformance determination, authorized the use of General Permit 2024G-1 to replace an existing General Permit and was briefed by James McKenna, Co-Chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) on their Regional Strategic Plan, the Next Move NY Initiative and Governor Hochul’s New York Forward Initiative.

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Friday, April 26, 2024

Discussion time: Black fly treatment?

black fly larvae

We recently ran a story about how the warmer weather has prompted Adirondack communities to deploy Bti pesticide against black flies earlier than in past years.

While we’ve written about Bti before, this article seemed to spark some debate about the practice: Why we do it? How does it work? And the big one: Is it neccessary?

Some of the comments online focus on concerns about the bigger impact on the food chain/ecosystem. As Steve Hall wrote a few years ago in this Almanack essay, what happens when all the bugs are gone?

Where do you stand on the issue? Let us know in the comments section below!

Pictured above: Black fly larvae found near waters in Colton. Photo provided by Andrea Malik

Friday, April 26, 2024

Outdoor Conditions (4/26): Mud season gates in Independence River Wild Forest, other areas to open today

outdoor conditions logoThe following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry webpages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.


  • Several Mud Season Gates Opening: As of 4/25, DEC plans to open all mud season gates in Independence River Wild Forest by this Friday, April 26. Other mud season gates in the area are opening around this time as well. Check Adirondack Backcountry for weekly updates on other gates in the region.
  • Grass River Wild Forest Access: There are several updates for this area.
    • Public motorized access to Allen Pond via the Allen Pond Road on the Tooley Pond Conservation Easement is open.
    • Access to the Forest Preserve River Corridor along the South Branch of the Grass River via the Spruce Mountain Road on the Tooley Pond Conservation Easement and via the Windfall Road or Buckhorn Road on the Cranberry Forest Conservation Easement is open.
    • Due to hazardous road conditions, public motorized access to Pleasant Lake via the Pleasant Lake Access Road on the Grass River Conservation Easement remains closed until improved.

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Friday, April 26, 2024

Adirondack Artists Guild to feature Jeanne Danforth exhibit throughout May

watercolor painting

Saranac Lake, NY – The Adirondack Artists Guild has announced that Jeanne Danforth will be the featured artist for the month of May. Danforth said she decided to name this show “Puddles” because it’s spring and the artwork is almost all watercolor paintings. The Puddles exhibit will kick off the 2024 summer season at the gallery, following a busy year and a short break for spring cleanup. Danforth is well known throughout the area for her evocative and luminous paintings of farms, animals, and roadside scenes.

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Thursday, April 25, 2024

An Arbor a Day…

Little girl and her grandpa planting a tree

Mark your calendars. Arbor Day is upon us! April 26th. In commemoration, I wanted to share my 2024 tree planting journey.

This story earned Grampa an Ari Rae fist bump of approval. (This piece could have been alternatively titled: “A Forest for the Trees-The Sequel.”)

For the full story, click the link & read on.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Volunteers needed for greenhouse work at Saranac Lake’s Petrova school garden

students work on a garden

Saranac Lake, NY — The Saranac Lake Central School District’s Farm to School program is seeking volunteers to help complete upgrades of the Petrova greenhouse and gardens.

The work will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 4, at the Petrova School Garden, 141 Petrova Avenue in Saranac Lake. The work site is located on the Lapan Highway side of the school building, near the pedestrian bridge. The rain date is Saturday, May 11.

“This represents the next step in our effort to upgrade all of our farm to school infrastructure,” Farm to School Coordinator Emily-Bell Dinan said. “We’re excited to have so much support from students and school district staff, but we need the extra muscle from the community to reach the finish line.”

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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Marina application complete

The marina site on Fish Creek Ponds photographed June 7, 2022.

Fish Creek Ponds marina application complete

An application to upgrade and expand the old Hickok’s Boat Livery on Fish Creek Ponds is complete with the Adirondack Park Agency and open for public comment until Thursday.

USL Marina, the same development team that expanded Saranac Lake Marina on Lower Saranac Lake, is looking to install a new floating deck with 92 boat slips to rent.

The site is just around the corner from the state-owned Fish Creek Pond Campground and has close access to Upper Saranac Lake through a channel.

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