Thursday, November 12, 2020

Phil Terrie on an important milestone for the Adirondack Park

Nelson Rockefeller signing legislationHistorian and author Philip Terrie has written an article for Adirondack Explorer about an advisory group that issued its findings in a report 50 years ago, with over 180 recommendations. Much came from that effort, including the creation of the Adirondack Park Agency. As Terrie writes:

“A half century ago, on the 15th of December, 1970, Harold Hochschild presented a substantial document to Nelson Rockefeller. Hochschild was a multi-millionaire industrialist, a seasonal resident of Blue Mountain Lake, and the founder of the Adirondack Museum. Rockefeller was the governor of New York. The document was the final report of the Temporary Study Commission on the Future of the Adirondacks (TSC), appointed by Rockefeller in 1968 and chaired by Hochschild during the final year of its investigations and public meetings and the composition of its final report. The result of the confluence of these two powerful figures and of the document Hochschild handed to Rockefeller was the Adirondack Park Agency and the beginning of the modern era of Adirondack history.”

Read the article and then weigh in here. How did the Temp Study Commission change the way we view and manage the park? What kinds of things should leaders and elected officials be focusing on in the next 50 years?

Photo: Former NYS Gov. Nelson Rockefeller signing legislation/file photo.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The fisher cat: Doesn’t fish, isn’t a cat

three sisters preserve fisherWhat’s in a name?  In the case of the Fisher Cat, Pekania pennanti, a low-slung, cat-sized fur-bearing omnivore found throughout the dense pine forests of Northern New York, apparently not much.

The Fisher Cat is not a cat, but rather a member of the weasel family, and they do not fish, although there are records of them eating dead fish found on the side of ponds or lakes.

How did they come by the name, then?

‘Fisher’ is thought to be derived from early European settlers likening the animal to the European polecat, called a ‘fitche’.  As for ‘cat’, the fisher is about the size of a large domestic cat, with a dark brown to black, close-cropped glossy fur coat and a long bushy tail.  It will hold its tail upright when it runs, perhaps making it resemble a cat to some.  Although they don’t climb trees often, they can climb quite well, using their sharp, retractable claws, which are also similar to a cat’s.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Trudeau Institute Fellow Takes Lead Role In Covid-19 Vaccine Trial

Trudeau Institute Fellow Dr. Stephen Thomas has been named lead principal investigator for Pfizer/BioNTech’s phase 3 clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

On Monday, those companies announced early tests showing that the vaccine was more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Thomas, the chief of infectious disease for SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, became Trudeau’s first fellow in 2018. He has worked closely with the Institute on projects targeting Zika virus and other emerging infectious diseases and was co-organizer of the Institute’s 2018 Global Health Summit.

In his role as lead principal investigator, Thomas will assist Pfizer and BioNTech as the companies share trial results with regulatory agencies.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Local Foundation Responds to COVID-19 Crisis

Recognizing the financial stress social distancing and the COVID-19 crisis has placed on area not-for-profits, the trustees of The Glenn and Carol Pearsall Adirondack Foundation this year increased the dollar amount of grant awards over 50% from $87,195 awarded last year to $139,325 this year.

The Foundation had agreed for this year to also consider funding non-for-profit operational costs as well as program-specific requests. Of the 60 grant proposals received, 43 were funded in whole or in part.

Area not-for-profits that received grants from the Pearsall Adirondack Foundation this year included:

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Hiker injuries on Bear Den, Wright Peak

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Minerva
Essex County
Wilderness Search:
 On Nov. 7 at 12:30 p.m., Forest Ranger Quinn contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch advising he was commencing a search for a lost hunter on Northwoods Club Road. Forest Rangers Kabrehl and Sabo were also contacted and responded to assist. At 3:34 p.m., Forest Rangers located the 19-year-old hunter from Wilton based on coordinates he provided, which placed him on the southwest side of Pine Mountain in the Hudson Gorge Wilderness Area. The hunter and Rangers proceeded out of the woods and at 5:30 p.m. The hunter was reunited with his hunting party and Forest Rangers cleared the scene.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Support the Preservation of Debar Pond Lodge

Debar Pond LodgeDebar Pond Lodge is an historic Great Camp designed by noted Adirondack architect William G. Distin, a protégé of Saranac Lake architect William Coulter, and built in 1940. This spectacular rustic-style log lodge stands on the shore of scenic Debar Pond in the northern Adirondack town of Duane (Franklin County). It is listed on the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places.
Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) supports the preservation and public use of Debar Pond Lodge. We should treat this valuable cultural resource the way we treat our incredible natural resources – with great care and stewardship.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has released a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) that calls for the removal of the historic lodge and other outbuildings. AARCH has advocated for the preservation and public enjoyment of this historic site for more than 15 years and has developed multiple alternatives for the site that are legal and compatible with its Forest Preserve setting. That NYSDEC has so completely and thoughtlessly dismissed these alternatives flies against its obligations under the State Historic Preservation Act and sections of Environmental Conservation Law.


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

StoryBridge online story project gains momentum

Libraries and other organizations plan their online story projects using free OurStoryBridge tools

“OurStoryBridge: Connecting the Past and the Present, released at www.ourstorybridge.org on Sept. 29, has received national interest beyond the original expectations of its creators. Based on this interest, OurStoryBridge organizers hope to help New York state libraries and other organizations use this model to create their own audio story projects in 2021.

Shown here: a screen shot from the “Adirondack Community” online story project: myadirondackstory.org

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Free Fishing Day this Wednesday, Nov. 11

Woman holding a fish she caught while on a boatNew York residents and non-residents can fish for free without a license on Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11. New York’s Free Fishing Days encourage more people to get outdoors and enjoy the state’s world-class fishing opportunities. Legislation signed by the Governor in 2015 allowed an increase in the number of authorized statewide Free Fishing Days. Every year since, Veterans Day has been designated as a Free Fishing Day.

The Free Fishing Days program is administered by DEC as part of Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative. The free fishing days program began in 1991, to give people who might not fish a chance to try the sport at no cost, introduce people to a new hobby, and encourage people to support the sport by purchasing a New York State fishing license.

Free Fishing Day participants are reminded that although the requirement for a fishing license is waived during free fishing days, all other fishing regulations remain in effect. When not participating in Free Fishing Days, anyone 16 years of age and older must have a current State fishing license to fish in New York. Fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. You can find more information on purchasing a fishing license on DEC’s website.

For information on boating guidelines and safety, go to State Parks website and for more information about how to PLAY SMART * PLAY SAFE * PLAY LOCAL, visit DEC’s website.


Monday, November 9, 2020

All Franklin County schools to go remote through Jan. 4

coronavirusAll schools in Franklin County will shift to fully remote learning through Jan. 4, Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES announced earlier this evening.

Franklin County Public Health officials strongly recommended making this change because COVID-19 infection numbers have risen exponentially in the last week, calling it an epidemic within a pandemic. The county has reached a point of community spread, meaning officials aren’t able to identify where every case comes from.

In a Monday morning video call, health department leaders asked for help containing the virus from superintendents of each of the seven school districts within Franklin County as well as the district superintendent of Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, November 9, 2020

The ups and downs of the Saranac River

Over the summer, long before any hint of fall and far before the fall of snow, I spent a while on the phone talking about the ups and downs of the Saranac River.

The Saranac was dammed way back in the late-1700s and hasn’t been the same since. Now, a series of dams along the river cause dramatic changes in the flow and elevation of the river. Those changes, the ones that started over 200 years ago and continue to this day, upend the lives of fish and insects in the river and make it hardly the sort of wild river it at first may appear.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, November 9, 2020

Postconsumer Paint Collection Program to begin next year

Hang on to those paint cans in your basement and garage just a little bit longer!

Soon, consumers will have more opportunities to recycle their unwanted waste paint. On December 16, 2019, the Governor signed the Postconsumer Paint Collection Program into law.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, November 9, 2020

North Country Start-Ups Participate in Point Positive Pitch Session

Point Positive, Inc. with vetted entrepreneurs KLAW Industries and Just a Moment Music, held their bi-annual pitch session on October 28. The event was virtually held on Zoom at The Carry in Saranac Lake, with the help of Point Positive Coordinator Melinda Little and Maura Maguire from the Shipley Center at Clarkson.

The meeting contained 15 member investors, and began with a brief presentation from Kip Testwuide (The Vice-Chair of the Trudeau Institute Board) on the status of the Adirondack Health/Trudeau Institute High-speed COVID-19 Testing Lab Initiative, promising a tremendous resource for North Country businesses, schools, and universities.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, November 9, 2020

Explorer launches $100,000 match challenge for year-end fundraising campaign

Heading into the final weeks of 2020, we’re reflecting on what an unpredictable year it has been. From the pandemic, to civil unrest, to extreme storms and wildfires fueled by climate change, 2020’s impacts have been far greater than anyone could have anticipated. These impacts have, of course, been felt locally and globally, at an individual level and also organizationally for us here at the Adirondack Explorer/Adirondack Almanack. And yet, one thing is certain: the hunger for news is stronger than ever before.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 8, 2020

Kids take part in invasives control with release of leaf-munching beetles

An adult beetle feeding on a plant

An adult Galerucella beetle feeds on a potted purple loosestrife plant inside a hatchery.

Hamilton County students got a first-hand look at controlling the spread of invasive plants, thanks to the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Leaf Munchers project. As part of the program, kids reared and released leaf-munching beetles to keep the invasive wetland plant purple loosestrife in check.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 8, 2020

Poetry: We Dare

We Dare

Dare we feel?

This is the time.

Dare we think?

This is the time.

Dare we speak?

This is the time.

» Continue Reading.



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