Monday, April 12, 2021

Partners work on Pen-Rearing Projects for Atlantic Salmon

salmon courtesy Concordia UniversityFollowing Success of Net Pen Programs for Other Species, DEC Anticipates Increased Survival of Stocked Smolts

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the deployment of two new pen-rearing projects for Atlantic salmon to begin this spring. To improve post-stocking survival and imprinting to the stocked water, experimental Atlantic salmon pen-rearing projects will be conducted in the Saranac River estuary in Lake Champlain and in the Salmon River in Lake Ontario. DEC is partnering with the Lake Champlain Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Plattsburgh Boat Basin on the Saranac River project and partnering with the Tug Hill/Black River Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Salmon River Lighthouse and Marina on the Salmon River project.

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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Barn Owls: The Ghostly Rodent Destroyer

Barn OwlHow do you describe Barn Owls? To begin with, what birds are stranger than owls? The oddly inelegant shape, the seemingly humorless and serious demeanor, the hostile and insistent beak snapping, the strength all out of proportion to their sizes?

And then there is the barn owl, with that heart shaped, almost alien, face, the head wagging when surprised or threatened, the long, gawky legs, and that arrestingly loud, drawn out and raspy hiss, like a cobra with a microphone.

Barn owls are a weird and fascinating species, even within the ghostliest of raptor orders, Strigiformes. The Martians have landed, and they have come for your rodents! In an interesting observation, the Carolina Raptor Center, speculating on the origin of ghosts and goblins in people’s minds, and mindful of the link between old barns, church steeples and agricultural fields, in other words, the proximity of villages to barn owl nesting sites, wonder whether the ghostly appearance, odd hisses, screeches and screams of the barn owl, helped foster such nightmares.

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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Adirondack Council cheers state budget wins

Boreas Ponds Dam photo by Carl Heilman/Wild Visions, Inc. courtesy of the Adirondack Council.The Adirondack Council praised the NYS Budget agreement for treating the Adirondack Park like the national treasure that it is, providing new funding for wilderness preservation, clean water projects and community enhancement.

The Council noted that the budget includes money for state and local officials to cope with overuse of the park’s wilderness by record crowds, new clean water projects, broadband communications, increased diversity and new jobs.

“We thank Legislative leaders Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie as well as Environmental Conservation Committee Chairs Senator Todd Kaminsky and Assemblyman Steve Englebright and the Governor’s office for the Adirondack Park wins in this budget,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway.  “We are excited to see that legislative leaders took Adirondack community needs seriously and worked to address them while keeping environmental protection at the forefront of Adirondack policy.

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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Weekly news round up

A collection of interesting reads:

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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Thoughts On Adirondack Population Recruitment: Five trends to consider

School enrollment map from Northern Forest Center reportRecruitment of new people to live in Adirondack communities is all the buzz. It’s a central focus of the Common Ground Alliance, which contracted for a plan of action for communities with ambitions to recruit more people to move here.

While Adirondack communities recruit young professionals after ages 35 and 45 years old in low numbers and retirees in higher numbers, a premium has been placed on recruiting young adults with young children or young adults who may have children once they move here.

The push for recruitment of new residents is not just an Adirondack thing; it is now in vogue all across Rural America. Many rural areas see recruitment opportunities after a full year of the COVID19 pandemic.

When thinking about and planning for population recruitment in the Adirondacks, local leaders and planners should be aware of five dominant trends that shape population dynamics in the Adirondacks and Rural America.

 

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Saturday, April 10, 2021

DEC Proposes Updates to Wildlife Management Area Regulations

DEC is proposing amendments to the regulations governing Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in order to protect natural resources, promote public safety, and help ensure the multiple uses of New York’s WMAs remain compatible as public demand for outdoor recreation increases. Proposed changes would update and clarify existing regulations—defining the allowable activities and uses of WMAs. Some changes would help bring consistency with existing rules for state forests, campgrounds, and other DEC lands, while others continue the prioritization of hunting, fishing, trapping, and wildlife viewing opportunities on WMAs.

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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Poetry: Dragonfly Dreaming

Dragonflies,

Gossamered in gold iridescence,

Fluttering in double-winged prescience,

Shimmering faery lights,

Trembling in an out

Of reality, magical,

Nearly corporeal, yet,

Nearly not,

Flickering one and one and one,

Bobbing, sentient, sapient,

Perched precariously on single blades,

Among seas of swaying grass,

Blanketing them, gilding them,

In a resplendent dream,

Of Spring,

Like souls of before,

Come again.


Friday, April 9, 2021

At 50, how are APA and DEC Performing?

Report of the Commission on the Adirondacks in the 21st Century April 1990In the just-approved 2021-22 state budget is a $3 billion-dollar environmental bond act, subject to voter approval in November 2022. If approved, it may make a small dent in the $60+ billion needed statewide to upgrade our state’s old water and sewage treatment systems. If approved, it may help to do even more than we are doing today to prepare and make more resilient New Yorkers and their villages, towns, counties and cities for the more frequent and more severe weather events that will continue during a warming climate. And it may help to create more incentives to protect intact forests in private ownership to offset our carbon emissions.

If approved, maybe a tiny amount, relatively speaking, perhaps as little as a few hundreds of thousands of dollars from the $3 billion could go towards an independent evaluation of how well the Adirondack Park Agency and Department of Environmental Conservation are fulfilling their respective, but also overlapping missions.

This also being the 50th anniversary of the Adirondack Park Agency, the question should be asked: has there ever been an evaluation of the agency’s current and past performance visa vi its legislated responsibilities and jurisdiction? The answer is a qualified no.

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Friday, April 9, 2021

Outdoor conditions: plan ahead

outdoor conditions logoPlanning ahead is an essential part of any backcountry trip in the Adirondacks. Research a variety of hikes – or other trips – and pick one that is appropriate for the physical abilities and experience of every person in your group. Estimate how long the hike will take and make a realistic timeline. Using reliable sources, research the route. Double check your route on a map and bring a paper map with you. Research trailhead parking. Share your plans with a reliable friend or family member who will notice if you do not return on time.

Early Season Muddy Trails Advisory: DEC has released an early season muddy trails advisory urging hikers to postpone hikes on trails above 2,500 feet until high elevation trails have dried and hardened. As snow and ice continue to melt at high elevations, steep trails can pose a danger due to thick ice and deep, rotten snow. Thin soils are susceptible to erosion and sensitive alpine vegetation can be easily damaged.

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Friday, April 9, 2021

Siena Poll: Consumer confidence up

consumer confidence graph

The New York State Index of Consumer Sentiment in the first quarter of 2021 stands at 82.5, up 7.7 points from the last measurement in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the latest poll by the Siena College Research Institute (SCRI).

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Friday, April 9, 2021

Latest News Headlines

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

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Thursday, April 8, 2021

Life was hard for Long Lake’s early settlers

ben emerson livonia stanton emersonIn 1849 William Stanton brought his family across the frozen lake to an ice filled cabin on the west side of Long Lake next to Joel Plumley who had arrived in 1832. He was an unfriendly vengeful man. He had been known to set fires, cut tails of animals, and refuse to help anyone. He claimed Long Lake as his own and saw neighbors as intruders. His remarks when asked to help a starving family that arrived in the dead of winter; “Why should I if they are fool enough to come in the middle of December.” William Stanton’s daughter, Lavonia, kept a journal and this text was sourced from that journal.

At age fourteen, Lavonia married a local man named Benjamin Emerson. They moved on to the back section of the land left by John and Alice Boyden who had encountered Mr. Plumley’s wrath because they bought the land that he wanted. One day Alice went out to the back field and discovered that the man had set fire to their hay. That was the final straw. They packed up their belongings, moved across the lake, and built another house.

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Thursday, April 8, 2021

Keeping an eye on dirt

fall salmon river anglersThere are a lot of rivers, streams and lakes to visit. For casual observers, it’s sometimes hard to tell how natural they are. Last year, I spent some time digging into all the ways that dams along the Saranac River change the flow of water and the life of fish.

But dams change something else, too: dirt.

Dams hold back and can suddenly release dirt, or they change the way water flows and those changes, in turn, change how sand and gravel build up both before and after dams’ spot in the river. Whole books, including the classic textbook Fluvial Processes in Geomorphology, have been written on these changes to dirt accumulation, usually known by the more technical word “sediment.”

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Thursday, April 8, 2021

Winter Fish Kills 

winter fish killsNew Yorkers may be seeing more dead fish in the water this spring than in past years. The winter of 2020-2021 created optimal conditions for winterkills, which usually occur in shallow waterbodies with aquatic plant growth.

Winterkill occurs when snow that accumulates on the ice reduces the amount of light penetrating through the water, inhibiting the photosynthesis cycle in plants and reducing the amount of oxygen (a byproduct of the cycle) available to fish and other organisms. The problem is exacerbated when fish die, as the decomposition process also consumes any available oxygen in the pond.

To report a fish kill contact your Regional DEC Fisheries Office.


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Science is Lunacy

full moon provided by champlain area trailsAs if today’s war on science wasn’t bad enough, it seems researchers have been courting further bad press by admitting they’ve spent countless hours on lunacy studies. To clarify, this research is on lunar effects on our behavior and sleep – I don’t know of any work being done to analyze sheer foolishness and irrational acts, the other kind of lunacy. Given the events that dominated the news this January, though, maybe that would be a fair line of inquiry.

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