Tuesday, June 30, 2020

High Peaks Recommendations Should Connect to Management Plan

The following is commentary from Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve

Recognizing the initial efforts of the High Peaks Strategic Planning Advisory Group, which issued an interim report last week, Adirondack Wild’s David Gibson had this to say: “An advisory body of diverse stakeholders, all volunteers, has been meeting distantly during the pandemic but nonetheless has reached consensus on recommendations to address some key existing pressure points in the High Peaks Wilderness region. During these tough times, that is an impressive accomplishment.”

However, Adirondack Wild is concerned that the group’s recommendations should be connected to the 335-page, approved 1999 DEC High Peaks Wilderness Complex Unit Management Plan, or UMP.  “Almost every one of the advisory group’s interim recommendations, including expanded use of Leave No Trace, Human Waste, Education and Messaging, Trail Inventory and Assessment, Data Collection and Visitor Information, and Limits on Use can be traced back to policies and actions in the adopted Wilderness UMP. Yet the interim report makes no mention of the UMP and that’s a worry,” Gibson added.

Adirondack Wild believes that ignoring the High Peaks Unit Management Plan invites management and user conflicts. “The UMP, which took years of stakeholder efforts and was adopted by the Adirondack Park Agency and DEC, is the coordinating document that ties otherwise disparate management activities together to benefit an enduring Wilderness resource.  We know the UMP may need to be updated to meet current challenges. The Advisory Group ought to be devoting part of its time to recommend specific parts of the UMP that require updating,” he continued.

To quote from the DEC’s High Peaks UMP, “without a UMP, wilderness area management can easily become as series of uncoordinated reactions to immediate problems. When this happens, unplanned management actions often cause a shift in focus that is inconsistent and often in conflict with wilderness preservation goals and objectives. A prime objective of wilderness planning is to use environmental and social science to replace nostalgia and politics. Comprehensive planning allows for the exchange of ideas and information before actions, that can have long-term effects, are taken.”

“One concern we have is that the task force has recommended that the Limits On Use pilot study be conducted on private land adjacent to the High Peaks when, in fact, it is the overused eastern High Peaks Wilderness – public land – that is in need of a well-designed pilot program limiting use.  The 1999 UMP called for a working group to develop a camping permit system, with any decision to implement based upon public input and UMP amendment. That was never done.  A pilot program on private land over the next three years further deflects time and attention away from a critical High Peaks management tool that ought to be tested on public land.”

Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve is a not-for-profit, membership organization which acts on behalf of wilderness and wild land values and stewardship. More on the web at www.adirondackwild.org.

 

Photo: Crowding on Cascade Mountain, eastern High Peaks Wilderness by Dan Plumley/Almanack archive


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Sharing ‘the buzz’ about native bees

There are an estimated 4,000 species of bees native to North American and range in size from carpenter bees, which are over an inch long, to tiny Perdita bees that barely reach 1/16 of an inch. 

Native bees range in color from black or brown with yellow, orange, white, or pearl-colored markings. Others have body parts in metallic green or blue. Some are furry, while others are almost hairless. 

Bees belong to the insect order Hymenoptera, which means “membrane-winged.  These insects possess two pairs of wings, a distinct “waist,” and mouthparts adapted for biting or chewing. Bees are distinguished by their branched body hairs which are helpful in trapping pollen grains, and their wide leg segments. 

The common names of bees often reflect nesting styles and other behaviors. Carpenter, mason, plasterer, leafcutter, digger, and polyester bees are named for the females’ nest-building techniques, whereas orchard, gourd, and alkali bees are named for their preferred habitat. 

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Common Ground Alliance Forum to take place remotely

Adirondack Common Ground Alliance Forum group photo 2016The theme for the 2020 Common Ground Alliance Forum will be Attracting a New Generation of Residents to the Adirondacks. We have selected this theme because we realize that – with aging populations – Adirondack communities face a serious demographic challenge, and we have heard time and again that community vitality is a common-ground issue that we need to be proactive to address.  We are pleased to be working with the Northern Forest Center who will help us guide this year’s discussions. The Center plans to utilize the results of the forum to shape a strategy for communities to position themselves for future population stability and growth.

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Monday, June 29, 2020

Amendment needed to transfer state ownership of Camp Gabriels

Protect the Adirondacks has reviewed the options for the future of the Camp Gabriels complex, a former state prison in the Town of Brighton in Franklin County in the northern Adirondack Park. The site is located between Saranac Lake and Paul Smith’s just outside of Gabriels. The land that the prison complex was built upon is Forest Preserve, protected under NYS Constitution Article 14, Section 1. The prison complex was part of a state purchase in 1982 of over 224 acres. This facility has been dormant since 2009 when the state closed the prison camp.

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Monday, June 29, 2020

Fort Ticonderoga Reopens for 2020 Summer Season

After its usual opening date was put on hold due to COVID-19, Fort Ticonderoga will open for the 2020 season on June 30. The admission capacity this summer will be capped at 400 visitors at a time (unless otherwise announced) and advanced on-line ticketing will be required. You may purchase online tickets at www.fortticonderoga.org. The first initial opening phase will only allow visitors access to the exterior spaces during Tuesday through Sunday, from 9:30 am until 5:00 pm. The last ticket for the day will be sold at 4:30 pm.

 

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Monday, June 29, 2020

HAPPENING TONIGHT: ADI hosts Antiracism Seminar online

On Monday, June 29 from 6-7pm, Nicky Hylton-Patterson, Director of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, along with a panel of black activist scholars from across the region will be holding an online discussion about racism and being black in America.

The seminar is titled: “Antiracism 101: From antiracist actor to ally to accomplice, how do we get there?” The web event is the second in a series dedicated to activating, mobilizing, and engaging the Adirondack community on issues presented by racism and inequality. The session will be 25 minutes long followed by a 30 minutes Q&A with expert panelists via chat.

Antiracism 101 is part of the ADI’s Antiracism Education and Mobilization campaign and each session will give its viewers the tools, language, techniques and strategies to identify and understand, as well as build more racially just and equitable communities within the North Country.

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Monday, June 29, 2020

Friends of Moody Pond launch campaign to eradicate milfoil

Friends of Moody Pond, in Saranac Lake, is an organization dedicated to the conservation and protection of Moody Pond and the surrounding neighborhood from invasive species- specifically Eurasian watermilfoil.

This invasive species was found in Moody Pond in 2018 and makes up at least 3.5 acres (14 percent) of Moody Pond, according to the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program.

A rapid response is essential in managing and eradicating aquatic invasives, and Friends of Moody Pond will be raising funds to educate the public and provide a rapid management response to that end.

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Sunday, June 28, 2020

In lieu of fireworks, Long Lake, Raquette Lake find new way to celebrate July 4

fireworks in old forgeMany locals and tourists in the Adirondacks look forward to watching bright blues and purples explode in the night sky on a warm summer night, in celebration of Independence Day. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, most fourth of July celebrations are either up in the air or downright cancelled.

The communities of Long Lake and Raquette Lake have decided to go a different route and are hosting a new “Light up the Lakes” event on July 2.  

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Sunday, June 28, 2020

Discover Wildflowers Right Outside Your Door

You can find wildflowers just about anywhere! Look for wildflowers at your local park, in your backyard, in fields and forests, and along roadsides. Not only are they nice to look at, but can be food for wildlife, including pollinators.

Learn more in the Conservationist for Kids pollinator issue (PDF). Wildlife may eat the leaves, flowers, seeds or stems.

Below are some species of native wildflowers:

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Sunday, June 28, 2020

Grilling local: Steakhouse Burgers

I love cooking outdoors, and also love to experiment with recipes. This burger recipe produces juicy burgers, regardless of whether they are cooked on a wood, charcoal, or gas grill.

You can use any type of ground meat, but red meat seems to work best for this recipe. Place on buns of your choice, top with your favorite toppings, and enjoy.

I made these burgers using bison meat from Adirondack Buffalo Company, and used some of their amazing mustards to top the burgers (not in the picture). Located in North Hudson, they offer fantastic farm products to the North Country

 

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Sunday, June 28, 2020

Weekly news roundup

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Saturday, June 27, 2020

Survey: Adirondackers split on welcoming back visitors

In a survey of more than 1,000 Adirondack residents, two-thirds thought it was safe to move around their own community, and 45 percent said it was safe to welcome back tourists and visitors

Prior to phase 3 of New York States reopening process, ROOST (The Regional Office of New York Tourism) released a Resident Sentiment Survey to gain a better understanding of the comfort level of North Country residents regarding reopening the economy and getting society back on track.

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Saturday, June 27, 2020

Poetry: Summit

Summit

Wind dances atop
Crane Mountain
blowing sideways
No mosquitoes
fewer deerflies
No sweat beads
bud on face or neck
as the trail dries too
Nature balances
costs and benefits.

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.


Saturday, June 27, 2020

DEC extends online hunter education course

In order to get your hunting license, all aspiring hunters must complete a mandatory DEC hunter education course.

This course will continue to be available through Aug. 31, according to an announcement made by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) commissioner Basil Seggos.

The DEC is also making available an online bowhunter education course, available on July 15.

Since April, 24,000 hunters have completed the online hunter education course successfully. This is about a 20 percent increase from those who usually take the course, and of those who took it, 40 percent were women. This is also an increase from the typical in-person course, where 27 percent of students were women. Almost half of all who took the online course were 30 years or older.

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Friday, June 26, 2020

Outdoor Conditions: Fire towers reopen; campground update

This bulletin provides only the most recent notices. Check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for more detailed information on access, outdoor recreation infrastructure, and conditions.

Emergency Situations: If you get lost or injured; keep calm and stay put. If you have cell service, call 911 or the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch, 518-891-0235.

DEC Campgrounds
Updated: Many DEC Campgrounds and Day Use Areas in the Adirondacks are open this weekend and most others are scheduled to open July 1. Check the current status
of DEC Campgrounds and Day Use Areas.

To maintain social distancing and reduce the density of facilities and protect visitors, DEC is currently not accepting additional reservations or walk-in camping for the 2020 season – only existing reservations will be honored at DEC campgrounds. Only reservations for the 2021 season may be made now.

» Continue Reading.



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Support the Adirondack Almanack and the Adirondack Explorer all year long with a monthly gift that fits your budget.