Monday, April 26, 2021

Go Fish: Stocking Saranac River Salmon

salmonRegional fishery folks are testing new ways of getting salmon ready for the Saranac River, a river salmon once thrived in but were blocked from 200 years ago by dams.

I explored the relationship among the river, the dams and the salmon in a series of stories last year. This spring, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation plans to stock salmon in the river, which it has done for years, but this time keep some in a pen for several weeks. In the pen, the fish, who were born in a hatchery, will be fed and cared for by Trout Unlimited. The idea is these fish will have a better chance to survive and learn the river before they leave it for Lake Champlain. That learning, called imprinting, might make it more likely for the salmon to return to the river to spawn in years to come.

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Sunday, April 25, 2021

You don’t have to be a hunter to enjoy this camp dinner

A Great Pre-Cooked First Night In Camp Meal

*Author’s Note: As we look all eagerly look forward to packing our gear and heading into camp, I thought I’d share a Monroe family “First Night in Camp” meal tradition: “Hunter’s Stew.”

 I first drafted this piece shortly after my “Cliff the Bear” story was featured by Adirondack Life magazine for the second time (once in print, once on-line). For a variety of reasons, I never submitted it.

Sometimes writing, like a good recipe, has to sit & simmer awhile. This one has, so I thought now might be a good time. I hope folks enjoy it. I know everyone, hunter and non-hunter alike, who visits our camp for a meal sure does!

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Sunday, April 25, 2021

Brood X – The Emergence Has Begun 

molting cicadaBrood X is coming. In fact, by many accounts the invasion has already begun. The emergence of Magicicada septendecim; a species of 17-year periodical cicadas; the largest periodical emergence of insects on Earth.

    Periodical cicadas are large, fat, dark brown, flying insects averaging about 1 1/2 inches in length, with a 3 inch wingspan. Pigmented veins form a noticeable ‘W’ on the outer end of their front wings. Their eyes are bright red.

    Different broods of periodical cicadas emerge at different intervals. Some appear annually, some at 2 and 4 year cycles, others every 13 or every 17 years. According to Jody L. Gangloff-Kaufmann, a Cornell Entomologist working in community (non-agricultural) integrated pest management (IPM), Brood X (broods are labeled with Roman numerals), sometimes referred to as the Great Eastern Brood, “is one of 15 broods of periodical cicadas that appear regularly throughout the eastern United States.” Each one is distinctly different.

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Sunday, April 25, 2021

Weekly news round up

A collection of interesting reads:

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Saturday, April 24, 2021

HPAG Report: Hamlets as Hubs and Financial Support

This is the sixth article in a series examining the ideas in the final report of the High Peaks Strategic Planning Group (HPAG) that outlines a plan to build a new and improved management program for the High Peaks Wilderness Complex (HPWC). This article focuses on the ideas cataloged in the last two parts of the report “Hamlets as Hubs” and “Stabilizing Financial Support.”

The “Hamlets” section attempts to lay out ideas for how communities that are overwhelmed by people seeking to hike in the High Peaks can better manage the associated impacts, such as the Town of Keene, and how other communities can attract more visitors, such as North Hudson and Newcomb. Adirondack communities unevenly experience the impacts of the hiking surge in the High Peaks and other parts of the Forest Preserve. The “Hamlets” section is one of the biggest sections in the HPAG report. It includes 30 recommendations for action, more than a dozen alone to manage human and animal waste better.

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Saturday, April 24, 2021

Orgs Release “Toolkit” for New Yorkers Fighting Climate Change

solar panels stock photoFree, Easy-to-Use Guide Provides Resources to Build Support for Local Wind and Solar Projects to Reap Community Benefits

To help community members who want to build support for local clean energy projects, The Nature Conservancy in New York and New Yorkers for Clean Power have published a toolkit to support their efforts. Entitled Building Out a Clean Energy Future, the free, online toolkit provides background, strategies and resources for New Yorkers regardless of prior knowledge about clean energy.

Identifying common barriers and outlining actions to manage and overcome them, the toolkit shares steps that community members can take to support renewable energy projects in their city, town, or village and help bring about the many benefits of clean energy including cleaner air to breathe, a stronger economy with good-paying local jobs, and less carbon pollution, the driver of climate change.

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Saturday, April 24, 2021

Gearing up for gardening

cilantro

Will the pandemic home gardening trend continue?

If you weren’t a gardener before, the COVID-19 pandemic may have inspired you to start a veggie garden. Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Fairfield, Maine, saw a 270% jump in orders the week the coronavirus pandemic was declared a national emergency. Many local nurseries sold out of vegetable transplants fast last spring, citing they couldn’t keep up with demand.

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Friday, April 23, 2021

Geezers Make a Raquette at the Falls

A hike to Raquette River Falls

(All photos are property of the author)

Raquette Falls walk

Since it is difficult to determine what the weather and conditions will be like in early April, the car was loaded with all manner of equipment. Snowshoes, crampons (spiky additions to boots), two flavors of hiking boots, hiking poles, and a sled filled the hatchback, along with the usual packs full of necessities.

Raquette Falls was the goal. A view of the cascade on a beautiful September day caused Jim and Randy to wonder what the river would look like during the spring runoff.

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Friday, April 23, 2021

ANCA Seeks New Executive Director

kate fishKate Fish announces retirement after 12 years leading regional nonprofit

The Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) Board of Directors announced that Executive Director Kate Fish will retire later this year, after nearly 12 years leading the organization. The regional economic development nonprofit has launched a nation-wide search to fill the position.

“Kate is leaving a lasting legacy at ANCA and Adirondack North Country,” said Board President Jim Sonneborn. “Her vision and bias toward action have helped ANCA become a real leader in sustainable economic development. ANCA’s Clean Energy Program and Center for Businesses in Transition are models for other rural areas, and we have Kate’s innovative thinking to thank for that.”

Founded in 1955, ANCA works to build prosperity across northern New York by creating and sustaining wealth and value in local communities through three core program areas: Clean Energy, Food Systems and the Entrepreneurial Economy. In 2019, ANCA took on operation of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative when state funding enabled the hiring of its inaugural director.

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Friday, April 23, 2021

Outdoor conditions (4/23): Spring snow

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

High Peaks Wilderness: On Wednesday, April 21, 5 to 6 inches of snow accumulated at low elevations in the region. Hikers should expect over a foot of new snow accumulation on top of the 2 to 3 feet of existing snow pack at higher elevations. Be prepared for winter conditions and expect poor trail conditions this weekend.

McKenzie Mountain Wilderness: Moose Pond Road is now open.

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Friday, April 23, 2021

Latest News Headlines

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

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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Screech Owls are Cute Killers

screech owlThere is an amusing scene in the comedy “My Cousin Vinny”, where the Joe Pesci character, an inexperienced lawyer from Brooklyn, where local wildlife tends towards pigeons, rats, crows, and stray cats, is staying in a remote back woods Alabama cabin, preparing for the big murder trial, and is startled by a blood curdling shriek in the dead of night. He explodes out the front door, wildly firing a pistol, as the camera suddenly focuses down on a small screech owl in a tree.

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Thursday, April 22, 2021

DEC Releases New York State Hunting Safety Statistics for 2020

New York State Hunting Back TagIncident Rate Increases Slightly; Hunting Remains Safe Activity

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released the hunting-related shooting incident (HRSI) and tree stand or other elevated incident reports for New York’s 2020 hunting seasons. The reports are consistent with the low incident rates observed in the state over the past two decades.

DEC documented 22 hunting-related incidents in 2020, including three fatalities. While up slightly from the record-low 12 incidents documented in 2019, the number of incidents in the 2020 season continues the downward trend in HRSIs observed over the past 20 years. Nine of the 22 HRSIs that occurred last year were two-party firearm incidents, and 13 were self-inflicted. The three fatalities recorded in 2020 were self-inflicted and involved experienced hunters. All of these incidents could have been prevented if hunting safety rules had been followed.

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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Learn about Adirondack amphibians with naturalist Ed Kanze

close up of spotted salamanderJoin naturalist, author, and Adirondack guide Ed Kanze for a look at the amphibians that inhabit Adirondack Mountain woods and wetlands. This program will offer insights into the lives of amphibians and how to identify and gently interact with the ones you find. Ed will show photos of most of the frogs, toads, and salamanders that occur in the Adirondacks, and share his adventures in finding them. Ever met a mink frog or a spring salamander? Here is your chance to learn more about them.
This live, online program is free for Wild Center member households, and is available to others for $15 per household.
Thursday, April 29 @ 6:00 PM Eastern, via Zoom
Click here to register
(only 1 person need register per household)
After registering for this event, you will receive a confirmation with the Zoom link for joining.
With his wife and two teenagers, Ed Kanze lives on eighteen amphibian-rich acres along the Saranac River near Bloomingdale. A frog and salamander enthusiast since he was old enough to toddle, Ed has enjoyed and photographed amphibians widely in North America, Costa Rica, Australia, and New Zealand. He is the author of six books, including Adirondack: Life and Wildlife in the Wild, Wild East, writes the “Wild Side” column for each issue of Adirondack Explorer, and contributes frequently to Adirondack Life. He is a contributing editor at Bird Watcher’s Digest magazine.
Photo of spotted salamander by K.P. McFarland, vtecostudies.org/Almanack archive

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Regulating road salt like acid rain

Several decades ago, acid rain in the Adirondacks helped direct the nation’s attention to new kinds of air pollution.

Despite the local environmental protections here, acids were being carried from coal-fired power plants elsewhere in the country by the atmosphere and falling into Adirondack lakes and streams, killing off fish. The regulatory boundary protecting the park’s forests and wetlands from development and logging weren’t going to stop that.

A national problem needed a national solution. So, in 1990, Congress updated the Clean Air Act to crack down on polluters.

A recent paper, authored by researchers at the University of Maryland, argues that salt pollution, including pollution from road salt, may be so ubiquitous that it now needs such a national solution. “Ultimately,” the paper says, “there may be a need for regulations similar to the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, which were enacted to address pollution from acid rain.”

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