Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Snowmobiler, sled launched 73′ after hitting pressure crack on Indian Lake

forest ranger reports graphicTown of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue: On Feb. 13 at 12:20 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call regarding a hiker who slipped on the ice near the summit of Mount Jo and potentially dislocated his shoulder. At 1:20 p.m., Forest Rangers Duchene and O’Connor reached the 75-year-old from East Syracuse and determined the patient’s shoulder was dislocated.

Attempts to pop the shoulder back in were unsuccessful, but the shoulder was in a better position to be stabilized. Rangers put a sling around his shoulder and arm and at 2 p.m., Rangers Lewis and Praczkajlo also arrived to help walk the subject down the mountain. They reached the trailhead at 4:45 p.m.

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

We won’t stop reporting on road salt

road salt event

The research is done. Now what?

It was great to see so many people take the time to follow our coverage of road salt pollution and then come to our panel discussion last week to hear about what’s next in the fight to reduce road salt use. In case you missed it, here’s Adirondack Explorer’s story.We also have a recording of the event to share, for those who couldn’t make it.

With your help we can continue to create reporting and analysis that helps move the issues you care about forward. All of the reader support we receive pays for our our editorial mission: giving people the information they need to follow progress on issues and to get involved where they can.

We’re looking to raise $40,000 by the end of February for more reporting like this. We’ll to continue to dig deeply into topics like water quality, climate change, wildlife, as well as policy decisions our leaders are making that affect this place we love. Your support is necessary to fund our investigative, enterprise and community reporting.

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Photo: Adirondack Explorer photo from a road salt panel discussion Feb. 15, 2024 at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Discussion time: Follensby Pond

discussion graphic

After waiting since The Nature Conservancy (TNC) bought the. property in 2008, the state and TNC have announced an agreement for protecting Follensby Park.

New York state and The Nature Conservancy have reached a “novel” compromise for both protecting and providing public access to parts of Follensby Park, the 14,600-acre property near Tupper Lake where Ralph Waldo Emerson held his historic philosophers camp. The announcement was made during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.

The state is under contract for two conservation easements. One provides recreational access to lands on the western side of the Raquette River, including the Moose Creek watershed. The other protects the 970-acre Follensby Pond, with limited access permitted for “scientific, educational and cultural purposes.” The final terms of the easement are not currently available and the property remains closed for now.

Read the story here and weigh in with your thoughts. Should Follensby Pond be open to the general public?

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

A breakthrough in Adirondack land protection

follensby pond

The largest land protection initiative in the Adirondack Park in the last decade was announced on a virtual conference call last week.

The state is acquiring two conservation easements, including one on the famous Follensby Pond, from The Nature Conservancy for $9.3 million. About 14,600 acres will be protected overall. People have been waiting for some sort of news about this parcel since 2008 when TNC first purchased it.

The state is expecting to close on the easements in the spring, so we don’t have those documents for details. However, we learned that the state plans to mostly keep closed the 970-acre pond where Ralph Waldo Emerson and other philosophers camped. It will be open to researchers to study cold water fish and other climate-related questions. On Friday I spoke with Katie Petronis, deputy director of natural resources at the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and she said there will be some sort of public access but DEC and TNC are still working out what that will look like. It could be an annual guided tour or some sort of programming with another organization.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Whallonsburg Grange hosts Essex Chili Cook-Off March 3

Essex chili cookoff

Essex Initiatives (EI) and The Whallonsburg Grange Hall, two non-profit organizations in Essex, NY, will host a Chili Cook-Off at the Whallonsburg Grange Hall on Sunday, March 3, between 1 and 4 p.m.

The family-friendly event will feature live music from Ploughman’s Lunch, a chili dinner, and an opportunity to taste chilis competing for the Crowd Favorite Chili category. Tickets for the Essex Chili Cook-Off are $10 (children under 10 are free) and may be purchased in advance online or at the door and all proceeds will go toward entertainment on Essex Day. » Continue Reading.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

NCCC enrollment grows for Spring 2024 semester

North Country Community College students take a break during the first day of classes Monday on the steps of the college’s Saranac Lake campus library. Photo provided by Chris Knight, Director of Communications.

– Enrollment is up for the third consecutive semester at North Country Community College, which started Spring 2024 classes on Jan. 22.

The growth in enrollment this semester is fueled in part by the expansion of the college’s nursing program, the awarding of thousands of dollars in new scholarship funding, and successful student retention initiatives.

North Country has three locations – Malone, Saranac Lake and Ticonderoga – and also offers classes online and at the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Administration Building. » Continue Reading.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Prohibition’s most audacious con

old newspaper headline

By Dave Waite

In October of 1919, Congress passed the Volstead Act, legislation enforcing the ban on alcohol in the United States. With Prohibition enacted, enforcement became a part of the daily work of state and federal police across the country. In New York, the sixty-four-mile land border with Canada offered nearly unlimited opportunity for those on foot, horseback, and motorized vehicles to transport illegal alcohol for delivery to major cities through New York and the East Coast. Called Bootleggers, a term first used during the Civil War for soldiers sneaking liquor in their boots, these men, and occasionally women, risked fines, jail, and even death to carry their cargo south.

When federal and state enforcement agencies endeavored to stem the tide of this illicit activity, the criminals would attempt to outrun the law or simply abandon their vehicles and flee on foot. Rarely did they put up violent or deadly resistance when cornered. This changed over the years as criminals realized that waylaying the bootleggers and relieving them of their load was more profitable than carrying them across the border themselves. The country even took up a slang term for these thieves: High Jacker, likely a shortening of “Highway” combined with the word Jack, which carried the meaning of “one who robs.” These criminals, sometimes posing as law enforcement officers, were willing to use violence and had no concern over endangering innocent lives.

» Continue Reading.

Monday, February 19, 2024

A full day of winter events Saturday in Inlet

inlet fire and ice


Saturday, Feb. 24, will be a day full of  winter events in Inlet, with most of the big events completely free. The day will begin at 10 a.m. at the gazebo in front of the Inlet Town Hall when the coronation of this year’s Frozen Royals, Gina Greco and Kyle O’Connor, will take place and their duties begin. They and the royal Princesses will make an appearance throughout the day at all events.

From a pancake breakfast, make your own stuffed animals and a library book sale to a cardboard sled race, kite flying and a wine tasting.  View the full schedule at

Photo: Participants take part in Inlet’s Frozen Fire and Light‘s kite flying activity in 2020 at The Woods Inn. Photo provided by Adele Burnett of the Inlet Information Office.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Regional Food Justice Summit Gives Everyone a Seat at the Table

Food Justice Summit poster
The 6th annual Food Justice Summit for the Adirondacks will take place on Thursday, Feb. 29 at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, NY. Individuals from all twelve counties of the Adirondack Park will gather at this event to discuss pressing topics related to equitable food systems. Its purpose is to empower those in attendance to become advocates for food justice and to create lasting, positive change in their communities.  » Continue Reading.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Rewiring winter

An electric snowmobile in winter snow.

Despite the season’s limited snowfall, snowmobilers trekked across parts of the park in January and February, including on the Adirondack Rail Trail. Research shows that snowmobiles cause harm to the environment from their exhaust and noise pollution.

But new technology points to a zero-emission transition.

Developed in Canada, electric snowmobiles have yet to become popular in the states and in the Adirondacks, though some are encouraging their presence. That includes the former executive director of the New York State Snowmobile Association.

Read the story here.

» Continue Reading.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Net Zero

candle on a table

As the world confronts the global impacts of global warming and elected leaders scramble for legislative solutions to the climate change crisis confronting all of us, there is something that the powers that be should remember as we sometimes collectively lurch our way towards achieving “Net Zero”:

“Every Goal has Its Price”

This story mingling the current climate crisis with personal experience is fiction.

 Or is it?

To read the full story and decide for yourself, click the link and read on:

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Whallonsburg Grange Winter Lyceum Series begins Feb. 25

Author Author at the Whallonsburg Grange

The Whallonsburg Grange Winter Lyceum series, Author! Author!, will feature presentations by a rich selection of writers discussing their new work, published and in-progress. They will talk about their research, tell interesting anecdotes, discuss mistakes they made and what they left out, and explain what they learned in the process of writing and from discussing their books with live audiences. The series provides a closer look at these books and an opportunity to exchange ideas with the authors.


» Continue Reading.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Discussion time: Rail trail speed limit

discussion graphic

As work on the Adirondack Rail Trail, a 34-mile trail connecting the communities of Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, nears completion, plenty of questions remain on how it will all function going forward.

For example, what should the speed limit be along the route, particularly during the winter months when the trail is shared by a range of users?

As Mike Lynch reports in this Adirondack Explorer article, the DEC is asking for the authority to adjust the speed limit along the trail. Currently it’s set at 55 mph and the agency already has “emergency rights” to lower it in certain sections that pass through communities.

Weigh in on your thoughts: Does there need to be speed limits set along the rail trail? What’s the “right’ speed?

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Weekly news round up

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Recent storm spurs memory of Chibougamau Lake fishing trip

Blue Jays sitting in a tree

We hit all kinds of weather and temperature changes going to Utica two times this week. Starting out in the dark on Friday, [Feb. 9] the temperature was near freezing with a misty rain that tried to freeze on the windshield, but as we went further south the skies nearly cleared and we even saw a sunrise in Utica. The clouds moved in during the day, but only a few short showers passed through and it was mostly clear on the way home.

» Continue Reading.

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