The forecast was for a few inches of snow overnight and bright skies in the morning, so the idea was to ski the remote and scenic Trout Pond Road in Chesterfield before the sand trucks hit it with abrasives. Sure enough, it was sunny in the morning but — no snow. Best laid plans of mice and men, and all that.
DEC Announces New Forest Conservation Easements for Land Trusts Grant Program
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the first round of competitive grants for the Forest Conservation Easements for Land Trusts (FCELT) Grant Program. In partnership with the Land Trust Alliance, a total of $1.35 million in grant funding is available for DEC to award to eligible, accredited land trusts to purchase conservation easements on forested land for the purpose of protecting these lands from future development. The goal of the grant program is to increase the pace of forest land conservation to keep forests as forests and combat climate change.
Applicants may apply for up to $350,000 to fund the acquisition of conservation easements on forest land in New York State. To apply, a 25 percent match of grant funding requested is required and land trusts must be accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.
Funding for the grant program is provided by the State’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). In the 2022-23 Executive Budget, Governor Hochul proposed increasing the EPF to $400 million, the highest level of funding in the program’s history. The EPF provides funding for critical environmental programs such as land acquisition, farmland protection, invasive species prevention and eradication, enhanced recreational access, water quality improvement, and an aggressive environmental justice agenda.
FCELT has a two-step application process, which includes a letter of interest followed by a full application. Letters of interest are now being accepted and are due by May 16, 2022. Full applications are by invitation only. Applicants invited to submit a final application will be notified by June 13, 2022, after which final applications will be due by July 28, 2022. Complete details about this grant opportunity including eligibility requirements and other program elements can be found on the FCELT webpage.
Photo: Land conserved on Upper Saranac Lake, courtesy of Adirondack Land Trust
Tannery Pond Center (TPC), the arts organization in North Creek, NY is on a path of major rebirth and transformation. The Town of Johnsburg has agreed to lease the Tannery Pond building, with its fine theater, gallery spaces, offices and community meeting rooms, to the nonprofit Tannery Pond Center which will assume responsibility and control of this valuable regional asset. The Town and TPC are working to finalize the lease documents in early 2022.
Tannery Pond Center is excited to announce a generous $75,000 matching gift challenge from local philanthropist Glenn Pearsall to support this transformative endeavor. The vision for the future is to be the premier venue for arts and community gathering in the southern Adirondacks, humming with creativity, learning, diverse arts programming, opportunities for community gatherings and a welcoming visitor center. As of March 2022, the Board and supporters of the Tannery Pond Center have almost matched the Pearsall gift and are on track to far exceed it in order to secure the future. This outpouring of support demonstrates a confidence in the future as well as excitement about the potential of Tannery Pond.
In order to achieve these ambitious goals, Tannery Pond Center is adding a second full-time staff person, and is starting a search for a dynamic Executive Director who can lead the organization into the next stage of its growth. A job description and information about how to apply is posted on the Tannery Pond website, www.tannerypond.org/jobs
The Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks had hired me the previous winter. It was now the spring of 1987. Windows and doors were again opening to the hope and then the reality of spring’s warmth. The director of the Schenectady Museum William (Bill) Verner had given me, practically rent free, a desk and telephone from which to begin work as the Association’s first executive director in over 60 years.
It helped that Bill was a member of my board of trustees, and that his knowledge and love for the Adirondacks and Adirondack history from a home base in Long Lake was long and deep.
Town of North Elba Essex County Search and Recovery: On March 16 at 12:30 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance in the search for a subject overdue from hiking in the High Peaks. The 63-year-old subject’s car was located in the Adirondak Loj parking lot with the trail register entry on March 11, stating his destination of Mount Colden via the Trap Dike with an anticipated return of March 13. In partnership with State Police Aviation, DEC Forest Rangers deployed air, sled, and foot operations and were joined by NYSP Investigators, DEC Emergency Management, New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, and Trained Rescue Climbers on March 16 and 17, with no result. On March 18, a Forest Ranger and volunteer rescuer located the subject, Thomas Howard, deceased in the Trap Dike. The subject was packaged and lowered to Avalanche Lake using a steep angle rescue system. The NYSP helicopter transported the deceased to Lake Placid Airport and the County Coroner. Twenty-seven Rangers worked tirelessly on this recovery mission over three days.
Until early March, Paul Smith’s College (PSC) had gone nearly 60 years without winning a national championship. Its 1963 golf team stood alone in school annals – until the recent 2022 U.S. Collegiate Ski Association National Championships in Lake Placid. Not only was the golf team’s achievement finally matched, it was exceeded in spades. Over the course of a week at Mount Van Hoevenberg, Bobcat Nordic skiers accumulated four national championships, three individual national championships, nine podium finishes as a team, 16 All-Americans, and seven Academic All-Americans.
After winning NJCAA championships in skiing, these were the Adirondack school’s first as members of the USCSA.
“It was a complete team performance on the national stage,” said PSC Athletic Director Jim Tucker.
Whether one has owned a pet cat, dog, chinchilla or what-have-you, or merely admired the grace and beauty of a horse or deer, most of us develop positive links with at least one four-legged animal. But for everyone except maybe scientists, warm and fuzzy feelings evaporate when you move up to critters with a thousand or more legs. Insects, all of which have six legs, seldom elicit an oxytocin feel-good rush. I mean it’s unusual for folks to get doe-eyed over a mosquito, yellow jacket or cucumber beetle.
DEC Seeking Counselors, Lifeguards, and Cooks for the 75th Anniversary Season
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that the start of registration for the 2022 DEC Summer Camp season is opening Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 1 p.m. (rescheduled from earlier in March)
In addition, due to current staffing challenges, this summer’s camp program offerings have changed. Camp Rushford and Pack Forest will open for a seven-week season. DEC may open registrations for Camp DeBruce if additional staff become available this spring. Camp Colby will remain closed until 2023 to complete major renovations to the camp.
DEC’s Summer Residential Camps are now hiring counselors, lifeguards, and cooks for the 2022 season. These are great opportunities to be involved in the education and enrichment of New York’s youth at locations designed to create a life-long passion for nature and a dedication to environmental stewardship. Employment at camp begins in mid-June and ends mid-August, and all positions include room and board. Visit DEC’s website to learn more about the qualifications and opportunities as a DEC camps staff member.
The DepotTheatre will ease into live theatre‘s “new normal” with a decidedly abnormal (and eclectic) three-show lineup for the 2022 main stage season, which features a tribute to Sondheim, a riveting drama, and a spookily hilarious musical. The only professional Equity theatre in the Adirondacks, the Depot will continue to adhere to government and Actors’ Equity health and safety guidelines.
“Just as we creatively manage the on-stage reaction to trains that interrupt our performances, we are prepared for whatever protocols we’ll need to implement to protect our cast and patrons,” said Kim Rielly, DepotTheatre Executive Director. “As in 2021, we appreciate everyone’s support and flexibility in making it possible to experience live theatre yet again!”
In a few words, sustainability is the practice of using resources responsibly. It focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
The concept of sustainability can be traced back to the forest management philosophies of Hans Carl von Carlowitz (1645–1714), in his work Sylvicultura Oeconomica (Instructions for Wild Tree Cultivation), in which he established a set of concepts for sustainable management of forest resources. His belief that timber removed from a forest stand should never exceed that which can be regrown through planned reforestation continues to be a guiding principle of forestry today.
Sustainability, as a policy concept, is most-often thought of as the ability to continue use over a long period of time, or as long-term goals and / or the strategies that may be applied to achieve those goals.
Exams Online April 1; Registration Deadline March 25
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced that examinations for individuals seeking a license to practice the sport of falconry, become a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator, or use leashed tracking dogs to find wounded or injured big game animals are scheduled for Friday, April 1. The registration deadline for these free exams is Friday, March 25. To provide broad access to these examinations, DEC is offering them exclusively online.
To register for any of these exams, visit the NYSDEC Special Licenses Unit webpage. The link to the registration website (leaves DEC website) is provided on each of the individual license webpages, along with directions on how to register. An email acknowledgment of registration will be sent to applicants along with an additional one-time link to access the website on the day of the exam.
New bus shelters with green, living roofs are coming to public transportation stops throughout the North Country thanks to a collaboration between Paul Smith’s College, the Franklin County Highway Department and The Heart Network.
The senior capstone project is led by students in Paul Smith’s College Environment and Society Professor Deb Naybor’s Social Research and Sustainability classes. Students produced 40 initial designs for the living roofs, and the senior capstone students honed them down to create a set of environmentally responsible concepts for review by the county’s Highway Department.
“I have a signal,” said Dennis after we reached the parking lot, about 250 yards from the trailhead.
“Great! now we need to figure out where to call,” said JR. He started playing with his phone to see if Google would help.
“How about on the board over there?” asked Dennis. He pointed to the information station at the other end of the parking lot.
Dennis is quite resourceful and has good eyesight. Also, he has a phone with a charged battery, which JR quickly found to be lacking with his own.
Before long, Dennis connected with the listed number and the Rangers were on the way. Dennis and JR were instructed to wait in place.
Never having been any good at waiting, or following instructions, JR took one of their party’s two cars on a short to exploratory mission to see if the access road came out close by. The likely suspect was a road labeled with a Northern Frontier sign. But there was a bright yellow tubular-steel barrier that convinced him that he was not entering. He went back to wait with Dennis.
A new report shines a spotlight on the health and wellbeing of young children and their families in the Adirondack region. The Adirondack Birth to Three Alliance, hosted by Adirondack Foundation, today unveiled the study, “The Wellbeing of Infants and Toddlers in the Adirondacks,” which provides a comprehensive analysis across the three categories: Strong Families, Healthy Children and High-Quality Early Learning.
This pioneering study, now in its second edition, emphasizes that the first 1,000 days are the most influential in a child’s development. Moreover, the data reveals that early experiences influence children’s brain development, overall health and their long-term success in school and life. The Adirondack Birth to Three Alliance asserts that investing in the early education sector, healthcare systems and other service providers will help ensure that children and families thrive both socially and economically.
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