Article 14, Section 1 — the “Forever Wild” clause of New York’s constitution — has been amended 16 times since 1938, and talks have been under way about three new amendments that could be put before voters.
In the Almanack, Peter Bauer, Executive Director of Protect the Adirondacks, has been working on a five-part series about these proposed amendments.
DEC IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE OPENING OF RESERVATIONS FOR THE 2020 SEASON. RESERVATIONS FOR DATES ON OR AFTER JULY 10 WILL BEGIN AT 8AM ON MONDAY, JULY 6. DUE TO EXPECTED VOLUME, WE ENCOURAGE CUSTOMERS TO BOOK RESERVATIONS ONLINE.
WALK-IN CAMPING IS NOT PERMITTED AT THIS TIME.
As part of the COVID-19 guidelines, and for the courtesy of other visitors and our staff, face masks must be worn when outside your campsite area at any place where social distancing cannot be maintained. All patrons shall practice social distancing.
Only registered campers will be allowed in campground areas, no day visitors will be permitted.
In order to assist with enhanced cleaning, Check-in time is now 2pm and Check-out time is 10am.
There may be limited shower and/or restroom facilities and they may periodically be closed to allow for enhanced cleaning.
Use of facility amenities such as, but not limited to playgrounds, pavilions and day use areas may be restricted or prohibited at certain locations.
Retail sales such as firewood and ice as well as other services such as boat rentals may be restricted or prohibited at certain locations.
To achieve density reduction in our facilities, day use sales and bather capacity number will be reduced.
Verkhoyansk, a small town in the Arctic Circle reported a temperature of 100.4 Fahrenheit on June 20, 2020, setting an all-time record. Indeed, the last 5 years have been the hottest in recorded history. We are also seeing, in the wake of COVID-19, that the consequences of profligate production and consumption of fossil fuels are causing more trouble than just rising temperatures and massive climate disruption.
The New York Times reported on June 18 that, “Pregnant women exposed to high temperatures or air pollution are more likely to have children who are premature, underweight or stillborn, and African-American mothers and babies are harmed at a much higher rate than the population at large, according to sweeping new research examining more than 32 million births in the United States.”
A Harvard study in 2018 reports that, “Student fixed effects models using 10 million PSAT-takers show that hotter school days in the year prior to the test reduce learning, with extreme heat being particularly damaging and larger effects for low income and minority students.”
Going on a journey through the natural world, covering topics from insects and pollinators, to erosion and weather, to amazing apex predators. Check out The Wild Center’s social media pages and website each Monday for the release of new Jr. Naturalist Pages and challenges. Each page will be filled with activities for you to develop your skills as a Jr. Naturalist, encouraging you to get outside to explore, observe, create, and engineer.
This time of year many people are seeing snapping turtles digging in their yards or swimming in home ponds. Snapping turtles and other turtles make their nests in easily dug soil, so they may lay their eggs in backyards and gardens. If the nest can be allowed to remain, hatchlings will emerge in August or September but sometimes overwintering until spring. If the area where the nest has been laid must be disturbed, contact your regional wildlife office for guidance.
Snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) are often described as aggressive, but a better term is defensive. They try to avoid confrontation and are more likely to defend themselves on dry land. When they are on land, try to give them some extra space, and they will move on. In fact, if you see one on land it is usually a female who is looking to lay eggs. Snappers spend most of their lives in the water, where they will generally swim away from people when encountered and are usually docile.
Unfortunately, like many turtle species, snapping turtles face serious threats—being struck while crossing roads or collection for the food and pet trade. It is illegal to collect or relocate a snapping turtle without a permit, and they can only be hunted in season with a valid hunting license.
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: All DEC Campgrounds and Day Use Areas in the Adirondacks are open except for the Hinkley Reservoir Day Use Area. All Campgrounds and Day Use Areas have restrictions and rules to protect visitors and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
This is the fourth article in a series that looks at three possible NYS constitutional amendments to Article 14, Section 1 (the “Forever Wild” clause) that are being debated in 2020. This article looks at the issue of utilizing Forest Preserve lands around Cathead Mountain, in the south edge of the Silver Lake Wilderness area, to locate a new emergency communications tower, similar to such towers on Blue Mountain and East Mountain.
The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) has launched a Tupper Lake Triad paddling challenge.
While hiking challenges have continuously grown in popularity throughout the Adirondacks, so has the Triad in Tupper Lake. Since 2014, more than 5,000 people have completed the Tupper Lake Triad hiking challenge. To build off of the success of the hiking challenge, a committee including ROOST, community leaders, and business owners have worked to establish the Tupper Lake Paddling Triad.
Paddlers are invited to complete what is believed to be the first water-based challenge within the Adirondack Blue Line. By completing three paddles near Tupper Lake, adventurers can earn a sticker, patch, and inclusion on the finisher roster.
The Open Space Institute (OSI) is celebrating the permanent protection of nearly 9,300 acres of forested land in the Adirondacks. The project, achieved in partnership with private landowners, will support sustainable timber practices in the region and expand recreational opportunities
Under the terms of the “Boeselager Working Forest” agreement, OSI secured conservation and recreation easements on two properties owned by the Ketteler-Boeselager family, which has a long-standing commitment to conservation in the Adirondacks, and their native Germany.
The two newly eased properties in the Clinton County towns of Black Brook, Dannemora, and Saranac total 4,970 acres and will be managed as working forest using sustainable timber practices.
This June, the graduates of the class of 2020 have walked through Saranac Lake High School one at a time, to receive their diplomas with no other classmates beside them. It might be comforting to know that this is not Saranac Lake’s first lonely graduation ceremony. At the high school’s first graduation in 1896, there was only one graduate, Francis H. Slater.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in cooperation with seven Great Lakes states and two Canadian provinces, have teamed up on the second annual Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Landing Blitz, a regional campaign to inform boaters and others about the risks of introducing and spreading these invasive pests.
During this coordinated outreach effort, partners throughout the Great Lakes region are educating the public at hundreds of water access sites through July 5.
AIS are non-native aquatic plants and animals that can cause environmental and economic harm and harm to human health. Many AIS have been found in the lakes, ponds, and rivers of New York, and can be transported from waterbody to waterbody on watercraft and equipment.
I begin this commentary stating three facts: Black lives matter; systemic racism is real and deeply woven into every fabric of this country; and it is not safe for Black, African American and persons of color to navigate daily life in the Adirondacks and North Country. Whether it’s the very real possibility of being murdered at the hands of the police, or experiencing daily microaggressions and unconscious biases, life for non-white peoples is often precarious.
Since the death of George Floyd, and subsequent protests condemning and denouncing police brutality, I have sat with my thoughts, searching for something to put in words, carefully considering whether my voice is necessary or if it’s taking up space.
Over the weekend, I watched Saranac Lake High School valedictorian Francine Newman stand in front of her peers, parents and teachers to deliver a thoughtful, forceful and deeply personal speech highlighting the racism she experienced growing up as an Asian American in Saranac Lake.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today urged New Yorkers to practice the utmost safety during the upcoming holiday weekend. Dry weather throughout the month of June has increased the risk of fires.
There are currently three active wildfires in the state: one in St. Lawrence County; one in Herkimer County; and one in Tompkins County. Collectively, these fires are burning nearly 11 acres of land, and in some cases are 18 inches deep, requiring a pump operation with large volumes of water. Two other fires in St. Lawrence County over the weekend burned another 11 acres of land.
The majority of the state remains at a moderate risk for fires, meaning that any outdoor fire can spread quickly, especially if the wind picks up. Campfires are among the top five causes of wildfires. Fireworks are in the top 12. According to the National Safety Council, each year in the U.S. fireworks are responsible for more than 18,000 fires.
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