Friday, June 24, 2022

Every dollar counts

coins

Money jar filled with American currency. Savings and donations concept.

We’re living in a time when you think a little longer about every dollar you spend—cutting out some of the extras in order to fill the gas tank. We hope you still see value in the work we’re doing with the Adirondack Explorer and our community forum on the Adirondack Almanack,  to bring you news you need about the Adirondack Park.

Our dedicated journalists work hard to bring you comprehensive coverage of the Adirondack Park, from stories about its spectacular natural beauty and inspiring outdoor adventures, to information about the threats and opportunities facing its wildlife, fresh water, and rural communities. Tracking and reporting on policy decisions that impact all of these irreplaceable assets is central to our mission—and it costs money to produce.

Will you help us keep the momentum going?

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Friday, June 24, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (6/24):Customizing a first aid kit

outdoor conditions logoThe following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information web pages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

New This Week:

High Peaks Wilderness: Expect muddy conditions above 3,000 feet in elevation. Expect poor traction and slow progress on steep sections of trail with wet rock. Due to recent rains, high elevation water sources are available to replenish water supplies – bring and use proper filtration devices. Water crossings may be high and fast-moving.

Silver Lake Wilderness: Working with our partners at the Adirondack Mtn Club, a volunteer trail crew recently helped close and relocate two primitive tent sites from the south shore of Woods Lake to the north shore. The objective of the project was to spread out use and improve camping opportunities for NPT thru-hikers. This project was part of a larger trail work effort that ADK Mtn Club organized on June 4, National Trails Day.

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Friday, June 24, 2022

Latest news headlines

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

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Thursday, June 23, 2022

Ginseng: The Root to Health

The media trope of an aged character with their nightstand chock-full of pill bottles may be an unfair cliché, but observing family and friends in their 70’s and 80’s, I’d say it has at least some validity. I’m sure anyone who take numerous meds would like a single fix-all product, a universal remedy. For over a thousand years, an assortment of aches and ailments have been treated by such a panacea, the root of a medicinal plant we know as ginseng. This term is derived from Chinese words for man-root, a reference to its typically forked shape, though Western taxonomists dubbed it Panax, “cures all.”

The genus Panax comprises about 17 species (there’s some dispute), nearly all of which are found in the northern hemisphere. While Korean ginseng is often stocked in health-food stores, our American ginseng is equally good. As for its properties, claims run the gamut. Maladies which could be managed through ginseng include cancer, diabetes, hepatitis, chronic fatigue, dementia, heart disease, arthritis, and immune deficiency. Controlled studies prove ginseng enhances cognition, reduces inflammation, improves stamina, and lessens the severity of the flu. Evidence hints at other possible benefits such as erectile function, but researchers need to apply more rigor to say for sure. Scientific rigor, I mean.

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Thursday, June 23, 2022

Adirondack area organizations announce promotions/new hires

Several Adirondack-area nonprofit organizations, including the Ausable River Association, Adirondack Council, and View Arts Center, recently announced a lineup of promotions and new hires.
Carolyn Koestner joins Ausable River Association and Lake Champlain Sea Grant

Carolyn Koestner. Photo provided by the Ausable River Association.

Wilmington, NY — Carolyn Koestner of Saranac Lake has joined the staff of the Ausable River Association (AsRA). Her position as geographic information system (GIS) mapping and science communications fellow is made possible through a partnership with Vermont-based Lake Champlain Sea Grant (LCSG). Earlier this year, LCSG awarded AsRA a two-year competitive fellowship that provides $25,000 a year toward the hire of an early career professional. A generous donor gave the required match commitment to AsRA to make this new opportunity possible.

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Thursday, June 23, 2022

New Yorkers Encouraged to Review and Comment on Draft Scoping Plan

climate plan

Extension Builds on More Than 18,000 Comments Received Following 11 Public Hearings and Answers the Call for Additional Time to Review Scoping Plan

New York State’s Climate Action Council (CAC) Co-Chairs, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) President and CEO Doreen M. Harris and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos, announced the extension of the public comment period deadline for the Draft Scoping Plan to July 1, 2022. The Draft Scoping Plan, released on December 30, 2021, provides several scenarios informed by proposed policies and actions to help New York meet its ambitious climate directives as part of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act). The extension is based on significant feedback following 11 public hearings – nine in-person and two virtual – and builds on the more than 18,000 public comments received to date. The Climate Action Council is working to meet the Climate Act goals and make recommendations to the Governor and Legislature by the end of the year as part of the Final Scoping Plan. New Yorkers are encouraged to review and comment on the Draft Scoping Plan by July 1, 2022.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Moriah’s Ensign Pond and the Great Flood of 1869

moriah map

Running between North Hudson and Moriah Center is a quiet, thirteen-mile section of County Route 4 known as Ensign Pond Road. Drive seven miles down this road from North Hudson and you will reach its namesake, Ensign Pond. This roughly ten-acre pond is a tranquil sheet of water which is guarded over by Harris Hill to the north, and feeds Mill Brook to the east. As you drive toward Port Henry on this county road, it will change names a few times, becoming Dugway Road, then Plank Road, and, finally, Broad Street. From Ensign Pond, County Route 4 follows Mill Brook as it flows towards its final destination: Lake Champlain at Port Henry.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Old Forge: 17th annual Vintage Snowmobile Show set for June 25-26

The 17th Annual Vintage Snowmobile Club of America (VSCA) National Show will be held at the George T. Hiltebrant Recreation Center on June 25 -26 located at 201 North Street in Old Forge, NY. Snowmobile enthusiasts and collectors are encouraged to come check out this year’s show which will showcase hundreds of vintage sleds, including the 1962 “First-Ever” Polar/Arctic Cat Model 100XX Prototype.

The show will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. Spectator general admission is $12 for the full weekend, or $10 on Saturday and $5 on Sunday.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Rangers assist with wilderness searches, fire in Black Brook

forest ranger reportTown of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Search:
 On June 16 at 4:55 p.m., Forest Rangers Curcio, Lewis, and Praczkajlo responded to a report of a hiker with an ankle injury on Algonquin Peak. Rangers reached the 30-year-old subject from Virginia at 6:55 p.m. and splinted her injury.

Rangers then helped the subject down the mountain. The hiker reached her vehicle at 8:45 p.m.

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Search:
 On June 16 at 7:50 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance in the response to a 22-year-old from Pennsylvania who had suffered a head injury in Avalanche Pass.

By 9 p.m., Ranger Curcio made contact with the individual and her hiking group not far from Marcy Dam. Ranger Curcio assisted the group back to the trailhead and suggested the subject seek further medical attention. Resources were clear at 10:05 p.m.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Meadowmount School of Music Summer Program runs June 25–August 13

Meadowmount School of Music is a summer program for young string players founded by legendary violin teacher Ivan Galamian in Westport, NY, in the Adirondacks, that has helped mold some of the world’s most prominent musicians, among them Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and Joshua Bell. This summer, “the original practice camp” marks its 78th year with its first fully in-person session since 2019 and two new leaders at the helm: Executive Director Mark Hayman, former Executive Director of Young Concert Artists; and Artistic Director Janet Sung, international violin soloist as well as Head of Strings and Violin Professor at the DePaul University School of Music and Artistic Director and Founder of Chamber Music Chicago (and a Meadowmount alumna) – both of whom were appointed in 2021.

Meadowmount’s 2022 session takes place June 25 – August 13. During that time, approximately 175 young violinists, violists, and cellists, aided by a roster of teaching faculty and guest artists pulled from the top ranks of the music world (see below), will engage in a program of intensive study and practice devised by Mr. Galamian to effect, in his words, “a year’s progress in seven weeks.” During those seven weeks, the school’s campus becomes an active concert hub, with three to four performances a week by the students, faculty, and guest artists in Meadowmount’s Edward Lee and Jean Campe Concert Hall.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Trying to keep up with Emily Russell

Emily RussellAs a fan of NCPR journalist Emily Russell, I wanted to learn how she’s able to accomplish so much with her radio news reports. Although usually under 4 minutes, her stories effectively bring attention to people and issues in a creative and entertaining manner. Whether it’s about race or gender issues, abortion, or the issues facing the Adirondack Park, Emily’s stories are always slightly different than mainstream media.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Ducks nesting season in full swing

duck eggs

Throughout northeastern North America, ducks are setting up nests and hatching out ducklings. DEC is in year 1 of a 4-year effort to better understand mallard movements and how they affect their breeding success. More than 250 female mallards were fitted with transmitters and DEC and partners are monitoring their nesting attempts and success. Mallards are one of the most adaptable duck species in the world. Although most people associate waterfowl with nesting near water, mallards and most dabbling ducks are actually upland nesting birds. In the central part of the country, they commonly nest in short grass prairie near small potholes. In the east, we don’t have a lot of that type of habitat, therefore they have to be more adaptable. They will commonly nest in everything from flower beds to hay fields, to a hollowed-out tree!

When ducks or other birds end up in front yards or gardens, DEC often gets phone calls from concerned people about what to do with the nest. As protected migratory birds, the best course of action is usually to leave the bird alone until she finishes nesting. Ducks take about 25-29 days for their eggs to hatch, so the hen shouldn’t be there for more than a few weeks.

Unlike song birds that stay in the nest for several weeks until the young birds can fly, ducks leave the nest within about 24 hours and will walk their brood to a nearby waterbody. Sometimes a hen will move her brood up to 4 or 5 miles across land!

For more information on the eastern mallard research project, or to follow along with migration, please visit Atlantic Flyway Waterfowl Tracking Studies website.


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

DEC announces 2022 ‘I BIRD NY’ challenges

Birder at Washington County Grasslands provided by DECOn June 17, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the start of the 2022 “I BIRD NY” challenges for beginning and experienced birders. Two levels of challenges provide the opportunity to identify birds and learn about birdlife and offer a chance to win birding equipment. With the launch of many New York State Birding Trail segments this year, DEC will be increasing the chances of winning if participants find birds on a New York State Birding trail site.

“No matter where you live, birdwatching is a fun, easy, affordable activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, abilities, identities, and backgrounds,” said Commissioner Seggos. “This summer is a great time to start birding or take your birding skills to the next level by observing birds in the diverse variety of habitats and locations the New York State Birding Trail offers.”

New York State’s wide-ranging habitat types, from the Atlantic Ocean’s sandy beaches to majestic Catskill and Adirondack peaks, Great Lakes shorelines, and everything in between create a birder’s paradise that supports more than 450 different bird species throughout the year. New York offers a wide variety of options in Birding Trail locations with ongoing new sites being added, making it even easier for New Yorkers to get started with this fun activity.

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Monday, June 20, 2022

National Pollinator Week is June 20 – 26

Pollinator Week is June 20-26. It is an annual celebration in support of pollinator health, established and managed by Pollinator Partnership. This week is a prime time to raise awareness for pollinators and also to spread the word about what people can do in order to protect them. Those interested are encouraged to celebrate Pollinator Week get involved by taking part in a variety of activities such as planting for pollinators, hosting garden tours, participating in online bee and butterfly ID workshops, and more.

Fast facts from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation:

  • Pollinators are essential to our environment, and they provide an ecological service for the reproduction of over 85% of the world’s flowering plants, including more than two-thirds of the world’s crop species.
  • The U.S. alone grows more than 100 crops that either need or benefit from pollinators.
  • The economic value of native pollinators is estimated at $3 billion per year in the U.S.
  • Pollinators are keystone species in most terrestrial ecosystems. Fruits and seeds derived from insect pollination are a major part of the diet of approximately 25% of all birds and of mammals.

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Monday, June 20, 2022

John Apperson – Inspired by John Muir’s Battle Over Hetch Hetchy

Family-cooking-near-Main-Camp

Scholars are finally beginning to recognize the significance of Lake George as the site of a prolonged environmental struggle, inspired by John Muir and the Sierra Club, in 1913, when they tried to block the construction of a dam in Yosemite National Park. In New York State, a young engineer at GE, John Apperson, was paying close attention to the national debates over Hetch Hetchy. He believed that the International Paper Company, with its dam at Ticonderoga, was damaging the beautiful islands in the Narrows of Lake George. Within weeks of the disappointing vote over Hetch Hetchy, Apperson took action, and began representing the Schenectady Conservation Council, in Albany, and taking part in the legislative debates concerning New York’s forests and wild places.

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