This October, Paul Smith’s College and The Adirondack Research Consortium (ARC) are hosting a series of four “Ask An Expert” panel discussions focused on key environmental, cultural and policy issues facing the Adirondack region and its communities.
The four webinars, hosted via Zoom and free/open to the public, will feature both physical and social science experts discussing a wide variety of subjects, from road salt and aquatic invasive species to history through the lenses of indigenous peoples, slaves and women. Questions for any of the panels can be sent in advance to [email protected].
Over the past few years, articles in the Adirondack Almanack, Adirondack Explorer, and other media outlets, in addition to posts on blogs and social media, has made quite apparent the issues facing the High Peaks Wilderness related to hiking and backpacking.
Matters of hiker education, the ever-increasing number of search-and-rescues, an overly strained and understaffed force of Forest Rangers, parking, and litter have been brought to the forefront of the public’s attention.
A variety of solutions have been proposed by groups such as the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), Adirondack Council, and the High Peaks Strategic Planning Advisory Group (HPAG). A hiker permit system is one of the proposed solutions. In contrast to other articles regarding hiker permits, this one does not opine on the merits of such, but to make readers aware that they were once implemented in the Adirondacks – albeit at a very small scale.
The boating season may have unofficially ended Labor Day weekend, but New York State’s Watercraft Inspection Steward program continues at select locations. To date, this year’s boat stewards have inspected more than 330,000 boats, talked with hundreds of thousands of water recreationists, and intercepted more than 18,000 aquatic plant and animal hitchhikers (including one very important finding of the infamous invasive plant hydrilla!).
The Oswegatchie Educational Center on Long Pond Road in Croghan, NY will be offering its first Mega Duck Dash & Dining Hall Fundraiser, to take place at noon on Sunday, October 25.
The fundraiser is to celebrate the construction of a new dining hall, which was started in September 2019. The construction of the hall finished 2 months early. But due to Covid-19 and the consequential shut down of the Oswegatchie Educational Center’s Summer Camp program, they lost 9 months of operation, and need funds to wrap up the project. This means that for the first time ever, Oswegatchie is adding a fall rubber duck race to its popular annual springtime AdironDuck Race.
Todd Lighthall, the Executive Director of the NYS FFA Foundation says “The AdironDuck Race is about sending kids to camp, but the Mega Duck Dash is about providing them a dining hall that can safely handle the volume of campers we are hosting.”
The Mega Duck Dash will happen online at noon. Each duck will be $50, with a grand prize of $5,000. Ducks may be sponsored up till the day of the race at noon.
All proceeds from this event benefit the Oswegatchie Summer Program Fund, which provides youth scholarships and funds for improvements to the summer program. To adopt a duck, visit https://www.adironduckrace.com and tune into Facebook on October 25 to catch the race. For more information, contact (315) 346-1222.
The first weekend in October is one of the biggest hiking weekends in the Adirondacks each year, and often sees peak leaf color at many locations. Many trailhead parking areas will fill up early and the trails in the High Peaks Wilderness will likely see continued unprecedented crowds through the fall. In an effort to lessen the flow of thousands to the High Peaks Wilderness, Protect the Adirondacks has published online trail guides for 50 terrific hikes and destinations throughout the Adirondack Park in areas outside of the busy and over-used High Peaks Wilderness Area. These online trail guides are available now.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) marked the beginning of fall camping season by reminding New Yorkers and visitors to prevent the spread of damaging invasive species by following state firewood requirements when obtaining wood for campfires.
In recognition of October as National Firewood Awareness Month, DEC is releasing new PSA across the state to help raise awareness about firewood movement and its role in spreading invasive species.
With the cooler temperatures, my mind (and stomach!) automatically turn to soup. Although I dearly love fresh tomatoes and fennel in salads, they are absolutely incredible when roasted along with leeks, and then pureed into a delicious, low-fat, and nutrient-rich soup. In fact, this soup is so good that I ate the entire first test batch in one sitting (yes. By myself. It really is that good!). The tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, vitamin C, folate, and potassium. Leeks are a fantastic source of fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, iron, and manganese. Fennel also provides fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. Each of these components assist in facilitating overall healthy body functioning, including repair of cellular damage and supporting a healthy immune system, making this soup an excellent choice for an immune-boosting dish. Roasting the vegetables allows the sugars in them to caramelize, creating a lovely darker color and fabulous flavor that shines in this simple soup. Although you can lightly drizzle olive oil on your vegetables prior to roasting them, you do not need to. They will still caramelize beautifully!
As some of you may know, I started putting together a weekly news round up that gets sent by email every Wednesday. Dubbed the “Adk News Briefing,” the newsletter is look at some of the week’s top Adirondack news stories, on both AdirondackExplorer.org and AdirondackAlmanack.com. We also dig into what people are finding interesting and/or talking about online.
Almanack contributor Jackie Woodcock took this photo of a bull moose recently alongside the road in Piercefield. Her story this past week has been shared almost 8,000 times on Facebook. Click here to read it.
Back in June something occurred with potentially great significance for the Adirondack Park that flew below the proverbial radar. That month, a letter was mailed from the U.S. Army at Ft. Drum to selected agencies notifying them that “Fort Drum is initiating agency coordination for a new proposed action within the existing nine county Local Flying Area surrounding Fort Drum’s Installation Restricted Airspace area.”
That nine county Local Flying Area includes large portions of the Adirondack Park.
Interestingly, the Army’s letter and lengthy environmental assessment document never mentions the existence or the significance of the Adirondack Park, or of the Forest Preserve, or of state constitutional protection under Article 14.
Former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump 61-29 percent in the Empire State. Biden has a 62-33 favorability rating and Trump has a negative 29-66 percent favorability rating, according to a new Siena College Poll of likely New York State voters released today.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has a 59-33 percent favorability rating, down a little from 65-31 percent in June among registered voters. His job performance rating is 61-38 percent, little changed from June. And by a 73-24 percent margin, voters approve of his job handling the coronavirus pandemic, down slightly from 76-21 percent in June.
Castorland was the location of a courageous but heartbreaking attempt to settle the western edge of the Adirondacks in the late 18th century.
But little would be known of this history if it had not been for William Appleton, Jr. who, in 1862, stumbled across the Journal of Castorland in a Paris bookstand. Castorland…the English translation means ‘Land of the Beaver’… was overseen by Simon Desjardins and Peter Pharoux, who kept a detailed record of the Paris based La Compagnie de New York (Company of New York) from July 1793 until April 1797.
Two years before Appleton discovered the journal, Franklin Hough had published a highly regarded History of Lewis County, New York, in which he dismissed Castorland as ‘unrealistic and overly romantic.’ But Hough, at the time, was unaware of the journal’s existence and had little knowledge of what the New York Company actually experienced. Hough then spent three years translating the document with the intention of revising his History of Lewis County, but he died before that mission was completed.
A recent graduate of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry has created a new multimedia map describing seven northern New York sites that improve the public’s ability to connect with nature.
Jessica Henshaw Grant, the Adirondack Land Trust’s 2020 intern, published an ArcGIS StoryMap entitled “Lasting Conservation: Exploring Publicly Accessible Properties from the Adirondack Land Trust Portfolio.” Grant explored and analyzed 22 sites conserved by the Adirondack Land Trust over 36 years. She summarized her research in the web-based StoryMap application, using interactive maps, audio, video, text and photography to convey results.
The Adirondack Almanack is a public forum dedicated to promoting and discussing current events, history, arts, nature and outdoor recreation and other topics of interest to the Adirondacks and its communities
We publish commentary and opinion pieces from voluntary contributors, as well as news updates and event notices from area organizations. Contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The information, views and opinions expressed by these various authors are not necessarily those of the Adirondack Almanack or its publisher, the Adirondack Explorer.
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