Author’s Note: Greetings. I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone. Your reads, RETWEETS, FACEBOOK shares, compliments & comments have all been so all greatly appreciated. I especially want to thank Editor Melissa Hart & all the great folks at Adirondack Explorer & here at The Adirondack Almanack. I have truly enjoyed the opportunity they have given me to share some of my adventures & stories with all of you.
Here are a few excerpts from past Adirondack conferences preparing audiences for climate change, severe weather events, and consequences.
Photo: Post Hurricane Irene streambank and instream restoration efforts on the E. Branch Ausable River. Photo by Dave Gibson
September, 1989: George Woodwell, global ecologist and then director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, from an address at the Ausable Club, St. Hubert’s, Keene:
By cutting vast tracts of the world’s forests without replacement, humans are seriously adding to the atmospheric pool of CO2 and diminishing the natural background modulating effect of the earth’s lungs – our forests. A 25% increase in atmospheric CO2 since the mid-19th century, if allowed to continue at present rates, will have a severe impact on our climate. It, in addition to even more dramatic increases in methane and other greenhouse gases, will inevitably lead to global warming and climatic changes on a large scale. Ecological and societal changes, many of which may drastically affect the Adirondack Park, are sure to follow.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that DEC has adopted new rules for deer and bear hunting in New York. Rule changes include extending hunting hours and dress code requirements when afield to improve hunter safety.
DEC announced the proposed changes in June 2021, after adopting the updated New York State Deer Management Plan. After careful review of the public comments received on the proposed changes, DEC adopted the rules as proposed. A summary of the public comments received and DEC’s response is available on the DEC website and in the latest issue of the New York State Register.
The adopted changes:
The following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.
Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: The upper locks on the Saranac River (between Middle and Lower Saranac Lakes) are now self-operated for the fall. The lower locks (between Second Pond and Oseetah Lake) will be manned with a lock tender 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily. Locks can be manually operated in the off hours.
Here’s a look at news from around the Adirondacks this week:
“Adirondack lean-tos are so much more than simple cedar log structures built in the woods.”
“The Bull Rush Bay lean-to is scheduled some time later this month to be demolished and replaced.”
This news hit me like a heavy weight title fight sucker punch in the gut. I’ve been barely able to catch my breath since I first heard this news in a reader comment to my most recent Adirondack Almanack story, “Smoke on the Water,” posted just last week.
NEWCOMB, NY – The Adirondack Park Institute is pleased to announce that local businesswoman and philanthropist Caroline Draper Lussi will be awarded the 2021 Frank M. Hutchins Environmental Education Leadership Award at its Annual Awards Gala on September 17, 2021, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Recent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:
Town of North Elba
Wilderness Rescue: On Aug. 30 at 11:52 a.m., Forest Rangers Evans and Lewis responded to a dropped 911 call reporting a 60-year-old man from Missouri had suffered a knee injury on the Jackrabbit Trail. The Rangers responded to the location, splinted the subject’s leg, and evacuated him using a UTV. By 2:30 p.m., Rangers had returned the subject to the trailhead and transferred him to Lake Placid Volunteer Ambulance Squad.
By Zach Lawrence
I came to the Adirondacks when I was 12. It was much different for me back then, back before I had put down roots. I didn’t even really want anything to do with this place when I was that young. I had it in my mind that the park was cursed. It seemed to me that those who spent too much time inside the blue line were never truly able to leave. My grandparents were from the AuSable Valley. They had all left for long periods of their lives, traveling around the states at the military’s command. But they all ended up right back where they started. My cousins followed the same path, as did both of my parents.
I grew up gallivanting around the Rocky Mountain states due to my father’s career in the Air Force. Montana to Wyoming to Colorado. All I had known growing up was wind and dust. Wind that would find its way under my skin and crack my hands. My knuckles split and bled and stung under the unceasing wind of the plains. Dust had a permanent place in my teeth and in my eyes. In the winter, the snow was no better. Dry as can be, I don’t think I ever was able to make a snowman. Champagne powder they called it farther west in the mountains, but where we were on the plains, it was nothing more than white dust.
So after only living the dry life at 7,500 ft, the Adirondacks were the exact opposite of what I was accustomed to. I remember my first thought when I stepped out of the car at my grandpa’s place in Upper Jay. It felt like the air was sitting on me. It was August of 2012- the sun was high, and the humidity was higher. I was experiencing for the first time a weather phenomenon known by the locals as “muggy,” and I hated it.
Sometimes it’s not enough to let nature take its course. At least, when humans have intervened and altered a wild river, it can take humans to help restore the river’s health.
That’s what’s happening now on the East Branch of the Ausable River, as Explorer correspondent Tim Rowland reports. It’s one of the most revered watersheds in the East, and its health, water quality and ability to shelter cool, deep pools could prove critical to the persistence of native brook trout as the climate warms.
The work builds on years of improvements by restoration partners including the Ausable River Association, whose work restoring “the Dream Mile” intern Ben Westcott profiled for us a couple of years ago.
Ausable River Association stream restoration associate Gary Henry, left, and executive director Kelley Tucker go over restoration plans on the shore of the East Branch of the Ausable River in Upper Jay. Photo by Mike Lynch
Editor’s note: This first appeared in Adirondack Explorer’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Click here to sign up.
Celebration for long-awaited trailhead and visitor amenity improvements draws community and local officials.
The Open Space Institute (OSI) has announced details of the grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting at its new Upper Works Trailhead at the Adirondac Upper Works. (Click here to see a story about the project in Adirondack Explorer) The event will celebrate recent upgrades OSI has made to the site, including the parking area expansion and relocation, stabilization of the McIntyre Blast Furnace, and improved visitor access to the southern High Peaks. The event will take place adjacent to the historic MacNaughton Cottage. Limited event parking will be available at the new, Upper Works trailhead and parking area and along the road. Following the speakers, there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony.
It’s back to school time in the Adirondacks and New York State. One of the things that always happens at this time is reports about school district enrollments year-over-year in a particular area. These stories are useful and interesting, but they usually lack context.
With the beginning of the release of 2020 US Census data in August, Protect the Adirondacks is starting an update of its study The Adirondack Park and Rural America: Economic and Population Trends 1970-2010. The 2020 US Census will enable us to look at a 50-year trend line.
The defoliation of trees this spring and summer by Gypsy Moth (also known as Lymantria dispar) caterpillars left a lot of local property owners feeling helpless to protect their beloved trees. Should we expect similar problems next year? What can be done to prevent infestation, or lessen the damage?
On Thursday, September 23rd, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Warren County and the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District will host a discussion on Gypsy Moth caterpillar infestation featuring Rob Cole from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Office of Forest Health. Cole and Soil & Water Conservation staff will give a general overview of the problems these caterpillars can cause, and how property owners can safely address them this fall and next spring.
“This past year was eye-opening for many people in our county and region, and this presentation will provide some understanding of this insect, its affects and what may be anticipated for next year and beyond,” explained Jim Lieberum, District Manager for Warren County Soil & Water Conservation District.
This event will be livestreamed through the Warren County YouTube page, and those interested in the subject can attend at Warren County Municipal Center as well. Participants will be able to ask questions during the presentation through YouTube chat, and we are encouraging people to submit questions or comments ahead of time for efficiency.
Please email questions or comments to: [email protected], with the subject line Gypsy Moth 2021
Tupper Arts is excited to be collaborating with the Wild Center on joint shows that celebrate Barney Bellinger’s unique and authentic art pieces, all sourced and inspired by nature and our environment. It’s an honor for Tupper Arts to exhibit a collection that represents 50 years of Barney Bellinger’s original art and design masterpieces. These works range from Barney’s groundbreaking 1970’s rustic furniture that he infused with paintings, bamboo fly rods and guide boat yokes, to lighting fixtures of roots, copper, gold and glass, to tables of precious woods and hand-shaped metals. All art pieces in this collection will be for sale, and on view for the public to enjoy, July 1 – September 15, 2021, at Tupper Arts Center. Through April 22, 2022, visitors to The Wild Center will be able to view an exhibition of Bellinger’s sculptures in an outdoor setting. Visit the Wild Center and Tupper Arts Center, 5 minutes apart, to experience the vision, passion, and labor of an iconic Adirondack artist. Click here to read more about Bellinger and these two exhibits in the Adirondack Explorer. Artist Barney Bellinger and one of his sculptures. Photo provided by The Wild Center.
If you go
The Tupper Arts Center exhibition ends Sept. 15, but, shortly after, by October, a smaller, more minimalistic Bellinger exhibition will take its place, including new, steel sculpture furniture pieces, new paintings and new light fixtures.
The Forest Music Loop at the Wild Center will display “Welded Steel: Shape, Form and Light” through April 1, 2022.