If you have a love for the great outdoors, chances are you have heard and or seen “Tree Drummers,” the creatures we call woodpeckers. There are nine species of woodpeckers here in New York; Pileated Woodpeckers, Red-headed Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Yellow-bellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, Northern Flickers, American Three-toed Woodpeckers, and Black-backed Woodpeckers.
The Adirondacks are set to see the warmest temperatures of 2021 so far this weekend. With temperatures creeping into the lower 40s at base elevations and rain expected in some areas, conditions for hikers, backcountry skiers, and other winter recreationists will change significantly.
Variable weather such as is forecast for this weekend can create dynamic conditions for outdoor recreation. Warm days and below freezing temperatures at night create a freeze/thaw cycle that can lead to increased instability in the snowpack and may increase the risk of avalanches.
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.
High Peaks Wilderness:
- Colden Caretaker Report 02/24/21: Approximately 2 feet 9 inches of snow has accumulated at the Colden Caretaker cabin and 5 or more feet of snow remains on summits. Snowshoes are needed on all trails, starting at parking lots. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen. The trail from Marcy Dam to Lake Colden is skiable.
Here’s a look at news from around the Adirondacks this week:
It must have been cold that November day in 1843 when Dorothea Lynde Dix, a confirmed spinster at the age of 41, boarded the Albany to Montreal stagecoach. The stage would take the 220 mile winter route through Rensselaer and Saratoga counties before continuing on into the mountainous Adirondack counties of Warren, Essex, and Hamilton. Having grown up in abject poverty in an icebound cabin in the wilds of Maine, Dorothea was well acquainted with the bitter cold of a Northeast winter but now, no hardship, not even the frigid North Country weather, would stop her. She was on a mission.
Ever since she had discovered mentally ill people chained to the walls in the basement of the East Cambridge, Massachusetts jail three years earlier, Dorothea had considered it her calling to bring the plight of the lunatic as they were called, to the attention of the public. She spent the next two years visiting jails, almshouses, and even private homes, going where ever she was told there were people who suffered in their mind, the ones who heard voices, the ones they called mad.
New York State’s Watercraft Inspection Steward Programs are now recruiting boat stewards for the 2021 season. If you like working outdoors, interacting with the public, and want to help protect New York’s waters from aquatic invasive species, please check out the SLELO PRISM (St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management) website for a list of positions across the state.
Photo: Boat stewards assist the public with checking their watercraft for aquatic invasive species. They also provide education and at some locations, free boat washes. (Photo by Adirondack Watershed Institute, Paul Smith’s College)
Upcoming Learning Opportunities
Each of the following presentations will take place online.
Take Action Against Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Part 2) (Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program) – Wednesday, March 3 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Participants will learn how to adopt a trailhead, carry out self-guided HWA field surveys, and collect environmental data using iMapInvasives, a free, easy-to-use, mobile mapping tool. Register in advance online. Part 1 of this webinar will occur on 2/25 from 3-4:30 pm.
- In order to maximize this short training, the event organizers highly recommend signing up for a free iMapInvasives account prior to the workshop. Self-guided iMap trainings are available online to walk you through the iMap process.
Point Positive Coordinator Melinda Little, with assistance from Maura Maguire of the Shipley Center at Clarkson welcomed three entrepreneurial businesses on Zoom during their February meeting.
The businesses are: Swift Rails and Black River Valley Natural, and a preview of a company founded by two faculty members of Clarkson University called ResET.
It must be hard to foster a decent public image if your family was responsible for spreading the plagues across Europe, Asia and North Africa that killed between 75 and 200 million people. If rats were able to launch a rebranding campaign, it would never work. I imagine that even NetReputation.com would throw up their hands and give a refund.
But in spite of the many problems they cause, rats do have a few entries in the positive side of their ledger. In a CBC Radio interview, Bobby Corrigan, a renowned NYC rodentologist (yes, there is such a thing) said rats are “the most important mammal group to homo sapiens.” In addition to being test subjects for innumerable studies on human diseases and new drugs, rats have provided insights into our neurology which may not otherwise have been made, especially the way richness of environment affects brain development. They can sniff out land mines better than any human technology, and can accurately tell if a patient has tuberculosis.
Trudeau Institute’s efforts to combat COVID-19 and tick-borne illnesses have received a $150,000 boost from the Cloudsplitter Foundation.
The gift from Cloudsplitter, which supports organizations dedicated to improving the environment, economies and lives of people in the Adirondacks, will support a new lab established by Trudeau in 2020.
Recent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:
Town of Keene
Wilderness Rescue: On Feb. 16 at 5:37 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch was notified of three overdue snowshoe hikers who left from the Garden parking area to hike Johns Brook Valley and had not returned. The hikers from Albany, NY, and Topeka, KS, did not have lights, overnight gear, or appropriate clothing for anticipated zero-degree temperatures. Forest Ranger Lewis responded to the location and confirmed the subjects’ vehicle was still at the trailhead. When interviewing family members, Ranger Lewis learned that one of the individuals has asthma and did not have her inhaler. Ranger Lewis retrieved the subject’s inhaler before responding to Johns Brook Lodge. Forest Rangers O’Connor and Martin also responded to the location with snowmobiles to extricate the unprepared snowshoers. On Feb. 17 at 1:20 a.m., Rangers and the three hikers were out of the woods and back at the trailhead.
ECOs Conduct Multi-Day Snowmobile Detail – Fulton County
On Feb.12, Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) Manns, Hilliard, Shaw, Toth, and Pasciak began a series of multi-day snowmobile details to ensure riders are complying with state regulations. The Officers started off conducting a snowmobile checkpoint on the trail system in the town of Broadalbin and shifted to trails in the village of Mayfield that evening after receiving complaints from landowners about snowmobilers going off trails and into fields, threatening crops in at least one case. ECOs received assistance from Troopers from the New York State Police’s Mayfield Station. The following day, ECOs Pasciak and Klein conducted a snowmobile patrol and checkpoints in the town of Caroga. The two-day detail resulted in six tickets issued for unregistered snowmobiles and modified exhaust systems, and one warning for attempting to ride on a closed trail section. For more information about snowmobile safety recommendations go to NYS Parks website.
The Adirondack Park is known for its Forever Wild Forest Preserve, but a good majority of conservation efforts are done by private landowners themselves.
At 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 2nd, three landowners who have put in the effort to conserve their land will talk about their motivations, the methods they used and the challenges that they face in doing so. They will also discuss some of the benefits of private conservation.
In the fall of 2019, I was hiking up Cascade Mountain for a story about High Peaks crowds, when I noticed something unusual on the way up. There were orange blazes painted on rocks and logs.
At first, I thought it was related to trail work, but the markings seemed too random for that.
AdkAction was recently awarded $50,000 from the Lake Champlain Basin Program. The grant is for a newly formed “Clean Water, Safe Roads” partnership, which will work to reduce salt pollution along the 125-mile-long lake between New York and Vermont. Together with partners from Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute and Lake Champlain Sea Grant, the project partners intend to enact an in-depth and personalized outreach and education program to municipal highway departments in the Lake Champlain Basin Area.
Paul Smith’s College presents “School of Maple” — Free hands-on workshops for aspiring and expanding maple producers.
The schedule is:
March 6: Introduction to Sugaring
March 13: Advance Sap & Syrup Processing
March 20: Marketing & Expanding Your Maple Business
Preregistration is required by emailing [email protected]
All workshops run 9am to 4pm at Paul Smith’s College Sugar Bush, White Pine Road, Paul Smiths, NY 12970
Photo provided by Northern New York Agricultural Development Program/Almanack archive
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