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.
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.
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.
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.
Town of North Elba
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
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.
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.
As 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.
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.
On 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.
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.
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.
No chemical herbicide will be used in Lake George this summer, but the fate of the Lake George Park Commission’s plan to do so is still up in the air.
A Warren County judge on Monday sided with the Lake George Association and others challenging the park commission’s plan to treat invasive watermilfoil with one of the few EPA-approved aquatic herbicides on the market. The judge granted a preliminary injunction that bars the park commission from using the herbicide until a lawsuit brought by the lake association can be resolved.
The judge agreed with the association’s lawyer who argued the herbicide plan could be delayed without impacting the current state of the lake, but if the commission was allowed to carry out its plan, any outcome of the lawsuit would be meaningless. Next step in the case: a conference later this month to come up with a briefing schedule.
The Carillon has returned to Fort Ticonderoga, with boat tours taking place Tuesday through Sunday from May 27 to mid-October. The 75-minute narrated boat cruises cover some of the most archaeologically rich waters in North America while surrounded by breathtaking lake views, commanding mountains, and the majestic fort.
From shipwrecks to a massive bridge that the Americans built in 1776, Lake Champlain holds defining stories of America’s past. Fort Ticonderoga’s layers of history carry right from the land onto the water. Carillon boat tours help ignite visitors’ imaginations as they explore this internationally strategic lake.
The 60-foot boat is available for daily tours, field trips, sunset cruises, and private charters. A selection of regional beer and cider, wine, soft drinks, water, and snacks are available for purchase on board. Tickets for the boat cruise are available HERE or can be purchased on-site during a visit on a first-come basis.
Boat tours are available rain or shine. Fort Ticonderoga members that are interested in taking a boat cruise, please call 518-585-2821 Monday through Friday, or 518-585-2650 Saturday and Sunday for assistance.
Fort Ticonderoga is located at 102 Fort Ti Road in Ticonderoga, NY.
Photo at top: The Carillon, Archaeological Tour of Lake Champlain 2017. Photo provided by Fort Ticonderoga, Almanack archive photo.
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