Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Upcoming budget hearings set for today, next month

Governor Kathy Hochul


Hello, all. Some legislative dates that may be of interest:

  • Jan. 30 the state Legislature holds a joint economic development budget hearing;
  • Feb. 6 the state Legislature holds a joint local government budget hearing;
  • Feb. 7 the state Legislature holds a joint environmental conservation budget hearing;
  • Feb. 15 the state Legislature holds a joint housing budget hearing;
  • Feb. 26 organizations come to Albany for Adirondack Lobby Day.

For a full list of budget hearing schedules go to https://nyassembly.gov/Press/?sec=story&story=108807.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

ADK Groups Urge Backcountry Caution During April 8 Eclipse

total solar eclipse

Community-based celebrations provide safe, exciting viewing experiences 

Saranac Lake, NY – The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST), Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), and Adirondack Council are urging caution for those considering an Adirondack Park backcountry adventure to view the total solar eclipse this April.

On April 8, much of the Adirondack Park will be in the path of totality for the once-in-a-lifetime, full solar eclipse, and while the mountains and lakes of the Adirondacks may provide a beautiful backdrop, conditions in the Adirondack backcountry that time of year can be perilous.

Given the combined natural beauty of the Adirondacks and the eclipse, people may be considering a hike into the Adirondack wilderness to view it. However, it is likely that full winter conditions will be present on the trails and mountains at that time, with dangers to people and the environment if hikers are not prepared.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

For sale: Modular home built by BOCES students

a modular home built by BOCES students

Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES is selling a modular home built by students.

The home is still in the process of being built, so the person or organization that buys the house will get the chance to customize finishing details to their specific wants and needs.

“It’s good for the students to learn about working with a customer on details like colors and finishes,” said Eric Ashlaw, who teaches Building Trades at North Franklin Educational Center. “I try to give them some experience with every aspect of the process of constructing a house so they’re prepared when they graduate and head out into the world.”

» Continue Reading.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Adirondack-area nonprofits welcome new hires

William W. Reiley, Ph.D.

Several Adirondack-area nonprofit organizations have recently announced a lineup of new leadership, staff, board members, and trustees. See below for details on these announcements by the following establishments, Adirondack Foundation, Adirondack Council, the Trudeau Institute, The Hyde Collection, and Silver Bay YMCA.


Trudeau Institute appoints William Reiley as new head of scientific research institute

Saranac Lake, NY —The Trudeau Institute Board of Trustees has named William W. Reiley, Ph.D., the next president, director and chief executive officer of Trudeau Institute.

Dr. Reiley is replacing William Chapin, who has announced plans to step down on Feb. 1. Chapin has accepted a new position at another organization in the Tri-Lakes region.

Dr. Reiley, who has served in a range of positions at Trudeau since 2006, is currently chief scientific officer at the research institute, as well as a principal investigator and head of TICRO Bioservices, the contract research unit he helped launch in 2011.

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Monday, January 29, 2024

“Infrared Adirondacks” opens at Adirondack Artists Guild, Feb. 2

West Branch Ausable River by Phil Gallos

Infrared Adirondacks,” a collection of photographs by Phil Gallos, will be the featured show at the Adirondack Artists Guild for the month of February. It will open on Friday, Feb. 2 with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m., right across the street from the Harrietstown Town Hall, where the coronation of the king and queen of this year’s Saranac Lake Winter Carnival will take place at 7:30 pm. The exhibit will run through Sunday, March 3.

On Sunday, Feb. 4 at 3 p.m., Gallos will speak at the gallery about his developing interest in infrared photography, explain some of the technicalities and challenges of the medium, and describe how infrared fits his personal aesthetic. He will then give background information on some of the images and answer audience questions. » Continue Reading.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Discussion time: Road salt

road salt event graphic


Discussion time: What’s the future of road salt use in the Adirondacks?

The Adirondack Road Salt Reduction Task Force in September released a detailed report outlining a path to lower salt use in the Adirondack Park and statewide.

The report called for strengthening water standards, spreading best practices, tracking salt use, improving responses to contamination and expanding public understanding of awareness. But the report did not include an implementation plan or accountability system to ensure state officials act on recommendations.

So what comes next? With a panel of task force members and other experts, the Adirondack Explorer will examine what’s in the report, how to carry out its recommendations and the latest in the long-running movement to combat road salt pollution in the park. Join us for the event (more info and RSVP here).

What would you want to ask the panel? What should the state be considering going forward? Leave a comment here or email zach@adirondackexplorer.org

Sunday, January 28, 2024

How we should approach road salt

road salt truck

By Phill Sexton

Let’s give road salt a new identity, a new purpose of conservation, innovation and responsibility.

Salt is an Environmental Protection Agency-designated pollutant that we are allowed to apply unregulated. Unnecessary and copious applications of salt (and sand) on surfaces we walk and drive on has progressively increased for decades—an epidemic that is getting worse.

Slip and fall claims and vehicle accidents are framed as the primary reason for oversalting. Liability is a legitimate concern based on my experience as a contractor forced by insurance companies to settle out of court for bogus claims. But we must stop expecting roads and surfaces to be slip-free, which is unachievable.

Solutions for reducing road salt use will be achieved through awareness – education and outreach campaigns – and at an operational level by following sustainable winter management standards. These are monumental outcomes given society’s current appetite for immediate gratification and their right to drive and go wherever they want, whenever they want.

» Continue Reading.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Shaping young minds

Adirondack Youth Climate Summit participants hold an ”I Am Pro Snow” rally at Mount Van Hoevenberg in 2016

Teachers and students in New York public schools may get more climate education direction and lessons.

Several educators from the North Country are supporting a bill to expand climate education in New York classrooms.

Introduced by Sen. Andrew Gounardes, D-Brooklyn, and Assembly member JoAnne Simon, D-Brooklyn, the new legislation would direct teachers to prepare and instruct science, adaptation and career-focused lessons on climate change.

Although students receive some climate education in public schools, many environmentalists and teachers say the instruction doesn’t measure up to the severity of the global issue.

Click the link to read about the bill and why some Adirondackers are pushing for it.

» Continue Reading.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Weekly news round up

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Turkeys airborne in every direction & Amaryllis “light bulbs”

Banded Carolina Wren

Last Sunday [Jan. 14], the temperatures started off at a low of 17 [degrees] and went down daily every morning to a low of -8 [degrees] here this Sunday [Jan. 21.] [We had] some new snow nearly every morning (the most being five inches on Thursday.) This gave the skiers and snowmobilers something to play on (if they could stand the cold temperatures and wind.) There were a few accidents on the trails and highways. The most dramatic was a small car that passed a chip truck tractor trailer over near Blue Mountain. Before getting back in [the] lane, it was hit by the state plow truck. The car was cut in half as it hit the plow of the plow truck broadside. I heard the driver of the car only got a black eye from the accident…lucky guy. This was all caught on camera from the DOT plow truck.

» Continue Reading.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

How to contribute to the Almanack

Call for writers

Want to get the word out about an event you are organizing? Or have a desire to share your writing with our Adirondack community? All are welcome to submit something.

Here are some basic guidelines:

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Saturday, January 27, 2024

Critical cuts affect Adirondacks in Governor’s budget proposal

Sagamore Lake is one of 58 lakes that regularly monitored as part of a state-funded program that is now managed by the Adirondack Watershed Institute. Explorer file photo


Albany, NY – Gov. Kathy Hochul presented her Executive Budget proposal on Tuesday morning [Jan. 16], promoting efforts to fight climate change and make New York safer and more affordable, but when full budget details were released on Tuesday evening, the proposal included cuts to critical environmental programs such as the Clean Water Infrastructure Act, Adirondack Diversity Initiative, Timbuctoo Summer Climate and Careers Institute and Survey of Climate and Adirondack Lakes Ecosystems (SCALE). 

“By cutting the Timbuctoo Institute and SCALE research project, the Governor is not making a fiscal statement. She is making a policy statement,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director Raul J. Aguirre.  “You don’t close a $4 billion budget gap by cutting $4 million in science and high school programming that offer outsized benefits for frontline and disadvantaged communities.” 

While the Governor proposed laudable measures to fund water infrastructure projects in rural communities during her State of the State address last week, her budget proposes to cut annual water infrastructure spending in half, from $500 million to $250 million.   » Continue Reading.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Report: More 90-degree days ahead

snowy aerial shot

Part of a multi-year climate assessment on New York’s environmental future was released last week. In 2021, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced the assessment with an extensive group of researchers and participants.

Projections and historical data indicating changes in temperature, precipitation, extreme weather and more were developed by scientists.

According to the authority, the assessment team is wrapping up a technical report on proposed climate adaptation strategies across industry sectors including agriculture, transportation, energy and buildings. Ecosystems, human society, water resources and health are also on the list. Adirondack Explorer will continue covering the findings as they are released. Read the latest here.

» Continue Reading.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Outdoor Conditions (1/26): Proper trail etiquette on Rail Trail, other multi-use trails

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


  • Snow Report (1/24): The following report describes conditions as of Wednesday, 1/24. Changing weather may affect conditions. There is 80cm (31in) of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin. Snow levels vary at higher elevations. Conditions now require snowshoes to be worn. The lakes are in, but the ice is thin near the bridge and outlets/inlets. The ski trail is in very good condition.

» Continue Reading.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Saranac Lake Winter Carnival – Past and Present


2024 Saranac Lake Winter Creepy Carnival

Driving through Saranac Lake the last few days has been exciting, getting to witness construction of the Ice Palace – brick by icy brick.

The theme for the 2024 Winter Carnival is ‘Creepy Carnival’, which should be pretty fantastic!

We’ve compiled images and a few fun articles  (courtesy of the Almanack archives and https://saranaclakewintercarnival.com/) of the buttons and posters from the last decade of carnivals.

» Continue Reading.

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