Saturday, June 1, 2024

The Yellow-Crowned Night Heron

Yellow-Crowned Night Heron

Evening unveils a smokey blue outline, barely perceived,

Until eyes detect the slow, mystical and graceful motion,

Of this shadow-bird, this seeming illusion.

Slim yellow-feathered tassel tapers gracefully,

Down a slender, bobbing head like a queen’s crown,

Catching glimmers of light in the darkness.

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Friday, May 31, 2024

Tales of the Adirondacks, Past & Present: The Red Barn by Joanne Whitney

Red Barn

Our next OurStoryBridge Inc. story share is called The Red Barn by Joanne Whitney. It is the story of the iconic and likely most photographed structure in the Adirondacks. Listen to this story in its entirety at this link.

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Friday, May 31, 2024

Outdoor Conditions (5/31): Hikers reminded to leash dogs, protect them from black flies

outdoor conditions logoThe 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.

NEW THIS WEEK

  • High Peaks Wilderness Maintenance: DEC will be doing maintenance on the bridge over the Hudson River on the East River Trail, in the Town of Newcomb on Tuesday 6/4/24 thru Wednesday 6/5/24. This trail provides access to Mt. Adams, to Allen Mtn and Flowed Lands. The bridge will be closed to use by the public during this time, though hikers may wade through the river at the old ford, upstream of the bridge. Signage will be placed at the trailhead, at the old ford and the bridge. Thank you for respecting the safety concerns and avoiding the worksite during the day or after hours. If anything changes with the dates or times, DEC will share the information, in addition to announce the completion of the project. Please direct any questions to: tate.connor@dec.ny.gov.
  • Grass River Wild Forest Maintenance: The Rainbow Falls foot trail along the Tooley Pond Road will undergo maintenance during the weeks of June 3 to 7 and June 10 to 14, 2024. A foot bridge will be replaced, which may make Rainbow Falls temporarily inaccessible to hikers.

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Friday, May 31, 2024

DEC Encourages New Yorkers to Learn About Harmful Algal Blooms Reporting System

A harmful algal bloom.

DEC Encourages New Yorkers to “Know it, Avoid it, Report it”

On May 24, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Interim Commissioner Sean Mahar and State Department of Health (DOH) Commissioner Dr. James McDonald reminded New Yorkers to learn about and be aware of harmful algal blooms, or “HABs,” as the 2024 HABs notification season starts. DEC’s New York Harmful Algal Bloom System (NYHABS) is now active, providing New Yorkers, including trained citizens, to send reports of HABs to DEC electronically via a simple user- and mobile phone-friendly form.

“As New York experiences warming temperatures, DEC is working closely with the State Department of Health and our local partners to investigate harmful algal blooms and make significant investments to prevent excess nutrients and other contaminants from negatively affecting water quality,” DEC Interim Commissioner Mahar said. “DEC’s updated map and reporting system allows for more effective monitoring of potential threats to the health or recreational use of waterbodies, and we encourage New Yorkers to be on the lookout for HABs and report any sightings.”

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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Commentary: Help the APA Find Its Way

The Adirondack Park Agency’s headquarters in Ray Brook

By Ralph A. Cossa

There have been a number of articles in the Adirondack Explorer in recent years critical of the Adirondack Park Agency (APA). Allow me to join the chorus and try to explain why it seems to have lost its way.

Full disclosure: I am a member of the Adirondack White Lake Association, which along with Protect the Adirondacks! and the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic, unsuccessfully (thus far) pursued an appeal of the APA ruling permitting mining operations (including blasting and excavation to within five feet of the water table) directly over our community aquifer, within 100 feet of protected wetlands, within 100 yards of homes situated on the same shelf to be excavated, within 900 feet of a pristine spring-fed lake (some of whose springs run through and under the proposed quarry site), and in close proximity (within a one-two mile radius) to a community of some 400 homes and small businesses.

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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Pride Festivals slated for Glens Falls & Old Forge

Pride cake

In recognition of Pride month (June), Pride Festivals are slated to occur in Glens Falls and Old Forge over the next two weekends. The Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce and CVB, in partnership with Lower Adirondack Pride, have announced the 2nd annual Glens Falls Pride Festival will take place this weekend, beginning Friday, May 31 – Sunday, June 2. The Old Forge Library also recently announced that the 2nd annual local Community Pride Celebration is scheduled for the evening of Friday, June 7. Please see below for details about these events.

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Thursday, May 30, 2024

New road salt reduction funding

man next to a brine sprayer

DEC opens funding for road salt reduction

Communities interested in reducing their road salt use will now have a new source of state funding to draw on.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation included new grants in its core funding programs that aim to support municipalities on their path to minimizing their road salt use.

The grants — through the state’s major water quality improvement program and a pollution control planning program — mark a step toward carrying out the recommendations in last year’s Adirondack Road Salt Reduction Task Force report.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

11-year-old reunited with hiking party after losing trail at Whiteface

forest ranger reports graphicHamlet of Wanakena
St. Lawrence County
Ranger Academy: On May 19, DEC opened the 24th Basic School for Forest Rangers for the newest class of Ranger recruits at the State University of New York (SUNY) College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) Ranger School. Eleven recruits signed in Sunday night and started training; two withdrew from the academy during opening week. There are currently seven men and two women in this recruit class. Throughout the week, recruits received training in physical fitness and wellness, introduction to law including constitutional law, cultural diversity, basic computer skills, and general academy orientation.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Lake Placid Community Day returns June 2

Graphic for 6th annual Lake Placid Community Day

The Lake Placid Community Day Organizing Committee has announced that the 6th annual Lake Placid Community Day is this Sunday, June 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the North Elba Horse Show Grounds. All those who live, work, or volunteer in the community are encouraged to attend. The free celebration features free food and beverages and live music by locally-based band Big Boss Sausage. Representatives from the Lake Placid Olympic and Paralympic Training Center will be serving up food at the event. Community Day also features a host of activities for kids including face painting, balloon animals, and a caricaturist. The theme for this year’s kids’ activities is Superheroes.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Adirondack Center for Writing Receives $15,000 grant to support Kickass Writers Festival

Saranac Lake, NY—  The Adirondack Center for Writing (ACW) has been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for a Grants for Arts Projects award of $15,000. This grant will support ACW’s 2024 Kickass Writers Festival. In total, the NEA will award 1,135 Grants for Arts Projects awards totaling more than $37 million as part of its second round of fiscal year 2024 grants.

“Projects like ACW’s Kickass Writer’s Festival exemplify the creativity and care with which communities are telling their stories, creating connection and responding to challenges and opportunities in their communities—all through the arts,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “So many aspects of our communities such as cultural vitality, health and wellbeing, infrastructure and the economy are advanced and improved through investments in art and design, and the National Endowment for the Arts is committed to ensuring people across the country benefit.”

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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Pitching In For Wintergreen Park Clean-Up & Cookout

Laura Bellinger at Devil’s Hole.

On Saturday, May 18, the Friends of Wintergreen Park sponsored a Clean Up and Community Cookout. It seemed like a good cause, so I grabbed a pair of gloves and a rake, and joined them.  This is a grassroots group of volunteers who love this park located in Canajoharie, NY. As explained on their Facebook page, Canajoharie is named for the “Boiling Pot” located in the Wintergreen Park gorge. Canajoharie means “a kettle stuck on a pole.”

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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Recreationists reminded to ‘Clean, Drain, Dry’ watercraft, equipment to protect against aquatic invasive species

Boat stewards serve on the frontlines to prevent the spread of invasive species in Adirondack waterways. Photo provided by Adirondack Watershed Institute.

New Mobile Boat Wash Equipment to be Deployed at Canal Launches

On May 24, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York State Canal Corporation joined together to remind those planning to visit New York’s waters to Clean, Drain, Dry their boats, trailers, fishing gear, and other equipment before recreating in New York’s waters to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Starting Friday, May 24, watercraft inspection stewards, also known as boat stewards, will be stationed at more than 220 boat launches and decontamination stations throughout the state to educate and assist the public in cleaning their equipment. Identified by their blue vests, boat stewards can provide a refresher on how to inspect boats and gear and offer information on AIS in New York.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Camp Gabriels amendment passes Senate

Camp Gabriels correctional facility.

Legislature

The state Senate passed a bill (again) that would authorize the sale of the former prison Camp Gabriels in the town of Brighton through a constitutional amendment. The prison has been closed since 2009.

Since the state is no longer using the property, it has reverted to forest preserve, which cannot be sold or leased. In order for someone else to purchase the property, a constitutional amendment is required.

Such an amendment was first proposed in 2015, passing the state Senate several times. The bill has continued to stall in the state Assembly. State Assemblyman Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay Lake, said on Tuesday that the assembly was still working on it.

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Monday, May 27, 2024

Drone Hunter

black and white image of a drone

As technological advances by the day become more routinely mainstream, they very frequently outpace regulatory adaptation, oversight and law enforcement capabilities. While most of these technologies unarguably offer many benefits, they also all too often collide with aspects of the connection with life outdoors that folks treasure most. Though it’s an issue I have neither heard nor seen much focus on or discussion of, I suspect the increasing availability and affordability of drone technology may well be one of them.

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Monday, May 27, 2024

Johnstown residents urged to provide input for Comprehensive Plan update by June 14

Town of Johnstown survey graphic.

Johnstown, NY – Since early 2024, the Town of Johnstown established a committee to look at the Comprehensive Plan and make recommendations for an update. Known as the EnVision Town of Johnstown Initiative, the group consists of Supervisor Christina VanValkenburgh, Deputy Supervisor Paul Catucci, Planning Board Chair Jes Bearden, Planning Board Vice Chair Lance Gundersen, Code Enforcement Officer Jeff Persch, and the Fulton County Planning Department.

The committee hopes to apply for a Smart Growth Comprehensive Planning Grant through New York State Consolidated Funding Application. If awarded, the State will cover 90-percent of the update, with 10-percent coming from the Town to hire a consultant.

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