Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Best Fourth in the North: Five Days of Fun in Ticonderoga

According to Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mathew Courtright, Ticonderoga’s annual Best Fourth of the North celebration was originally organized by the Ticonderoga Volunteer Fire Department.  After Courtright polled his own family, he learned the event has been happening for over 65 years, maybe longer.

“Debbie Barber is the chairperson of the event,” says Courtright. “It has always been run by a dedicated group of volunteers. They add various aspects to the event each year. This year we have seven bands and even added a fifth day.” » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

CATS Split Rock Wildway Walk Postponed

john davisUPDATE 6/29: Owing to the weather forecast for heavy rain, this Split Rock Oak, Hick and Hop Hike, scheduled for this Saturday, July 1, will be rescheduled to a date to be determined.

Conservationist John Davis will lead an educational nature hike on Saturday, July 1, to showcase forest types common to the Champlain Valley and West Champlain Hills. The hike, sponsored by Champlain Area Trails (CATS), begins at 9:30 am and is open to the public.

Hikers are to meet at the Whallonsburg Garage and carpool to the Bobcat Trail Trailhead. The hike will last until about 2 pm . Participants can also learn about the ecological importance of the Split Rock Wildway wildlife corridor stretching through the valley and hills of the central Champlain Valley. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Colvin Documentary Screening at Adirondack History Museum

Colvin HeadshotThe Adirondack History Museum will present a special screening of “Colvin: Hero of the North Woods” on Thursday, July 6 at 7 pm. Film director Bill Killon will be on hand to introduce his new 45-minute documentary.

The film tells the story of Verplanck Colvin, who explored, surveyed and mapped the northern reaches of Upstate New York from 1872 to 1900. To protect the forest and watersheds, at a time when the idea of conservation was in its infancy, he proposed a state park for the Adirondack region of New York. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Dick Beamish: A Rosy Future for Saranac Lake

Downtown Saranac Lake historic districtIt is easy to get discouraged when our village leaders lead us in the wrong direction, as they have by allowing a grotesquely oversized hotel to take over Lake Flower. But despite their inability to appreciate what makes Saranac Lake unique, they cannot alter an irreversible trend.

The fact is, Saranac Lake probably has more going for it than any other community of similar size anywhere else. On what is this optimistic observation based, you may ask? It’s based on the driving and biking trips my wife and I have taken in recent years through much of rural America. It’s also based on walking around Saranac Lake Village, our home for the past two decades. “Unique” is an overused word, but it clearly applies in this case. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

E.coli Testing Continues At Reopened Million Dollar Beach

Million Dollar Beach reopened again Saturday, June 24, after E.coli tested at a level safe for swimming, according to a DEC press release that also said if the levels rise again, signs will be posted at the beach letting swimmers know of a closure. Daily sampling of the water will continue.

The town, village, DEC and a number of other local organizations concerned with the lake water continue to try to identify a possible source of E.coli affecting the beach.

Patrick Dowd, director of communication for the Lake George Association, said the agencies have had some success eliminating potential sources. For instance, dye-testing was completed on some of the main lines on the east side of the lake on Beedy Road, Rose Point Lane and Front Street. The town and village also used a closed circuit camera to rule out breaks and cracks in storm and sanitary lines and approved a contract to continue the testing of more lines. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

DEC Releases Proposed Solid Waste Regs For Public Comment

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced they are proposing amended revisions to the state’s Solid Waste Management Regulations, commonly referred to as Part 360. DEC’s Part 360 regulations set design standards and operational criteria for all solid waste management facilities.

A link to the text of the proposed revisions and associated rulemaking documents is available on DEC’s website.

Oral and written comments on the proposed rulemaking will be accepted at a public hearing on Thursday, July 13 at 1 pm at DEC’s headquarters at 625 Broadway, Albany. Comments may also be emailed to SolidWasteRegulations@dec.ny.gov until 5 pm on July 21, 2017.

 


Monday, June 26, 2017

Marcy’s Great Chimney: A New Climb Up Mt. Marcy’s Trap Dike

Marcy's Great ChimneyMt. Colden’s Trap Dike is a well-known feature among hikers, climbers and geologists. It is not, however, the only trap dike in the High Peaks. Take notice and you’ll find smaller dikes crisscrossing most of the slides and treeless summits. Most of these are interesting and perhaps photogenic, but irrelevant to climbing.

One of the best-kept backcountry secrets is a large vertical trap dike capped with a diagonal car-sized capstone on Mt. Marcy. It lies in a northeastern facing cliff deep in Panther Gorge and looks like a pencil-thin shadow from the summit of Mt. Haystack. This is Marcy’s Great Chimney. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 26, 2017

Neil Litchfield, Lewis County’s Master Comedian (Part 3)

In early 1897, Neil and Stella Litchfield continued touring in the North Country, appearing at Canton, Chase Mills, Edwards, Lisbon Center, Oxbow, Massena, Morristown, Ogdensburg, Waddington, and other sites. For the next two years, they toured and performed while developing a new act for the future, a comedy sketch titled Down at Brook Farm. Ostensibly, it was loosely based on Brook Farm, a failed Utopian community founded in 1841 in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

The most popular characters Neil had portrayed during the past two decades — uneducated, pure-hearted rural folks — became the nucleus of the new act. Down at Brook Farm was inspired by the popularity of other plays and sketches with “uncle” characters in the title — usually Uncle Josh, at the time featured in shows as Uncle Josh Jenkins, Uncle Josh Simpkins, and Uncle Josh Weathersby. Neil himself gained great praise for portraying the lead role in Uncle Josh Spruceby, playing alongside Stella, who nabbed the second-leading role of Aunt Jerutha. Together they made the show a top hit while touring theaters and opera houses in New York City, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. Sometimes they covered a venue for three consecutive nights, and at other times appeared in three or four different towns or cities during the same week. It was an exhausting schedule but provided great publicity, and allowed time to refine the rural characters for the new act. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 26, 2017

Lake Champlain Program Releases Updated Management Plan

The Lake Champlain Basin Program has released a new version of Opportunities for Action: An Evolving Plan for the Future of the Lake Champlain Basin.

The management plan is expected to guide the LCBP’s work over the next five years in improving and restoring water quality and ecosystem integrity in the watershed.

The report lays out objectives and strategies to address four primary goals: Clean Water, Healthy Ecosystems, Thriving Communities, and an Informed and Involved Public. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 26, 2017

Comments Sought on Cedarlands Easement Access Plan

Cedarlands EasementThe draft Cedarlands Conservation Easement Recreation Management Plan (RMP) has been released for public review and comment by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

The 4,865-acre Cedarlands Easement is located in the town of Long Lake, Hamilton County in the central Adirondacks. The conservation easement divides the property into four areas, each of which has different restrictions. The conservation easement provides for some public recreation rights on the 3,309-acre McRorie Lake Area for 10 months (between August 24 and June 23), and year-round on the 592-acre Mud Pond Area. The 674-acre Long Lake Area and the 289-acre Base Camp Area are not available for public use.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, June 26, 2017

Recent Adirondack Search and Rescue Operations

DEC Forest RangerNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents in the Adirondacks. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the Adirondack backcountry.

What follows is a report, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Verplanck Colvin Built First Tower On Stillwater Mt.

The famed surveyor Verplanck Colvin built the first tower on Stillwater Mountain way back in 1882. The hole that once held his copper marker is still visible on the summit bedrock.

Colvin’s tower is long gone, but a steel tower built in 1919 still stands, and last week the state nominated the structure — along with the fire observer’s cabin and some other buildings — for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. Click here to read the state’s application. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

New Lake Champlain Blueway Trail Guide Now Online

Paddling along the Palisades A recreational water path that extends along the Lake Champlain shoreline between Rouses Point and Whitehall, the Lake Champlain Blueway Trail is a guide for paddlers of more than 90 points of interests — such as parks, wildlife viewing spots, geological curiosities, historic sites, museums, and campgrounds.

The online travel guide weaves historical information, recreational opportunities, paddling tips, boat launches, docking, and marinas. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Anatomy of Bird Feet

raptor footAs spring’s crescendo of birdsong mellows now to a steadier summer trill, I listen for melodies I don’t recognize and try to figure out which birds are singing. I look through binoculars at their feathers, the color variations along head and chest, the size of their beaks, the shape of their wings, and the tilt of their tails in my flailing attempts to distinguish one species from another. Rarely have I considered feet in my casual observations, although this part of a bird’s anatomy can be highly specialized for various uses.

“When you look at the foot of a bird, they’re not all the same,” said Kevin McGowan of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “All the birds basically started off with three toes forward, one back. From that, they’ve evolved in a number of different ways for various reasons.”

Birds walk on those toes – not the entire foot. The backward-bending joint we may consider a knee is actually the birds’ ankle. The feet consist mainly of bones and tendons, with very little muscle and few blood vessels. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

PROTECT Statement On End Of 2017 Legislative Session

NYS CapitolWhat follows is a statement issued by PROTECT. 

The 2017 New York State Legislative session ended on June 21st as both houses adjourned and left Albany. It remains unclear at this time if the two houses will return to complete unfinished business. The two houses were deadlocked over issues of “Mayoral Control” of New York City schools and extensions for local taxation districts across the state. Both of these issues are important for New York City and state residents and may require further action.

There was unfinished business for the Adirondacks as well. The two houses were close to reaching an agreement in the last hours of the session on enabling legislation for the proposed “Health and Safety Land Accounts” amendment to Article XIV, Section 1, the “forever wild” provision of the State Constitution. This amendment would provide access to 250 acres of Forest Preserve lands for maintenance of local highways in the Adirondacks bordered by Forest Preserve, and lands for municipal water wells, as well as authorize burial and colocation of utility lines and bike paths in state and local highway corridors. The “enabling legislation” sets in law the process for the implementation and administration of the amendment. » Continue Reading.


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