Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Be on the Lookout for Amphibians Crossing the Road

wood frogWith the arrival of spring temperatures, amphibians have begun their annual migrations to woodland pools to breed. Often, they must cross roads to reach these pools. In New York, this migration usually occurs on rainy nights in late March and early April, when the night air temperature is above 40F. When these conditions exist there can be explosive, “big night” migrations, with hundreds of amphibians on the move. Volunteers can help document these locations and help amphibians like wood frogs, spotted salamanders, American toads, or spring peepers safely cross the road. Drivers on New York roads are encouraged to proceed with caution or avoid travel on the first warm, rainy evenings of the season. Amphibians come out after nightfall and are slow-moving; mortality can be high even on low-traffic roads.

Photo of wood frog by Laura Heady.


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

The buzz around AMR hiker permits

AMR lotLast Monday after this newsletter went out, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Ausable Club announced a new pilot reservation system at the Adirondack Mountain Reserve. The reserve, for those who may not know, is a gateway to nearly a dozen High Peaks and some very popular hikes like Indian Head and Rainbow Falls. It is also private property, accessible to the public through a foot traffic easement. The original press release left many questions, including whether or not this reservation system included a fee, or if it was free. The answer–it’s free to make a reservation.

It was also confusing because the state has called it a pilot parking reservation system, but it’s not. It is a full-on reservation system. You cannot be dropped off and walk in without a reservation. You cannot bike to the AMR and walk in without a reservation. The only way you are allowed to be on the AMR property without this permit is if you have a Greyhound or Trailways bus ticket from within 24 hours of your arrival to Keene Valley.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

HPAG Report: High Peaks Trails

This is the fourth article in a series examining the ideas in the final report of the High Peaks Strategic Planning Group (HPAG) that outlines a plan to build a new and improved management program for the High Peaks Wilderness Complex (HPWC). This article focuses on recommendations and ideas in the “High Peaks Wilderness Trails” section of the report. A focus on hiking trails in the High Peaks is vital, as in many ways, it’s the condition of the trails that ties together other management efforts.

As with other sections of the HPAG report, the recommendations on trails require significant new investment by the state on a sustained, annual basis to make progress. Trail work success in the High Peaks, given the challenges of the terrain and the heavy use, is measured in feet, not in miles. There are roughly 200 miles of formal trails in the HPWC and another 100 miles of herd trails for the so-called “trailless peaks.” Perhaps, more than any other area in the HPAG report, the measurement of its traction and impact will be seen through a change in trail work scope and intensity.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The ‘Forever Wild’ fight

Rockefeller

A couple of years ago we started kicking around some ideas for sharing with readers the story of the people who fought to create the Adirondack Park Agency: their fervor and idealism, their mapping and lobbying, and the pushback they encountered then and for years to come.

We had only started to discuss how we might go about assembling such a narrative, and who might be best to write it, when Ithaca journalist and author Brad Edmondson wrote us an unsolicited email suggesting that we might have a use for a bunch of interviews he had conducted with the same characters — both APA proponents and opponents — over the years. He had taped some of them with the understanding that he wouldn’t print anything until after they had died, and now that time had arrived.

 

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

When nature calls…

outhouseWith all the discussion about high peaks use (overuse?), one unsavory item that often comes up is the dirty business of, ahem, doing one’s business in the woods. In hopes of mitigating the overabundance of toilet paper blooms on the trails, I’ve dug up a gem from the Almanack archive: “The Art of the Adirondack Dump” by Dan Crane.

Photo: An Adirondack outhouse, outside of Wilmington. Courtesy of Susan Hennessey/Almanack file photo

 


Monday, April 5, 2021

Who cooks for you, barred owl?

barred owlThere are many species of owls in the Adirondacks, with barred owls being the most common, and the most frequently seen.

We mainly hear owls calling between Autumn and early Spring. Great Horned Owls nest earlier than other owls, and their deep staccato HOO-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-HOO call, sounding most like the stereotyped call we associate with owls generally, is resonant and vaguely threatening.

The Long-eared owl, which resembles a smaller, perpetually startled and skinny great horned, has a call which reminds you more of song bird calls, stretched out with longer pauses between notes, which may be single syllable “ooo” or raspier pleas, sounding almost cat like. Screech owl calls are shrill and loud, sharp and abrupt. If you ever watched the comedy “My Cousin Vinny”, there is a funny scene where the Joe Pesci character, surprised by a screech owl’s scream in the dead of night, runs out of the cabin firing a pistol, followed by a close up of the screech owl. Tiny saw whet owls make a “toot-toot” call, like a small truck backing up. 

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Monday, April 5, 2021

Commending healthcare orgs for work to address chronic disease

heart graphicBy Ann Morgan

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed an enormous strain on health systems in the North Country, requiring them to respond to a multitude of immediate, pressing needs — and they’ve done an admirable job given extraordinary circumstances.

Perhaps more admirable, though, is the work the North Country Healthy Heart Network’s partners have done to continue long term, proactive programs aimed at reducing the risk of chronic disease. Through the North Country Chronic Disease Prevention Coalition, these organizations are demonstrating a commitment to replicating a successful program piloted by Adirondack Health: Moving Forward Together (MFT) to Prevent Diabetes.

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Monday, April 5, 2021

Reuse & Repair: Creating New Jobs and Enterprises through Zero Waste

This Wednesday on April 7th, from 2pm to 3:30 pm the Zero Waste Committee of Warren County, NY will be hosting a Zero Waste Webinar with a focus on local economic growth through reuse and repair enterprise programs. The program is entitled: “Creating new jobs and enterprises through Zero Waste”, with the committee being a project of the Clean Air Action Network (CAAN) of Glens Falls.

The webinar will feature four of the country’s most respected leaders in the field of reuse and repair:

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Sunday, April 4, 2021

Harvest of the Month: Micro-Greens and Shoots 

microgreensWhat is the Difference Between Micro-Greens, Shoots, Sprouts, and Baby Greens? 

Microgreens, shoots, and sprouts are all immature plants harvested before they reach full maturity. 

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Sunday, April 4, 2021

Forest Pest Symposium will Highlight Bad Bugs

The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District (District) will host a Forest Pest Symposium to highlight bad bugs that are invasive to the Adirondacks on April 22, 8:30 AM – 1:15 PM.  Landowners, supervisors, and outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to attend, and will learn identification, impacts, and how partners are slowing the spread of emerald ash borer, hemlock woolly adelgid, and spotted lanternfly.

Experts will share their work, success stories, and detail simple steps that anyone can take to combat emerald ash borer, hemlock woolly adelgid, and spotted lanternfly.  These invasive insects threaten the Adirondacks’ natural resources and tourism industry.  Early detection and rapid response are crucial to stopping the spread of these invaders that can harm forests, stream corridors, hiking trails, and agriculture.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 4, 2021

Weekly news round up

A collection of interesting reads:

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Saturday, April 3, 2021

Ticks: They’re baaaaaaack

attached tick
It’s spring. And, after months of being locked down, people are getting outside again. Just a reminder, though. The longer, warmer days of April are also the start of tick season; the peak of which lasts through August.

    Ticks commonly overwinter by ‘nesting’ in groups; taking refuge under the soil, ground litter, and snow cover which acts as an insulating blanket, sheltering them from the frigid winter temperatures. When warmer weather arrives, they position themselves on vegetation and wait patiently, front legs outstretched, for any warm-blooded ‘host’ to pass by; a behavior known as ‘questing’. When one does, the tick latches on and soon begins taking its next blood meal.

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Saturday, April 3, 2021

MAKE IT: Carne Asada

carne asadaCarne Asada, Colombian Style

Carne asada, or grilled meat, is a popular staple in Latin American cuisine. Although the exact recipe for carne asada will vary from region to region, and from person to person, most carne asada recipes contain a 1-inch thick, tough cut of beef steak, lime juice, garlic, onion, and black pepper. The final product, grilled to perfection, is cut against the grain into thin strips that are often used in tacos, and/or served along beans and rice.

This recipe for marinated flank steak is based on a Colombian version of the traditional recipe. If you do not prefer to use beer in your cooking, free to substitute non-alcoholic beer or even a dark soda (such as cola).

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Saturday, April 3, 2021

$650,000 in grant funding available for dam repairs

Floating islands going over Higley Dam, c. 1943Funding Available to Local Government and Non-Profit Owners of ‘High Hazard’ Dams for Pre-Construction Activities
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced $650,000 in grant funding is now available to assist eligible dam owners with infrastructure repair costs. Funding is provided through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) High Hazard Potential Dam (HHPD) grant program. Of the dozens of states that applied to this federal program, New York was one of two states that received the maximum amount of funding. DEC is now accepting applications for grants to assist with technical, planning, design, and other pre-construction activities associated with the rehabilitation of eligible dams classified as High Hazard dams.

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Friday, April 2, 2021

Eating for the Climate is Easy

Vegetarian dinnerFantastic Foods & Simple Solutions, in 3 Parts  

The climate crisis, by its very nature, is tough to wrap your head around. We can feel some of its immediate effects, but most of the most severe changes happen on a scale that is beyond the ability of one person to see. Many of the actions we can take as a society to mitigate those effects have proven challenging to do. More and more of us agree that collective, systemic action is needed to combat climate change. In addition to systemic action, it is important that individuals still do our part. It can be really tough to figure out what to do!

When faced with the enormity of the climate crisis, we often find ourselves asking: what can we do to help?

I’d like to present a very simple answer to that question.

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