Saturday, December 18, 2021

New use for logging trails in Lewis

thrall dam in lewis

Adirondack communities have always been resourceful; they’ve had to be, necessity being the mother not just of invention but of 180-degree course corrections. When there were no longer enough children to support the Inlet Common School, community members turned it into a learning venue of another sort, where community members of all ages will share their expertise with others.

Similarly, Adirondack towns have customarily squirreled away a few hundred acres that they logged every so often to earn a few bucks to make up for a paucity of state support. But now, some of these towns, such as Keene and Lewis, are discovering these lands have more value as recreational venues.

As the Adirondack region looks for solutions to overcrowding some of these towns are recognizing that they can help by luring hikers away from trails that resemble mosh pits with roots.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 18, 2021

NYS campgrounds see record season in 2021

frontier town state campgroundOvernight reservations at campgrounds operated by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) climbed to record highs this year as visitors embraced safe, healthy, and affordable recreation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through Columbus Day, campsites, cabins, cottages, and yurts at State Parks campgrounds were occupied for 787,103 nights, surpassing the previous 2019 record of 684,820 nights by 15 percent. DEC campgrounds were occupied for 394,401 nights, surpassing the previous 2016 record of 354,521 nights by more than 10 percent.

Over the last decade, as improvements were being made statewide under the NY Parks 2020 capital program, total overnight stays at State Parks campgrounds have risen nearly 45 percent.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 18, 2021

Poem: This Good Night

This Good Night

In the eye of the storm,

In the center of the plight,

Melodies of peace emanate,

And we are enveloped in light.

A joyous note rings out,

From four corners all harken,

Rays of hope brightly permeate,

Voices of stars sound through cold’s bite.

We remember to love,

We open ourselves to change,

Standing strongly, with all reckoned,

With blessings right within our sight.

Holy season is near,

A babe sleeps among the beasts,

We ask him for peace, protection,

To guide us safely this good night.


Friday, December 17, 2021

Roast Grinch: A holiday feast

holiday grinch roast

So, you’ve been doing some hunting, managed to bag a few Grinches!  Congratulations!  NOW What??

Well, I wanted to take a moment and offer some suggestions and an easy original Grinch recipe from my own Whoville Santa’s chef pantry.

Now – Whoville Santa is a firm believer that proper Roast Grinch preparation begins in the sleigh.  He recommends that once you bag a Grinch- field dress it right away!

» Continue Reading.


Friday, December 17, 2021

Outdoor conditions (12/17): Stillwater fire tower reopens Dec. 20

outdoor conditions logoThe following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

Big Moose Conservation Easement (Independence River Wild Forest): The Stillwater Mountain trail and fire tower will reopen for public use on December 20.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, December 17, 2021

Latest news headlines

Here’s a look at news from around the Adirondacks this week:

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 16, 2021

Hochul names road salt task force members

road salt truck

Overdue panel charged with preventing further pollution

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday named the members of a promised state task force charged with studying road salt use in the Adirondacks.

The 10 overdue appointees announced by the governor will join representatives from the state Department of Transportation, Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Health and Adirondack Park Agency as they set out to review current salt use practices and make recommendations to minimize future use.

The governor’s direct nominees include former DEC Commissioner Joe Martens; Adirondack Watershed Institute Executive Director Dan Kelting; Megan Phillips, vice president of conservation at the Adirondack Council; and Kristine Stepeneck, a professor at the University of Vermont.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 16, 2021

A blown deadline

Billy Jones salt bill

By the Times Union editorial board

Nonexistent task forces have a 100 percent track record of not issuing reports by deadline. So in that sense, the state’s road salt panel is doing exactly what New Yorkers expected of it.

Under the 2020 legislation establishing it, the task force was supposed to study the impact of road salt in the Adirondacks and come up with a pilot plan for reducing it, reporting to the Legislature by Dec. 1, 2021 – as in, weeks ago.

What’s at stake here? Oh, only public health, the environment, and the Adirondack economy. Excess road salt poisons the wells that North Country residents drink from. It degrades farmland, fouls lakes, desiccates trees.

Yes, things have been a bit … chaotic in the Executive Chamber this year. But in the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, long appointment delays and other forms of foot-dragging were a feature, not a bug. Skeptics might speculate that for Mr. Cuomo, the announcement of a plan of action was more important than its implementation.

All of the panel’s members have now been recommended, state officials say, and appointments are in the process of being finalized. We know Gov. Kathy Hochul is catching up on a backlog on empty positions. Prioritizing this process will be a significant way her administration can differentiate itself from its predecessor. State government needs to get moving on this important issue, collecting data transparently and thoroughly, and – at the most basic level – doing what it said it was going to do.

Editor’s note: This originally ran Dec. 13 in the (Albany) Times Union. Used by permission.

Photo: NYS Assemblyman Billy Jones speaks Dec. 4, 2020, at a commemoration of the signing of the Randy Preston Road Salt Reduction Act. More than 10 months later, the task force created by the bill is still without members. Mike Lynch photo

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Saranac Lake Winter Farmers’ Park-It now accepts SNAP

SNAP and farmers market

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are now accepted at the Saranac Lake Farmers’ Park-It, a curbside, order-ahead pickup model, through May 28. SNAP, formerly known as “food stamps”, is a federal program that provides low-income families with funds to purchase groceries. Since most vendors aren’t equipped to individually process EBT cards, a market-wide exchange program is required. This is the first year SNAP has been available through the winter and to pay for online-orders through Park-it.

Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Essex County, and AdkAction piloted this new local food access program at the Lake Placid and Saranac Lake farmers’ markets this year from May to October. Shoppers exchanged their SNAP benefits for tokens redeemable at the market. At those two markets, over $1,700 SNAP dollars were spent on local food during the summer season.

This fall, CCE and AdkAction worked together again at the Saranac Lake Indoor Farmers’ Market to provide the same program, and will continue as the market transitions to just a Park-It after the holidays. Prior to this program, SNAP benefits have not been accepted year-round at any farmers’ market in Essex County.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 16, 2021

NYSCA funding to boost arts and culture nonprofits

barge concert

Gov. Kathy Hochul this week announced $45 million in grant awards through the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). Grants administered by NYSCA this year will provide critical aid to bolster nonprofit arts and culture organizations and artists as they embark on a dynamic multi-year recovery process.

In June 2021, NYSCA rolled out a reimagined grantmaking process to increase access to state funds through expanded eligibility that embraced a vast range of artmaking in New York State, and led to a nearly 40% increase in applications for FY2022 to date. Following a streamlined application process, the agency will continue to support those severely impacted by the ongoing effects of COVID-19 through flexible funding accommodations.

NYSCA’s Round Three grants include Support for Organizations, Support for Artists, Special Opportunities, and Recovery Grants. All four categories of funding provide organizations and artists with vital dollars to boost their recovery process in response to the devastating economic impact of the last year and a half. More than 60% of NYSCA’s FY2022 grantees have organizational budgets of $1 million or less.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Keeping an eye on bird migrations

bird banding

Endemic to the Adirondack Park are a number of brilliant birders and I’m pretty sure they all roll their eyes when they see me coming, because I’m not much good with biological IDs of any kind, and I’m always peppering them with dopey questions like, “What bird is small, black and white and has a song that kind of goes ‘chickadee-dee-dee.’”

Birds are fascinating for their appearance, songs and habits, and as with most outdoor things, I know just enough to be dangerous.

This week a creature of avian disposition crossed my path and I silently wondered what kind of bird is blue, with a little rust and is about the size of a bluebi …

Oh, right.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Ten years ago….

Here’s a look at what stories were in the news 10 years ago….

 


Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Old trees on opposite coasts

fir treesWhile visiting family in Oregon recently, I spent some time reflecting on what makes the Adirondacks special, while also enjoying some of the incredible nature that makes the Pacific Northwest special.

(Please forgive this small departure from water issues – though forests, as any Adirondack history will remind you, are crucial to water quality.)

I visited Oregon’s largest state park, Silver Falls, about 50 miles south of Portland, which includes a loop trail that passes by as many as 10 impressive waterfalls. While on the coast, I hiked through extraordinary, old-growth forest and across cliffs that opened to admittedly-clouded ocean views.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 14, 2021

“What are the climate impacts of this project”?

dirtOn July 18, 2019, Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) was signed into law.  To quote from the NYS Climate Council website, “New York State’s Climate Act is the among the most ambitious climate laws in the world and requires New York to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and no less than 85 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels.

“The 2019 law creates a Climate Action Council charged with developing a scoping plan of recommendations to meet these targets and place New York on a path toward carbon neutrality.”

The Climate Council’s scoping plan is supposed to be released for public comment at the end of December. In an early December interview with WMHT-TV’s New York Now, Climate Action Council co-chair Doreen Harris (president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, or NYSERDA), spoke of the careful accounting of carbon emissions that the state’s law requires.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 14, 2021

75th Anniversary of DEC Summer Camps Program

Campground Ambassadors

DEC Announces Summer Environmental Education Camp Registration Opens March 6, 2022

Online registration for DEC’s 2022 Summer Camps program will open Sunday, March 6, 2022, at 1 p.m. To celebrate 75 years, DEC’s Summer Camps program will host a series of events and share mementos, including retro logos incorporated into camper shirts, special recognition certificates, and a camp celebration each Saturday during the season. Past campers, families, sponsors, and staff will also have an opportunity to take a literal stroll down memory lane at their favorite camps.

» Continue Reading.



Wait, before you go,

sign up for news updates from the Adirondack Almanack!