Saturday, November 13, 2021

Adirondack Wild: Resort Developer Fails to Deliver Requested Information to APA

proposed jay resortA Miami, Florida developer has sent the NYS Adirondack Park Agency Part 1 of an application for a proposed 350-acre resort in Jay, NY near Whiteface Mountain and Lake Placid.  However, in this Part 1 phase of review the developer has failed to provide the most basic of requested resource information needed to evaluate project impacts.

In their comment letter to the Agency Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, a nonprofit Park wildland advocate, states that the application for up to 120 residential units near the East Branch of the Ausable River fails to comply with the Agency’s review criteria, including protection of open space, wildlife, and habitat resources, and in accordance with the objectives of conservation design.

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Saturday, November 13, 2021

DEC Announces Completion of Grasse River Habitat Restoration

East elliptio mussel East elliptio mussel provided by DEC

A significant Grasse River restoration project to help address a legacy of contamination and improve habitat in the region has been completed. This habitat restoration milestone is the result of a landmark DEC agreement (PDF) with Arconic in July 2020, and DEC’s ongoing collaboration with the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, New York State Museum, and other partners committed to the Grasse River’s ecological renewal. This work was completed in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-led cleanup of the Grasse River, a federal National Priorities List site.

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Saturday, November 13, 2021

Discussion time: Septic inspections

lake george

This week on Adirondack Explorer’s website, we published an article about Lake George’s plans to create a wide-reaching septic inspection program.

From the article, by Zachary Matson:

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Friday, November 12, 2021

Adirondack Dinosaurs

pitcher plant

“Adirondack Dinosaurs are far from extinct. In fact, certain species are quietly expanding their territory, migrating. Ancient carnivores slowly reclaiming what was once their domain. Patiently biding their time while they plot their next move. Watching us. Waiting to reclaim their Adirondack apex predator throne.”

Ever since I was a young boy, there have always been three things I’ve dreamed of being when I grow up: major league baseball player, writer, archeologist.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, November 12, 2021

Outdoor conditions (11/12): Flowed Lands lean-to closed for rehab

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.

High Peaks Wilderness: The Flowed Lands lean-to (on the west side of Flowed Lands) will be unavailable until further notice. The closure is expected to last several months. Lean2Rescue is rehabilitating the lean-to. To date they have deconstructed the existing lean-to and installed a new foundation and base. The structure will be reassembled this winter. The Calamity and Griffin lean-tos north and south of this location are available.

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Friday, November 12, 2021

Latest news headlines

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

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 11, 2021

How Team Cuomo Subverted Basic Norms at the Adirondack Park Agency

Gov. Andrew CuomoOne big change that the Andrew Cuomo years brought to the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) was that the senior staff and the APA Board refused to send a single development project to a formal adjudicatory public hearing. This defies logic in many ways. Based on information from a Freedom of Information request, from 1973 through 2010 there were 151 projects in APA history sent to a formal adjudicatory public hearing. Yet, somehow, during the Cuomo years, the Governor’s staff that managed the APA, and the APA senior staff, never allowed a single formal adjudicatory public hearing.

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Thursday, November 11, 2021

Rangers catch man who defaced Catskills lean-to

lean-to graffiti
Graffiti Arrest:
 On Nov. 2, DEC Central Dispatch received a call about a social media post showing graffiti on a lean-to on State lands at Hunter Mountain. Rangers Fox and Dawson began an investigation with DEC’s Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation (BECI). On Nov. 4, Lt. Pachan and Ranger Dawson received information that the suspect was currently at the John Robb lean-to attempting to clean up the graffiti. Rangers Fox and Dawson responded to the scene and notified BECI investigators. Rangers learned that the subject drove up the mountain on Hunter ski resort roads and got stuck in a snowbank at the top of the Kaatskill Flyer chairlift. Ski resort staff and Ranger Dawson freed the vehicle from the snowbank, and the Officers escorted the subject down to the ski lodge where they met responding BECI investigators. The 39-year-old Brooklyn man was arrested and transported to the New York State Police (NYSP) barracks in Hunter. He was charged with a Class A misdemeanor for making graffiti and violations for defacing rock and natural materials on state land and defacing a DEC structure. The suspect is due back in court on Dec. 15.

lean-to cleanup

John Robb lean-to graffiti cleaned up by Rangers


Thursday, November 11, 2021

A plan for transparency

proposed jay resort

Last week, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration released state agency reports and plans for improving transparency. Around the same time, the Olympic Regional Development Authority said it would appeal a judge’s order for transparency on certain accident records requested by the Adirondack Explorer.

You can also read ORDA’s transparency plan here, along with the Adirondack Park Agency’s and the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s. The APA appears to be taking some steps, including issuing a press release today on projects out for public comment. Typically I would have to watch the website on a near-daily basis to see if any new projects were on the docket. This is a change to have a press release.

This led to our latest story about a Miami-based developer proposing a development on 350 acres in Jay. You can check out the initial story here, as well as initial reactions to it here

Image of proposed development courtesy of APA

Editor’s note: This first appeared in Gwen’s weekly “Adirondack Report” newsletter. Click here to sign up


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Start with Place

Photo by Susie Runyon. Mary Thill at the Adirondack Land Trust’s Glenview Preserve, town of Harrietstown. It can be overwhelming to get a handhold on climate change and the extinction crisis. Really, what can I do to stop smoke from distant forest fires, or to put bats and birds back into in the sky? Extreme weather finally has people focusing on solutions. But if you’re not one of the few attending COP26, where to begin?
» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Deceased hunter found outside of Tupper Lake

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Piercefield
St. Lawrence County
Wilderness Search:
 On Nov. 2 at 8:36 p.m., a woman called Ray Brook Dispatch to report her husband overdue from hunting on the western side of Tupper Lake in the Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest. Forest Rangers, Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs), NYSP, and volunteers were part of the search team. On Nov. 3, Rangers used Type 1 and Type 2 searches, while ECOs searched the shoreline and water, and NYSP K-9 units searched the ground. On Nov. 4, with a Ranger acting as crew chief, 178 search, fire, rescue, and police personnel continued the search, including eight NYSP drones and a NYSP helicopter. Around 12 p.m., a search crew found the hunter’s body. He had been dragging a deer he shot while hunting. At 2:39 p.m. the subject’s body was recovered, flown out, and turned over to the coroner.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Fort William Henry 2021 Field of Flags Ceremony

fort william henry field of flags

The Fort William Henry is hosting a Veterans Day Field of Flags Ceremony. The observance commemorates our American military, past and present, for their service and sacrifice. More than 8,000 flags are proudly displayed on The Fort William Henry’s west lawn this year through Friday, November 12, 2021. The field offers time to reflect, a place for healing, and a moment of peace.

A formal acknowledgment and musket salute will occur on Thursday, November 11, 2021, at 11 am. Refreshments will follow in The Village Blacksmith Restaurant. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

November is Native American Heritage Month

Native storytelling

November is Native American Heritage Month. Visit DEC’s Native American Heritage Month page to learn more about the agency’s cooperation with Indigenous people on natural, cultural, and subsistence resources.

Edutopia’s Lessons Learned in Teaching Native American History by a non-native middle school teacher, chronicles some important lessons she has learned from teaching Native history for many years. She suggests to be humble: we can always, and should always, continue to listen and learn from the many Native voices speaking, writing, and sharing their history. Use tools, such as a Native lands map to find information on local Indigenous people and research their past and current struggles and achievements. Native-Land also has a great section on Land Acknowledgments, including reasons to move beyond these acknowledgements and how to ensure they are just a first step. Land Acknowledgments are also discussed by Native academics in “The Conversation”.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Water defenders

water

Last week, I visited the Adirondack Watershed Institute at Paul Smith’s College. After talking with the institute’s staff about a litany of water-related issues the organization works on, I walked around the lakefront campus with AWI’s leaders.

The college, which unsurprisingly is well-regarded for its environmental science, forestry and hotel management programs, has less than 1,000 students, what must be some of the best views of any campus in the country and 14,000 acres of Adirondack land.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Species Spotlight: the River Otter

otterThe North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) is a member of the weasel family. They are 3-4 feet long including their tails. They have a streamlined body, short legs with fully webbed feet, a muscular tail, and dense, short, glossy fur—all of which aid them in being excellent swimmers. They also have closeable nostrils and ears for swimming and foraging underwater.

Historically, river otter could be found throughout New York, but they declined due to unregulated harvest, habitat destruction, and water pollution. In the early 1990s, the river otter was only found in the eastern half of New York State. The New York River Otter Project helped bring river otter back to western New York, with the help of volunteers and DEC staff. From 1995 through 2000, 279 river otter were captured in eastern New York and released at 16 different sites across the western part of the state.

» Continue Reading.



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