Here’s a look at news from around the Adirondacks this week:
“A foundation is only as sturdy as its mitochondria.” — Wendy B Hall, Adirondack Wildlife Refuge co-founder
Birds of a Feather Flock together and that’s definitely the case on The Adirondack Wildlife Refuge.
This year started with a time of strategy, dedication and labors of love, beginning with the renovation of the Wolf Dome in honor of Debbie MacKenzie.
Debbie was a devoted and dedicated friend of the Refuge whose love for wildlife exuded from the inside out. She had a special spiritual bond with every wild animal she came into contact with and a particular fondness for song birds. Debbie and her husband, Kevin, assisted in the recovery of wild creatures in need of rescuing and rehabilitation. This duo touched the hearts of like-minded people and developed a close friendship with Steve and Wendy Hall, owners of the Wildlife Refuge in Wilmington. You can imagine the pain and sorrow when Debbie passed away. In a time of reflection and remembrance, the plan to renovate the Wolf Dome came about.
A Special Birthday Wish – St. Lawrence County Outreach
ECOs Ryan and Canary recently joined members of the New York State Police and St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office to grant a special birthday request from a four-year-old battling an illness. The birthday girl requested a birthday parade from local law enforcement agencies. Her mom said that while treatment is going well, the parade could help boost her daughter’s spirits. ECOs didn’t think twice about joining their law enforcement partners to grant this birthday wish. Police, fire, and rescue vehicles drove past the girl’s home with lights flashing as she and her family stood outside waving and enjoying the show. On their second loop around, ECOs Ryan and Canary stopped by to drop off some presents, say hello, and share their wishes for a speedy recovery.
ECOs Ryan and Canary meet with the birthday girl
The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) and local leaders are inviting residents to register for the 11th annual Great Adirondack Garage Sale. For 2021, the event is moving back to its historic Memorial Day weekend schedule. The dates this year are May 28 – 30.
The garage sale stretches over 200 miles through Adirondack communities, including Old Forge, Inlet, Raquette Lake, Indian Lake, Blue Mountain Lake, Long Lake, Tupper Lake, Piercefield, Newcomb, and Speculator.
Registration is free online and listings on the website include dates and times for each sale. Each community will also receive paper maps of local sale locations to hand out. To register and find more information, visit www.GreatAdirondackGarageSale.com. The interactive website showcases sale locations and allows unlimited photos of the items for sale to be uploaded.
Garage and yard sales are permitted in New York State. Masks and social distancing are still required. Shoppers should continue to wash their hands, sanitize, and be respectful during the Garage Sale.
For more information, contact ROOST’s Hamilton County and Tupper Lake Marketing Manager Katie LaLonde at [email protected].
The state budget was late, but it finally passed both houses last week.
I had a quick overview on our website highlighting that the Adirondacks and Catskills are getting $1.55 million for visitor use management. Of that funding, up to $800,000 will go to Essex County to assist with its pilot shuttle system, front country stewards and infrastructure, like portable toilets. We also have a renewed $3 billion environmental bond act.
This is the fifth 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 “Public Safety, Transportation and Traffic Safety” section of the report.
A high priority in reformed High Peaks Wilderness management is improvements to the ad hoc parking situation that has grown worse over the years and is stressed to breaking during periods of intense use all along the north side of the High Peaks Wilderness. Good public access with a coherent trailhead parking plan is as important as sustainable trails, science and monitoring, and higher levels of professional staffing to significantly improve the management of the High Peaks Wilderness Complex in the years ahead.
Recent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:
Town of Indian Lake
Wilderness Rescue: On April 9 at 2:30 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from New York State Police B Command advising of a lost hiker in the OK Slip Falls area. The hiker stated she became disoriented while hiking out and was standing near a river. Forest Rangers Scott and Miller responded. Ranger Scott tried to call the woman, but due to limited cell service, texted her with instructions. Not knowing if the subject received the instructions, Rangers Scott and Miller searched the trail and found the 56-year-old woman from North Creek heading back in the correct direction. She had received the text message, but could not send a reply. The Rangers and hiker proceeded back to trailhead.
High School Writing Retreat
↠ Wednesday, April 21, 2021 // 10:00am-12:00pm & 1:00-3:00pm ET
↠ LIVE ONLINE on Zoom // Sessions are recorded for registrants only to view to help alleviate any scheduling or tech issues
↠ Free! There’s no cost to be a part of the High School Writing Retreat thanks to our supporters: Cloudsplitter Foundation, Charles R. Wood Foundation, Saranac Lake Public School Education Fund
Register for a day of writing workshops, epic performances, meeting new friends and fellow writers, swag bags (limited supply), and a meet ‘n greet with poets. A perfect opportunity to include on college applications. Open to any homeschooled and high school students and classes, no writing experience necessary!
Students will enjoy poetry performances and learn how to make their writing gorgeous with workshop leaders and poetry legends Mahogany L. Browne (pictured here), Roya Marsh, Jive Poetic, and Jon Sands.
Schedule is as follows:
Hoping to promote a more resilient local food system and better understand regional food insecurity issues, a collaborative new effort has launched the Adirondack Food System Network. Comprised of a group of Adirondack food system stakeholders from across the region, the initiative was launched with seed funding from Adirondack Foundation.
Adirondack Health Institute announced the initiative April 5 after teaming up with multiple organizations to identify food insecurity issues and regional solutions.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, AHI said, market supply chains and trade disruptions have limited food accessibility, especially for vulnerable residents lacking access to transportation and the means to purchase fresh food.
At the same time, farmers have been faced with significant disruptions in market access, especially due to the closure of restaurants, retail, and other food establishments, and the threat of the loss of market access for area farmers.
Budget Includes Legislation Lowering the Age for Deer Hunting with a Firearm and Crossbow in Participating Upstate Counties
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced a new opportunity for young hunters. The State Fiscal Year 2021-22 Budget signed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo includes legislation that now allows youths ages 12 and 13 to hunt deer with a firearm or crossbow under the supervision of an experienced adult hunter in upstate counties that opt-in to participate.
For nearly two decades, youth aged 12 and 13 in New York have been safely hunting deer and bear with archery equipment and small game with firearms. Until now, New York was the only state that didn’t allow 12- and 13-year-olds to hunt big game with a firearm. Environmental Conservation Law 11-0935 is a temporary measure that will pilot lowering the age through 2023, including the following provisions:
COVID-19 has affected all of us in one way or another, and hopefully things are winding down. For those of us in upstate New York, getting back to a sense of normalcy seems just around the corner, and listening to some bluesy folk music about the Adirondack High Peaks may be the perfect way to hold us over until we can return to the outdoors ourselves without fear.
Upstate New York-based band Nite Train is back with their newest album “Cat on a Mission,” named after band leader Ken Briggs’ newly adopted blind cat, whose other senses have turned up to overdrive. The cat zooms around with some serious conviction, and the phrase “cat on a mission was born.”
From Long Island to Western New York, volunteers will celebrate their natural heritage by cleaning up debris, planting trees and gardens, restoring trails and wildlife habitats, removing invasive species, and working on various site improvement projects. Due to COVID-19, registration will be limited to 50 people per site per day to create a safe and enjoyable experience for all volunteers. All projects will adhere to the proper social distancing and masking requirements. Event Registration
Following Success of Net Pen Programs for Other Species, DEC Anticipates Increased Survival of Stocked Smolts
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the deployment of two new pen-rearing projects for Atlantic salmon to begin this spring. To improve post-stocking survival and imprinting to the stocked water, experimental Atlantic salmon pen-rearing projects will be conducted in the Saranac River estuary in Lake Champlain and in the Salmon River in Lake Ontario. DEC is partnering with the Lake Champlain Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Plattsburgh Boat Basin on the Saranac River project and partnering with the Tug Hill/Black River Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Salmon River Lighthouse and Marina on the Salmon River project.
How do you describe Barn Owls? To begin with, what birds are stranger than owls? The oddly inelegant shape, the seemingly humorless and serious demeanor, the hostile and insistent beak snapping, the strength all out of proportion to their sizes?
And then there is the barn owl, with that heart shaped, almost alien, face, the head wagging when surprised or threatened, the long, gawky legs, and that arrestingly loud, drawn out and raspy hiss, like a cobra with a microphone.
Barn owls are a weird and fascinating species, even within the ghostliest of raptor orders, Strigiformes. The Martians have landed, and they have come for your rodents! In an interesting observation, the Carolina Raptor Center, speculating on the origin of ghosts and goblins in people’s minds, and mindful of the link between old barns, church steeples and agricultural fields, in other words, the proximity of villages to barn owl nesting sites, wonder whether the ghostly appearance, odd hisses, screeches and screams of the barn owl, helped foster such nightmares.