Here’s a look at news from around the Adirondacks this week:
In her poem “It Sifts from Leaden Sieves,” Emily Dickinson lauds the sublime beauty of snow – gossamer flakes that garnish a forest, wispy grains that infiltrate nooks and crannies, and wind-sculpted rings of snow around fence posts. Given that the poet lived in a time before cars and stayed in her bedroom for 20 years, she never had to shovel snow, trudge through it, or drive in it. One is less apt to admire “alabaster wool” when the plow wings a mountain of it onto the driveway you just shoveled.
Although legislation was passed in 2004 that banned the sale of small lead fishing tackle in New York, the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation has continued to document Adirondack loons dying from lead poisoning after ingesting lead jigheads and sinkers that are still legal to use. In 2023, five out of 12 dead loons that were collected and submitted to the NYS DEC’s Wildlife Health Program for necropsy died due to lead poisoning, making it the leading cause of death in these unfortunate birds. Other causes of death included trauma, illness, and parasites.
School Seedling Program Application Period Now Open
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Saratoga Tree Nursery officially kicked off the annual spring seedling sale, which is now open to the public and runs until May 10. Each year, the nursery offers low-cost, New York-grown tree and shrub species for sale to encourage plantings that help conserve New York’s natural resources and foster the next generation of forests.
The state Senate’s environmental conservation committee today [Feb. 5] passed a bill enacting New York’s Wildlife Crossing Act. It directs the state Department of Transportation and the New York State Thruway Authority to identify sites where wildlife crossings are needed. Federal funding may be used to build the top five projects the state agencies identify.
Check out my colleague Mike Lynch’s story about why creating different kinds of safe passages for wildlife is important at this link.
This story is my salute to Black History Month. Written as historical fiction, this tale actually represents an intensive, one might even say possessed, multi-year endeavor of excavation, research, analysis and discovery.
I have long been fascinated by the fact that my land and home here in Jefferson County, on a long, low plateau nestled between Watertown and the War of 1812 stronghold at Sackets Harbor, has direct links to the home I grew up in in Saranac Lake.
Not only were both part and parcel of “Macomb’s Purchase”, but the “Military Road” that runs past my current home’s property was originally planned as a military supply route linking Sacket’s Harbor to Plattsburgh, which would have taken it directly past my boyhood home in Saranac Lake.
The Long Lake NY Parks and Recreation Department has announced it is the recipient of a two-year, $70,000 grant to support the Adirondack Local Culture Program, a seasonal
youth program combining youth mentoring opportunities with the great outdoors at the Mt. Sabattis Recreation Area in the Town of Long Lake, N.Y. This program is funded by the Town of Long Lake and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice, and Delinquency Prevention. The program will be administrated through the National Recreation and Park Association and the Town of Long Lake. » Continue Reading.
The Blue Mountain Lake Association announced a grant award totalling $60,000 over three years by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to support its project to eliminate Variable Leaf Milfoil, a highly aggressive aquatic invasive species, from Utowana Lake, and to prevent its spread throughout the Eckford Chain of lakes.
The Blue Mountain Lake Association is grateful to be one of 43 recipients in this statewide investment to provide critical support to address negative impacts of aquatic and terrestrial invasive species on New York State’s natural resources, economy, and communities. These grants are part of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Invasive Species Grant Program, which provides funding for aquatic and terrestrial invasive species spread prevention, early detection and rapid response, lake management planning, research, and education and outreach.
The Blue Mountain Lake Association oversees efforts to promote the long-term health of all three lakes in The Eckford Chain (Blue Mountain Lake, Eagle Lake and Utowana Lake). In 2020, when Variable Leaf Milfoil (VLM) was first discovered in Utowana Lake, The BMLA acted decisively, quickly raising an unprecedented $150,000 to stop VLM from spreading further into the Eckford Chain. Experts were hired to begin hand-harvesting VLM from Utowana using scuba equipment in order to stop its spread. Initially, 400 gallons of VLM were harvested. By 2023, that number was down to 36 gallons – a testament to The BMLA’s vigilance against VLM in its waters. With the support of additional funds from New York State, The BMLA is seeking to eradicate VLM from Utowana while continuing to monitor all three lakes in the Eckford Chain for aquatic invasive species.
As everyone knows, it’s been a tough winter for outdoor enthusiasts. I like to ski on Fridays and the recent pattern seems to be a good storm Sunday through Monday, then by Friday, it’s been 40 degrees and rain. I took a chance and drove to my favorite mountain on a recent morning. Thankfully, the conditions were amazing. Well groomed, hard packed, and fast, but not crusty or icy. Everyone looked like an Olympian!
Town of Lake Pleasant
Law Enforcement: On Jan. 30 at 4 p.m., Hamilton County’s Sheriff’s Dispatch called Forest Ranger Snye about a disabled vehicle on the Elm Lake Road snowmobile trail. The car’s operator was attempting to reach the Siamese Ponds Wilderness trailhead, which is only open for snowmobile use. Ranger Snye and a Sheriff’s Deputy responded and issued a ticket for illegal operation of a motor vehicle on posted easement roads/trails. A local tow company removed the vehicle.
Old Forge’s annual Winter Carnival is slated for this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 10-11. On Saturday, winter enthusiasts are encouraged to head to the McCauley Mountain Ski Area opening at 9 a.m. for Alpine and Nordic skiing. At 5 p.m. guests are welcome to enjoy live music by Doug Green in the chalet.
The coronation of this year’s Royal King and Queen, Dale and Diane Heroux, is scheduled for 7 p.m. on the Playmate Slope, followed by night skiing and a torchlight skiing show by the Town of Webb UFSD Alpine Ski Team. In traditional fashion, the evening will conclude with a fireworks display.
On Sunday, McCauley Mountain will open at 9 a.m. for Nordic and Alpine activities. At 1 p.m., folks are invited to warm up with s’mores beside open fire pits. Musician Doug Green will return for live music at 2 p.m. in the chalet. The Town of Webb UFSD Junior Class will host the annual cardboard sled races beginning at 3 p.m., with categories like fastest sled and most people in one sled. For more information about the carnival, call the Old Forge Visitor’s Information Center at (315) 369-6983.
Photo at top: Fireworks display at a previous Old Forge Winter Carnival. Photo courtesy of the Old Forge Visitor’s Information Center.
RAY BROOK, NY – The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, February 8th, 2024. The meeting will be held at the Agency’s headquarters in Ray Brook, NY. The public is welcome to attend in person or remotely.
Public comment will be available to members of the public who attend the Agency meeting in person as well as those who participate remotely. If you would like the opportunity to make a public comment remotely, please email your name and the phone number used to call into the Board Meeting to AgencyMeeting.PublicComment@
Blue Mountain Lake, NY – The Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts (ALCA) is pleased to announce that the arts non-profit received $415,500 for calendar year 2024 from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). Of that amount, $19,000 will go to funding projects by two individual artists, and $285,000 will be distributed by ALCA throughout the Quad-County region of Hamilton, Franklin, Clinton, and Essex counties through the Statewide Community Regrants (SCR) program to support 2024 arts programming. Grants are project-based, community-focused, and can represent any artistic discipline. » Continue Reading.
Saranac Lake, NY — In 2018, Saint Regis Canoe Outfitters owners Dave and Rivka Cilley reached out to the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) and the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce (SLACC) about a new program designed to help North Country small businesses transition to the next generation of owners. Over the course of five years, ANCA’s Center of Businesses in Transition (CBIT), would help connect the Cilleys with the right buyer, as well as a team of local providers and technical services to support them through the transition process.
If you could live in any Adirondack community, which one would you choose and why?
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