Friday, April 2, 2021

Latest news headlines

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

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Thursday, April 1, 2021

Native bees make due with honeydew

aphid honeydewMarch 21st marked the first day of spring and here in the mountains the warm early spring temperatures have begun to prompt the native bees to wake from their hibernation.  Like many creatures, most native bees store up food during the warm months in preparation for a cold long winter.

The first thing waking bees do is perform a cleansing flight, they expel any excrement that has accumulated during their winter’s rest.

The next thing they do is search for food.  Its not hard to see that there are no trees and flowers in bloom as the snow begins to melt and once again bare ground is exposed.

So what do these amazing little creatures do to survive until blossoms appear?  Unlike colony-building honeybees, solitary bees don’t stockpile honey for times when blossoms are scarce.

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Thursday, April 1, 2021

DEC Announces Online Falconry, Wildlife Rehabilitator, and Leashed Tracking Dog Exams

Online Exams Scheduled for Friday, April 30

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that examinations for individuals seeking a license to practice the sport of falconry, become a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator, or use leashed tracking dogs to find wounded or injured big game animals are scheduled for Friday, April 30. To ensure access to the examinations, and prevent the spread of COVID-19, DEC is offering exams online this year instead of in-person. The exams will be available from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on April 30. Registrants will have two hours to take each exam.

To register for any of these exams, click on the exam registration link and follow the directions provided. An email will be sent acknowledging registration.

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Thursday, April 1, 2021

Rock the 46 fundraiser event

rocksport climbing gym

Are you a climber looking for a challenge to get you ready for the spring climbing season?  Are you a hiker trying to avoid the trails during shoulder season? Or are you just looking for something fun and safe to do during a global pandemic?

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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Camp improv: Lemonade Bass

The Monroe familyFor our family, like most firmly rooted within The Blue Line, the equation is simple:

Summer + Camping x Kids = FISHING!

When my son RJ was 4, he was out fishing one morning at Bull Rush Bay with his “Gramps”.

Gramps overheard RJ humming to himself, singing a little tune while they fished.  When they returned to camp, Gramps wrote RJ’s lyrics down.  They went like this:

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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Summer reading

book stackReady to read a good book by a mountain lake? That’s a pleasant thought after a troubling year, and the time for it is creeping up on us. Maybe this summer we’ll even feel safe to mingle in bookshops, or do our reading around others in coffee shops.

Remember those days?

With high hopes, we at the Adirondack Explorer are assembling a summer reading list and some reviews, for recent books with Adirondack themes or interests.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Rangers conduct two overnight Search & Rescues

Recent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
On Mar. 25 at 5:14 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker reporting he was concerned that his 18-year-old friend was lost after the pair were separated on the trail for Mount Marcy in the High Peaks Wilderness Area. After speaking with the caller, Forest Ranger Praczkajlo advised that he and Forest Ranger O’Connor were responding to assist. Once on scene, Ranger Praczkajlo notified Dispatch that he and Ranger O’Connor made contact with the reporting party at Marcy Dam. Ranger Praczkajlo continued up the trail to locate the lost hiker while Ranger O’Connor began to escort the friend out of the woods. Lt. Burns advised that Ranger Lewis would respond to the Garden parking lot and begin to hike up the Mount Marcy trail from Johns Brook Valley.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Court hears tree-cutting lawsuit

court screenshotOne of the stories I wrote for this past issue of Adirondack Explorer was about a “forever wild” case before the state Court of Appeals brought by Protect the Adirondacks against the state Department of Environmental Conservation. In case you missed it, last week the court heard oral arguments from both sides, which I wrote about here.

If you click on that link above, too, we embedded the YouTube clip of the hearing so you can watch it for yourself. No matter what side you might take, it is interesting to watch the judges ask so many good questions. This whole case can get very abstract when you’re looking at the question of what is a constitutionally protected tree. But I thought the judges also got to some very specific questions about constitutional amendments and work that has been impacted thus far from this litigation.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Grace Peak

grace hudowalskiAs Women’s History Month wraps up, here are a few stories in our archive about Grace Hudowalski, one of the first 46ers (No. 9) and for whom Grace Peak is named:

Almanack file photo

 


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

It’s debatable: A permit to hike?

ausable clubNow that you’ve had a chance to process the news about the Ausable Club and partners moving to a reservation system for the Adirondack Mountain Reserve trailheads. I’d like to hear your thoughts. Are you celebrating this news (like the folks at Adirondack Wild)? Will this impact your hiking plans this summer? Do you feel this change is needed to protect the resources or an arbitrary move?


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Adirondack Wild applauds pilot reservation system at AMR

AMR lotThe non-profit Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve applauds the announcement by Commissioner Basil Seggos of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation of a pilot reservation system for accessing selected trails from the privately-owned Adirondack Mountain Reserve located off State Rte. 73 in the Town of Keene.

“This pilot program for the upcoming High Peaks Wilderness hiking season is part of a critically needed set of user management tools for both the DEC, the Town of Keene, and the adjacent, cooperating private landowner, the AMR,” said Adirondack Wild’s David Gibson.

“We have been calling for a pilot reservation system for a number of years to reduce Wilderness congestion, restore wilder conditions, and increase both hiker education and public safety. Now, we wish to thank the High Peaks Strategic Advisory Group, the DEC, the Adirondack Mountain Reserve, the Town of Keene, and other stakeholders involved for their study of the problems, and for their upcoming cooperation and commitment to initiate this pilot beginning on May 1.”

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Monday, March 29, 2021

Flea beetles: Be ready for action when they pop up in your garden

flea beetleDespite the frigid weather that recently swept across the United States, gardeners are busily planning for the growing season. In the Adirondacks, the stakes are high for gardeners; a shorter growing season is made more urgent by frequent flea beetle attacks. The purpose of this article is to discuss these insects, share information about control measures, and reflect on one potentially positive aspect of living with these insects. 

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Monday, March 29, 2021

HPAG Report: The Visitor Experience

This is the third 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 “Visitor Experience” section of the report.

HPAG’s recommendations will require a significant investment in state resources on an ongoing basis and additional staffing to improve the management of the HPWC by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). HPAG recommends a long-term, broad-based advisory group to help coordinate management reforms. Without greater funding, enhanced staffing, and a management committee to lead the process, many of the HPAG report ideas will rust.

The Visitor Experience section is a big part of the HPAG report. I count 35 separate recommendations, some that try to breathe new life into dormant actions from existing Unit Management Plans (UMPs), others that spotlight ideas that have been in the wind for a while, and others that try to introduce new and different management options.

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Monday, March 29, 2021

APA at 50: A daylong symposium

APA In June 1971, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller signed legislation creating the Adirondack Park Agency, and the modern era of Adirondack history began. All private land in the Park was zoned according to how densely it could be developed, and the state-owned Forest Preserve was divided into various categories, with Wilderness Areas designated as the most tightly regulated. No one was happy with the new agency. Local government and business interests predicted economic catastrophe, while conservationists felt the new regime didn’t adequately protect the Park.

The Adirondack Experience: The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake (ADKX) will host a daylong symposium, free and open to the public, on June 22, 2021. This will be a virtual symposium: all presentations will be online.

For more details and to register, go here.

Photo: Gov Rockefeller signs the APA Private Land Use Plan legislation. Richard W. Lawrence, first APA Chair, looks on at left. Photo by Paul Schaefer/Almanack archive

Editor’s note: Starting today, the Explorer is running a series about the formation of the APA. Click here for the first one.


Sunday, March 28, 2021

New trails aim to undo mistakes of the past

poko moonshine trailwork

“The shortest distance between two points is a straight line”   – Archimedes

The early Greek mathematician posed this rule for flat surfaces, which the Adirondacks are anything but. Yet this was the scheme for our first mountain trails  –  hardly layouts, but ad hoc routes to get hikers and particularly Fire Observers,  to the summits ASAP.  After twisting past down trees, boulders, cliffs, or water, their lines would straighten right back out.  Trails out West more gently curve along the contours and switchback to ease their ascents, but not those here. Most of our old direct goat paths are still in place.

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