Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Steven Engelhart: Every Community Needs a Beating Heart

Old Forge Hardware CompanyThere is overwhelming evidence that the most successful communities — with thriving economies, healthy schools and social and cultural institutions — are those that embrace their own history and preserve their historic buildings. Good jobs, protection of natural resources, and good leadership are perhaps even more important. Historic preservation is a critical element in the revitalization of struggling communities and it is a visible expression of a community investing in itself and improving its own quality of life.

Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) has always been a strong advocate for the connection between historic preservation and community vitality. We work to preserve individual buildings, yes, but we also advocate for preservation because historic places can become affordable housing, attractive spaces for businesses, innovative cultural centers, new farms, restaurants and other attractions. Preservation is about finding new uses for historic structures, not just saving buildings. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

History of Hunting North Country Freshwater Pearls (Conclusion)

Those freshwater pearl collectors searching Plumb Brook and other small tributaries (near Russell in St. Lawrence County) did so by the standard method of wading, hunched over, with pail in hand, and plucking clams from the gravelly streambed. The varying depths of the Grass River required more complex methods that were used in clamming operations elsewhere. Similar to how spruce-gum pickers used a spud (a long pole with a scraper attached to remove deposits from high in the trees), pearl fishers used spuds with a set of nippers that were used to clasp and retrieve clams from a riverbed. The catch was then deposited in a perforated pail worn around the neck.

In shallow currents, where visibility suffered, pearl fishers wore what was called a “glass”—a wooden box big enough to fit around the wearer’s head. While the top was open, the bottom had a glass plate, allowing the user to view the riverbed, snorkel-like, by pressing the glass-covered portion into the water. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

LGLC Receives EPF Grant for Land and Water Protection

beaver pond in putnamThe Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) has been awarded a $40,000 grant from the 2017 Conservation Partnership Program, administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Land Trust Alliance. The LGLC was one of 58 nonprofit land trusts across New York State to receive grants, totaling $1.8 million.

The grant funds will be used towards the cost of protecting a 72-acre beaver pond in Putnam, purchased by the LGLC in 2016. The property’s extensive wetlands are crucial for protecting the water quality of Lake George as well as provide high quality habitat for wildlife and migratory avian species. This land is also part of the LGLC’s overall plan to expand the existing trail system to connect the Gull Bay Preserve and Last Great Shoreline to the Anthony’s Nose Preserve and beyond. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Suffrage Rally Reenactment to Commemorate Suffrage Centennial

gazebo in city parkThe Glens Falls Area Suffrage Centennial Committee will present a Suffrage Rally reenactment to commemorate the New York State Woman Suffrage Centennial to be performed in Glens Falls on Sunday, May 7 from 1 to 3 pm at the gazebo in City Park. This event is free and open to the public.

The Suffrage Rally will reenact the history of the campaign for women’s voting rights through historical speeches, letters and songs. Featured will be national figures such as Susan B. Anthony, Inez Milholland, and Carrie Chapman Catt, all of which had local ties. Visitors will also hear from lesser known suffragists, like Warren County leader of the New York State Woman Suffrage Party, Emily Nordstrom. Reenactors presenting the anti-suffragist view will also be on hand. Dr. Charles Dana, neurologist, and Lucy Price, a Vassar girl who spoke here while making a tour of the northeast in 1915, are on the roster. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Is Frontier Town ‘Gateway’ A $32 Million Boondoggle?

North Hudson Frontier Town Adirondack Gateway Vision DrawingThe plan to rebuild and reinvent the former Frontier Town wild west theme park site in North Hudson has not received much scrutiny, but it’s now being fast-tracked for planning and construction by the state. It’s short on details, but has a $32 million allocated in the new state budget. There are many questions around this project. Generally, the news following Governor Cuomo’s announcement to revitalize the former Frontier Town site has been greeted with great enthusiasm from local government officials and Adirondack leaders, but it has left me scratching my head.

My one clear thought among many questions is that it’s stacking up as one of the great boondoggles of all time. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Community Air Screening Program Tests Local Air Quality

The Department of Environment Conservation (DEC) has announced that the next round of the statewide Community Air Screen program is accepting applications. The program partners with community groups to conduct air quality surveillance. Applications to participate in the program will be accepted until May 19.

The program enables local community groups and residents to take air samples in neighborhoods across the State to help identify and address local air quality concerns. DEC will analyze the samples for possible air pollutants. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Conservancy Supports Adirondack Land Trust with Grant

The Nature Conservancy is making a grant to the Adirondack Land Trust (ALT) to provide $498,000 in funding to increase ALT’s capacity and scope of operations.

For over 25 years, The Nature Conservancy and ALT have worked closely together on land conservation projects in the Adirondacks, with the Conservancy providing staffing services to ALT. This grant represents a new phase in their partnership while helping to expand and diversify conservation capacity in the Adirondacks. The funding will strengthen ALT’s work as it establishes a new office and builds staff capacity. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Research Finds Increased Infected Ticks in Adirondacks

deer tickPaul Smith’s College’s efforts to monitor tick populations and tick-borne pathogens in the Adirondack region, in collaboration with the New York State Department of Health, have documented an increase in infected ticks in the North Country.

Focusing primarily on St. Lawrence, Clinton, Franklin and Essex counties, Paul Smith’s College biology professor Dr. Lee Ann Sporn, a team of students and Adirondack Watershed Institute stewards have been collecting blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks, which are tested by the Department of Health for disease-causing agents. In addition to an increase in the bacteria causing Lyme disease, the researchers have also recently found ticks carrying the agent that causes human babesiosis for the first time ever in the North Country. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Native Plants: All About Wild Leeks

wild rampsThe white bulbs of wild leeks, also called ramps (especially in the south), can be eaten year round, but it’s the early leaves that are most appreciated. In pre-freezer days, ramps were the first greens available after five or so months of potatoes and they were considered important as well as good tasting. Ramp festivals are still held in much of Appalachia to celebrate the arrival of this nutritious fresh food, and these tourist attractions have become so successful that in some places ramps are over-harvested.

Wild leeks are spring ephemerals that have no flowers in the spring. I know this is confusing; there’s a tendency to call every spring-blooming thing an ephemeral. But most spring wildflowers keep their leaves through the summer and therefore don’t qualify – it’s the extra short lifespan of the photosynthetic machinery that defines a spring ephemeral, not the timing of flowering. The rounded flower heads of leeks appear in July, well after the leaves have withered and disappeared. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Tim Rowland: Bass Fishing And Drag Performance

large mouth bassRemember the good old days when, as it applied to fishing, “drag” was something that you had on your spinning reel? Well, that quaint definition has gone by the boards, now that a fundraiser for a North Country bass tournament will include a drag show to be deliciously known as Camp Fishsticks.

Money raised from the affair will benefit the popular Bass Masters Elite tournament in Waddington this July, which draws thousands of manly sportsmen each year, but costs upwards of $200,000 to produce. So organizer Bob Giordano, who is a true genius in my mind, came up with the idea of Camp Fishsticks to feature, according to North Country Public Radio, the region’s “vibrant community of singers, dancers and comedians who dress up as the opposite gender.” » Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 29, 2017

New Book: John Apperson’s Lake George

john appersons lake george A new book by Ellen Apperson Brown, John Apperson’s Lake George (Arcadia Publishing, 2017), offers a significant collection of many Apperson photos published for the first time.

Writing from Virginia where John Apperson spent much of his youth, Ellen Apperson Brown has compiled an interesting collection of captioned images, along with an introductory essay that reveals much of the public, and private, life of her great uncle, who had such a large impact on protecting Lake George and the Adirondacks.
» Continue Reading.


Friday, April 28, 2017

The Adirondacks Around The Web This Week


Friday, April 28, 2017

Saranac Lake’s Daffest Welcomes Spring

Spring is in the air and that means Saranac Lake’s Daffest. With daffodils peeking out from individual yards and local parks, the April 27-30 festival is here to shake off the last of that winter melt and celebrate the hardy flower. Saranac Lake is flush with the bright yellow blossoms.

There are many events on the Daffest schedule including a Pub Crawl, Historic Walk and a 5K Fun Run. By far the largest draw is the annual soapbox derby. My children and friends have been a part of Saturday’s Daffest Derby for years. Though neither were ever in the fastest derby car, the process has always fun. Don’t worry. You don’t have to squeeze yourself into a tiny wooden car and careen down George LaPan Memorial Highway’s hill, to enjoy the soapbox derby. It’s just as fun to be a spectator and check out all the creative cars. » Continue Reading.


Friday, April 28, 2017

The Big Adirondack News Stories This Week


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Final Rec Plan for Sacandaga Easement Lands Released

sacandaga recreation management planThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has released the Final Sacandaga Block Conservation Easement Lands Recreation Management Plan (RMP) that identifies management initiatives to increase public access for recreational use on 6,147 acres of easement lands divided between seven tracts in the southern Adirondacks.

In June 2007, Finch, Pruyn and Company, Inc. sold 161,000 acres of land to The Nature Conservancy, which in turn sold the 92,035-acres to Upper Hudson Woodlands ATP and a Conservation Easement to the State of New York in March 2009. The Sacandaga Block Tracts consists of 6,147 acres of those lands in seven tracts: » Continue Reading.


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