Wednesday, April 26, 2017

1890s Adirondack Freshwater Pearl Fever

Balsam pillows, maple syrup, spruce gum, custom-made rustic furniture — they’re all products comprised of raw materials native to the Adirondacks. Other businesses, current or defunct, have similar roots, but occasionally in regional history we find homegrown livelihoods that seem an odd fit for the North Country. Among the unlikeliest of those is pearl harvesting — not in the St. Lawrence River or Lake Champlain, but in creeks and rivers of the Adirondacks and foothills.

Pearls, considered the oldest of the world’s gems, are deeply rooted in history dating back thousands of years. They were highly valued in ancient Chinese, Indian, Egyptian, Roman, and Arabian cultures. Polynesia, Ceylon, and the Persian Gulf were the primary pearl sources, but as man is wont to due, excessive harvesting badly depleted the world supply. While the search continued for natural alternatives, the first cultured pearl (cultivated through a process that imitated nature) was developed in the 1890s. Patent battles to control the method continued until 1916, but in the meantime, many countries turned to harvesting pearls from fresh-water clams. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Crown Point Cannon Trail Monument Being Dedicated

crown point barracksThe Friends of Crown Point State Historic Site will host an unveiling ceremony May 13th for a monument commemorating the Crown Point cannon that Henry Knox hauled from Lake Champlain to Boston at the beginning of the American Revolution.

Re-enactors portraying the patriot Green Mountain Boys, under the command of Captain Seth Warner, will arrive to commemorate the May 11, 1775 liberation of 111 cannon from the few British soldiers posted at the fort. An outdoor reception of light refreshments, will follow, rain or shine and is free to the public. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Grants for Mental Illness Stigma Reduction Projects

The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) has announced the availability of up to $75,000 in grant funding for projects that help reduce the stigma often associated with mental illness.

This funding represents the revenues received through a voluntary tax check-off program launched in 2016. This program allows taxpayers to contribute easily to the ‘Mental Illness Anti-Stigma Fund’ when filing their NYS taxes.

The Office of Mental Health will provide 15 grants of up to $5,000 each to support year-long stigma-reduction projects. Agencies must have at least one year of experience serving individuals with mental illness in order to qualify. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

TAUNY Writers’ Fair in Canton May 6th

tauny centerTraditional Arts in Upstate New York (TAUNY) will hold the TAUNY Writers’ Fair, a one-day gathering on May 6, 2017 from 11 am to 6 pm, at The TAUNY Center in Canton.

The Fair will include established local writers and publishers of “place-based writing,” a concept that is tied to TAUNY’s mission of encouraging a better understanding and appreciation of a sense of place for the North Country. The featured writers come from across the region and have produced work about topics of Adirondack North Country culture and heritage, natural history, ecology, and more. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Beloved Wild Center River Otter Dies

Officials at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake have announced the passing of Remy, one of the natural history museum’s four river otters. Remy, who was eight years old, passed away at The Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center at Cornell University on April 23rd after a brief illness. A necropsy will be performed, with results expected in a few weeks. During his illness, Remy was under the care of Cornell staff.

Remy was born in 2009 at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium and came to The Wild Center in 2010. Typically, in the wild, otters live approximately 8-12 years.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

North Country Woodpeckers: Signs of Spring

woodpeckerTrees speak many languages, their leaves whooshing in summer and trunks creaking in winter. At the onset of spring, trees become sounding boards for courtship. Before the thrushes and warblers and sparrows arrive to sing from branches and boughs, woodpeckers kick off the spring chorus with a drumroll.

Although woodpeckers certainly vocalize, usually with sharp calls or harsh chattering, drumming is one of the most reliable early signs of spring – a proclamation of territoriality and an advertisement to the opposite sex. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

2017 North Country Symposium Registration Open

The Eben Holden Conference Center at St. Lawrence University will host the 15th annual North Country Symposium on May 8th, 2017 from 9 am to 4 pm.

The 2017 Symposium will build upon the foundation of the 2016 Symposium by moving from a focus on the entrepreneurial ecosystem to a focus on economic sectors that are strategic to development in the North Country. This year’s Symposium will look more closely at the value chains of key sectors in the North Country such as agriculture, energy, arts and tourism. Registration begins at 8:30 am. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Adirondack Regiment Focus of Civil War Roundtable

Home again lithograph by FabroniusOn Sunday, April 30th, at 2 pm at the St. Lawrence County Historical Association, Dallas Robinson will give a first-person presentation in the character of a member of the 118th New York Volunteers at the North Country Civil War Round Table.

The “Adirondack Regiment” was formed from enlistees from Clinton, Essex, and Warren counties in 1862, and eventually was the first Union unit inside Richmond, the Confederate capital, at the end of the war. Robinson is a veteran Civil War re-enactor living in Norfolk, and gives presentations on the Civil War at local schools and in Masonic Lodges. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 24, 2017

DEC Releases Draft Adirondack Rail Trail Plan

Draft Adirondack Rail Trail PlanA Draft Adirondack Rail Trail Conceptual Plan outlining the general design and features of the future 34-mile, multi-use recreational trail on the railway bed between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake has been released for public review and comment.

“The Draft Adirondack Rail Trail Conceptual Plan is an important step in developing a unique, world class outdoor recreation trail like no other in the Adirondacks, New York State, or the nation,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement issued late Monday. “The rail trail will connect the villages of Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake, and Lake Placid, providing visitors and residents with new opportunities to walk, hike, and bike in three seasons, and cross-country ski, snowshoe, and snowmobile in winter, boosting local economies in surrounding communities all year long.” » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Diverse North Country: Canadians of Clinton County

Abutting Lake Champlain at the northeastern corner of New York State, Clinton County has long been a site of exchange and encounters. Local toponyms attest to French imperial ambitions in the colonial era: Champlain, certainly, but also Ausable, Point au Roche, Point au Fer, Chazy, and, facing Chazy on the lake, Vermont’s Isle La Motte. In turn, the historic sites of Crown Point and Ticonderoga are monuments to the strategic importance of Lake Champlain from a military perspective. By linking New York City and Montreal through the Hudson and Richelieu rivers, the lake was witness to the clash of empires that ended with the collapse of New France in the 1760s.

In the early nineteenth century, Clinton reaped the economic benefits of this natural hydrographic corridor. And while international trade boomed, the region received an ever-rising number of French-Canadian farmers, farm laborers, and craftsmen who sought to escape difficult economic straits along the St. Lawrence River. What the French had not seized by force of arms they conquered through sweat and toil. To this wave of migrants, especially those who arrived in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, tens of thousands of county residents can today trace their lineage. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Recent Adirondack Search and Rescue Operations

DEC Forest RangerNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents in the Adirondacks. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the Adirondack backcountry.

What follows is a report, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Mirror Lake Water Quality Report Issued

mirror lakeThe Ausable River Association (AsRA) in partnership with Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) have released the Mirror Lake 2016 Water Quality Report. Over the last two years AsRA has worked with AWI to collect baseline information on the lake. They compiled this information, along with historical water quality data dating back to 1971.

Mirror Lake has been enrolled in a variety of water quality monitoring programs over the past 45 years. These range from citizen volunteer water quality monitoring programs to studies conducted by a variety of contractors and researchers. The purpose of this report is to summarize all the available water quality data on Mirror Lake to develop a comprehensive understanding of the current state of the lake. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Fort Ticonderoga Brings Education Onto Lake Champlain

Students aboard CarillonFort Ticonderoga recently received a grant from the South Lake Champlain Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation to support regional youth maritime educational programs. Aboard the 60-foot touring Carillon, each 90-minute narrated boat tour focuses on the historical importance of the Lake Champlain waterway through centuries of history, and highlights elements of geography, natural history, and lake stewardship. This experience enables students to better grasp the strategic importance of the Champlain-Hudson corridor in the 18th century and its role in the founding of America. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Adirondack Park At A Crossroad Program in Saratoga Thursday

A report about the Adirondack Park by Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve will be the subject of a presentation at the Saratoga Springs Public Library on Thursday, April 27. The presentation will be held at noon in the Library’s H. Dutcher Community Room is free and open to the public. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Chris Maron of CATS: Everyone Benefits From Trails

champlain area trailsHow can everyone benefit from trails? Let’s look at the past, present, and future.

The Champlain Valley was the last part added to the Adirondack Park. It has little public land and, until recently, few hiking trails. This limited the economic benefits of outdoor recreation because people bypassed the valley on their way to trails in the High Peaks. But, that is changing.

What led to the change? First, land conservation organizations and the state purchased key properties like Split Rock Wild Forest, Coon Mountain, and Black Kettle Farm. This expanded public access to the outdoors. Next, new “local-food” farms started up attracting young people and reviving the farm community. » Continue Reading.


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