Friday, July 25, 2008

Adirondack Artist Tour Includes 12 Jay Studios Saturday

This press release regarding the upcoming Jay Studio Tour is forwarded for your information:

The village of Jay, with its picturesque New England style village green and quaint covered bridge, transforms itself Saturday, July 26th into a town wide artist’s colony open to the public. Over the years, this very unique community has become a haven for the creative spirit. With it’s astonishing views, good studio spaces, and welcoming and tolerant philosophy, artists and crafts people have found a nurturing and supportive home in this village among the High Peaks.

For one day, July 26th from 10 to 6 PM, 12 of Jay’s studios will be open to the public. The tour is organized to follow a map that winds from village to farmland and mountaintop and showcases Jay’s physical beauty as well as the talents of her residents.

At Young’s Gallery, Sue Young will be demonstrating raku at 11 and 3 o’clock. Raku is a Japanese firing technique that was “Americanized” in the 1950s to produce glazes with a lustrous appearance. Terry Young will be making paper using plant materials from his garden and cotton linters. Terry will also be hand binding his book “Twenty Ways to See Whiteface” in the afternoon. There will be ample opportunity to engage both artists in a discussion of their work and technique. The gallery also features work by both Sue (traditional pottery) and Terry (paintings and clay sculpture) as well as many other North Country artists.

The newest addition to the Village Green in Jay is The Amos and Julie Ward Theater. The building will be open; Holly Carey’s quilts will be hanging in the theater space and there will be a gallery of work from the JEMS Saturday Artists’ Series. Holly’s Carey does primarily bed quilts, machine pieced and quilted. Her affinity for color and texture inspires her traditional patterns

Next door to the theater is the Village Green Gallery, a one-day collaborative Gallery effort by photographer Nadine McLaughlin, Philadelphia ceramicist Joan Marie Turbeck and painter Joan Turbek. Nadine’s sensitive photos of local landscapes and animals are currently the featured exhibit in the Amos and Julia Ward Theatre next to the Gallery. She will be showcasing her books of original poetry, cards, and prints in both venues. Joan Turbek’s illustrative watercolors will be shown and Joan Marie Turbek will contribute several pieces of clay sculpture highlighting her whimsical and provocative take on vegetables.

The Jay Craft Center, home, studio and craft shop of Lee Kazanis and Cheri Cross, will introduce guest potter Julia Geronski. Julia will be demonstrating wheel throwing and press molding techniques.

Opening his studio for the second year will be Bill Evans. Located on Rt 9, the building which houses both Bill’s gallery space and living area has been in renovation since 2006. Bill’s landscapes of the Adirondacks are well known and highly respected; he has work hanging at The Birch Store and Skylight Gallery in Keene Valley. Bill will be showing primarily oil landscapes-many of local scenes. This is a unique opportunity for a once a year look into the creative process.

Buttons Buttons is a working design studio producing pillows and decorative items made from vintage and antique textiles and buttons. Designer Barbara Smith will be introducing her line of evening bags created from a special collection of rare and unusual antique materials. This year, the studio tour will feature the grand opening of “Ben Lacy’s Cabin”-a handmade one room 1920’s cabin. Moved from Lacy Road in Keene and reconstructed in Jay, it houses the Buttons Buttons showroom for the Adirondack Collection of pillows.

Grace Pothast at Gallery in the Glen will be demonstrating watercolor and egg tempera in the converted milk house of the dairy farm she shares with her family. Grace will also feature a special children’s studio where the youngsters can create their own work of art.

Nearly at the top of the Jay Mt. Road you will find W.P. ‘Pete’ Jennerjahn’s studio. Pete will discuss and illustrate the differences and similarities between the various mediums: graphite, watercolor, pastels, oils and acrylic. It is a breath-taking location and a chance to see a large body of work representing a lifetime of experience.

Located on the Trumbull’s Corner Road in one of Jay’s most interesting homes is Swallowtail Studio where Wayne Ignatuck designs and builds furniture. Wayne recently completed a collaboration with architect David Childs. The child’s desk they built is being shown at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. Recently, Wayne has been expanding the definition of rustic furniture. Work presently in the studio will include furniture custom designed for the newly rebuilt Lake Placid Lodge.

Paul’s Café at Standard Falls Iris Garden will feature a special day of baker Nancy Garrand’s Chocolate Extravaganza: every and anything chocolate. The café has become the home of the Land of Makebelieve artifacts and mementoes.

Nationally recognized photographer Nathan Farb rounds out the Studio Tour this year. Nathan’s books include “The Adirondacks”, “100 Years of the Adirondacks”, and “Adirondack Wilderness”. He will be previewing another book entitled “Summer of Love’, and showing excerpts from a video project from Arkansas that he has been working on. The studio is handicapped accessible and will be American Sign Language interpreted. Nathan will be available to sign his books and discuss his photography.

The Tour Map is available at all of the tour locations, many businesses in the area and for download at the tour website: Jaystudiotour.com.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Our Endangered Adirondack Amphibians

This weekend The Wild Center in Tupper Lake is hosting a special symposium that will look at the global and local health of amphibians (frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, etc) and what it means for the Adirondacks and our planet (details below, along with a full list of Adirondack amphibians).

Probably because they lived in two polluted worlds – they are cold-blooded animals that metamorphose from a water-breathing juvenile to an air-breathing adult – amphibian populations around the globe are threatened or extinct. Some scientists believe it’s related to environmental pollutants, development that reduces their habitat, and global warming (which exacerbates pathogen outbreaks) are to blame.

This brings up the DEC’s Amphibian & Reptile Atlas Project (known as the Herp Atlas), a ten year survey (1990-1999) documenting the distribution of New York State’s herpetofauna. Using more than 1,200 volunteers, the project hoped to count 20 species in each survey block (based on 7.5′ topographic quadrangles) – that number was lowered by the end of the project to 15 species in each block – the data is lame, and hasn’t been exploited as far as I can see.

What data there has been made available is here, although I’m not sure why it hasn’t been included in the USGS North American Amphibian Monitoring Program.
Records prior to 1989 were also supposed to be compiled for a historic database, but the online data doesn’t even include 1999’s findings, let alone any historic data or analysis. So all the public really has to work with is a simple map and a series of fact sheets on the state’s amphibians and reptiles.

We have to wonder (no we don’t, we already know) why the Whitetail-deer management effort is so comprehensive, when the the herps are given short-shrift. The fact is that amphibians are experiencing an obvious and serious decline that suggests they may be “toads in the coal mine.” How about at least a Landowner’s Guide for Managing Amphibians?

Here are the details for the Wild Center’s Amphibian Weekend, which is free for members or with paid admission:

July 26 – 11am-12pm: “Amphibians of New York State” in the Flammer Theater with Dr. Glenn Johnson, Professor Biology at SUNY Potsdam and co-author of Reptiles and Amphibians of New York State 12pm-12:30pm: Amphibian encounter with a Wild Center naturalists in the Great Hall. 1pm-2pm: Lecture in Flammer Theater Why Amphibians Matter with Dr. Kevin Zippel, Program Director of Amphibian Ark, a scientific initiative sponsored by the Chicago Zoological Society . The Chicago Zoological Society is leading zoos worldwide in the globally coordinated public awareness campaign entitled “2008 The Year of the Frog.” 2-2:30pm: Amphibian encounter with a Wild Center naturalists in The Great Hall. 3pm-4pm: Children’s Program in The Great Hall with Wild Center naturalists called “Cyclin’ Around the Pond: The Life Cycles of Amphibians in Blue Pond”.

July 27 – 11am-12pm: Get “Up Close with Wild Center Amphibians” in the Flammer Theater with our own amphibian biologist, Frank Panaro. This program will cover the biology of Adirondack amphibians with special glimpses of them under the camera. 12-12:30pm: Amphibian encounter with a Wild Center naturalists in the Great Hall 1pm-2pm: Lecture in Flammer Theater entitled “Conservation of Kihansi Spray Toad” with Dr. Jennifer Pramuk, Curator of Herpetology at The Bronx Zoo. Other topics covered will be global amphibian health and zoo initiatives to protect and conserve amphibians worldwide. 2pm-2:30pm: Amphibian Encounter with a Wild Center naturalists in the Great Hall 3pm-4pm: Family Art Program- “Flippin’ Frogs and Slithery Salamanders”- Origami frogs and salamanders (the frogs can actually flip!).

Here is a complete list of amphibians from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry:

Salamanders (Order Caudata)

Mole Salamanders (Family Ambystomidae)
Blue-spotted salamander ~ Ambystoma laterale
Spotter salamander ~ Ambystoma maculatum

Lungless Salamanders (Family Plethodontidae)
Spring salamander ~ Gyrinophilus porphyriticus
Four-toed salamander ~ Hemidactylium scutatum
Red-backed salamander ~ Plethodon cinereus
Two-lined salamander ~ Eurycea bislineata
Mountain dusky salamander ~ Desmognathus ochrophaeus
Northern dusky salamander ~ Desmognathus fuscus

Newts (Family Salamandridae)
Red-spotted newt ~ Notophthalmus viridescens

Mudpuppies (Family Proteidae)
Mud puppy ~ Necturus maculosus

Frogs and Toad (Order Anura)

True Toads (Family Bufonidae)
American toad ~ Bufo americanus

Treefrogs (Family Hylidae)

Spring peeper ~ Hyla crucifer
Gray tree frog ~ Hyla versicolor

True Frogs (Family Ranidae)

Bullfrog ~ Rana catesbeiana
Green frog ~ Rana clamitans
Mink frog ~ Rana septentrionalis
Wood frog ~ Rana sylvatica
Leopard frog ~ Rana pipiens
Pickerel frog ~ Rana palustris


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bluegrass Benefit at Lake Placid August 1

The Lake Placid Center for the Arts and the Adirondack Museum have organized an evening of bluegrass headlined by the Larry Stephenson Band at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, August 1st at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. The concert will open with the Albany Region’s Dyer Switch Band. Tickets are $15 and proceeds will benefit the Adirondack Museum and the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.

Here’s more from a recent press release:

Performing for over a decade, and still on fire, bluegrass fans everywhere have enjoyed hearing the Larry Stephenson Band on the circuit’s top festivals. Youthful professionalism, material choice and high- energy concerts have propelled this group to the top of their field. Bluegrass Canada raves, “A true treasure is the singing of Larry Stephenson. This guy is one of the Bluegrass has ever seen.”

Beginning his musical career in his early teens, Larry Stephenson honed his talents playing mandolin and singing high lead and tenor while residing in his home state of Virginia. In the early 1990’s, when increasing opportunities for appearances on national television made it advantageous to relocate to the epicenter of the country and bluegrass music industries, he relocated to Nashville. From this base he now continues to make guest appearances at the legendary Grand Ole Opry as well as on Nashville-based TV productions.

Contrary to the norm on ‘music row’ in Nashville, where artists’ record label affiliations are often notoriously short-lived, Larry continues to record for one of the country’s preeminent independent record companies. 2008 marks his 19th anniversary of making records for the highly respected Pinecastle label.

Stephenson’s distinctive, crystal clear voice towers over the band vocals, delivering a strong message, whether in an old folk song, a ‘brush arbor’ gospel quartet or one of his many top ten trios that have graced the national bluegrass song charts.

Larry Stephenson remains one of the few artists whose solidly tradition-based, contemporary interpretations of the music keeps him on the cutting edge of the bluegrass charts. This multi-award winning group has gained the respect over the years of first generation legends such as, Jimmy Martin, Mac Wiseman, Jim & Jesse, The Osborne Brothers and others.

Stephenson is an inductee in the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame, and a four-time winner of the “Contemporary Male Vocalist Award” at the prestigious SPBGMA (Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America) Convention. In 2004 the band clinched the “Song of the Year Award” at the same convention, with the title track “Clinch Mountain Mystery.” The same CD stayed on the bluegrass charts for one solid year, debuting at #18 and staying in the top 5 for seven months, then hitting #1 in December 2004.

Bluegrass Now Magazine quotes, “One of the best and most influential of high lead/tenor singers in recent years.” While Bluegrass Unlimited claims Stephenson is, “One of the finest voices in Bluegrass today.” The evening will open with a performance by members of the International Bluegrass Music Association, Dyer Switch Band. The Band plays hard-driving traditional, original, and unique bluegrass and acoustic music. Performing since 1992, Dyer Switch was inducted into the New York State Country Music Hall of Fame and nominated for five consecutive years as Bluegrass Band of the Year by the Northeast Country Music Association. In 1998, “Gotta Feelin’,” from the band’s third recording, “American Airwaves,” was
nominated for “Song of the Year” by the Northeast CMA. Dyer Switch has received considerable air play in North America and Europe, and a song that band member JoAnn Sifo wrote was number one on the European country charts. The band has been has been featured on Northeast Public Radio, and in 1997 opened for Ralph Stanley at a concert in upstate New York.

This versatile and engaging band with dynamic stage presence has captivated audiences throughout the Northeast, Midwest, and South at festivals, clubs, coffeehouses, fairs and live radio shows. The band brings together hard-driving renditions of traditional tunes from first-generation bluegrass giants like Bill Monroe and Ralph Stanley, their own powerful originals and fresh and innovative versions of songs from other genres.

Purchase your tickets today for an Evening of Bluegrass at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts by calling 518.523.2512. Tickets are $15, and we do anticipate that this show will sell-out. For additional information visit online at www.LakePlacidArts.org or http://www.adirondackmuseum.org. To learn more about the artists, visit: www.larrystephensonband.com or www.dyerswitch.com.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

ADK Calls For Expansion of St. Regis Canoe AreaDispels Quiet Waters Myths

In a recent press release – “Quiet Waters Would Enhance Adirondack Experience” – the Adirondack Mountain Club countered some of the critics of the newly formed Quiet Waters Working Group and at the same time called on the working group to make use of what it called “an excellent opportunity to expand one of the Adirondack Park’s greatest attractions, the St. Regis Canoe Area.”

Adirondack Mountain Club officials called on the working group to expand the St. Regis Canoe Area (recently named one of Adirondack Almanack’s 7 Natural Wonders of the Adirondacks) to include 13 interconnecting ponds directly south of the St. Regis and west of Upper Saranac Lake. These would include Follensby Clear, Rollins, Floodwood, Polliwog, Little Square and Whey ponds. They also supported an Adirondack Explorer proposal that the area should remain open to boats with electric motors, with a 5 mph speed limit. Explorer’s proposal also states that “Pre-existing landowners would be exempted,” which wasn’t mentioned in the ADK plan. All told, the 13 ponds have a total surface area of 3 square miles.

Last month, state Department Environmental Conservation Commissioner Grannis and Adirondack Park Agency (APA) Chairman Curt Stiles announced the formation of an interagency “Quiet Waters Working Group for the Adirondack Park.” The working group will evaluate lakes, ponds and rivers in the Park for potential designation as “quiet water,” meaning that motorized craft would be prohibited.

This new proposal is a compromise by paddlers that would allow anglers to navigate the ponds in boats equipped with electric motors and enjoy quiet fishing undisturbed by the noise and wakes of gas-powered motorboats. It’s still to be seen if that will alleviate opponents of Quiet Waters like this one last week by Robert E. Brown in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise:

There has been a decade of new quiet water access purchased by the state with constant loss of motor boating waters. Now we hear of a committee being formed because ‘there are too few paddling opportunities.’ The state, now running out of lands to buy and reclassify as wilderness, intends to regulate motors off waters used by residents and sportsmen for generations.

The ADK supports the creation of the Working Group, saying that it “does not advocate any wide-reaching ban on motorboats on Adirondack waters.”

“Motorboats have been allowed for decades on most larger Adirondacks lakes, and ADK believes that this traditional use should continue,” executive director Neil Woodworth was quoted. “But there also should be more opportunities in the Adirondacks for canoeing and kayaking in peace and quiet. We believe this can be accomplished in ways that has little impact on other users.”

The ADK also called on the Quiet Waters Working Group to study the economic impacts of any Quiet Waters initiatives. Woodworth said the Working Group should also study possible motor restrictions or speed limits on Adirondack rivers, such as the Raquette, Jordan and Osgood. High-speed boats operating close to shore create wakes that disrupt nesting loons and inhibit their ability to reproduce. The Working Group should also consider economic incentives to encourage motorboat owners to switch from loud, dirty two-stroke engines to four-stroke engines.

The ADK also argues that the argument that there are thousands of lakes and ponds, covering hundreds of square miles, that are open to quiet paddling and that many lakes and ponds are inaccessible because they have been “locked up” in wilderness areas., is false.

They argue instead that

The DEC has cataloged more than 3,600 lakes and ponds in the park, but nearly half are less than 5 acres and three-quarters have less than a mile of shoreline. When private and public water bodies are taken into account, about 90 percent of the park’s lake surface area is open to motorboats. Although wilderness accounts for 17.5 percent of the total area of the Adirondack Park, wilderness ponds cover only about 12,000 acres, less than 4 percent of the park’s total.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Home Needed for Anne LaBastille’s Cats

UPDATE: Anne LaBastille died July 1, 2011 at a nursing home in Plattsburgh. You can read a full obituary and review of her life as an important environmentalist in Central America and in the Adirondacks here.

From the Jay Community News comes a note that Woodswoman author Anne LaBastille can no longer care for her animals. Her dog Krispy is living happily with a friend, but her two cats Chunita and Winston are being held in the Adirondack Veterinary Hospital.

Both cats have been indoor/outdoor cats. They were adopted by Anne as strays so their exact ages are not known, but they are believed to be 6 or 7 for Chunita, female, and 4 or 5 for Winston, male.

Don’t contact me – but if you have a home for these two cats – contact the Adirondack Veterinary Hospital in Westport at (518) 962-4311.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Bill McKibben Named Conservationist of the Year

The 2008 Conservationist of the Year award was Presented at by the Adirondack Council at the Silver Bay Association in Hague on Saturday. McKibben is the 24th annual winner of the honor, which includes the gift of a hand-carved loon.

Recent winners of the award have included The Wildlife Conservation Society (2007), Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (2006), Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky (2005), and the Open Space Institute (2004). Past winners include NY Governors Pataki and Cuomo, and NY Times editor John Oakes. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Adirondack Murray Lecture at the Adirondack Museum

From a recent Adirondack Museum Press release:

On July 5, 1870, the New York Daily Tribune reported that “nature tourists” were flooding to the Adirondack Mountains. “Last summer, Mr. Murray’s book drew a throng of pleasure-seekers into the lake region,” the paper noted.

“Mr. Murray” was the Reverend William H.H. Murray, a New England clergyman, author of Adventures in the Wilderness: or Camp-life in the Adirondacks, and one of the all-time most passionate boosters of the outdoor life in the North Country.

On Monday, July 21, 2008, Dr. Terrance Young will offer an illustrated program entitled “Into the Wild: William H.H. Murray and the Beginning of Camping in America” at the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, New York.

Part of the museum’s Monday Evening Lecture series, the illustrated presentation will be held in the museum’s auditorium at 7:30 p.m. There is no charge for museum members. Admission is $4.00 for non-members.

Dr. Young will explain how Reverend Murray’s book was the first to present Adirondack camping as a form of pilgrimage to wild nature. Every tourist and would-be camper who came to the Adirondacks in the summers of 1869 and 1870 had a copy of Adventures in the Wilderness tucked into his carpetbag, rucksack, or bundle. The result was the transformation of this previously remote and quiet region into an accessible, bustling destination.

Young is an Associate Professor of Geography at the California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, Ca. He teaches and writes about the historical geography of American recreation, and its relationship to the natural environment. He is the author of Building San Francisco’s Parks, 1850 – 1930, a book about the city’s municipal park system.

Dr. Young is currently working on a book about the history and meaning of American recreational camping entitled Heading Out: American Camping Since 1869.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Best Bets – Adirondack County Fairs Guide

Local fairs start this week, so here is a full list of Adirondack County Fairs, listed according to opening date. I’ve included a few of the most important regional fairs as well. Enjoy!

Lewis County Fair
7/15 through 7/19; Lowville, NY
http://www.lewiscountyfair.org/

Saratoga County Fair
7/15 through 7/20; Prospect Street, Ballston Spa, NY
http://www.saratogacountyfair.org/

Jefferson County Fair
7/15 through 7/20; Coffeen Street, Watertown, NY
http://www.jeffcofair.org/

Booneville-Oneida County Fair
7/21 through 7/27; Adirondack High School, Booneville, NY
http://www.frontiernet.net/~boonvillefair/index.htm

Clinton County Fair
7/22 through 7/27; Morrisonville, NY
http://www.clintoncountyfair.com/

Warren County Youth Fair
8/2 (only); Schroon River Road, Warrensburg, NY
http://counties.cce.cornell.edu/warren/

Franklin County Fair
08/02 through 08/10; East Main St., Malone, NY
http://www.frcofair.com

St. Lawrence County Fair
8/4 through 8/10; East Barney St., Gouverneur, NY
http://www.gouverneurfair.com/

Herkimer County Fair
8/12 through 8/17; Frankfort, NY
http://www.herkimercountyfair.org/

Essex County Fair
8/13 through 8/17; Main St., Westport, NY
http://www.essexcountyfair.org

Washington County Fair
8/18 through 8/24; Route 29, Greenwich, NY
http://www.washingtoncountyfair.com/

New York State Fair
8/21 through 9/1; State Fair Blvd., Syracuse, NY
http://www.nysfair.org/fair/

Champlain Valley Exposition
8/23 through 9/1; Pearl St., Essex Junction, VT
http://cvexpo.org/

Vermont State Fair
8/29 through 9/7; S Main St., Rutland, VT
http://www.vermontstatefair.net/


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Court Guts Acid Rain Clean Air Rules

Forwarded from the Adirondack Council fyi:

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia [Friday] struck down a crucial component of the federal government’s rules that were designed to curb the Midwestern air pollution that damages Northeastern forests and lakes and causes lung disease.

“By striking down the Clean Air Interstate Rule, the US Court of Appeals has left all of the Northeastern states vulnerable to acid rain and fine particles of smoke that damage people’s lungs,” said Scott Lorey, Director of Government Relations for the Adirondack Council, a national leader in the fight against acid rain. “CAIR was our only hope that significant reductions would be made over the next decade in the Midwestern smokestack pollution that has killed our forests and fish, tainted our drinking water and poisoned our food and wildlife with mercury. Now the rule is gone – struck from the books. We need quick action from the US Environmental Protection Agency to reissue the rule. Failing that, Congress must act right away to pass a bill that would require similar, or deeper, cuts in smokestack pollution. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 14, 2008

OPINION: Local Anti-Enviros Hate-Monger Too Much

When some folks prattle on about conservation and environmentalist ideas being forced on us from outside the Adirondack region, they simply get it wrong. Take this quote from blogger Dave Scranton, calling himself Adirondack Citizen:

The fact is that the NON-Residents Committee to “Protect” the Adirondacks and the Adirondack Council do not speak for all New Yorkers and in fact, they speak for damn few real Adirondackers (those of us that live and work here.) Elitist such as Sheehan, Beamish and Bauer are nothing more than professional lobbyists who peddle misinformation to advance their extremist Enviro-Nazi agendas at the cost of our Adirondack communities. Their claims of supporting “healthy Adirondack communities” are hypocritical beyond belief and APA & DEC need to stop giving their whines so much weight.

From the Keene Valley the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and the Adirondack Land Trust have recently announced the hiring of summer intern Meghan Johnstone of Saranac Lake.

An Adirondack native, Johnstone graduated from Saranac Lake High School in 2006. She just finished her sophomore year at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry where she majors in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Environmental Communication and Culture.

“Growing up in the Adirondacks has given me a deep appreciation for the environment. Now I’m working with a highly respected organization helping to protect the place that I know and love,” Johnstone recently said (that’s her at top left on a visit to recently purchased OK Slip Falls). It’s statements like those that show local anti-environmentalist like Dave Scranton for what they really are – hate mongers with a political agenda. The internship Johnstone is pursuing this summer was established in part by Clarence Petty (now there’s an “enviro-nazi” for ya!) – who probably has a few more years of “real” Adirondack living than the so-called Adirondack Citizen does.

And what is Meghan Johnstone’s primary goal this summer? It’s to work with the Conservancy’s director of communications starting with improving the pages relating to the recent purchases of ecologically and economically significant lands in the heart of the Adirondacks.

Nature Conservancy interns like Johnstone – raised in our own backyard – are gaining the practical skills to help equip them to address environmental challenges and public threats from folks like Adirodnack Citizen.

Money is being raised for an endowment to ensure funds are available well into the future to keep this program going. Everyone who deplores the divisive and hate-filled attitudes of some of our neighbors should contribute.

It’s time some of the folks around us stop trying to turn the rest of us into public enemies – donating to the fund is an appropriate way to send a message that those of us who live here are determined to protect our way of life, which includes protections for our surroundings and the economic opportunities our environment affords us.

For More Information

“Friends in Conservation,” a ten-minute video about the Adirondack Conservation Internship Program, featuring Barbara Glaser and Clarence Petty, is available by contacting Connie Prickett at 518-576-2082 x162 or cprickett@tnc.org.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading international, non-profit organization working to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. Since 1971, the Adirondack Chapter has been working with a variety of partners in the Adirondacks to achieve a broad range of conservation results. The Chapter is a founding partner of the High Peaks Summit Stewardship Program, dedicated to the protection of alpine habitat, as well as the award-winning Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, which works regionally to prevent the introduction and spread of non-native invasive plants.

The Adirondack Land Trust, established in 1984, protects open space, working farms and forests, undeveloped shoreline, scenic vistas, and other lands contributing to the quality of life of Adirondack residents. The Land Trust holds 45 conservation easements on 11,174 acres of privately-owned lands throughout the Adirondack Park, including 15 working farms in the Champlain Valley.

Together, these partners in Adirondack conservation have protected 556,572 acres, one out of every six protected acres park-wide. On the Web at nature.org/adirondacks.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

History of Electric Boats at The Adirondack Museum

Although they were popular in the Adirondacks in the 1890s and early 1900s, according to the G. W. Blunt White Library at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, no one is really sure who founded the Electric Launch Company (“Elco”):

Electric motors that could be used for marine application had been invented by William Woodnut Griscom of Philadelphia in 1879, and in 1880 he started the Electric Dynamic Company. In 1892 Griscom’s electrical company went bankrupt, and Electric Dynamic Company was bought by Isaac Leopold Rice who founded Electric Storage Battery Company (“Exide”). Rice had become interested in Electric Launch Company; they had been buying his storage batteries. He also was interested in Holland Torpedo Boat Company. He purchased the latter and merged it, along with Elco, into the Electric Boat Company in 1899. In 1900, Elco, which had previously acted as middleman by farming out the hull contracts and installing Griscom’s motors and Rice’s batteries, built its own boat-building facility at Bayonne, NJ.

Join Charles Houghton, former president of the Electric Launch Company will present a program entitled “Batteries Included: The History, Present, and Future of Electric Boating” at the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake that will be presented this Monday, July 14, 2008 in the Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.

The company provided 55 electric launches for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago to ferry sightseers over the fair’s canals and lagoons. Elco shifted to gasoline engines by 1910 and had a long life building military and some of the first widely produced pleasure boats. During World War One, the company built 550 sub chasers for the British navy. In 1921 they introduced the popular and (reasonably) affordable 26-foot Cruisette, a gas engine cabin cruiser. During World War Two Elco developed the the PT Boat, an 80-foot torpedo boat with a Packard aircraft engine.

At the end of the war, the company merged with Electric Boat of Groton, CT to form the nucleus of General Dynamics. By 1949, General Dynamics’ CEO thought he could make more money by building military craft and Elco’s workers were fired, the shipyard in Bayonne, New Jersey and all its equipment was sold.

The company was re-incorporated in 1987 but didn’t shift into electric boats again until 1996 the year Monday’s speaker, Charles Houghton, became company president. Under his direction the company began building electric motor boats and electric drives for boats and sailboats.


Friday, July 11, 2008

2008 Annual Adirondack Loon Census

The Zen Birdfeeder points us to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Annual Loon Census, set to take place Saturday, July 19th:

The Annual Loon Census provides valuable data for the Loon Program to follow trends in New York’s summer loon population over time. Hundreds of residents and visitors throughout New York assist them each year by looking for loons on their favorite lake or river. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Newcomb VIC to Host Climate Change Lecture

According to a media release we received last week, the SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry’s (ESF) Adirondack Ecological Center (AEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) in Newcomb will feature a presentation on climate change during the Huntington Lecture Series at 7 p.m. this Thursday, July 10th at the Newcomb VIC.

Colin Beier (that’s him at left) is a research associate at the AEC. He will present a program titled “Changing Climate, Changing Forests: from Alaska to the Adirondacks.”

Beier will demonstrate that the impacts of climate change in the far north are much more than disappearing sea ice; the boreal forests are changing dramatically, due to increased fire, insect outbreaks and tree diebacks. These are all are linked to climatic changes in the last century. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Andy Flynn’s New Blog ‘Adirondack Writer’

Adirondack Almanack gets a lot of requests to link to new blogs and nearly all of them we turn down because they don’t have anything to do with the Adirondacks. By the way, our criteria for inclusion as an Adirondack blog is simple – it should be written in or about the Adirondacks. A new blog from Andy Flynn promises both.

Flynn, from Saranac Lake, reports that he:

Writes the newspaper column, ‘Adirondack Attic,’ which runs weekly in five northern New York newspapers. It features stories about artifacts from the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake, N.Y. Andy is the author of the book series, New York State’s Mountain Heritage: Adirondack Attic, with volumes 1-5 in stores now. He owns/operates Hungry Bear Publishing and lives in Saranac Lake, N.Y. During the day, he is the Senior Public Information Specialist at the NYS Adirondack Park Agency Visitor Interpretive Center in Paul Smiths.

A recent post covered his so far unsuccessful attempts to save a historic one-room schoolhouse in Ellenburg Center (Clinton County):

In this case, I contacted the Adirondack Museum to see if they were interested in saving this schoolhouse, No. 11, in Clinton County. Not really. You see, they already have a one-room schoolhouse, the Reising Schoolhouse, built in 1907 in the Herkimer County town of Ohio. The Reising Schoolhouse was located in the extreme southern part of the Adirondack Park. The Ellenburg Center schoolhouse is located in the extreme northern part of the Adirondack Park.

The Adirondack Museum’s chief curator suggested I call Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) in Keeseville, which I did. The director and I spoke about the situation and agreed it would be a good idea to see the structure first. If anyone can help with saving an historic building in the Adirondack Park, it is AARCH.

So, that’s where we are. If there is any way to help, we’ll try to make it happen. Maybe we’ll get lucky and find someone in the Adirondack region, hopefully in Clinton County, who can help preserve this one-room schoolhouse, an important part of our rich North Country heritage.

Give Andy’s new blog a read, and lend a hand in his latest effort if you can.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Great Camps of the Adirondacks at the Adirondack Museum

From an Adirondack Museum media release:

Adirondack rustic lodges or “great camps” as their wealthy owners called them, were summer vacation homes. Built primarily of wood and stone and set deep in the great forests, the truly fabulous structures are today both relics of a bygone age and prototype for the contemporary architect, amateur builder, and historian.

On Monday, July 7, 2008, Dr. Harvey H. Kaiser will offer a program entitled “Great Camps of the Adirondacks, 25 Years Later” at the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, New York.

The first offering of the season in the museum’s Monday Evening Lecture series, the slide-illustrated presentation will be held in the museum’s auditorium at 7:30 p.m. There is no charge for museum members. Admission is $4.00 for non-members.

Dr. Kaiser’s talk will be based on his book Great Camps of the Adirondacks. This seminal study of rustic architecture is about great camps built from 1870 to 1930, establishing a style of domestic architecture imitated throughout the country in similar terrain of lakes, timber, and native stone.

Kaiser will preface his observations on the architecture with the history of the Adirondacks and the social forces that created structures that retain their charm and utility, in some cases a century and a quarter after construction. There are fascinating accounts of both the personalities who engineered and financed fabulous great camps, and of the buildings themselves.

When he wrote Great Camps, Kaiser made a strong case for preservation. The destruction of these remarkable structures would have been an irreparable loss, not only to our architectural heritage but also to every individual to whom they are a resource and inspiration.

In his presentation, Kaiser will offer observations on the book’s concerns, the changes that rescued the camps from demise, and the resurgent interest in rustic architecture.

Dr. Kaiser is president of Harvey H. Kaiser Associates, Inc., a consulting firm providing services domestically and internationally in architecture, urban planning, and facilities management.

In addition to Great Camps of the Adirondacks, Kaiser’s current research interest is historic architecture in the national parks. He is the author of Landmarks in the Landscape: Historic Architecture in the Western National Parks, guidebooks on parks in the far and southwest.

The Adirondack Museum tells the story of the Adirondacks through exhibits, special events, classes for schools, and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages. Open for a new season from May 23 to October 19, 2008. Introducing Rustic Tomorrow — a new exhibit. For information about upcoming exhibits and programs, please call (518) 352-7311, or visit www.adirondackmuseum.org/


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