Thursday, July 1, 2021

Upper Saranac coalition: APA ruling endangers wetlands

upper saranac In an unprecedented reversal of its prior position, the APA is amending a long-standing 1987 permit to allow a large private residential septic system to endanger to a rare bog and degrade Upper Saranac Lake water quality.  The APA has ignored their own 1987 permit requirements.

A coalition of conservationists, engineers, a wetland ecologist, and neighbors of a proposed development within the Class 1 wetlands on Upper Saranac Lake said today that the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) had, over the strong objections of environmentalists, engineers and local landowners, approved an amendment to an existing APA permit.  The amendment eases the restrictions normally required for wetlands, and for only the last lot of the Deerwood Subdivision. This amendment allows for an on-site septic system 100 feet from a stream that empties into the Upper Saranac Lake and from the rare Category 1 wetlands boundary.

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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Foraging for Wild Food: Workshop series at Paul Smith’s VIC

pigweedI’ve always found the idea of foraging for wild edible plants appealing, but daunting. I know a little about wild plants and foraging, but I lack confidence. And with good reason. I didn’t grow up foraging and, although it’s possible to acquire knowledge about foraging from books and websites, it’s a lot easier (and safer) to learn from someone who has first-hand foraging knowledge and experience; someone who has been gathering, preparing, and eating wild foods throughout his or her entire life.

Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Franklin County is offering a series of Wild Edibles Workshops during July and August.

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Kid next to water
Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Moffitt Beach Campground suffers storm damage

forest ranger reportsThe following are recent forest ranger highlights provided by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Town of Lake Pleasant
Hamilton County
Storm Damage Response:
 On June 21, Forest Rangers Nally, Thompson, and Kerr responded to a call for Forest Ranger assistance from the caretaker at Moffitt Beach State Campground. The caretaker reported several impassable roadways, downed trees and phone lines, and power outages in the area.

Rangers helped clear storm damage in and around the campground and assisted local fire departments, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, and highway officials with localized storm impacts.

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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

New facilities unveiled at Olympic Day celebration

Olympic DayPaul Smith’s College is an Official Sport and Education Training Center for US Biathlon and USA Nordic. The relationships have produced over 20 new enrollees in those sports at the college this fall. These student/athletes will be able to train on the Nordic trails virtually outside their dormitories.

This photo was taken at Mount Van Hoevenberg’s new refrigerated indoor push track for bobsled and skeleton, and was one of the many new facilities that were unveiled during ORDA’s Olympic Day celebration in Lake Placid on Thursday, June 24. Other highlights included the new refrigerated start facility at USA Luge and a new biathlon range.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

American martens: ‘Ambassador to all things wild’

martenThe American Marten is a truly enigmatic ambassador to all things wild. Sightings of these large members of the weasel family will brighten any family camping trip or bring a flash of raw wilderness while exploring the backcountry.  

Amazingly there are actually two types of Marten in North America. “Martes Americana” – which is what we see on the Adirondacks and most of the mountainous parts of the northeastern United States and across Canada and also “Martes Caurina” who lives in the far Western parts of Canada and in the US Rockies as well as parts of California and Oregon.  

While exploring Mother Nature over the many years we have been lucky enough to have seen both varieties in the wild although, Martes Caurina was a single and very brief but very close encounter. My wife Anne (who’s Marten Americana images are included with this article) and I were exploring the Rockies, actually looking for Grizzlies to film.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

On the Hunt for Invasive Species

Adult Asian longhorned beetle in a poolNew #OnesToWatch Map Helps Protect our Lands and Waters

Making sure the lands and waters you love to hunt and fish stay healthy is one of the best ways we can support wildlife. Invasive species are plants and animals that not only harm our forests and waterways, they can harm New York’s fish and wildlife. Hunters, anglers, and wildlife watchers like you can be a first line of defense, and there’s an easy way for you to know what to look for: DEC’s #OnesToWatch interactive map!

The #OnesToWatch map makes sure you know what invasive species we are looking for in your area, how you can identify them, and makes it easier for you to quickly report them to us. Click on your region of the map to see the species DEC is tracking in your neck of the woods. Then follow the link for each species to find more detailed information, including info on how to easily report sightings. Your reports can help protect the places you know and love for generations to come!

For more information on DEC’s #OnesToWatch campaign and the successes we’ve had as a result of people like you getting involved, visit our find and report page.

Photo: Adult Asian longhorned beetle in a pool/DEC photo


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Art exhibit by incarcerated artists on display at John Brown Farm

incarcerated artists exhibitThe Adirondack Center for Writing and Federal Correctional Institute Ray Brook are proud to present an exhibit of pieces created by incarcerated artists. This 25-piece exhibit features paintings and some pottery, all inspired by classic Adirondack landscapes and figures.

“ACW has always been dedicated to giving space for the voiceless and this new exhibit is an example of our most important kind of work,” said Nathalie Thill, Executive Director at Adirondack Center for Writing. “This is incredibly special as it is the first time art by incarcerated artists has been displayed outside of a correctional facility in the North Country. We are really honored to bring this exhibit to life. John Brown Farm is the perfect location with its abolitionist history and natural beauty, and we can’t wait to share it with the public.”

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Monday, June 28, 2021

Pitch-mass borers serve as reminder to procrastinate

In my line of work the list of boring topics is endless. There’s the emerald ash borer, lethal but oh-so aesthetically pleasing with its metallic-flake green paint job and subtle copper highlights. A handful of powder-post beetle species love to tunnel into floor joists and dead trees to mine talcum powder, leaving behind a field of microscopic holes perfect for anyone who has a sewing needle collection they need to organize. On the other end of the spectrum are fearsome Asian longhorned beetles that chew galleries in tree trunks faster than a Black & Decker cordless drill, leaving tunnels big enough to hide a Mini Cooper.

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Monday, June 28, 2021

ADK Resumes Free Naturalist Series at Heart Lake

ADK naturalistsAdirondack Mountain Club (ADK) is resuming its summer naturalist programming at Heart Lake. Visitors are welcome to explore the natural world of the Adirondacks through hands-on activities by attending one or all of the following Naturalist led interpretive programs, which will begin today, June 28, and run through August. All programs are free and open to the public.

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Monday, June 28, 2021

Become a lake protector through Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program

APPIP lake protectorsAquatic invasive species, such as Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels, can clog lakes, outcompete native wildlife, and harm ecosystems. Identifying these species early, before populations grow out of control, is essential for protecting the lakes we love from the negative impacts of invasive species. The state legislature recently passed a law that makes the New York State Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Act permanent and allows pilot programs in the Adirondacks to further efforts to prevent invasive species. You can do your part by always cleaning, draining and drying your boat, fishing gear and sports equipment when moving from one waterbody to another.

And as an Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) Lake Protector, you can do more! Citizen scientists have surveyed over 400 lakes throughout the Adirondacks for invasives species in order to support critical early detection efforts. Lake Protector volunteers will learn how to identify, survey and record data about aquatic invasive plants. Once trained, volunteers can adopt an Adirondack lake or other waterbody to survey between July and September. APIPP provides all the training and resources you need to be part of this extraordinary network.

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Sunday, June 27, 2021

NYS Announces First-Ever Loyalty/Reward Program for Campgrounds

alger island campground dec photoReservations Now Open for 2022 Camping Season

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid and Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the first-ever Camper Loyalty/Reward Program for overnight stays at state campgrounds across New York. The introduction of the new Loyalty program coincides with the opening of the nine-month online reservation window for the 2022 Camping Season.

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Sunday, June 27, 2021

Seagle to Open to Fully Vaccinated Audiences

seagle festival logo

The Oscar Seagle Theater is thrilled to announce that due to the improvement in the pandemic and changes to state regulations, they will be opening all 2021 performances to COVID-19 fully-vaccinated patrons.

Before entering the Oscar Seagle Memorial Theater, audience members will be required to:

  • Show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination. Proof can be paper or digital copy of CDC vaccination card, or NYS Excelsior Pas.
  • Wear face-coverings at all times while inside the Oscar Seagle Memorial Theater and all other Seagle Festival facilities.
  • Those patrons unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccine may show proof of negative result PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of show being attended.

Performances will continue to be live-streamed for those audience members unable to attend in person.

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Sunday, June 27, 2021

Weekly news round up

A collection of interesting reads:

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Saturday, June 26, 2021

Animal intelligence 101: Which ones are top of their class?

bees on honeycomb

When the topic of animal intelligence comes up, we might argue whether a crow or a parrot is the cleverer, or if dolphins are smarter than manatees. Seldom do we ascribe smarts to life-forms such as insects, plants or fungi. And it is rare indeed that we question our intellectual primacy among animals. It is true that no other species can point to monumental achievements such as the Coliseum, acid rain, nerve gas and atomic weapons. But that does not mean other species are bird-brained. Metaphorically speaking.

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Saturday, June 26, 2021

DEC releases final management plan for Hinckley Reservoir

hinckley day use areaThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the finalization of the Unit Management Plan (UMP) for the Hinckley Reservoir Day Use Area. The DEC intends to transform the Hinckley Reservoir Day Use Area into a public campground, available for use in the southwestern Adirondacks.

The campground will be located on the southern shore of the Hinckley Reservoir in Herkimer County, and will include a beach, woods, a pavilion, a spacious lawn, a picnic area and a volleyball court. The UMP will call for the construction of 150 campsites, a boat launch, and miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as access and loop roads, and a comfort station.

“Hinckley Reservoir Day Use Area is already a popular spot providing access to outdoor recreation for many visitors,” said Randall C. Young, Region 6 Regional Director. “Enhancing the facilities at this location will increase opportunities for recreation at Hinckley and expand the number of people who can enjoy this beautiful location.”

Read more about the plans to enhance recreation at Hinckley Reservoir Day Use Area on DEC’s website.



Kid next to water

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