Thursday, December 14, 2017

Snow Base Growing: Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (Dec 14)

CompassThis weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks is compiled each Thursday afternoon.

Contribute Your Knowledge: Add a comment below, or send your observations, corrections, updates, and suggestions to adkalmanack@gmail.com.

Practice Leave No Trace Principles when visiting the Adirondack Park.

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND
» Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Katie Wilson: Senate Tax Plan Reaction

US Capitol at dusk 2013Last Saturday I woke up to an overwhelming sense of dread and sadness over the state of our government that I hadn’t felt since about this time last year.

In the dark of night the Senate voted to take away health care from 13 million people and increase the national debt by $1 trillion. They voted to further undermine the middle class and wage war on the poor. They also voted to give establishment donors a big Christmas present. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Adirondack Snowshoe Fest Planned for February

adk snowshoe festOne year after hosting the 2017 World Snowshoe Championships, the village of Saranac Lake is set to host a new snowshoe weekend called the Adirondack Snowshoe Fest, set for February 24 and 25, 2018.

The 2017 WSSF World Snowshoe Championships, which attracted more than 400 competitors from over 15 nations, came close to being canceled due to a winter thaw that melted away many inches of snow leaving only bare ground. The region and community came together the day before, trucking hundreds of loads of snow from outlying areas to the Dewey Mountain Ski Center, which was then hauled up-mountain by sleds and spread upon the race course by scores of volunteers who responded overnight by word-of-mouth and social media. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tim Rowland On Bears Ears, Vigilance and Overuse

bears ears national monument mapWe live in an age when a considerable duplication of services could be eliminated by merging the Congressional Record with the National Sex Offender Registry. So squalid behavior in Washington is no longer a surprise, with the hands of the politicians groping their way into all sorts of unwanted places, from middle-class wallets to the web to western public lands.

Now that I have lived through half of one, a century doesn’t seem like that long of a timeframe, so forgive me when I say it’s “only” been a hundred years or so that the last great conservative occupied the White House. Also, forgive me for being tone-deaf to political nuance, but to my mind if you want to call yourself a conservative, you actually have to want to conserve something. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Public Meeting Set On Plans for Mohawk Valley Wildlife Areas

DEC Wildlife Management UnitsThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is holding a public information session on Habitat Management Plans (HMPs) for several Mohawk Valley Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) on Tuesday, Jan. 16, at the Utica State Office Building from 6 to 8 pm.

The HMPs cover the following WMAs: » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Whallonsburg Grange Holiday Market Dec 16th

Whallonsburg Grange HallThe Whallonsburg Grange Hall in Essex, have invited the public to its annual Holiday Market on Saturday, December 16 from 1 to 4 pm.

Fifteen local farms and food producers will have booths selling produce, fresh breads, meats, cheeses, jams and jellies, maple syrup, pickles, pies, candy and more. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Remembering Maurice Hinchey, 1992 Adirondack Park Centennial

Adirondack Park Centennial SignOn November 22, we lost one of the finest legislators in my lifetime, U.S. Congressman and former chair of the NYS Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee, Maurice Hinchey of Saugerties.

He was, no doubt, flawed like any human being. But he had remarkable qualities and political skills that allowed him to reach many of his public goals benefiting the Adirondacks, the Catskills and beyond.

My Adirondack career started in 1987. By that time, Assemblyman Hinchey had been a champion for the environment for well over a dozen years. All environmental legislation, including New York’s first-in-the-nation acid rain law of 1984 as well as our state’s leading wetland and stream protection laws passed the previous decade bore his influential stamp, as all sprung from and had to pass through his committee. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Recent DEC Forest Ranger Missions

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.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Hut-to-Hut Project Reschedules Public Meeting

The Adirondack Community-based Trails and Lodging System (ACTLS) has rescheduled their public meeting at the Lake Pleasant Central School’s gymnasium in Speculator. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 11, 2017

Poignant to Hilarious: ‘Dear Santa Letters from a Century Ago

Below are actual letters to Santa published in Adirondack regional newspapers a century ago, from 1914 through 1917. (None of the letters have appeared here in past collections.) Those years coincide with World War I, so there are a few references to the war, but for the most part, the letters are just plain entertaining. Some contain tinges of sadness, and they all reflect a simpler time among working-class communities, where gifts often consisted of items that in higher strata of society were common, everyday possessions.

For example, among the hundreds of letters reviewed, including 37 presented here, the most frequently requested Christmas gifts were candy, nuts, oranges, and warm items of clothing. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 11, 2017

Early Adirondack Hunting: More Deer, Less Bear Killed So Far

Hunters have been more successful at killing deer around New York State, but less successful at hunting bear in the Northern Region through the first several weeks of big game seasons in 2017 than last year, according to Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

DEC says that early reports from New York hunters through Dec. 3, show approximately 18 percent more deer were killed in the Northern Zone and 14 percent more deer in the Southern Zone compared to the same period in 2016.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, December 11, 2017

DEC’s 41st Annual Children’s Holiday Party in Ray Brook

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host its 41st Annual Children’s Holiday Party on Monday, December 18, from 2:30 to 4 pm in the lobby of the DEC Regional Office in Ray Brook.

DEC holds this event for the enjoyment of children in the community. Santa Claus and Smokey Bear will both make appearances at the festivities and Santa will listen to the children’s wishes and hand out presents. Santa’s elves will also hand out balloons and paint faces. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Conservation Groups To Congress: Keep Bikes Out of Wilderness

A coalition of 133 conservation and wilderness organizations from across America, including Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, has asked Congress “to reject an unprecedented call to amend the Wilderness Act to allow for the use of mountain bikes in designated Wilderness.”

The sign-on letter from the 133 organizations was prepared ahead of a December 7th hearing in the U.S. House’s Subcommittee on Federal Lands on a Republican-sponsored bill (H.R. 1349), which would open America’s 110-million acres of Wilderness to mountain bikes and wheeled contraptions. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Adirondack Wildlife: The Ermine and Snow

The snow around the region this week is a blessing.  For several members of our wildlife community, a forest floor that remains free of snow into December becomes problematic, as a dark background contrasts with their newly developed coat of pure white fur.

Among the creatures that change color in autumn as part of a survival strategy is a small, yet especially fierce predator – the short-tailed weasel, better known to trappers and backwoods sportsmen as the ermine.
» Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Afterlife of Logs

polyporeMy three children have participated in a Four Winds Nature Institute program that recruits adult family members to lead grade-school nature learning. I have worked with several moms and dads over the years to pull together materials for hands-on lessons about communities, habitats, and the natural world. The activities usually ended with crowd-pleasing puppet shows.

During my first year in the program, in a rare moment of advance planning, I read the entire year’s program, and was glad I did: “Snags and Rotting Logs” was scheduled for November, when I anticipated most logs would be frozen or buried in snow. Regardless of frost or snow, I expected that some interesting invertebrates would have tunneled deep into the soil to wait out Vermont’s winter, leaving little more than wood for the students to dissect. » Continue Reading.


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