Tuesday, August 17, 2021

The next governor

kathy hochul

Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave himself and New Yorkers two weeks notice following a damning report by private investigators that found he had sexually harassed multiple women for years. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will take over soon and be the state’s first female governor.

What does a Hochul administration look like for the Adirondacks? I talked to a few different groups here in the park to find out their thoughts. And with little time left in office, Cuomo has plenty of loose ends to tie in the park. If he doesn’t, Hochul will have some work to do including appointing members to a road salt task force and filling some Adirondack Park Agency vacancies. You can read more about all of that here. Since that story, we also learned that Hochul plans to run for governor in the next gubernatorial election, so it’s possible she could stick around for a while.

We’ve had lots of other news to share in the Adirondacks, including the new High Peaks hiker shuttle set to kick off Aug. 21. Let us know if you take the shuttle and what you think.

Photo: Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul participates in 2018 Adirondack Challenge in Indian Lake. Photo courtesy of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office

Editor’s note: This first appeared in Gwen’s weekly “Adirondack Report” newsletter. Click here to sign up


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Lake George stewardship news

Asian clams

Lake George, NY – Many thanks to all 40-50 participants, in our first Asian Clam Day July 15. In-the-water volunteers, 20-25 of us, were successful at collecting many thousands of Asian clams, 9.1% alive, while noting the changed distribution of clams from last year. Our scooping and sifting coincided with the arrival of the Lake George Association Floating Classroom filled with participants enjoying a morning of science and scenery on Lake George. The Floating Classroom was co-sponsored by The Sans Souci Restaurant, the Cleverdale Country Store, and Love Is On Lake George. The morning’s activities were intended to raise awareness about the increasing infestation of Asian clams in Sandy Bay and the concerns of residents. The morning was a success!

Our next Asian clam Day will be August 19, also 9:30-11:30. We ask volunteers to meet in the shallows of Sandy Bay. Please bring sifters, colanders, or spades and shovels, if you can. We will have equipment to lend, and we will have collection containers. For access to Sandy Bay shallows, please email [email protected].

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Adirondack Plein Art festival happening this week

plein air painter

The 13th Adirondack Plein Air Festival started Monday Aug 16 as artists checked in and began painting. Around 40 artists will be attending from all over the country. They will have 5 days to paint and then the paintings will be displayed in the Town Hall in Saranac Lake, NY. A Special Preview Party will be held Friday Aug 20, from 6 – 9 pm. Tickets are $20/person, food & beverages will be served, and attendees will have the first look and opportunity to purchase the artwork produced during the week. Saturday, Aug 21, the Show & Sale will be FREE and open to the public, from 12 – 5 pm. Don’t miss this chance to bring home a “piece of the Adirondacks”!

Preview Party tickets may be purchased online HERE or at the door. Masks will be required. See more for  the complete schedule and list of participating artists here: https://saranaclakeartworks.org/plein-air/


Monday, August 16, 2021

Lesson from Wetland Hydrology 101

Many, many years ago I entered graduate school at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in New Haven, CT. My graduate interests lay primarily in water resources, so I searched that first semester for a lead professor/advisor in that vast field – and, due to recent retirements, found none.

As luck would have it, a Ph.D. candidate hosted a course in basic wetland hydrology 101 that fall. He was young, energetic, no nonsense kind of person, a stickler for getting out in the field and measuring things like water flow, water inputs, outputs and what was going on underneath our feet and the wet soils he was interested in. He took us to interesting places called bogs, fens, and cedar swamps requiring hip boots. We saw great swamp trees, like tupelos or black gum. We brought back funny looking, stained sketches of bogs and fens, with arrows showing what we thought was the direction of water flow pointing in various directions. I learned that a fen was a kind of boggy wetland where surface and/or ground water flowed through, introducing minerals and oxygenated conditions and thus making a fen somewhat less mineral impoverished than a bog lacking such through flow.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, August 16, 2021

New opera co-written by Russell Banks tells Adirondack story

harmony graphicWORLD PREMIERE –August 20 at 7:30 pm

Set in Keene Valley, NY, with numerous Adirondack references, the Seagle Festival’s world premiere opera tells the story of young composer Charles Ives, his love for high-class Harmony Twichell, and the interference of Twichell family friend Mark Twain in their betrothal – based on true events.

More here: https://seaglefestival.org/2021-season/

 


Monday, August 16, 2021

Wildlife Management Areas open to the public through August

Perch River WMA
Annual Open House Lifts Restricted Access at Perch River, Upper and Lower Lakes, and Wilson Hill WMAs

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the annual opening to the public of otherwise restricted Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties from Monday, Aug. 16, to Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021. During the 16-day open house, Upper and Lower Lakes and Wilson Hill WMAs in St. Lawrence County, including the posted refuge or wetland restricted areas, will be open to visitors each day from sunrise to sunset. Perch River WMA in Jefferson County will also be open to visitors with one exception-Perch Lake will be open daily from noon to dusk.

In addition, this 16-day window is now fixed for subsequent years and will apply to future WMA open houses. Establishing these fixed dates will make planning trips to the areas easier for visitors interested in observing DEC’s efforts to manage and improve these important habitats. Portions of these WMAs are marked as refuge or wetland restricted areas to allow waterfowl and other listed species to breed and raise young without human interference.

Perch River WMA encompasses nearly 8,000 acres in the towns of Brownville, Orleans, and Pamelia. Perch River WMA can be accessed from State Route 12, and Allen, Buckminster, Vaadi, and Perch Lake roads. The Perch Lake proper (accessed by Perch Lake Road) will be open from noon until sunset each day. Fishing will be allowed, but motorized boats are not permitted.

Upper and Lower Lakes WMA is located about two miles west of the village of Canton along State Route 68 in St. Lawrence County. This WMA, the largest in the region, is an 8,770-acre upland/wetland complex between the Grasse and Oswegatchie rivers.

Wilson Hill WMA in northern St. Lawrence County is approximately six miles west of the village of Massena off State Route 37. Situated along the St. Lawrence River, the 4,000-acre area consists of several large pools of open water marsh bordered by a combination of dense cattails, brushy wetlands, forest, and upland meadow. Fishing is not allowed in Nichols Pool.

DEC may be conducting habitat and wildlife management projects on the WMAs throughout the 16-day period. Visitors are advised to avoid any operating machinery and pay attention to temporary signage. For additional information, bird lists, and maps, contact DEC’s Regional Wildlife Office at 315-785-2263 or visit the Western Adirondacks/ Upper Mohawk Valley/ Eastern Lake Ontario WMAs webpage.

Photo: Perch River WMA in Jefferson County/DEC Photo


Monday, August 16, 2021

Revamped Adirondack Balloon Festival returns this September

adirondack balloon festThe nationally-known event, the Adirondack Balloon Festival, is back this September for its 48th year, with a brand-new format, expanding to include a new event at East Field in Glens Falls, multiple launch sites throughout Warren and Washington counties, a drive-through moonglow, and more.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, August 15, 2021

Spruce Blues and Wet-Weather Woes

blue spruceWhen I’m asked to diagnose tree problems, folks naturally want the remedy. Sometimes the only solution is tree removal; other times it’s a cable brace, pest management, corrective pruning or fertilizing. But increasingly, the diagnosis is climate change. If anyone knows how to solve that through an arboricultural practice, please let me know. 

With rising temperatures, a novel weather pattern has taken hold with longer and more intense dry and wet periods. In 2012 many areas had the lowest soil moisture ever recorded. Nonstop rain in 2013 led to flooding and farm disaster relief. A drought in 2016 set more records in some places, and catastrophic flooding hit in 2017. Drought followed in 2018, and 2019 was another massive flood year. Prolonged dry spells cause root dieback, weakening trees for several years afterward. But unusually wet seasons are just as bad for trees.

(Photo at left: Mundhenk, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, August 15, 2021

Eagle Island Camp Will Open to the Public

eagle island campers on lake

Following a successful summer filled with happy day campers, enthusiastic overnight campers, and intrepid family campers, Eagle Island will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, August 21st and 22nd, 11 am to 4 pm. (Reservations are required!) Come see the progress that has been made on the rehabilitation of the historic Great Camp buildings, walk around the island on the Lakeside Path, and enjoy a few hours on this beautiful and unspoiled 31-acre island. We especially encourage you to bring future campers with you to see what an unplugged island adventure holds in store! Visitors will be transported from the camp’s mainland dock at 442 Gilpin Bay, Saranac Lake, NY.  All visitors must register at eagleisland.org/events. Questions may be directed to [email protected].

Can’t make it this time? There will also be a fall Paddle-Up day on Saturday, September 18. The sign-up for that is also on the website.


Sunday, August 15, 2021

Weekly news round up

A collection of interesting reads:

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 14, 2021

Spirit of Generosity: Doing Business, for Good

nancy monette

Nancy Monette. Photo by Erika Bailey, provided by Adirondack Foundation

For Malone residents Bruce and Nancy Monette, their businesses are inextricably tied to the people in the Adirondack region who they have had long connections to as neighbors, employees, or customers. With their business growth came their Spirit of Generosity.

Nancy — who, in the interest of full disclosure, is a trustee of Adirondack Foundation — always finds time for a visit at her Malone office, a tiny command center tucked into a corner of one of her family’s businesses, a Mountain Mart gas station, Dunkin’ Donuts franchise, and convenience store on Route 11. The store happens to be on what was once the site of the Monette dairy farm owned by Bruce’s family. Entrepreneurial and community oriented, she and Bruce have developed with his brothers a multifaceted company that started with Adirondack Energy, a fuel oil delivery business Bruce began in the late 1980s.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 14, 2021

Watch for Giant Hogweed, Wild Parsnips

hogweedGiant hogweed plants are now blooming across many parts of the state, making it a prime time to spot this harmful invasive. Giant hogweed is a large plant from Eurasia with sap that can cause painful burns and scarring.

Adult giant hogweed plants tend to be 7-14 feet tall with umbrella-shaped clusters of white flowers up to 2.5 feet wide. The stem is green with purple splotches and coarse white hairs, and leaves are large (up to 5 feet across), incised, and deeply lobed. You can find more identification tips, including a table of lookalikes, on our website.

If you think you have found giant hogweed, do not touch it. From a safe distance, take photos of the plant’s stem, leaves, flower, seeds, and the whole plant. Then report your sighting to DEC by emailing photos and location information to [email protected] or calling (845) 256-3111. DEC staff will confirm if it is giant hogweed and discuss plans for management if it is a site not yet being managed by DEC.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 14, 2021

College upgrades gym floor in Sparks Athletic Complex

North Country Community College recently completed a resurfacing and rebranding of the gymnasium floor in the Sparks Athletic Complex.

SARANAC LAKE — The North Country Community College men’s and women’s basketball teams will be playing on a newly resurfaced and rebranded court when they return to the hardwood this fall for the first time in more than a year.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, August 13, 2021

Dill Pickle Pike: A fast camp favorite

My brother and I, circa 1969, at our Dock on the Sacandaga by our boat with a stringer full of walleyes we caught with our dad. 

“While many a pickled pepper peck Peter Piper may have indeed picked, I ponder: How many pickled pecks would have Piper picked if perhaps Peter were picking dill pickle pike.”

     My first youthful pike encounter was actually with walleyed pike, as opposed to great northerns. I’m not even sure Walleyes are technically really a true “pike”. Pickled or otherwise, I believe they are more a cross between a pickerel and a perch.

My Dad, younger brother and I used to fish the walleye run on the Great Sacandaga. We’d troll up and down, back and forth on the river, near where we kept Dad’s boat tied to our floating dock, out behind our rented grey stucco house, just above the bridge.  We trolled with yellow bucktails in Dad’s little Starcraft, at first putt-putting along with my Grandad’s old 5 HP Scott-At-Water. Somewhere along the line, Dad upgraded to a new 20 HP Johnson that started a lot easier and worked a lot better.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, August 13, 2021

Outdoor Conditions: Route 73 Shuttle to start

outdoor conditions logoHiking Information

Be prepared, bring the right gear, and wear the right clothes and shoes to ensure a safe and enjoyable hike. Review Hike Smart NY’s list of 10 essentials and bring those items on every hike. Prepare for your hike by doing the following:

Pilot Route 73 Hiker Shuttle: A pilot Route 73 Hiker Shuttle system will launch on Saturday, August 21. The pilot will help provide safe, sustainable visitation along the busy Route 73 corridor and in the Adirondack High Peaks region. The free shuttle system will operate 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays through Monday, October 11. Users can park at Marcy Field and ride to the Rooster Comb, Giant Mountain/Ridge Trail, and Roaring Brook Falls trailheads. Parking is still available at the trailheads themselves. All riders will be required to wear a mask. Stewards will be stationed at all drop off and pick-up locations to assist with navigating the shuttle system and educate hikers on responsible recreation, including preparedness, hiking safety, and Leave No Trace™ principles. Pets are not permitted.

View a map of the route (PDF), the shuttle schedule (PDF), and browse a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions (PDF). » Continue Reading.