Posts Tagged ‘Adirondack history’

Friday, April 9, 2021

At 50, how are APA and DEC Performing?

Report of the Commission on the Adirondacks in the 21st Century April 1990In the just-approved 2021-22 state budget is a $3 billion-dollar environmental bond act, subject to voter approval in November 2022. If approved, it may make a small dent in the $60+ billion needed statewide to upgrade our state’s old water and sewage treatment systems. If approved, it may help to do even more than we are doing today to prepare and make more resilient New Yorkers and their villages, towns, counties and cities for the more frequent and more severe weather events that will continue during a warming climate. And it may help to create more incentives to protect intact forests in private ownership to offset our carbon emissions.

If approved, maybe a tiny amount, relatively speaking, perhaps as little as a few hundreds of thousands of dollars from the $3 billion could go towards an independent evaluation of how well the Adirondack Park Agency and Department of Environmental Conservation are fulfilling their respective, but also overlapping missions.

This also being the 50th anniversary of the Adirondack Park Agency, the question should be asked: has there ever been an evaluation of the agency’s current and past performance visa vi its legislated responsibilities and jurisdiction? The answer is a qualified no.

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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Adirondack stories project releases free teacher’s guide

Study of Nature, Dresden, Lake George David Johnson (1827-1908) 1870 Oil on canvasThe Keene Valley Library has added a guide for teachers to the “Adirondack Community: Capturing, Retaining, and Communicating the Stories of Who We Are” and “OurStoryBridge: Connecting the Past and Present” websites, available for free. 

The teacher’s guide is made up of a “how to” document, which spells out a lesson plan to use with the stories; a story selection chart to match the stories with specific high school courses; story summaries, which are quick synopses of the 180 stories available; and a sample school assignment.

This guide was created in part by Brad Hurlburt, Keene Central School teacher and liaison to Adirondack Community project. He says the following about the guide:

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Thursday, October 22, 2020

The St. Regis Canoe Area: An Ideal Paddle

With few paddling days left this season, it makes sense that your final outing is one that will provide a lasting memory.

One trip worth considering is the Paul Smiths/St Regis Lakes route, which combines awesome natural beauty, fantastic architecture, history and some really cool stories.

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Friday, October 9, 2020

A few words from a young City Visitor (Also Your Neighbor)

By Vanessa Banti

Awake! Open your eyes, my friend from that small Adirondack town. Do you hear the distant sound of my car exiting the Northway? It’s me, the young city dweller! I am coming to visit. 

My Subaru is stuffed with gear, and I’m listening to a liberal podcast. I’ve started driving at 4AM to snag trailhead parking. I’m coming to AirBnB, to regular BnB, to hammock, to hike, to paddle, to leaf peep, to mountain bike, (even to take Instagram photos!) and to generally hang around in your wilderness. Yes, I know, because a lot of people remind me: it’s your wilderness, and I am but a visitor. 

But perhaps you don’t think that last bit is quite right. Since I’ve woken you up, my headlights strafing past your window, I think the least I owe you is an explanation. 

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Saturday, May 30, 2020

From the Archive: Fire season

fire

The recent rash of wildfires reminds us of fires from the past that altered the natural and physical landscape:

From 2018: The Long Lake West Fire was not the first major forest fire in the Adirondacks, nor would it be the last. But the fire in 1908 caused the most property damage, writes Mike Prescott: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2018/09/adirondack-wildfire-the-destruction-of-long-lake-west.html

From 2015: Sheila Myers shared information about “Yellow Day” fires in the late 1880s-early 1900s: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2015/05/yellow-days-adirondack-forest-fires-and-air-quality.html

From 2011: A fire at Spencer Boatworks in Saranac Lake, in which many historic, antique boats were destroyed: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2011/05/spencer-boatworks-fire-update.html. That fire reminded contributor Mark Wilson about a fire in 1919 that saw similar loss of watercraft: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2011/05/spencer-boatworks-fire-recalls-1919-blaze.html

Photo: Rangers fight wildfires over Memorial Day Weekend/DEC photo

 


Friday, May 8, 2020

Essential Workers in History

Saranac Lake’s tuberculosis economy depended on the labor of many essential workers. In honor of today’s heroes, here are a few favorite stories of brave helpers in local history.

Nurses and doctors risked their own health providing care and companionship to tuberculosis patients far from home. Our museum archive is full of hundreds of photos and stories of these courageous women and men. In her book, Wish I Might, Isabel Smith writes warmly about her doctor, Francis B. Trudeau. He is somewhat overshadowed in history by his famous father, founder of Saranac Lake’s TB industry, Dr. E. L. Trudeau. But Francis was widely respected for his kindness and his fierce dedication to his patients. Ms. Smith described his “inimitable hearty roar of good spirits which, then and always, enveloped me like a blaze of sunlight.”

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