A lot of people in New York State, including the governor, are upset that Iowa Pacific Holdings is storing empty tank cars on tracks in the Adirondacks. But what, if anything, can be done about it?
Iowa Pacific says that railroads are overseen by the federal government and so the state doesn’t have legal grounds to stop the storage.
But Neil Woodworth, executive director of the Adirondack Mountain Club, argues that storing rail cars has nothing to do with rail transportation and so the state can assert jurisdiction. And he believes the state can take steps now to force Iowa Pacific to remove the cars. » Continue Reading.
Adirondack Mountain Club Executive Director Neil Woodworth and Board President John Gilewicz have announced that, effective November 13, Lynn Shanks will join the ADK staff as Director of Development, overseeing fundraising and marketing.
As part of the ADK management team, she is expected to work with staff and volunteer leadership of the organization. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) has announced that Education Director Julia Goren received the 2016 Guy Waterman Alpine Steward Award. This award is given annually to a person or organization who has demonstrated a long term commitment to protecting the physical and spiritual qualities of the mountain wilderness of the Northeast United States. Julia was recognized for her work protecting the alpine ecosystem and for mentoring the next generation of alpine stewards.
Julia joined ADK in 2004 as an Education intern and became botanist for the Summit Steward program in 2006. In 2008 she became the program’s first full-time Coordinator, and in 2014 she was promoted to Education Director. Julia works with ADK’s school programs, workshops, interpretive programs, Leave No Trace education, and oversees the High Peaks Summit Stewardship Program. » Continue Reading.
Adirondack Forest Preserve advocacy groups are calling on the Adirondack Park Agency’s board to reject at this week’s meeting all three staff proposals for classifying the 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds Tract.
The major objection is that under all three proposals, a 6.8-mile logging road that leads to Boreas Ponds would be designated Wild Forest, which could allow people to drive all the way to the ponds.
Neil Woodworth, executive director of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), said it’s even possible that motorboats could be allowed on the water. Under the APA’s first alternative, the ponds would be classified Wild Forest, which could allow motorboats. The other two alternatives are silent on the ponds’ classification.
Woodworth said the APA board should direct the staff to come up with new proposals, a step that would delay public hearings on the Boreas classification. “It’s more important to get this classification right than do it fast,” he said.
The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) offers free programming hosted by their Naturalist Interns each summer. Attendees can experience the natural world of the Adirondacks and hands-on learning through Naturalist led interpretive programs during the month of August.
ADK is offering naturalist walks every Thursday at Henry’s Woods just outside of the village of Lake Placid. Walks start Thursdays at 10 am and are free and open to the public. Meet at the trailhead on Bear Cub Lane and be prepared for a 2 mile walk over varying terrain. » Continue Reading.
A coalition of environmental groups that includes the Adirondack Council, Adirondack Mountain Club, and Adirondack Wild has significantly altered its proposal for the recently acquired Boreas Ponds Tract, calling for less of the region to be classified Wilderness.
Under the original proposal, about 15,000 of the tract’s 20,758 acres would have been added to the High Peaks Wilderness. This included land north and south of Gulf Brook Road, a durable logging road that leads to Boreas Ponds. The road itself would have been designated a Primitive Corridor, allowing visitors to drive as far as LaBier Flow, some six miles from County Route 2.
Under the new plan, Gulf Brook Road and the land south of it would be Wild Forest, a less-restrictive classification that allows motorized use. Thus, it would not be necessary to designate Gulf Brook Road a Primitive Corridor to allow people to drive to LaBier Flow. Some 13,000 acres north of the road would be Wilderness.
The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) and the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) are co-hosting an Adirondack Forest Pest Summit, a free conference meant to help raise awareness about invasive insects negatively affecting New York forests. The event will take place at the Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek from 10 am to 4 pm on Monday, July 11th.
Forest pests such as hemlock woolly adelgid, emerald ash borer, and Asian long-horned beetle have the potential to cause major environmental and economic damage to the Adirondack region. These forest invaders are often spread by accidental transfer of firewood or nursery stock from an infested area. Prevention, early detection, and rapid response are critical to successfully combating any invasive species. » Continue Reading.
Two of the Adirondack Park’s four major environmental organizations filed a legal challenge to the Essex Chain management plan, but the two others have legal questions as well.
Protect the Adirondacks and Adirondack Wild filed a lawsuit today in State Supreme Court in Albany, claiming the management plan violates the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan, the state Wild, Scenic, and Recreational Rivers Act, and state snowmobile-trail policy.
Named as defendants are the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which drafted the management plan, and the Adirondack Park Agency, which approved it. Both agencies refused to comment on the suit.
Christopher Amato, a former assistant commissioner at DEC, told the Almanack that the Essex Chain plan is “blatantly illegal.” Amato is now an attorney at Earthjustice, a nonprofit organization that is representing Protect and Adirondack Wild in the lawsuit.
Amato said Earthjustice will file a motion to prevent DEC from implementing the management plan until the lawsuit is resolved.
Eight environmental groups are urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to dramatically expand the High Peaks Wilderness once the state purchases Boreas Ponds from the Adirondack Nature Conservancy.
At 203,526 acres, the High Peaks Wilderness already is by far the largest Wilderness Area in the Adirondack Park. Under the environmentalists’ proposal, it would grow to more than 280,000 acres, making it larger than Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado or Mount Rainer National Park in Washington.
When snowmobiling arrived in the Adirondacks in the mid-1960s, the question of where to ride became the single most important issue faced by both new sled owners and advocates for the protection of the wild character of the Adirondack Forest Preserve.
As a result of efforts by the state’s Conservation Department and lobbying by the snowmobile industry, snowmobilers are today wildly over-represented in terms of access to trails. Although they represent less than 1% of the 7-10 million people who visit the Adirondacks each year, there are currently at least 3 to 4 thousand miles of snowmobile trails in the Adirondack Park,* compared to about 5,000 miles of roads. How this happened is a story that began 50 years ago with what is known as the Wilm Directive. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Mountain Club has largely stopped making maps, with an important exception: it recently published a color topographical map of the High Peaks that is waterproof and folds to fit in your pack or back pocket.
ADK used to put paper topo maps in the backs of its guidebooks. For the past several years, however, it has instead bundled its books with waterproof maps produced by National Geographic.
So now we have two High Peaks maps: National Geographic’s “Lake Placid/High Peaks” and ADK’s “Trails of the Adirondack High Peaks.”
Both maps are designed to accompany ADK’s guidebook, High Peaks Trails. Tony Goodwn, the longtime editor of the book, also edited the new map. When we asked him why ADK wanted to publish a second map, he gave several reasons.
The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), established the Adopt-A-Lean-To Program in April 1985. The first appeal for volunteer stewards offered eight lean-tos, expanded to 16 in 1986 and to 24 in 1987. Ten years later, 136 lean-tos had been adopted.
Today, the program comprises of 175 structures found all over the Adirondack Park and cared for by no less than 240 individuals. Between 1921 and 1937, the first wave of lean-tos appeared on the Northville-Placid Trail (N-P Trail) and Adirondack High Peaks trails. During the 1950s and 1960s a second wave of structures and replacements were installed. » Continue Reading.
Last year my family attended the ADK Winterfest held at the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Adirondack Loj property and had a blast. We spend quite a bit of time at this “gateway to the Adirondacks,” but thought that ADK Winterfest was the perfect opportunity to introduce a one-stop venue of winter activities to our guests. » Continue Reading.
In August of 1968, Edwin Ketchledge finished climbing the 46 high peaks of the Adirondacks and received his 46er number, #507. Dr. Ketchledge (“Ketch”) was no ordinary peak-bagger. He was a professor of botany at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, an active member of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), later a President of the 46ers, and a researcher very much interested in the fragile ecosystem found on the Adirondack High Peaks.
Dr. Ketchledge began experimenting ways to help the alpine ecosystem recover from trampling caused by hikers in 1967. His research began on the summits of Dix Mt. and Mt. Colden. He began by transplanting Deer’s hair sedge, one of the rare alpine species, to see if it could successfully colonize impacted areas. It could not. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Almanack's contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The Almanack is the online news journal of Adirondack Explorer. Both are nonprofits supported by contributors, readers, and advertisers, and devoted to exploring, protecting, and unifying the Adirondack Park.
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