Posts Tagged ‘adirondack report’

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Recapping a busy APA meeting

A lawyer presents at a podium

Adirondack Park Agency

It was a busy monthly board meeting last week at the Adirondack Park Agency in Ray Brook.

The board approved a permit expanding a marina on Fish Creek Ponds, which you can read about from my colleague Zach Matson here.

A shooting range to test artillery in Lewis is also back to the permitting process, after the board denied the applicant’s appeal over a fifth round of questions from staff. Read about that here. 

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Electric wheelchairs could roll to Santanoni

Santanoni Great Camp Newcomb lake Historic Preservation farm ADKs

Great Camp Santanoni

The state Department of Environmental Conservation convened a closed meeting last week to discuss access for people with disabilities to Great Camp Santanoni in Newcomb. Current zoning of the road that leads to the Great Camp does not allow for motorized access, except for state employees. A horse and wagon operator who would normally be starting his season providing rides there has not yet received a permit to do so. But members of the state’s accessibility advisory committee said DEC has come up with some potential short-term solutions, including an electric wheelchair rental program.

Read more here.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Whiskey fungus response from WhistlePig

whiskey fungus on a stop sign

Whiskey fungus update

WhistlePig Whiskey responded to the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s order for a corrective action plan addressing whiskey fungus the department identified on nearby homes in the Mineville area. Read what the company had to say here. We’re continuing to follow this and will report updates when we have them.

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Mourning a ranger

two ice climbers

Forest Ranger Robbi Mecus died after falling 1,000 feet climbing a peak at Denali National Park in Alaska last week. Mecus patrolled the Adirondacks and fostered an inclusive LGBTQ community. Colleague Chloe Bennett wrote this story. We’re collecting more memories of Mecus to share. If you’d like to submit anything or speak to a reporter, please feel free to reach out to us.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Parting DEC commissioner reflects on Adks

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announces the release of a new Lake Champlain watershed plan at Ausable Point Campground on Monday.

Department of Environmental Conservation

Basil Seggos spent part of his last day as DEC commissioner speaking with the Explorer about his Adirondacks legacy, forest rangers, park protections and plans for more High Peaks hikes in the future.

Read our interview here.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Solar eclipse

girl scout wear eclipse glasses


Explorer staff and correspondents were stationed across the region to bring you solar eclipse coverage. Check out our website and social media accounts for updates, photos and more. Read our story here.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Camp Santanoni access in question

Santanoni Great Camp Newcomb lake Historic Preservation farm ADKs

Great Camp Santanoni

There’s a difficult situation playing out in the town of Newcomb. Under a court settlement, the state Department of Environmental Conservation is required to provide access to Great Camp Santanoni for people with disabilities. But the horse and wagon operator it contracted with to provide those services, cannot provide them at the level required.

So now the operator’s contract has been terminated, though he may be able to operate under a different permit later this year. It still leaves the question of how the state will comply with its court settlement under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Read our update here.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Tests: Whiskey fungus is more widespread

The WhistlePig Whiskey facility in Moriah

Whiskey fungus

Results from November fungus samples taken from homes near WhistlePig Whiskey in the town of Moriah were released last week. The state Department of Environmental Conservation said “the samples matched the morphology of the whiskey fungus from the WhistlePig facility.”

Read our update here.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Adding Adirondacks back into budget

Students learn about history of Timbuctoo Institute


Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed $233 billion budget included some program cuts relevant to the Adirondacks. The state Assembly and Senate released their one-house budgets last week, adding some of those funds back.

Here are some of the takeaways:

  • Reinstated Clean Water Infrastructure Act funding to $500 million for the fiscal year.
  • The Assembly proposed dedicating $10 million from the Clean Water Fund for road salt management.
  • Restored funding to the Timbuctoo Climate and Careers Institute at $2.1 million.
  • Restored funding to the Survey of Climate Change and Adirondack Lake Ecosystems at $2 million.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

4 High Peaks rescues, 3 days

Rescue on Basin Mountain

Ranger rescues

It’s officially mud season, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation has asked hikers to avoid climbs above 2,500 feet. Two weekends ago, forest rangers were already dealing with the difficulties of conducting rescues in the mix of mud, ice and snow. I spoke with a ranger about his assistance on four rescues that weekend, two of them involving a team of 30 rangers.

You can check out that story here.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Frontier-era delay at campground

Top photo: Frontier Town campground gate.


Following up on last week’s newsletter about the state’s progress toward protecting 30-percent of its lands and waters by 2030, we have more to share on an odd conservation easement issue playing out in North Hudson.

During the Feb. 7 environmental conservation budget hearing before the state Legislature, Kathy Moser of the Open Space Institute, mentioned how title insurance would be a beneficial tool for the state to use. She pointed to North Hudson’s Frontier Town campground as an example, where an 1850s bankruptcy case was holding up a conservation easement.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Tracking 30-by-30 progress

OSI’s West Mountain Property in Saratoga County


One of our takeaways from the state Legislature’s joint environmental conservation budget hearing earlier this month, was land trusts’ concern over the backlog of properties they are holding for state acquisition.

Kathy Moser, chief conservation officer of the Open Space Institute, told lawmakers that over 90 land trusts are currently holding 100,000 acres with a fair market value of $150 million for the state. In 2022, New York protected just over 5,000 acres. It has more than 3 million acres left to protect to meet its conservation goals of 30-percent by 2030.

Read more about the issue here.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

A breakthrough in Adirondack land protection

follensby pond

The largest land protection initiative in the Adirondack Park in the last decade was announced on a virtual conference call last week.

The state is acquiring two conservation easements, including one on the famous Follensby Pond, from The Nature Conservancy for $9.3 million. About 14,600 acres will be protected overall. People have been waiting for some sort of news about this parcel since 2008 when TNC first purchased it.

The state is expecting to close on the easements in the spring, so we don’t have those documents for details. However, we learned that the state plans to mostly keep closed the 970-acre pond where Ralph Waldo Emerson and other philosophers camped. It will be open to researchers to study cold water fish and other climate-related questions. On Friday I spoke with Katie Petronis, deputy director of natural resources at the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and she said there will be some sort of public access but DEC and TNC are still working out what that will look like. It could be an annual guided tour or some sort of programming with another organization.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Lawmakers want clean water funds

State Senate


On Wednesday I attended part of the state Legislature’s joint environmental conservation budget hearing in Albany. State leaders and lawmakers cram the future of New York’s agriculture, parks, environment and energy into one day. You can watch the whole 13 hours and 20 minutes of it on YouTube.

I’m unclear why the state doesn’t separate energy, the environment or agriculture into their own days. The sheer number of topics legislators fly through, however, provides a fascinating snapshot of what’s happening across the state.

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Wildlife crossing bill moves

A woman in a bike helmet takes a photo of roadkill


The state Senate’s environmental conservation committee today [Feb. 5] passed a bill enacting New York’s Wildlife Crossing Act. It directs the state Department of Transportation and the New York State Thruway Authority to identify sites where wildlife crossings are needed. Federal funding may be used to build the top five projects the state agencies identify.

Check out my colleague Mike Lynch’s story about why creating different kinds of safe passages for wildlife is important at this link. 

» Continue Reading.

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