Posts Tagged ‘adirondack report’

Friday, November 4, 2022

Election Day is coming, and here’s a bond act breakdown

Funding left from the 1996 environmental bond act may build a new fish ladder on the Imperial Mills Dam so salmon may spawn upriver of the structure. Anglers would like to see the dam removed. Photo by Benjamin Chambers

Environmental Advocates Action released its scorecard of 2022 last week, ranking lawmakers on their environmental voting records.

State Sen. Dan Stec, R-Queensbury, received a score of 47/100 and state Sen. Jim Tedisco, R-Glenville, received 59/100. In the state Assembly, Plattsburgh Democrat Billy Jones received a 63/100 while Horicon Republican Matt Simpson received a 34/100. You can view the full scorecard here.

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Sunday, October 30, 2022

Trees under threat

blue mountain lake

There were very few pops of bright color on Blue Mountain Lake last week now that we are past peak leaf season. Zach Matson and I were out there last Wednesday listening to the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program’s speakers on invasive species. We are working on stories in our next issue of the magazine about some of the different forest pests and what is being done about them.

In case you missed it, Mike Lynch had a story up online today about beech leaf disease, another kind of threat to trees that was spotted this summer in the southwestern Adirondacks. Read that story here.

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Monday, October 24, 2022

Report: NY has more work to do to be more inclusive, accessible


The New York Outdoor Recreation Coalition and the Open Space Institute released a report on how the state needs to do more when it comes to making open spaces and parks more inclusive, equitable and accessible. This issue was part of our solutions reporting on how to make sure the Adirondack Park is welcoming for all people. You can see our series on solutions to visitor management here:

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Thursday, October 13, 2022

APA transparency updates and autumn blazes

autumn blaze

Owl Head Lookout. Photo by Gwendolyn Craig

The Adirondack Park Agency will not be meeting this week, “due to no agenda items that require board action,” according to its website. I do have some update to share with you about how the APA is running its public comments and hearings page.

Upon glancing at the APA’s website this morning, I do see that the agency will be holding a virtual training for commissioners on shoreline setbacks, which the public is invited to watch on WebEx. Got to the APA’s homepage for more info:

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Monday, October 10, 2022

Agriculture and solar

shaw pond

The leaves are changing color quickly in the Adirondacks and were quite beautiful on Friday when the Explorer team met in Long Lake for a birding walk. Larry Master, one of our board members and a talented wildlife photographer, helped us spot wood ducks, great blue herons, song sparrows and belted kingfishers on our trip to Shaw Pond.

In case you missed it, last week state and local agricultural leaders attended a conference in Saratoga Springs. I stopped by and asked New York State Agricultural Commissioner Richard Ball and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack some questions including what their thoughts were about solar development on farmland. Read the story here.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Where’s the 30-by-30 bill?

On July 28, 2022, Gov. Kathy Hochul visited Lake Placid ahead of the 2023 FISU World University Games. Photo by Darren McGee/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul

Last week was Climate Week, which meant an influx of daily announcements from state government about clean energy, the environment and climate change. For instance, the village of Lake Placid earned the “Climate Smart Community” designation, as part of a joint state agency program encouraging municipalities to take climate change mitigation actions. We noticed, however, that the state Assembly has yet to deliver a climate-related bill to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s desk.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

APA approved Clifton solar project, and a fall hike

hadley mountain fire tower

Last week the Adirondack Park Agency approved a 20-megawatt solar project on the former Benson Mines’s tailings pile in the Town of Clifton. It is the state’s first “build ready” solar project. There are still a handful of other permits the state needs to acquire before it can hold an auction and turn the project over to a solar developer. But, it looks like the Adirondacks is one step closer to hosting a large renewable energy project.

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Monday, September 19, 2022

The Adirondacks’ largest solar project to date

benson mine solar

In April of last year, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state’s first “build-ready” solar project to be hosted on the old tailings pile of Benson Mines in the Town of Clifton. Well, we’re seeing this 20-megawatt facility again, with plans for more than 62,000 panels, this time with confirmation that the Adirondack Park Agency must weigh in on its approval. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has applied for permits including for a large, public utility, and APA commissioners will decide whether to sign off at their board meeting on Thursday. (Editor’s note: The project was approved. See story here.)

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Sunday, September 11, 2022

Bond Act deep dive

pataki and bond act

November is around the corner. That means voters will be deciding on an unprecedented level of state debt–$4.2 billion–to fund water-quality projects, climate change mitigation, open space protection and more.

As I was teasing a couple of newsletters back, we dug into records from 26 years ago to see what New Yorkers got for their borrowing the last time around. It was remarkable to compare the detailed responses I got from some state agencies to how little I got from others. Some even said they’d purged records from that far back. You can read about the record hunt here.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Military ballistics testing proposed

military ballistics plan

I neglected to share this with you in my last newsletter. In case you didn’t see this story online, Adirondack Park Agency staff are in the review process of an application for a military ballistics testing range. Michael Hopmeier, owner of the former Atlas F missile silo site in Lewis, has already been conducting small firearms testing indoors. Now, he’s applying for an APA permit to test the ballistics of military cannons manufactured in Watervliet.

Neighbors are mostly against the proposal, though the town supervisor and one neighbor are supporting it. The APA said Hopmeier’s application is incomplete so we won’t see any decisions yet. You can read our story about the proposal here, as well as Adirondack Council’s reaction to it here.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Digging into the 1996 Bond Act

bond act boat launch

Our September/ October issue will be hitting mailboxes soon (click here to subscribe to our print and/or digital edition). In it is a story I’ve been working on since the beginning of the year, a look-back at the last environmental bond act New Yorkers passed, the Clean Air/Clean Water 1996 Bond Act.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Close encounters of the loon kind (and some recent policy news)


Loon and chick photograph by Sue Kiesel. Photo provided by the Old Forge Library.

I’m back from a short vacation traveling around upstate New York. One of our stops was Big Moose Lake in Eagle Bay. Dave and I went for a paddle and two loons shot up from underwater very close to our canoe. It was a moody weather day to boot, and when they dove underwater and popped up again, their howling calls made the hairs on the back of my neck stand. Here’s a snippet from our paddle after the loons swam further out. It was one of the top wildlife encounters of my life and particularly exciting for me since writing a second-grade report on the common loon (spelled “commen” in bright yellow letters on my poster board, but live and learn). In case you missed it, give Gary Lee’s piece about wrapping up loon-banding season a read.

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Friday, August 12, 2022

Cold-weather thoughts to beat the heat

blue mountain in winter

These 90-degree days are making me miss snow. I posted a short video you can watch here of our hike up Blue Mountain in the winter, and some on Twitter agreed with me. I know by March I will be eager for spring birdsong and blossoms. But even those things are changing. In my backyard I’m noticing the impacts of our warming temperatures. My tomatoes are not changing from green to red, which Cornell Cooperative Extension says could be because of the high heat. “When temperatures exceed 85 to 90 F, the ripening process slows significantly or even stops. At these temperatures, lycopene and carotene, pigments responsible for giving the fruit their typical orange to red appearance cannot be produced. As a result, the fruit can stay in a mature green phase for quite some time,” the article states. Is anyone else having this trouble?

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Tuesday, July 26, 2022

A High Peaks panel discussion

cascade welcome center sign

Thanks very much to those who came out to our panel discussion at the Adirondack Mountain Club’s new visitor center last week. As part of our ongoing solutions reporting, the event focused on issues around High Peaks use. We had a great team of experts to talk about the importance of data collection for making management decisions and the importance of visitor centers, stewards and forest rangers for educating the public. Our audience had some wonderful insight and questions, too.

If you weren’t able to make it out, but are interested in watching, you can check out our video below.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Gun legislation: What does it mean?


Newly passed gun legislation has Democrats and Republicans at odds over what it could mean for Adirondack Park residents and visitors. I spoke with Environmental Conservation Officer Matt Krug about his key takeaways and how it may be enforced in the park. Since that story, state Sen. Dan Stec, R-Queensbury and state Assembly Matt Simpson, R-Horicon, are introducing legislation that would exempt the Adirondacks and Catskills. The Legislature’s extraordinary session is over, so we’ll have to see when and if lawmakers will take up the amendment.

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