The Adirondack Park Agency is weighing seven options for the classification of the 17,320-acre Essex Chain Tract. Perhaps they should consider an eighth.
Three college students have studied the various issues pertaining to classification and come up with their own recommendation: designate the tract Wild Forest with special restrictions.
The students—Azaria Bower, Kayla Bartheleme, and Erin Ulcickas—collaborated on the project this fall during their semester at the Newcomb campus of the State University College of Environmental Science and Forestry. » Continue Reading.
On a morning walk around the pond, the dog and I encountered a dead shrew – perhaps the unfortunate casualty of a neighborhood feline or a red fox (shrews are well-known for being distasteful to mammalian predators). When I picked it up and noticed its velvety black fur, long tail, and unusually large hind feet, I realized that this was a species I did not recognize. I tossed it on the passenger seat of the car so I could identify it later at work.
Like all shrews, this small, mouse-like mammal lying on my desk had a long pointed snout and tiny eyes. Its minuscule ears were barely visible, covered by short velvety fur. As I stroked the soft black hair, I noticed that the fur offered little resistance no matter which direction my finger passed over it, a perfect adaptation for life underground, permitting the animal to slide easily through a tight tunnel in any direction. » Continue Reading.
This summer marked the sixth that the Lake George Association (LGA) has coordinated a Lake Steward Program on Lake George to combat invasive species. 2013 saw the most extensive boat launch coverage since the program began, due to increased funding.
Since 2008, the LGA’s lake stewards have inspected over 32,000 boats at high traffic launches around the Lake, removed 490 aquatic invasive species (AIS) samples from boats, and spoke with more than 75,000 boaters about invasive species spread prevention. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking comments on new regulations (6 NYCRR Part 575) entitled “Prohibited and Regulated Invasive Species”. These regulations, once implemented, are expected to help control invasive species by reducing the introduction of new invasives and limiting the spread of existing invasives.
The proposed regulations include a list of prohibited species which shall be unlawful to knowingly possess with the intent to sell, import, purchase, transport or introduce; a list of regulated species which shall be legal to possess, sell, purchase, propagate and transport but may not be knowingly introduced into a free-living state; and require a permit for research, education and other approved activities involving prohibited species and release of regulated species. » Continue Reading.
The eccentric preacher and writer who became known as Adirondack Murray may have been the first to trumpet the region to tourists, but Seneca Ray Stoddard was not far behind.
In fact, Stoddard’s photographs, maps and guidebooks had a more lasting and more salutary influence than anything penned by Murray. Without his photographs and maps, for instance, it is unlikely that the Adirondack Park would have ever been created.
For Reuben Smith, the owner of Tumblehome Boatshop in Warrensburg (Warren County), Stoddard’s photographs are not merely of antiquarian or aesthetic interest. » Continue Reading.
The Lake George Park Commission (LGPC) has published a proposed rule for mandatory inspection of trailered boats launching on Lake George in an effort to limit the continued introduction of aquatic invasive species into the lake.
The public comment period is now open and public hearings have been scheduled for October 10th at 2 pm at the Roaring Brook Conference Center in Lake George and at 6 pm at the Best Western in Ticonderoga. (Note the hearing in Lake George was changed from its original day and location). » Continue Reading.
Post-treatment survey results this spring suggested that the seven acres of mats placed on the bottom of Lake George last winter successfully killed off several populations of Asian clams. However, a two-week lakewide survey in early September has revealed that the invasive clams are showing up in new locations, and spreading beyond the treated areas.
New clam populations have been identified by volunteers and staff from the various organizations that make up the Lake George Asian Clam Task Force. New locations with clams have been found at Million Dollar Beach, Sandy Bay, Cotton Point and Basin Bay in southern Lake George, as well as the private boat launch area in Glenburnie in the Northern Basin. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC) in will sponsor its second Guide Boat Regatta Sept. 7. People who own one of the classic Adirondack boats, along with those who want to learn more about them, are invited to the event.
One of the centerpieces for the day will be “Beaver,” a guide boat that was in use during the property’s days as a Great Camp. The Beaver returned to Newcomb this summer after an absence of more than 70 years.
Last year, some 40 people gathered at the center with their guide boats for the first regatta, a day of programming about the craft’s historic role in Adirondack history, and most importantly, a day of rowing on Rich Lake. » Continue Reading.
A gleaming wooden Adirondack guide boat, made from pine and cherry, and sporting original cane seats and graceful oars along with a history that dates to Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency, is again gliding through the waters of the Central Adirondacks where it was crafted at the turn of the 20th century.
The boat, still bearing the original Beaver nameplate that marked it as part of the fleet at Arbutus Great Camp, is back at work at the Adirondack Interpretive Center poised to serve as the flagship of a small fleet of guide boats that will be used for educational purposes by the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), which owns the interpretive center. The program will give members of the public a rare opportunity to see, touch and ride in an authentic guide boat. The Beaver returned to Newcomb this summer after an absence of more than 70 years. » Continue Reading.
Wild rivers, pristine ponds, deep forests, marble cliffs, a towering waterfall—the former Finch, Pruyn lands recently acquired by the state seem to have everything. If not everything, then more than enough to satisfy a variety of outdoor recreationists: paddlers, hikers, backcountry campers, anglers, hunters, and perhaps mountain bikers and horseback riders.
The ecological richness and recreational appeal of these lands, encompassing 21,200 acres, make them an invaluable addition to the Forest Preserve, environmentalists say. But this very diversity has led to hard and complex questions for the state officials tasked with regulating and managing the lands.
Consider the Essex Chain Lakes, a string of backcountry ponds at the heart of one of the Finch, Pruyn tracts. In theory, visitors could drive to the ponds on logging roads. But is this advisable? If access is too easy, might not overfishing or the introduction of baitfish endanger native brook trout? Will boggy shorelines become trampled? » Continue Reading.
Groups across the Adirondack region are sponsoring fun and educational activities this week through Saturday for the 8th annual Adirondack Invasive Species Awareness Week. The week provides an opportunity for communities to highlight the threats of invasive plants and animals and for residents and visitors to learn ways to prevent and manage invasive species spread.
This year’s line-up of public events includes an array of interactive activities including an invasive plant paddle on Upper Saranac Lake; a forest pest identification workshop in Bolton Landing; a terrestrial invasive plant management training for landowners in Wanakena; a garlic mustard control event in Old Forge; a Floating Classroom opportunity on Lake George; interpretive displays at the Paul Smiths VIC and Lake George Visitors Center, and more. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park is held up as the great wilderness area in the eastern United States. It’s the place where people come for a wilderness experience and to enjoy the great outdoors. One great myth about the wild Adirondack Park is that there is an abundance of motor-free lakes and ponds. In fact, the Park faces a scarcity of quiet waters where one can paddle a canoe or kayak without interruption from motorboats, jet skis, floatplanes, and other types of motorized watercraft.
Of the 200 largest lakes and ponds in the Adirondack Park, from Lake Champlain, with 262,864 acres, to Round Pond in Indian Lake, covering 134.9 acres, the overwhelming majority of big lakes and ponds provide abundant opportunities for motorized watercraft—but scant opportunity for quiet, motor-free waters. » Continue Reading.
The Lake George Association (LGA) Lake Stewards are back on duty for the boating season in an effort to protect Lake George from new introductions of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Last Saturday, May 4, was their first day out at launches on the lake.
In years past, the lake stewards have not started at the launches until Memorial Day weekend. However, this year with an additional $20,000 being provided through the Lake George Park Commission from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund, the program is starting earlier and will be collecting data throughout the month of May. Lake stewards are currently on duty 8 am to 5 pm Thursdays through Sundays at the Mossy Point Boat Launch in Ticonderoga, Norowal Marina in Bolton Landing, and the Million Dollar Beach Boat Launch in Lake George . » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Landowners Association (ALA) has announced the beginning of a three-part education program targeting boat and trailer owners to reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species.
According to a statement issued to the press, the ALA has succeeded getting the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to include an educational insert about preventing the spread of invasive species in all boat and trailer registration renewals by mail. » Continue Reading.
A former top official in the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) says the department’s proposal for managing the Essex Chain of Lakes will jeopardize the region’s natural resources.
In the May/June issue of the Adirondack Explorer, Christopher Amato calls for classifying the Essex Chain as a Canoe Area, a designation that would prohibit the public use of motorboats, floatplanes, and motor vehicles. DEC has proposed classifying the area as Wild Forest, which would permit motorized access.
Amato’s proposal is closer in spirit to proposals by the Adirondack Council and Protect the Adirondacks to classify all or most of the tract as Wilderness. Motorized use is also prohibited in Wilderness Areas. But Amato, who served as DEC’s assistant commissioner for natural resources from 2007 to 2011, contends that the Canoe designation is a better fit.
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