The Alice T. Miner Museum has announced that Dr. Curt Stager, professor of natural sciences at Paul Smith’s College, will speak on the regional impact of climate change on March 2nd.
Climate change is about more than distant polar bears and rising sea levels. It is happening here, too. The talk will look at what changes are already under way, and what changes may be coming in the future. » Continue Reading.
The spattering of sizable tracts of boreal forests that remain in the Adirondacks serve as home to several species of birds that have evolved the ability to survive in northern taiga woodlands. Among the feathered creatures that are well adapted for a life in lowland stands of conifers is the spruce grouse (Falcipennis canadensis), a dark colored bird viewed by some as being as much a symbol of the Great Northwood’s as the moose.
As its name implies, the spruce grouse inhabits those softwood forests dominated mainly by spruce; yet not all spruce forests serve as home to this northern bird. High elevation forests that cover the upper slopes of our tallest peaks are not as suitable as lowland locations despite the similar presence of spruce and balsam fir. Because higher altitudes are more frequently buffeted by strong winds, the microclimate that exists there is more adverse than the one that characterizes sheltered, lowland settings. » Continue Reading.
The NYS Department of State (DOS) is seeking applications for the Countywide Resiliency Planning Grant Program. This is a competitive funding program for the development of Countywide Resiliency Plans that primarily address climate change risks and vulnerabilities associated with: an increase in frequency and severity of storm and precipitation events; sea-level rise; storm surge; and flooding. The Countywide Resiliency Planning Grant Program is available to upstate counties in New York that were not previously covered by the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program. » Continue Reading.
“Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”
For over a century, this comment has served as the standard retort when a friend or colleague laments hot and humid weather or complains about a massive snow storm. But when University at Albany Interim President James R. Stellar uses it to talk about work at UAlbany’s Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Studies (DAES), he’s not grumbling. He uses it as a setup line before he talks about what he, his colleagues, and many others in academia are actually doing about the weather as the world wrestles with persistent climate change caused by humans. » Continue Reading.
The New York State (NYS) Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced nine different sources of financial support for a variety of climate, energy, and sustainability initiatives.
DEC Electronic Waste Assistance Grants – $1.8 million
Applications Accepted between January through 31, 2017
Eligible Entities: all municipalities within New York State (“Municipality” means a local public authority or public benefit corporation, a county, city, town, village, or Indian tribe or nation residing within New York state, or any combination thereof, or a school district or supervisory district.)
DEC announced that a second round of grant funding from the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) is being made available to help municipalities across the state address costs associated with the collection and recycling of eligible electronic wastes (e-waste). Municipalities may receive reimbursement of up to 50 percent of eligible expenses incurred for recycling of e-waste between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017. Application materials, guidance documents, and important information for Electronic Waste Assistance Grants are available on DEC’s website. » Continue Reading.
The eighth Adirondack Youth Climate Summit is taking place November 3rd and 4th at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. Over 25,000 students are represented by the 250 participants from 30 high schools, colleges and universities across the region. The program has created a White House Champion of Change and sent student leaders to the United Nations and COP 21 in Paris. » Continue Reading.
The Town of Jay, Ausable River Association, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and NYS Department of State are restoring an upstream portion of Otis Brook, a tributary of the Ausable River’s East Branch.
The partners are replacing an undersized, 30-inch pipe culvert under Jay Mountain Road – a frequent source of flooding that requires repeated maintenance by the town highway department – with a 17-foot wide aluminum arch culvert designed and sized specifically for the site. The new culvert will allow Otis Brook, its population of native brook trout, and other wildlife to move unimpeded under the road. » Continue Reading.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has issued a drought watch for the entire state of New York following consultation with the State Drought Management Task Force and Federal partner agencies.
A watch is the first of four levels of state drought advisories (“watch,” “warning,” “emergency” and “disaster”). There are no statewide mandatory water use restrictions in place under a drought watch. However, local public water suppliers may require such measures depending upon local needs and conditions. The last drought watch in New York State was issued in 2002.
The drought watch is triggered by the State Drought Index, which reflects precipitation levels, reservoir/lake levels, and stream flow and groundwater levels in nine designated drought regions throughout New York. Each of these indicators is assigned a weighted value based on its significance to various uses in a region. » Continue Reading.
Ever find yourself pining away for the “good old days” when things were simpler, a time when 911 was just a number, and no one was allergic to peanut butter? Maybe you like the era of Beatles concerts, big collars and even bigger hair, or you dream of living in the horse-and- buggy days.
Personally, I get misty-eyed when I think back to the early 2000s. It’s not that I can’t remember further back—my memory isn’t quite that bad yet. But those were the good old days when you could grow tomatoes free of blight, and pine needles were green. (Have you taken a look at the eastern white pines and Scots pines this summer? I’m pretty sure yellow and brown are not their normal colors.) Plant diseases have really blossomed recently. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park is already experiencing the impacts of climate change. Lakes and ponds are covered with ice for fewer days than they were a century ago; spring is starting earlier in the lower elevations; and storms are becoming more intense and frequent.
Scientists predict that in the future the Park will be a much different place. Wildlife species that can’t adapt to the warmer weather are expected to move northward or to higher elevations. Buildings that remain in floodplains are expected to be more vulnerable to flooding. Plant communities, especially those on high summits and boreal lowlands, could change significantly or even disappear. » Continue Reading.
Snow-sport events are a staple of winter tourism in the Adirondacks, drawing participants and spectators into small villages where they eat in restaurants, stay in hotels, and spend money in stores. This winter, many events had to be canceled because of frequent thaws and a dearth of snow.
Among the canceled events were the Lake Placid Loppet, a cross-country-ski race, and a World Cup skiing competition in the Lake Placid region; the annual Adirondack Backcountry Ski Festival, sponsored by the Mountaineer in Keene Valley; and Dewey Mountain Days in Saranac Lake. Dangerous ice conditions led to the cancellation of ice-fishing contests around the Adirondack Park. » Continue Reading.
A few years ago, Paul Smith’s College scientist Curt Stager came across a rare find that he says helps tell the story of climate change in the Adirondacks: the journal of Bob Simon, a retired engineer and longtime resident of Cranberry Lake.
Simon, who died in 1991, kept a meticulous journal with entries for temperature, wind direction, barometric pressure, water level, ice cover, when loons arrived, and when thunderstorms occurred. He made entries twice a day, morning and night, for the last thirty-two years of his life. Stager received the journal from someone who found it in Simon’s former home, years after the man died. » Continue Reading.
March is normally the time of year, at least here in the North Country, when we suffer anguish over which season we wish it would be. I go through it every year, part of me wishing for spring and the other part holding out for more snow. I know there are people out there like me who still wish we had more opportunities for cross-country skiing. There is nothing sweeter (except maybe maple syrup) than a spring ski on a warm March day, with fresh powder, bright sun, and brilliant blue skies. Tree tops pinkish orange with buds ready to burst into new growth.
But this year without a winter is even worse! I feel so cheated. My friend, artist Valerie Patterson, communicates how I feel perfectly in her watercolor painting, “Global Warming”. A lot of us who live here do so because we embrace and enjoy outdoor recreation in all seasons of the year. I’m sure no reminders are needed about how sparse our snow was and how warm the temperatures averaged. My Adirondack Artists Guild colleague Burdette Parks announced the ice went out on Middle Saranac on St Patrick’s Day this year – the earliest he and his wife, Fran Yardley, can remember. They reported the water stayed open much later this winter as well. » Continue Reading.
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued an injunction that delays implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan’s greenhouse-gas regulations. EPA’s plan must wait until after a legal challenge in a lower court, as well as an expected appeal to the Supreme Court, are decided. These events are expected to take a year or more. » Continue Reading.
Lake Placid twice hosted the Winter Olympics, in 1932 and 1980, and continues to capitalize on its history, attracting a variety of winter-sports events such as the Winter Empire State Games and international skiing and sliding competitions.
The Adirondack Park has spawned a number of Olympic athletes. Drive through tiny Vermontville and you’ll see signs celebrating that it is home to Billy Demong, who won the gold medal for Nordic combined in 2010. » 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.
General inquiries about the Adirondack Almanack should be directed to Almanack founder and editor John Warren.
To advertise on the Adirondack Almanack, or to receive information on rates and design, please click here.