A week ago last Monday I was in my kitchen preparing for my classes and enjoying a cup of coffee. I loaded up the Almanack and read the just-published article by Phil Brown about his trip to the Boreas Ponds as part of Governor Cuomo’s visit.
I enjoyed it and found it informative. It certainly whetted my appetite for seeing the ponds in person. A couple of predictable comments had been logged on the article but nothing that really grabbed my attention. I finished my coffee and got on with my day. » Continue Reading.
Regional booksellers and other North Country retailers who began selling e-books to earn profits and stay afloat will soon be faced with a big challenge in the online arena (as will stores across the country). The battle of the e-readers will soon break out once again in grand form, just as it did last year in the months prior to the holidays. It led to fantastic profits for Amazon in 2011: they pushed hard to sell Kindles, knowing that the real money was in e-books. Once a customer bought (or was gifted with) an e-reader, they were sure to make use of it―and the strategy worked. E-book sales went through the roof.
Due to a recent court decision, the company will once again bombard us with fantastic deals on readers and e-books. They were going to do that anyway, but the situation has taken a sudden, dramatic change in Amazon’s favor (and perhaps other large online retailers, like Barnes & Noble). I mention Amazon because they once controlled 90 percent of the e-book market. While that number has dropped to about 60 percent, it is likely to rise again with the recent court ruling. » Continue Reading.
One month ago, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that New York State will acquire 69,000 acres of the former Finch Pruyn and other Nature Conservancy lands throughout the Adirondacks over the next five years, including such long-sought after tracts as the Essex Chain Lakes, Boreas Ponds, and OK Slip Falls.
The land acquisition is the largest single addition to the Adirondack Forest Preserve in more than a century, opens some lands that have been closed to the public for more than 150 years, and provide new opportunities for remote communities like Newcomb. Adirondack Almanack contributors have been considering what the new state lands means to our communities, wildlife, economies, and more, in a series of stories about the new lands you may have missed. » Continue Reading.
It’s Harvest Time in the Adirondacks and events are planned across the region that feature locally-grown foods and local farms. The local food and farm economy is a growing part of Adirondack economic life as more residents and businesses choose local food first.
Over the past several years new farmers markets have sprung up in communities across the region. In Chestertown, a new weekly farmers market is bringing 500 people a week into the village. Local business people are praising the effort, the Grand Union has added staff for the Wednesday market, and local restaurants are seeing increased lunch business. “This is the biggest thing to hit Chestertown in 20 years,” one long-time businessman said at a recent town meeting. » Continue Reading.
The state acquisition of 69,000 acres of the former Finch Pruyn lands in the Adirondack Park has spurred much discussion. I thought I’d chime in from a tourism perspective.
In general, the purchase will ultimately mean public access to incredible natural resources for recreational activity. Or, according to a press release from Governor Cuomo’s office on August 5th, “Opening these lands to public use and enjoyment for the first time in 150 years will provide extraordinary new outdoor recreational opportunities, increase the number of visitors to the North Country and generate additional tourism revenue.”
I applaud the Governor’s office and their efforts, and appreciate that there is opportunity for the adjacent communities to realize a positive economic impact from the resulting increased visitation. » Continue Reading.
What follows is a guest essay by Dave Mason and Jim Herman of Keene, leaders of the ADK Futures Project. Over the past year they have been conducting workshops, interviews, and discussion sessions with a variety of Adirondackers about what the future of the Adirondack Park should be. Dave and Jim are retired management consultants who ran a small consulting firm during the 80’s and 90’s that helped very large organizations create strategies for growth and success.
The ADK Futures Project was kicked off at the July 2011, Common Ground Alliance (CGA) annual event in Long Lake. A year later, after 120 interviews and 14 workshops involving 500+ people all over the Park and in NY City, the results were presented at the 2012 CGA event. It is a pro bono project, using scenario planning, a methodology from our consulting careers. We are not members of any of the usual ADK organizations but Keene, NY is our home. The initial goal of the effort was to broaden the conversation about the Park, involving more people and weaving together the full breath of issues facing the Park. But along the way surprising alignment emerged around a particular future vision for the area. » Continue Reading.
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent commitment to acquire 69,000 acres of the former Finch Pruyn lands for the publicly-owned NYS Forest Preserve over the next several years completes a 161,000-acre conservation project of national and global importance.
Conservation of the paper company’s lands was a topic fifty years ago this summer when Paul Schaefer had an interesting conversation with then Finch Pruyn Company President Lyman Beeman. Both were members of the Joint Legislative Committee on Natural Resources then studying Adirondack forests. » Continue Reading.
History and storytelling are important to all of us on a number of levels, whether as learning tools, sources of entertainment, or that wonderful, satisfying, nostalgic feeling we get from reawakened memories. All three came into play recently in regional book events held at North Creek, Inlet, and Long Lake. Anywhere from 20 to 60 authors gathered to discuss their work, sign and sell books, and share stories with attendees and other authors.
If you visited any of these―“Rhythm & Rhymes at the Hudson” at the Hudson River Trading Company in North Creek, the Author’s Fair at Adirondack Reader (in Inlet), or the 28th annual “Author’s Night” at Hoss’s in Long Lake―you saw a range of writers spanning the gamut of North Country literature. » Continue Reading.
Finch Paper’s future is secure, officials said last week during an interview session with the Adirondack Almanack. In a wide-ranging conversation that touched on Finch’s forestry programs, the market for paper, and the recent State Land purchase, company spokespeople stressed the need to protect forest lands, and the company’s commitment to playing a role in sustainably managing supplies of wood fiber for their plant in Glens Falls.
“I always stress keeping forest land forest land,” Finch Forest Management Manager Leonard Cronin said, adding that development is the biggest threat to forest lands. “Most paper mills have sold their lands and given up managing their forests,” he explained, saying that Finch chose a different approach. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its regularly scheduled monthly meeting at its Headquarters in Ray Brook, NY on Thursday, August 16, 2012. The meeting is one day only and will be webcast live, and will largely focus on economic development and planning.
The meeting with include a presentation from Local Government Review Board Executive Director Fred Monroe and Bradford Gentry from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies on their participation in a workshop on how conservation organizations can help rural communities in the areas of forestry, agriculture, tourism, energy, and environmental markets.
Additionally, Kate Fish and Bill Farber will provide a follow-up report on the Common Ground Alliance forum held July 18th in Long Lake and Dave Mason and Jim Herman, co-founders of the ADK Futures project, will provide an overview of the strategic visioning work they have completed in partnership with the Common Ground Alliance. The full schedule follows: » Continue Reading.
Amy and I have just returned from two magnificent weeks on Lost Brook Tract. It was everything we could want and more, pure glory. I am still digesting the experience, not yet ready to write about it.
In the meantime I had prepared a set of Dispatches to run while we were gone so that you, dear readers, would not have the weekly streak interrupted. I came off the land revitalized, ready to respond to any comments and rejoin the fray. But as my columns were hardly controversial or provocative there were few comments to read (yes Catharus, looking for Bicknell’s up top is on our priority list). No comments? That’s no fun! So this time I decided to write a column with a topic guaranteed to produce a reaction: revitalizing Tupper Lake. I was motivated in part by the vitriol evident in a posting on the same topic just days ago. » Continue Reading.
I know this for a number of reasons; my two-wheeled vehicles are all tuned up and at the ready, the shoes piled near the door at my house are primarily open-toed, my golf clubs live permanently in the trunk of my car, I have at least one patch of poison ivy on my arm, and of course, the ratio of regional events per day has increased dramatically.
As a destination marketing organization (DMO) communicator, I’ve said it before: outdoor recreational opportunities; hiking, biking, paddling and the like are what draw visitors to the region. So how do events fit into the tourism equation? » Continue Reading.
A number of debates in the Adirondacks revolve around snowmobiling, including opening long-closed backcountry roads to sleds, expanding trail networks or routing connector trials on state lands, and shared use of trails. Snowmobilers often cite their positive economic impact as a reason to expand the approximately 800 miles of groomed snowmobile trails on state land.
A new study of the 2010 – 2011 snowmobiling season commissioned by the New York State Snowmobile Association and undertaken by the SUNY Potsdam Institute for Applied Research, offers some insight. It concludes that snowmobiling statewide contributes more than $428.5 million annually in direct spending, but much of that money is spent in Adirondack feeder markets on sleds, trailers, maintenance, and equipment.
What follows is a guest essay by Kirsten L. Goranowski, a 2012 graduate of Paul Smith’s College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies. This is part of our series of essays by young people from Paul Smith’s College.
It was a rainy wait for the Face Lift chairlift at the base of Whiteface Mountain on March 9th. I overheard a woman complain to her husband about the unpleasant weather. There was mention of an alternative plan for the day. I myself contemplated an alternative, yet I had bought a season pass and still had to get my money’s worth. Winter of 2010-2011 was the first time I picked up the sport of snowboarding, and I’m now questioning whether any of it was a worthwhile investment. » Continue Reading.
The Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Indian Lake Community Planning Committee and Indian Lake Central School to host three upcoming seminars to assist local small businesses and entrepreneurs in either expanding a current business or starting a new one.
Each session will address a different aspect of a business: feasibility, knowledge and skills for running a successful business, and financing available for starting or expanding a business. The seminars are geared toward anyone who would like to start their own business, or wants to improve their existing business practices. “Small Business Basics”, or what to do before putting up your ‘Open for Business Sign,’ will be held on Tuesday, April 24, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Participants will learn how to determine if a business idea is feasible, and if it would be profitable.
Karen Stehlin, Regional Director, North Country Small Business Development Center, SUNY Plattsburgh, will lead attendees in an understanding of the rewards, opportunities and challenges of being a business owner. The program will be held at Indian Lake Central School. Pre-registration is required; call the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce at (518) 648-5112.
Additional business planning and financial sessions will be held in May and June. Visit www.indian-lake.com for additional information.
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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