Posts Tagged ‘Fires – Fire Towers’

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Restored Stillwater Fire Tower Grand Reopening July 2nd

Photo of workers on the Stillwater FiretowerThe volunteer group Friends of Stillwater Fire Tower has just completed restoration of the Stillwater Fire Tower. One hundred and twenty-five people hiked to the summit to work on the tower, or attended planning meetings. Mostly North Country and Stillwater locals, but volunteers from all over NY, as well as NJ, MA, PA, DE and FL also took part. The group is partnered with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, who purchased the materials locally and transported them up the mountain.

On Saturday, July 2, 2016, there will be a public Grand Opening celebration at the tower from 11 am until 3 pm.  There will be an attendant in the tower to answer questions or help explain the views of the High Peaks in one direction, and the 195 wind turbines on Tug Hill in the other. An 1920 panoramic map and alidade will be on the fire tower’s new map table. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 6, 2016

Birding In The Rain On Hadley Mountain

Hadley Mtn firetower in sunnier weatherSunday’s Bird Walk at Hadley Mountain (a part of our Adirondack Forest Preserve near the Warren-Saratoga County line) was a wash-out. Linda Champagne, intrepid newsletter editor for the Hadley Firetower Committee, was the exception. As we walked up the trail a ways, the drumbeat of rain on our heads slowed, and the migratory birds breeding and raising young here could not help themselves. They sang not for our sake but for the life force that seizes and keeps a territory, and a mate in the right habitat, with the right food for that species and its nestlings.

From the parking lot we heard the incessant song of red-eyed vireo; then a veery; an ovenbird; then a hermit thrush. The rain picked-up again, all song was drowned-out, and we headed back to the parking lot. On the way down, I noticed a red eft salamander crossing the trail. These are the dramatically changed terrestrial stage of the common newt or yellow spotted salamander. Having left their natal ponds, these efts are in the forest making a living until their return to aquatic life in a year, two or three, or more. Their dramatic red-orange color warns off potential predators, and fortunately warned me from stomping on him. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Planting Trees Along The Hudson With YENN, Adirondack Wild, And Forest Rangers

DEC Forest Rangers working with YENN and Adirondack Wild“I never thought I’d be getting my hands dirty and planting trees in such a big forest,” said Jody last Saturday.

She had joined others from the Youth Ed-Venture and Nature Network, Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation for a day of hard work along the Hudson River.  YENN volunteers from tye Capital District met me at the Adirondack Mountain Club Headquarters off of Northway Exit 21 (thanks to Danielle for hosting us).  After a brief orientation to the Adirondack Park, we drove to Luzerne and then up River Road into the Town of Warrensburg. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

49th Old Forge Firefighters’ Drill School This Weekend

1233376_657527430926266_794299730_nEvery September Old Forge is taken over by firefighters, but not because there is an emergency.

These dedicated firefighters are in town to hone skills, take classes and practice survival training at the Old Forge Firefighters’ Drill School. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Yellow Days: Adirondack Forest Fires And Air Quality

May 31 Forest Fire Haze 002 - EnidWe tend to think of air pollution only occurring in cities, especially over a century ago when there were no air pollution regulations in place and the industrial revolution was in its hey-day. But it appears that air pollution plagued city-dwellers wherever they went.

I spent a day at the Adirondack Museum reading through the camp diary of the Stott family on Raquette Lake (1882-1900). One of the first entries in 1882 is a remark that it was the year of the ‘Yellow Day’ because for a week or so the sky had a peculiar yellowish color to it and the sun hung in the air like a hazy red ball, obscured by fire smoke that filled the atmosphere. » Continue Reading.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Adirondacks Burn Ban In Effect

DEC LogoResidential brush burning in towns with less than 20,000 residents is prohibited in the state through May 14 – including all of the Adirondack Park.  New York State prohibits residential burning during the high-risk fire season to reduce the number of wildfires and protect people, property and natural resources.

Open burning of debris is the largest single cause of spring wildfires in New York State. When temperatures are warmer and grasses and leaves dry out, wildfires can start and spread easily. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

AARCH, Partners To Restore Fire Towers

Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower at sunrise  Photo by Michele DrozdAdirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) has partnered with two volunteer groups, the Friends of Hurricane Mountain and the Friends of St. Regis Mountain Fire Tower to facilitate the restoration, interpretation, and management of the Hurricane Mountain and St. Regis Mountain fire towers.

Both groups were formed to advocate for the preservation and public use of these towers, which were built in the early 20th century to protect Adirondack forests from devastating forest fires. In November, 2014, the New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) issued a final unit management plan that would recognize the historic significance of the towers and allow for their restoration. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

St. Regis Mountain: Bring Your Skis And Snowshoes

StRegisLast winter, my daughter Becky and her fiancé, Joe, wanted to climb one of the Saranac Lake 6, so we snowshoed up St. Regis Mountain.

Although I like St. Regis – with its marvelous views of ponds and lakes—I am not an enthusiastic snowshoer. I mean, snowshoeing is OK, but I like cross-country skiing a whole lot more.

As we walked through the woods, I kept thinking, “This would be a great ski trail.” The terrain is gentle enough that on our way off the mountain we encountered a guy in MicroSpikes running up the mountain.

Becky and Joe, though, thoroughly liked the snowshoe trip. » Continue Reading.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Hurricane, Saint Regis Fire Towers To Be Restored, Reopened

Hurricane-mtn-Fire-Tower-Phil-Brown-PhotoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has released the final unit management plans (UMPs) for the Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower Historic Area and the Saint Regis Mountain Fire Tower Historic Area.

DEC will allow volunteer organizations to restore the two fire towers and reopen them to the public. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Forge House History Conclusion: Thomson Years

1870 butvauell Abstract adc from forge company003 - CopyThe Old Forge Company, Thistlethwaite now its president, sold the Forge House to Charles I. Thomson and his son, Raymond E. Thomson in August 1915.  Thistlethwaite would soon establish the Adirondack Development Corporation to which the heavily mortgaged Old Forge Company in January 1916 would transfer remaining unsold tract lots.

The new company would open a store front on today’s Point Park triangle.  Unbelievably, the deed acquired by Thistlethwaite’s company still included the 1871 right to raise the dam three feet that belonged to the state since 1879.  The state certified the dissolution of the Old Forge Company in 1919. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

20 Years Of The Hadley Mountain Fire Tower Committee

TowerIf my memory services me, I believe 2015 will mark the 20th since the Hadley Mountain Fire Tower Committee was organized in 1995 with the help of a spirited group of local leaders and historians in Hadley and Luzerne and Corinth, as well as the leadership of Jack Freeman of the Adirondack Mountain Club, the NYS DEC Forest Rangers, and a volunteer from the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks (AFPA), Linda Champagne.

As a leader of AFPA I was glad to join Linda at one of the committee’s early meetings. Now working with Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve,  I still hike the mountain every year in recognition of a voluntary group completely dedicated to an educational, historically significant part of the NYS Forest Preserve. And I hike up in hopes of talking with a Summit Steward.

I doubt any Hadley Fire Tower friends organization can claim to have a better newsletter than the annual Hadley Fire Tower Mountain News issued each spring for twenty years by the aforementioned Linda Champagne. The News is packed with historical, cultural and environmental news, paintings, photographs, perspective and poetry from the viewpoint of mountain people who have known the mountain for generations, and who with the vital help of NYS DEC are doing a lot more than simply keeping the fire tower upright – although the tower’s restoration and maintenance was a founding purpose of the committee. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Backyard Compost: A Hot Mess

TOS_compostAt the New Hampshire University Organic Dairy Research Farm in Lee, even the heat for the wash water is organic and locally-sourced.

The heat comes from the farm’s composting facility, a building that looks like an eight-bay garage but actually contains cutting-edge composting technology, as well as a whole lot of rotting stuff.

Of course, compost heat doesn’t require sophisticated technology or the attention to detail that doctoral students provide to farm chores. However, managing heat generation is tricky. Even academics and professional composters can’t always get everything in the right balance for perfect decomposition. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Day Hikes: Goodnow Mountain In Newcomb

PanoramicI glance at my watch. 11:22 a.m. It feels like 7 a.m. on this early September morning. The first hint of fall is in the invigorating fifty-degree air. Goosebumps cover my legs below my shorts, and my breath exhales in faint misty tendrils as I start up the sun-dappled Goodnow Mountain Trail. Some days it feels good to go hiking. This is one of them.

I’ve hiked Goodnow Mountain only once before, while working on my guidebook Hiking the Adirondacks. I wonder if anything has changed in the five years since. I chose Goodnow Mountain, elevation 2,694 feet, on this fine day not to find out but to simply get out, or perhaps I should say “up,” as getting a view from the top of this mountain is my goal. The sky is haze-free and as blue as a mountain bluebird’s feathers. I don’t want an epic day in the High Peaks, just a nice walk in the woods to stretch my legs and get my heart rate up, with a 360-degree panorama to reward my effort. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

David Thomas-Train:
Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine Work To Save Ranger Trail

Thomas-TrainThe Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine have been working since 1997 to restore the fire tower and trails on that mountain. The group is a coalition of Adirondack Architectural Heritage, the town of Chesterfield, Champlain Area Trails (CATS), the Mountaineer, local summer camps and businesses, several Adirondack Mountain Club chapters, and hundreds of individuals who know and love the mountain.

The fire tower was fully restored as an interpretive site in 2005. Educational displays showcase fire-tower and local history and the land uses within the viewshed of the mountain. Since 2002, the Friends have employed tower stewards for the summer hiking season.

We have redeveloped the Ranger Trail as an interpretive trail with eleven numbered stops keyed to a brochure on the human and natural history of “Poke-O.” We also worked with the Adirondack Nature Conservancy to guarantee access to a second trail, the Observers’ Trail, which was the original vehicle route to the fire observer’s cabin below the summit. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Residential Brush Burning Prohibited Through May 14

DEC LogoBecause of increased fire risk typical during the spring months, residential brush burning in towns with less than 20,000 residents is prohibited in New York State from March 16 through May 14, 2014.

Open burning of debris is the largest single cause of wildfires in the state. As temperatures get warmer and grasses and leaves dry out, wildfires can start and spread easily. These fires can be further fueled by winds and the lack of green vegetation. » Continue Reading.