While federal licenses assigned to both the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District and Brookfield Renewables don’t expire for another two decades, an operating agreement between the two expires Dec. 31. Talks to extend or amend the agreement, which outlines payments Brookfield makes to the district, fell apart in recent weeks.
This week’s story about the history of Great Sacandaga Lake and the communities that were lost in the creation of the reservoir/damming of the Sacandaga river struck a chord with readers. It was the most shared story of the week.
In the process, we heard from Northville artist Linda Finch, who happens to be showing a exhibition of her Sacandaga Valley Folk Art. The work is on display at the Northville Public Library until Thursday Oct. 29th. It then moves to the Nigra Arts Center in Gloversville from Nov 12, 2020, to Jan. 21, 2021.
Finch says this about the series: “It’s a historic visual retrospective of the valley before, during and after flooding. All 14 paintings have been meticulously researched as to accuracy. Including the Boneyard Gang, who exhumed some of the 3,872 bodies that were relocated.”
Like many beautiful Adirondack Lakes, the Great Sacandaga Lake is man-made.
It was created in 1930 when the newly constructed Conklingville Dam closed its valves and filled the valley with 38 billion cubic feet of water. The seed for damming the Sacandaga River was planted in 1874 when the New York State Canal Commission suggested that the “creation of reservoirs on the head-waters of the Hudson would allow control over its seasonal flow and prevent flooding of downstream communities.”
NYS Environmental Conservation Officers reported that ECO Paul Pasciak and Wes Leubner, along with Forest Rangers Michael Thompson and Ian Kerr, conducted a patrol on Great Sacandaga Lake to assess docks that broke free from shore and became frozen in ice south of the Batchellerville Bridge on January 17th.
The docks likely broke free during heavy rains in early winter and became frozen in the main portion of the lake when temperatures dropped. » Continue Reading.
According to a press release issued by the Department of Environmental Conservation, on February 15, Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) Jason Hilliard and Robert Higgins conducted a night patrol prior to the start of the Great Sacandaga Lake (GSL) Fisheries derby and the Walleye Challenge.
The ECOs reported that they located tip-ups that had been left out overnight unoccupied, a violation of Environmental Conservation Law. The officers say they also found a 32-inch northern pike being kept alive and stored in the ice next to an unoccupied fishing shanty. » Continue Reading.
According to a press release issued by the Department of Environmental Conservation, on February 24, Environmental Conservation Officers Scott Pierce and Jason Hilliard were on patrol at the annual Walleye Challenge Ice Fishing Tournament on the Great Sacandaga Lake in Fulton County when the officers came upon an ice shanty and two fishermen.
According to the ECOs, a small opening in the ice had been dug next to the shanty to form a live-well, and a number of walleye and perch were stored there. Some fish were alive and others were not. ECO Pierce reported that he counted 13 walleye in the pool of water, which put the two fishermen over the daily limit of walleye. » Continue Reading.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has announced the route for Cycle Adirondacks — a week-long road bike tour through the Adirondack Park scheduled to take place August 20–27, 2016. This will be the tour’s second year; registration is now open.
The 2016 route starts and ends in Hadley-Lake Luzerne, NY, and includes overnight stops in Ticonderoga, Keeseville, Saranac Lake, Indian Lake and Northville. There will be a “layover day” in Saranac Lake where riders can pedal an optional route that tours Lake Placid or take a day off the bike to enjoy the amenities available in the Olympic Region. » Continue Reading.
One of the real pleasures in researching and writing When Men and Mountain Meet was exploring the actual sites of the historic places mentioned in my book: the little town of Castorland on the Black River, the LeRay Mansion at Fort Drum, Gouverneur Morris’ Mansion at Natural Dam and David Parish’s house, now the Remington Art Museum, in Ogdensburg. And then there was finding Zephaniah Platt’s grave in the Riverside Cemetery in Plattsburgh, in Lake Placid the site of the 1813 Elba Iron and Steel Manufacturing works , Charles Herreshoff’s flooded iron ore mine in Old Forge and the complex of building foundations that made up John Thurman’s 1790 development at Elm Hill.
There was one site, however, that was a little harder to locate than the others; Sir William Johnson’s fishing camp “Fish House”. » Continue Reading.
This summer and fall, by land and by water, I was on the lookout for invasive insects at the Sacandaga Campground and invasive plants in Lake Algonquin. Surveys are one component of a suite of tools that help protect the Adirondacks’ natural resources. When infestations are detected in their early stages, fast action can be taken for management or even eradication.
Invasive species cost the United States billions of dollars each year. Without the checks and balances found on their home turf, they can rapidly reproduce to outcompete native species. Invasive insects can threaten maple syrup and baseball bat production, nurseries, agriculture, and forest health. Infested trees are costly to remove and limbs may fall on power lines, homes, or cars. Aquatic invasive plants can degrade water quality, inhibit boating, and overrun fish habitat. » Continue Reading.
National Trails Day was on Saturday and I had the pleasure of helping crews on the new section of the Northville-Placid Trail. We stayed at Northampton Beach campground on Great Sacandaga Lake. It was a fun weekend and the trails are looking great.
The voice of the woman on the other end of the phone was laden with concern. She called to report a possible infestation of Eurasian watermilfoil in the outlet of Sacandaga Lake, just past the Route 8 bridge in Lake Pleasant. I took down her contact information and told her I would check it out.
That evening, my husband and I loaded up his Carolina Skiff with a glass jar full of water to collect a plant sample, a cooler to keep the sample cold, and an aquatic plant identification book. The sky was streaked with ominous clouds against a low, red sun, and the boat ride would have been enjoyable if I were not so anxious to get to the plant bed. Images of benthic mats and hand harvesting SCUBA divers flashed before my eyes, and my thoughts turned to the expensive cost of milfoil management that could take years to successfully eradicate. According to a 2003 study, New York State spends an estimated $500,000 to control Eurasian watermilfoil each year. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is preparing a recreation management plan (RMP) for the 3,200-acre Sacandaga West Conservation Easement lands in Fulton County.
Public involvement is sought in the development of the recreation management plan. DEC is seeking information and ideas that will lead to clearly stated goals and objectives for the care and stewardship of these lands. Everyone with an interest in the area is encouraged to participate in the planning process by providing information and suggestions for its management. » Continue Reading.
Beneath the ice that covers our many lakes during winter, there exists an arena in which fish prowl their surroundings for something to eat and attempt to avoid being eaten by a larger predator. One species, when fully grown, that never has to worry about being attacked and gulped down by another creature of the deep is the northern pike. This sizeable, torpedo-shaped beast reigns at the top of the food chain in most lakes and larger ponds scattered throughout the Park. » Continue Reading.
In a field bordered by forested hills and rocky ridges, Dan Plumley unfurled a zoning map of the Adirondack Park. The color-coded map was a reminder of how much private land lay before him, and how potentially fleeting the natural views from Marcy Field could be.
He pointed to a bald patch on Corliss Point above the valley, where lights from a house inconspicuous by day blaze into a flying saucer at night, one of many signs that growth in the backcountry is creeping higher.
“Hundreds of thousands of people drive by on this road every year,” said Plumley, gesturing toward Route 73. “They see this view and think it will always be there. I’m here to say that the way this land-use plan is being implemented, the transcendental beauty and ecological integrity of this scene is in jeopardy.” » Continue Reading.
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