In order to cut a lot more trees on the Forest Preserve for new snowmobile corridors, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Department of Environmental Conservation and the Attorney General’s Office have announced that they will appeal July’s court ruling against the State and in favor of Protect the Adirondacks.
That ruling by a 4-1 court majority declared that the extent of tree cutting for snowmobile trail construction, when considered cumulatively, violated our state’s constitutional limit on destruction of timber on the Forest Preserve “to a material degree” (Article XIV, Section 1, NYS Constitution, and court interpretations). » Continue Reading.
Wednesday marks the 20th anniversary of the Canoe-In for Wilderness on Little Tupper Lake. On August 15, 1998, over 300 people in over 200 canoes, kayaks, guide-boats, rowboats, and one small sailboat, rallied on the sloping lawns of the Whitney Headquarters on the shore of Little Tupper Lake and then paddled out onto the lake in a massive flotilla in the Canoe-In for Wilderness at Little Tupper Lake.
This event was the biggest environmental rally in a very challenging and divisive time in Adirondack Park history. Those who gathered that day were unabashed in their support for a Wilderness classification for the newly purchased Little Tupper Lake. A number of important motorless waters were created in the years after the Canoe-In for Wilderness. In 1998, there had not been a major piece of land classified as Wilderness since the late 1980s when the Blue Ridge and West Canada Lake Wilderness Areas were expanded around Cedar River Flow. » Continue Reading.
I have heard from many who have gone into the Essex Chain Lakes area and encountered relatively few other people. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has stated that public use has been very high but provided no numbers. When I rode my bicycle from Newcomb to Blue Mountain Lake on a beautiful 75 degree Saturday of Labor Day weekend last year there were two cars at the Deer Pond parking lot to the Essex Chain Lakes area. This contrasted with the fairly heavy use of people hiking into OK Slip Falls, which is part of the Hudson Gorge Wilderness area.
Through a freedom of Information letter, I requested trailhead logbooks from the DEC to look at the use of other flatwater canoeing locations in the Adirondack Forest Preserve – Little Tupper Lake, Low’s Lake and Lake Lila. These are all wonderful motorless areas that provide incredible flatwater canoeing and overnight opportunities. I had certainly envisioned that the Essex Chain Lakes would become another such vaunted Wilderness destination where visitors were guaranteed a wild experience, away from motor vehicles.
It’s slow work for the forest to take back a road, but once the forest gets started, its work is relentless. The State of New York has owned the Burn Road on the north side of Little Tupper Lake (part of the William C. Whitney Wilderness area) since 1997 when it bought the 14,700-acre north end of the larger Whitney tract. It was classified as Wilderness soon thereafter, though the road remained open for several years to honor access agreements with neighboring landowners to haul out logs.
Fifteen years later, young maples, white pines, alders, white birch, and striped maples, among other trees, work daily to break apart the long-packed gravel road bed. Leaf litter and the detritus of perennial ferns, grasses, and sedges bury the road in many places. The thick forest edge grows inward to narrow the road corridor as trees unpruned and unfettered grow laterally as they grow higher. » Continue Reading.
A state appeals court is expected to hear arguments this fall in a trespassing lawsuit filed against Adirondack Explorer Editor Phil Brown after he paddled through private land on a remote waterway that connects two tracts of state land in the William C. Whitney Wilderness.
The landowners—the Brandreth Park Association and Friends of Thayer Lake—sued Brown in the fall of 2010, more than a year after he wrote about the paddling trip for the Adirondack Explorer.
Last year, State Supreme Court Justice Richard T. Aulisi dismissed the suit, but the landowners have appealed to the court’s Appellate Division in Albany. » Continue Reading.
The owners of a remote Adirondack waterway who lost a bid in court to keep it closed to the public will appeal the decision, their lawyer told the Adirondack Almanack on Thursday.
Dennis Phillips, a Glens Falls attorney representing the Friends of Thayer Lake and the Brandreth Park Association, confirmed via email that his clients intend to file an appeal. He did not explain the basis behind it. » Continue Reading.
Adirondack Explorer Editor Phil Brown did not commit trespass in 2009 when he canoed over a waterway through private land, because that waterway was legally open to the public, a state Supreme Court justice ruled in a decision released today.
Justice Richard T. Aulisi dismissed or denied all complaints against Brown filed by the Friends of Thayer Lake and the Brandreth Park Association. He also issued a declaratory judgment that the waterway in question is “navigable in fact” and so open to all paddlers. He ordered the Friends of Thayer Lake and the Brandreth Park Association, owners of the land through which the water flows, to stop posting the route as closed to the public. The route in question includes Mud Pond, Mud Pond Outlet and a portion of Shingle Shanty Brook in the central Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.
The landowners suing Adirondack Explorer Editor Phil Brown for trespass say he’s just the latest in a long line of people who have tried to pry open closed waters for public use, and if he succeeds, they argue, he will weaken traditional standards of property rights.
In a legal memorandum filed in late September, Dennis Phillips, the attorney for the Friends of Thayer Lake and the Brandreth Park Association, asserts that Brown is carrying the flag for a small band of paddling fanatics, including members of the Sierra Club, who would open just about every stream in New York State to canoes and kayaks. » Continue Reading.
The 7th annual Reel Paddling Film Festival (RPFF) will be making its way through the Adirondacks this spring and summer with showings in Lake Placid, Old Forge and Tupper Lake. The Reel Paddling Film Festival highlights the best paddling films for the year in ten categories: Instructional Paddling, Environmental Paddling, Kayak Fishing, Sea Kayaking, Stand-up Paddling, Short Paddling, Canoeing, Whitewater, Documentary Paddling, and Adventure Travel Paddling. » Continue Reading.
What follows is a press release issued late Tuesday evening by Protect the Adirondacks!, who along with the Sierra Club and three local private landowners, have sued to stop the Adirondack Club and Resort in Tupper Lake. You can read all of the Almanack’s stories about the project here.
ALBANY–The grassroots environmental group Protect the Adirondacks!, the Sierra Club, and three nearby landowners today sued the Adirondack Park Agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the developer proposing the 700+ unit “Adirondack Club and Resort” mountainside project in the Town of Tupper Lake, Franklin County, which was approved by the Agency on January 20. The suit, filed in the Supreme Court in Albany County, and expected to be transferred by that court to the Appellate Division, Third Department, is returnable on May 11. » Continue Reading.
This is a busy week for all. Schools will be closed for the holidays and some parents are wondering what to do with their kids.
Tonight is also the beginning of the Festival of Lights (Hanukkah) and Christmas is right around the corner. We seem to be so busy cooking and preparing for the holidays that it takes a bit of reminding that the goal is to spend time with each other. If you can’t get outside and enjoy the numerous Adirondack adventures perhaps stage a family bowling tournament or enjoy indoor ice-skating.
One thing we like to do, besides being outside skiing, skating or sledding in the winter is to enjoy a small intimate theatre experience. Not just live theatre, though that plays (no pun intended) a prominent role in our lives. No, it’s escaping for a few hours and going to “The Movies.”
At one time many towns in the Adirondacks had their own year-round movie houses. Sadly most have made way for the multiplex. Some theatres have retained their original architecture so the movie is not always the only thing to observe.
Take a moment and enjoy a small slice of history. Each theatre offers a unique experience that a larger cineplex may not. These theatres are independently owned and operated and can offer a less expensive ticket price. After a holiday spending spree, saving money is a pretty good gift, too.
Here are five year-round Adirondack movie theatres to get in a few laughs, enjoy a snack and leave any aspect of holiday stress behind.
Hollywood Theatre 14232 NYS Route 9N, Au Sable Forks, NY 12912 (518) 647-5953 (in the winters closed Monday and Tuesdays)
*Lake Placid Palace Theatre 2430 Main St, Lake Placid, NY 12946 (518) 523-9271 *open every day including Christmas and New Year’s with a 2:15 p.m. matinee through the Christmas-New Year’s week.
Lake TheatreMain Street, Indian Lake, NY 12842 (518) 648-5950
The Adirondacks are unique in many ways, not the least of which is the kinds of museums that emerge there. In 1957, the Adirondack Museum first opened at Blue Mountain Lake, graced with a spectacular vantage point on the lake below, and a mission to provide the narrative history of the Adirondacks through its art and artifacts.
In July of 2006, the Wild Center opened in Tupper Lake, with innovative design and exhibits that integrate the science and beauty of nature in one place. The Wild Center, billed as the “natural history museum of the Adirondacks” has been extremely successful since opening, and continues to add exciting new exhibits each year. And in a truly inspiring stroke of recent good fortune (or maybe just good karma), these two museums were each bequested $2.4M from the estate of the late LiLinda Kent Vaughan, a member of both museums, and a long-time summer resident of Long Lake. Coming at a time when many museum funding sources have run dry, these generous gifts present an especially welcome and much-needed boost to the museums’ futures.
Dr. Vaughan was a Professor Emerita of the Department of Physical Education and Athletics at Wellesley College in Wellesley Ma, where she had led the department from 1973 to 1990 as chairperson and director. She held both B.S. and M.A. degrees from Russell Sage College, where she received the Aldrich Award for Proficiency in Sports. and received her Ph.D. in Physical Education from Ohio State University.
Throughout her distinguished career, Dr. Vaughan wrote numerous papers in her main field of sports psychology, and in 1970 co-authored the book (with Richard Hale Stratton) Canoeing and Sailing, a second version of which was published In 1985. Her appreciation for the wildlife in the Adirondacks and her love of the sporting opportunities also led her to develop an understanding of the environmental issues in the region.
An avid photographer in her spare time, Dr. Vaughan traveled extensively throughout the world photographing nature, and held a one-woman show at the Blue Mountain Center of wildlife captured on trips to Africa, Alaska and Antarctica. In a fitting culmination to her many lifetime accomplishments, the work of Dr. Vaughan lives on through the legacy she leaves to the two museums she supported in life.
Together, the Adirondack Museum and the Wild Center are instrumental in promoting the need for environmental protection of one of the last truly untouched frontiers in America. And they’re just plain fun to visit. Make sure to plan your next trip soon.
Photos: Above, view of Blue Mountain Lake from the cafe of the Adirondack Museum (photo by Linda Peckel); below, Trout Stream in the Hall of the Adirondacks at the Wild Center, and View of the Wild Center (Courtesy Wild Center).
As of this week, that’s no longer the case. The Tupper Lake Free Press is reporting this week that incumbent Mayor Mickey Desmarais is bowing out of the contest, leaving Franklin County Legislator Paul Maroun as the sole candidate.
Desmarais faced a couple hurdles — namely, Maroun had locked up support from village Democrats and Republicans. But as Jess Collier of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise put it, those realities didn’t put the race completely out of reach for Desmarais.
Reporting for WNBZ, George Earl wrote that “verbal attacks” against Desmarais over his somewhat critical stance on the Adirondack Club & Resort project led to his decision to drop his candidacy.
In an interview with the Tupper Lake Free Press, Desmarais said the criticisms didn’t bother him — but they were affecting his family and friends.
His opponent, Paul Maroun, responded to the news Wednesday, calling Desmarais a “great leader.” “I just had a different way of being a leader for the community,” Maroun told WNBZ. “I decided if you’re not 110 percent behind the resort, it’s not going to work.”
This story is still developing and I’ll check back in when some local reaction starts filtering through.
It’s an off-year as far as elections are concerned, but a few local races provide some intrigue.
In the town of North Elba, incumbent Supervisor Roby Politi faces a challenge from one of his colleagues on the town council — Democrat Derek Doty.
Politi had been weighing his decision, and opted-in after his doctors gave him the thumbs up. “I want to be healthy,” he told Nathan Brown of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. “Until recently it was a concern. But it’s not anymore.”
In the town of Keene, Supervisor Bill Ferebee will need to fend off a primary challenge by Paul F. Vincent if he wants to stay in office.
By Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities I have been having a great winter skiing and snowshoeing around the Adirondacks so much so that when I received my Otter birthday party reminder at the Wild Center it took me a bit by surprise. It is already that time of year when The Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks (The Wild Center) closes for the month of April to rejuvenate and get ready for a busy summer season. That said, this weekend, March 25-27) will be the last opportunity until May 1st to see what the Wild Center has been up to this winter.
Now with the recent flurries of snow, mud season doesn’t seem to be approaching as fast as some may wish. Keep in mind that if you always wanted to attempt snowshoeing now is the time. The Wild Center offers free snowshoes with paid admission. So practice around the various trails and see how easy it is to go out an explore while the trails are still covered in snow. The added bonus for this weekend is the Otters’ birthday party celebration.
Interpretive Naturalist Kerri Ziemann says,”On Friday and Saturday we will have all our regular programming as well as one more chance for people to find the golden otter before the drawing on Sunday.”
For those not in the know, a tiny golden otter has been hiding in various places within the Wild Center for the past twelve weeks. Children and adults are welcome to search and use a list of clues to find the evasive creature. Once found, submit his/her name into a raffle for a chance to win a pack basket full of otter related goodies. Thankfully nothing that I saw relates to having to go home with a real otter though there is a huge plush toy right on top.
“For this weekend the otters’ birthday will be held on the 27th and we will have activities all day starting at 10:00 and ending around 3:30. There will be enrichment programs about otters and craft tables open for anyone to color an individual quilt square. We will then tie all the squares together to create a quilt,” continues Ziemann.
Additional events are face painting and storytelling sessions with author Hope Marston of “My Little book of River Otters” at noon and 1:00 p.m. Ollie the Otter, the Wild Center mascot, will also be around for picture taking. Currently the Wild Center as four otters: Squirt, Louie, Squeaker, and Remy. The raffle will be drawn at 1:30 p.m. with a celebration of cupcakes (for humans) and ice “cake” for the otters.
If that doesn’t fit into the schedule, the Adirondack Museum will hold two more Cabin Fever Sundays. Women and their role in early conservation is the March 27 topic where Museum Educator Jessica Rubin will highlight early female activism. On April 10, curator Laura Cotton will discuss artifacts from the museum’s collection that show chase Adirondack ingenuity. These events are at 1:30 p.m. in the auditorium and free to museum members or elementary-school-age children and younger. Otherwise it is $5 for nonmembers. Though to see the whole facility you will have to wait until its May 27th opening day.
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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