Posts Tagged ‘mining’

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Anthony Hall: When The Media Fail, The Public Loses

Article 14, Section 1 - croppedSince November 5, when voters approved an amendment to the state constitution to permit a mining company to mine 200 acres of Forest Preserve lands, we have learned much more about the proposition than we knew before the vote.  We always knew that the company proposed to mine the Forest Preserve, and everyone, proponents and opponents alike, thought it at least noteworthy that two environmental protection groups dedicated to maintaining the integrity of the constitutional clause that states that Forest Preserve lands will remain “Forever Wild,” supported the proposition.

But we did not know that the state officials who were lobbying the legislature to place the proposal on the ballot were unaware that the mining company already had access to a second mine on its own land, which it has not yet begun to utilize. We did not know that the company was spending at least half a million dollars to win passage of the proposition. And that’s not including the thousands of dollars it donated to the campaigns of Senator Betty Little, who sponsored the bill that put the proposition on the ballot. » Continue Reading.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Mining Official Explains What’s Next For Wilderness Area

800px-2013_Adirondack_Land_Exchange_MapNow that NYCO Minerals has won the right to purchase a 200-acre parcel in the Jay Mountain Wilderness, the company must decide whether it wants the land.

Starting in January, NYCO will drill a series of test bores to determine whether the bedrock under the parcel, known as Lot 8, contains enough wollastonite to make mining worthwhile.

Mark Buckley, NYCO’s environmental manager, said the company expects to drill eight to twelve holes over a few months. Each hole will be two inches in diameter and perhaps 200 to 250 feet deep. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Peter Bauer:
Reflections on the Vote to Sell 200 Acres of Forest Preserve

Article 14, Section 1 - croppedMuch is already being made about the great victory in passing Proposition 5 – the controversial Constitutional Amendment known as Proposition 5 that was approved by New Yorkers on November 5, 2013 to sell 200 acres of forever wild Forest Preserve in the Jay Mountain Wilderness to NYCO Minerals, Inc., a mining company that plans to incorporate it into its adjacent open pit mine.

I believe that some who are jubilant now will come to rue this day. If Forever Wild can’t be saved from the jaws of a mining company to be clearcut, blasted and mined, then when can it be saved? » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Open Letter:
From Adk Council, ADK and League of Conservation Voters

Entering-Adirondack-ParkWhat follows is an open letter issued today to Adirondack Almanack readers.

Dear Adirondack Almanack Readers:

Voters reaffirmed that the Adirondack Park belongs to all New Yorkers. Proposition 4 (Township 40) was approved by a wide margin. Voters also approved Proposition 5 that expands the Jay Mountain Wilderness as part of a land swap with the NYCO mineral company. The approval of this constitutional amendment expands access to all sides of the Jay Mountain Wilderness and adds important new resources to the Forest Preserve.

Election results show that New Yorkers care deeply about the Adirondack Park.  Clearly the Adirondack Council, Adirondack Mountain Club, and the New York League of Conservation Voters’ collaboration with local governments, unions, and property owners can produce victories and results that benefit the Forest Preserve and communities. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dave Gibson:
Land Sought For Mining Company Is Hardly Ordinary

This Sugar Maple on Lot 8 may be 175 years old or moreBill Ingersoll’s recent post about the November 5 vote on the NYCO Minerals-State Land Exchange (Proposition 5 on the upcoming ballot) makes good reading – as do the comments.

His interpretation, that the land exchange stripped-down to its essence represents a straight commercial transaction that lacks any public need or benefit, is one Adirondack Wild shares, but Bill made an especially articulate case.

One of the interesting comments to Bill’s post comes from my colleague Dan Plumley. Dan notes that the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s characterization of “Lot 8,” the 200-acre section of Jay Mountain Wilderness the company wants to mine for wollastonite, is plain wrong. Dan’s opinion is informed by observations he and I made during recent field visits to Lot 8. We were impressed by the forest environment there, which I will get to in a moment. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Commentary:
Preserving and Promoting Adirondac and the Upper Works

Signage at Blast FurnaceToday I conclude my series on Adirondac the the McIntyre Mines.  The deserted village of and the remains of the operation at Upper Works make for an evocative Adirondack destination.  Though this abandoned settlement’s historically significant mining heritage is known among locals, history buffs, and High Peaks backpackers who use the Upper Works trailhead, it is by no means widely known, or even somewhat known.   There are great benefits to be had if this fact changes.

When the Open Space Institute purchased the Tahawus Tract from NL Industries they put a terrific plan in place to designate the area containing Adirondac and the 1854 blast furnace as a historic district.  Work began some years ago to stabilize and preserve the furnace, the one original village building, McMartin House (or MacNaughton Cottage)  and the cemetery.  However the work has taken years and  I hear through the grapevine that funding is an obstacle.  As a result the implementation of the historic district has been slow.  » Continue Reading.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Mining in Ironville: An Early Electromagnet

jack_laduke_ironvilleThere was a time in the Adirondacks when American ingenuity was plugging into a new invention, called electricity.

I recently attended a yearly celebration at  The Penfield Homestead Museum in the hamlet of Ironville, Crown Point, where they harnessed that new-age power to create an amazing tool used in the processing of iron ore – an early electromagnet.

Watch the full report here.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Adirondac: The Search for the Church of Tubal Cain

Tubal Cain on North Elba 1858 Land MapToday I return to my series on the McIntyre Mines, the Settlement of Adirondac and the romantic sense of the past the area embodies.  Being a ghost town, and an area of historical significance dating back nearly two centuries, the remains of the works, village, and private club possess an unmistakable aura of mystery.

This sense of the unknown, of the forgotten lives and fortunes of those who partook of Archibald McIntyre’s enterprise, extends beyond the experiences of wondering visitors who are discovering it for the first time or the hundredth.  Indeed, despite the fact that the history of Adirondac has been well-chronicled and that primary documents abound (mostly in the form of letters and business records) there are many things that remain legitimate mysteries to this day.  For example there were several furnaces  that were built or improved during the nearly thirty years the proprietors tried to make a go of it.  We still do not know where all of them were located.  We do not know where the original log boarding house sat, nor do we know where the great guide John Cheney lived during his many-year association with the mines. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Newcomb: The Adirondac Cemetery

Gravestone at AdirondacThe most obvious attraction to the settlement of Adirondac in its current state is that is is a ghost town, crumbling and abandoned.  It is no wonder that people find ghost towns appealing, being as they are romantic places tinged with loneliness and even sadness.  Most of all they are landscapes of mystery, places where the imagination can run with little limit, wondering at the lives and stories echoed within.

Like any ghost town and perhaps even more than most owing to its wild, forbidding setting, Adirondac invites mystery.  To the knowledgeable visitor some of that mystery requires little imagination, merely some history.  Where was the earliest furnace?  Where and what was the nature of the house in which legendary guide John Cheney resided?   How many families lived in the settlement at its peak?  These and many other questions have no answer.

When I first became obsessed with Adirondac in the 1980’s I entered into a mystery adventure of my own.  I assumed that there must be a cemetery associated with the settlement and I resolved to find it.  It was more than fifteen years before my wife Amy succeeded. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Lyon Mountain and Ausable Forks: Company Towns

1890 Headline NY WorldRemember the hit song, “Sixteen Tons,” recorded by several artists and taken to #1 by Tennessee Ernie Ford many decades ago?  Whether or not you’re a fan of that type of music, most people are familiar with the famous line, “St. Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go, I owe my soul to the Company Store,” meaning, “Hey, I can’t die … I’ve got bills to pay.”

The line referred to Company Towns of the coal-mining industry, where the company owned everything: coal, land, and houses. Workers were paid with scrip―coupons redeemable only at the Company Store, where prices were artificially inflated. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Upper Works: The Lost Settlement of Adirondac

Collapsing AdirondacIt was early afternoon of a warm, windless July day, eight years ago.  Bits of sunlight flecked the ground, filtered by the dark foliage of the forest stand in which I found myself.  Minutes before I had been with my family, gathered together in conference along a faint trail.  Now I was alone, off trail, pushing through a phalanx of young hardwood growth dotted with cedar, hemlock and spruce.  Though my wife and three sons were spread out in the woods somewhere within shouting distance, the only sound I could hear was that of my own labor, of leafy branches pushing past my ears as I forged up a steep and uneven rise.

As I have so many times in the Adirondacks I felt a deep sense of loneliness.  No doubt due in part to the nature of my quest I experienced that disconcerting and enchanting feeling of being unmoored from time, as though I might next encounter Alvah Dunning or Mitchell Sabattis at the top of the ridge… or more to the point, David Henderson.  I imagined that my explorations might channel me back in time more than a century, never to see my family again, instead to have to live a life out of any generation I have known, perhaps as a guide or trapper of old.  » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Forest Preserve Advocates Disagree On Mining Amendment

NYCO Land Swap ProposalOrganizations that advocate for the protection of Adirondack Forest Preserve lands disagree over whether to support a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow the international wollastonite mining company NYCO Minerals Inc., which has facilities in Willsboro and Lewis, to mine 200 acres of Adirondack Forest Preserve lands in the Jay Mountain Wilderness.

The Adirondack Council has issued a statement in support of the proposal outlining 1,500 acres it says the state will receive if the amendment and additional enabling legislation passes.  The Adirondack Mountain Club has said it supports the proposal and DEC Commissioner Joesph Martens has also lent his weight to the NYCO land swap.  PROTECT’s Executive Director Peter Bauer has called the accommodation of the mining company a bad precedent. He says the process has been riddled with misinformation, and the state will be giving up old growth forests. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Commentary: NYCO’s Mining Amendment Is A Bad Idea

NYCO-Mines-APA-Map-2Legislation is pending in the State Legislature for “second passage” of a Constitutional Amendment to transfer 200 acres of Forest Preserve lands in the Jay Mountain Wilderness to NYCO Minerals, Inc. This legislation has strong support from North Country elected state representatives. The Governor supports it and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is taking an active role stalking for the bill.

There are two big problems with this effort. First, this land swap sets a terrible precedent for the “Forever Wild” Forest Preserve. Second, the bill is riddled with inaccuracies, outright falsehoods, and misstatements. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Battle of Plattsburgh: Victory in the North Country

This week we finish the tale started two weeks ago, the story of when the North Country saved the Republic.  Like all great stories of war this one has its heroes.  The naval exploits of one of them, Master Commandant Thomas Macdonough, are fairly well known, credited among students of war if not the general public.

The story of another, Brigadier General Alexander Macomb, is all but unknown.  In this final installment I will introduce you to a third gentleman, a lesser player in the story to be sure, but one who happens to be one of the most iconic characters in Adirondack lore and who represents the gallantry of all the militia, the citizen-soldiers who helped turn the tide. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Forest Preserve Fight: Tahawus Rail Spur Decision Appealed

Tahawus Rail Line (Phil Brown Photo)A June 14 decision by the federal Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) Director of Proceedings awarding common carrier status to the Saratoga and North Creek Railway (SNCR), owned by Iowa Pacific Holdings, for freight operations on the 30-mile Tahawus industrial rail spur was appealed June 25 to the full Board by Charles C. Morrison, Project Coordinator for the Adirondack Committee, Atlantic Chapter of the Sierra Club and Samuel H. Sage, President and Senior Scientist of the Atlantic States Legal Foundation (ASLF). » Continue Reading.



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