The plan by Iowa Pacific Holdings and its owner/CEO Ed Ellis to use the Adirondack Park as a junkyard to store thousands of out-of-service oil tanker railcars has hit significant stumbling blocks in the recent days.
Last week, the Cuomo Administration announced plans to petition the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) to reject use of the Sanford Lake Railway, which stretches 30 miles from North Creek to the Tahawus Mine in Newcomb, for storage of used, out-of-service oil tanker railcars. Ed Ellis has claimed that he could store between 2,000 and 3,000 railcars along the 30-mile line. Ellis will now have to lawyer-up and fight the state in the official proceedings before the STB. » Continue Reading.
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Basil Segos, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released a petition to the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) arguing against continued use by Iowa Pacific Holdings for rail operations and storage of oil tanker railcars on the 30-mile Sanford Lake Railway, which runs from North Creek to the Tahawus Mine in Newcomb. The State is requesting immediate action. » Continue Reading.
In early October of 1925 about a dozen members and guests of the Rap-Shaw Club, hailing from Buffalo, Rochester and Elmira – plus an unlucky guest from Hartford, CT named William C. Roach – gathered at their Beaverdam Pond camp for deer hunting.
The camp was located deep in the forest about six miles north of the Beaver River along the western edge of Nehasane Preserve. Since 1917 the club had rented ten acres on the pond from the Webb family. They had a spacious clubhouse, four cabins and a number of outbuildings.
Every year since the club was founded back in 1896 deer hunting was under the direction of a local guide named Jimmy Wilder. He was a young man when he was first hired as a guide for Rap-Shaw Club. Now he was a 55-year-old experienced woodsman. The members of the Club liked the hard working but soft spoken Wilder. He was short, strong, and ordinary looking. Most importantly, he knew the Beaver River country so well he could walk the woods on a moonless night without a light. » Continue Reading.
The next St. Lawrence County Historical Association Brown Bag Lunch will take place on Thursday, November 16th. This lecture will focus on the railroads that crossed the terrain of upstate New York, connecting numerous small towns and improving individual travel and industrial shipping.
Art Johnson, retired professor of American and Canadian history at SUNY Potsdam, will look at tracks that survived and those that did not. Brown Bag Lunches are free and open to the public. Bring your own lunch and enjoy a beverage and dessert provided by SLCHA. » Continue Reading.
“They own the track so they believe they have the right to store their trains on their track in the Adirondacks. It is unsightly. It’s out of character with the Adirondacks. We don’t own the tracks. There’s a question as to what legal right we have to oppose it. But we oppose it one hundred percent and we are going to do everything we can do to stop the owner from storing the trains on those tracks.” – Governor Andrew Cuomo
So said Governor Andrew Cuomo to media gathered in Glens Falls last week concerning Iowa Pacific/Saratoga-North Creek Railroad (SNCRR) storage of old, supposedly cleaned tanker cars on rails in Minerva, Essex County, close to the designated “Scenic” Boreas River. The underlying land below and on either side of the tracks where tanker cars are being stored is “forever wild” Forest Preserve (Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest). » Continue Reading.
A lot of people in New York State, including the governor, are upset that Iowa Pacific Holdings is storing empty tank cars on tracks in the Adirondacks. But what, if anything, can be done about it?
Iowa Pacific says that railroads are overseen by the federal government and so the state doesn’t have legal grounds to stop the storage.
But Neil Woodworth, executive director of the Adirondack Mountain Club, argues that storing rail cars has nothing to do with rail transportation and so the state can assert jurisdiction. And he believes the state can take steps now to force Iowa Pacific to remove the cars. » Continue Reading.
Some 25 more out-of-service oil tanker railcars were brought through North River, alongside the Hudson River in the Town of Johnsburg, Warren County en route to little used railroad track in Essex County Monday evening. This is the second shipment of out-of-service oil tanker cars delivered to the Adirondack Park. More than 50 tankers have arrived, some parked across ‘forever wild” Adirondack Forest Preserve land. The cars are being brought for indefinite storage by Iowa Pacific Holdings.
Despite strongly worded statements of opposition to this activity by Governor Andrew Cuomo, neither the Adirondack Park Agency nor Department of Environmental Conservation have acted. » Continue Reading.
It’s obvious to anyone who spends time here that the vast majority of people who live in or visit the Adirondack Park are white. This could have consequences for the Forest Preserve, because the Preserve belongs to all New Yorkers and its future is in their hands.
The latest census data indicate that about 18 percent of the state’s population is African-American (another 19 percent is Hispanic or Latino).
Although few African-Americans live in the Adirondacks, our region is not without its own black history. Most people will think of John Brown’s farm in North Elba and Gerrit Smith’s effort to relocate black farmers. But there is much more to the story.
Sally E. Svenson tells the rest of the story in Blacks in the Adirondacks: A History, a new book published by Syracuse University Press. As it turns out, African-Americans lived and worked in the Park as miners, loggers, musicians, waiters, and baseball players, among other things.
The historian Philip Terrie gives a favorable review to Svenson’s book in the November/December issue of the Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine.
I have a history of missing the big picture. When I see that a cleaning product “kills 99.9 percent of household germs,” instead of being comforted I worry about that one tenth of 1 percent. What’s that germ got? And will it destroy us all?
So I might be missing a perfectly logical reason why the Chicago-based Iowa Pacific Holdings LLC would think it a good idea to junk 2,000 flaking old oil tankers in the heart of the Adirondacks, where hikers and fishermen are seeking natural and spiritual repast, not a chain of rolling testaments to a (nearly) bygone era of dirty energy.
You wonder how this is this even possible in a land where, to hear some people tell it, you can’t even look at a spruce sideways, and the regulators sit around just waiting for you to commit some overt act that they can take you to court for. » Continue Reading.
At an address at the Glens Falls Hospital on October 25th concerning a new cancer study by his administration in Warren County and Upstate New York, Governor Cuomo addressed the recent controversy around storing used out-of-service oil tanker rail cars by Iowa Pacific Holdings on a remote line in the central Adirondack Park. The Governor starkly denounced the plan.
The Governor said: “It is unsightly, it is out of character with the Adirondacks, nobody goes to the Adirondacks to look at old trains, they go there to look at the natural beauty. We don’t own the tracks, there is a question as to what legal right we have to oppose it, but we oppose it 100% and we are going to do everything we can do to stop the owner from storing the trains on those tracks.” » Continue Reading.
On October 17th the first used oil tankers were transported through Saratoga and Warren counties by the Saratoga and North Creek Railway, part of Iowa Pacific Holdings, to a section of siding track along the banks of the Boreas River in the Town of Minerva, Essex County.
On October 18, twenty-eight used oil tankers cars were lined on track north of the North Woods Club Road on rail line traversing the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest area of the Forest Preserve. Each tanker car is roughly 58 feet in length and the 28 cars line nearly one-third of a mile of rail track. » Continue Reading.
Few places would have benefited more from the 2015 Clean Power Plan than the Adirondack Park. Had the plan been enacted, it would have abated mercury poisoning, cleared the air above the High Peaks of smog and checked acid rain, while, of course, slowing climate change. (It committed the US to cut greenhouse gas emissions by one third before 2030.)
Now that the Environmental Protection Agency has repealed the plan, not only will our air, water and wildlife suffer. Our landscape will too. Thirty miles of railroad tracks deep within the Adirondack Forest Preserve are more likely than ever to become a warehouse for surplus coal cars. » Continue Reading.
A state Supreme Court judge has ruled in favor of the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society in its suit against the state to stop the removal of 34 miles of railroad tracks between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid for the construction of a multi-use recreational trail.
Judge Robert Main issued a decision on Tuesday, saying that the state’s 2016 Unit Management Plan for the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor violated the State Land Master Plan (SLMP), Adirondack Park Agency Act, and state historic laws. » Continue Reading.
The history of railroads in the Adirondack region has been well documented. The names of Dr. William Seward Webb and Dr. Thomas Clark Durant are permanently etched in the annals of railroading with evidence of their work still in existence today. However, the first Adirondack railroad to bear the name was established decades earlier.
In April of 1839, by an act of the State Legislature, a corporation was chartered with $100,000 capital to be known as the Adirondack Railroad Company, with David Henderson, Archibald Mclntyre, and Archibald Robertson as owners. These names should sound familiar. Although subscription books were opened with all due formality, there would really be no stockholders excepting the original proprietors. The route was to run from the Adirondack Iron and Steel Company’s works in McIntyre (later known as Adirondac) to Israel Johnson’s Inn at Clear Pond in the town of Moriah. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental (DEC) has announced that a low-altitude helicopter flight will take place over the recreational corridor between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake on Tuesday, October 25, in preparation for design and construction of a multi-use recreational trail.
The helicopter will videotape the corridor and its historic features. Additional flights are expected be made to survey the corridor with LIDAR and to obtain aerial photogrammetry data. These flights will fly at higher altitudes. » Continue Reading.
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