Dr. Michael Bridgen will speak about the Wanakena Ranger School, and the events and figures that formed it at a St. Lawrence County Historical Association Brown Bag Lunch event on Thursday, February 15th, at noon.
Since the Wanakena Ranger School was established in 1912, it has trained over 5000 students in forest and environmental technology.
SUNY ESF, through two of its regional campuses, has joined a group of leading biological field stations in a network devoted to bridging the gap between scientific inquiry on one side and arts and humanities on the other.
The college’s Newcomb Campus and the Cranberry Lake Biological Station, both in the Adirondacks, are members of Ecological Reflections, a network that brings together scientists, writers and artists to explore the connection between science and the humanities. The network grew out of a National Science Foundation-funded Long-Term Ecological Research program. » Continue Reading.
An article in the June 21, 1915, Syracuse Post-Standard was the first anyone in our family had heard of the role our property on Indian Point played in the evolution of early forestry education in the United States.
The August Forest Camp was a miniature village of 9×9 tents where approximately twelve boys and men lived while participating in morning instruction and afternoon fieldwork. The month long program included elementary forestry, zoology, botany and fungi courses taught by prominent U. S. pioneers of forestry science. An old Adirondack guide also taught a week of Woodcraft “such as a man should know who wishes to spend any length of time in the woods”. » Continue Reading.
On the Peavine Swamp trail system in the northwestern Adirondacks near Cranberry Lake I found a tranquil route through open forest, culminating on a knoll overlooking the Oswegatchie River. Removed from the more challenging terrain of the High Peaks backcountry, the trails allow the skier to settle into a soothing rhythm of kick and glide over level ground and rolling ridges. The occasional gully or steeper pitch is enough to rate the trail’s difficulty moderate or intermediate—but in a low-key way.
It’s a good trip for looking around and appreciating the forest, and on a clear day in early January, I was accompanied by two skiers who were well qualified to be guides through these woods: Jamie Savage, professor at the Ranger School in Wanakena, and John Wood, senior forester for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Jamie uses these lands as an outdoor classroom for his students. And John, working with Jamie and other partners in the area, has been developing plans for increasing hiking and skiing routes near Cranberry Lake. » Continue Reading.
The general public is invited to attend this weekend’s “Forest Festival” at the Ranger School in Wanakena, NY. The first-ever forestry festival, in 1908, celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Biltmore Forest School in western North Carolina. That school was the first of its kind and, in fact, the first forestry school of any kind in the United States.
Biltmore was a technical school that conveyed lessons in ‘practical forestry.’ Students endured an intense schedule but benefited from first-hand, field-oriented learning opportunities. Empolyers were eager to hire the job-ready Biltmore School graduates. Various factors lead to the closure of Biltmore in 1913, but the need for professional and para-professional foresters was growing. As such, technical forestry schools and colleges were readily being established around the country. » Continue Reading.
Enrollment at the region’s educational institutions is growing. The number of new students at Paul Smith’s College gained for the second consecutive year toward a 30 year high set in 1981. SUNY ESF’s Ranger School in Wanakena saw a 50 percent enrollment increase, and Clarkson University welcomed the largest number of first-year students in the institution’s history this August, breaking a 1984 record. Plattsburgh State saw a rise this semester, especially among foreign students. Clinton County Community College enrollment went up almost 5 percent, 14 percent higher than 2008-09. SUNY Adirondack (formerly Adirondack Community College) saw a slight decrease in enrollment. Enrollment was expected to have risen slightly at North Country Community College. At Paul Smith’s College a new $8 million 93-bed residence hall designed to LEED standards is accommodating the growth. Enrollment at the Ranger School was given a boost by a new AAS-degree program in Environmental and Natural Resources Conservation, according to longtime professor and Almanack contributor Jamie Savage.
At Clarkson some of the rise is attributed to increased enrollment in pre-physical therapy and engineering programs, including environmental engineering which has seen growth of more than 100 percent.
Photo: Students walk by Bertrand H. Snell Hall at Clarkson University (Courtesy Clarkson University).
When classes started a few weeks ago at the Ranger School in Wanakena, NY, it was anything but ‘business as usual.’ A new curriculum in Environmental and Natural Resources Conservation is credited with increasing the School’s enrollment by nearly 50%. With additional programs, more students and new teaching staff, the Ranger School is poised to begin its second century (in 2012) on a very positive note. It has been over 25 years since the Ranger School–a regional campus of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF)–has welcomed such a large class. After seeing stable enrollment of about 40-45 students each of the last several years, this year’s class of 59 represents a significant increase.
Much of the increase in enrollment is attributed to a brand new AAS-degree program in Environmental and Natural Resources Conservation (ENRC). The new program focuses less on timber production and traditional forest management and more on wildlife, forest recreation, soils and water conservation. It also includes an intriguing new class called “Adirondack Cultural Ecology,” wherein students learn about the ways that the natural resources of the Adirondacks have influenced human use and the general culture of the Park, and vice-versa.
The ENRC program is designed to prepare graduates for a shifting job market which, in turn, reflects a shift in the way Society values forests. It’s still important to grow trees to meet society’s demand for lumber, paper, firewood and other traditional products, but it’s increasingly important to understand, protect and sustainably manage forests for wilderness, wildlife, clean air, clean water, carbon storage, forest recreation, and aesthetics.
The Ranger School maintains two other AAS-degree programs, one in Forest Technology, and one in Land Surveying Technology. The former curriculum has been in place in one form or another since the School’s primitive beginnings in 1912. The Surveying program was first offered in 1995 and recently received ABET accreditation.
In August of 2012, the Ranger School celebrates 100 years of hands-on, technical forestry education. As such, it is the longest running program of its kind in North America. The School was formed one year after the birth of its parent institution, ESF (known then as the College of Forestry at Syracuse University), with a donation of 1,800 acres of land from the Rich Lumber Company. More information about the Ranger School and its upcoming Centennial Celebration can be found at the School’s website.
Photos: Above, entrance to Ranger School campus in Wanakena, NY; below, Aerial view of Ranger School. Courtesy Jamie Savage.
Jamie Savage is a Professor at the SUNY-ESF Ranger School, Certified Forester, Licensed Outdoor Guide, and Adirondack singer-songwriter from Piercefield, NY.
The Adirondack Almanack has added a new contributor, Jamie Savage. Savage has been a Professor at the SUNY-ESF Ranger School in Wanakena, NY since 1991, and a Certified Forester since 1995. He teaches courses in Natural Resources Measurements, Entomology, Forest Recreation, Interpretive Techniques, Wildlife Conservation, and Adirondack Cultural Ecology.
Savage will be writing about the Adirondack forestry issues, a topic he is intimately familiar with. He is a past Chair and still active member of the New York Society of American Foresters, and currently serves as a board member of both the Five Ponds Partners, and the Adirondack Curriculum Project. In his spare time, Savage shares his love of the Adirondacks as a singer-songwriter. He has released three CDs of original music and performs several times a year throughout central and northern New York. When he’s not teaching or singing, you can find Jamie hiking, running, biking, climbing, paddling, or skiing his way through the Adirondack Mountains.
Participants in the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program’s 10th annual aquatic invasive plant training program will learn aquatic plant identification tips and survey techniques for both native and aquatic invasive plants.
The training is free, but space is limited. Please RSVP by June 17 to [email protected] and provide your name, contact info, training location and lake of interest.
Sessions are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
June 28, Darrin Fresh Water Institute, Bolton Landing or June 30, Wanakena Ranger School on Cranberry Lake » Continue Reading.
A star rises above the black spruce flats of the northwestern Adirondacks during the darkest time of year. It’s one of the simplest yet most startling holiday displays in the Adirondack Park for the utter lack of any other light.
Wanakena residents Ron Caton and Ken Maxwell first strung Christmas lights on a fire tower belonging to the SUNY-ESF Ranger School there eight years ago as a joke. “We weren’t sure how it would go over,” Ron says. He remembers Army helicopters from Fort Drum circling the first night the tower was lit and wondering if he was going to get in trouble. But the beacon over Route 3 was a hit, and he and Maxwell have decorated the 43-foot-tall structure every year since. The lights go on in early December and are turned off New Year’s Day. » Continue Reading.