The controversy over the use of a thirty-mile rail line in the central Adirondacks got a lot more interesting in recent weeks. The railroad that has been storing empty tank cars on the line–to the consternation of state and local officials–now wants out. Ed Ellis, president of Iowa Pacific Holdings, told Warren County supervisors in March that he wants to sell the line to the county for $5 million. If he doesn’t get the money, Ellis warned, his subsidiary, Saratoga and North Creek Railway, would cease operations. S&NCR intends to shut down Saturday (April 7). As the railway’s name suggests, >>More
Julia Goren stands atop 5,344-foot Mount Marcy, a forest-green name tag pinned to her short-sleeve khaki button-down shirt. Her uniform marks her as one of the Summit Stewards, the conservation professionals who educate hikers about the rare plants found on New York’s alpine summits.
Mount Van Hoevenberg manager Kris Cheney-Seymour said the short ski season goaded the center to find a way to stay open longer in warm winters. By the following winter, Van Ho had installed a snowmaking system known as the Snow Factory. The result: it stayed open 137 days last season.
After years of public debate, the Adirondack Park Agency voted 8-1 on Friday morning to approve a classification for the Boreas Ponds Tract that splits it into two main categories, Wilderness and Wild Forest. Most environmental groups applauded the decision, characterizing it as a compromise that will protect the ponds, streams, wetlands, and mountain slopes on the 20,543-acre tract while giving the public reasonable access. Under the proposal, the lands north of two former logging roads—all told, 11,412 acres—will be Wilderness. The lands south of the roads, 9,118 acres, will be Wild Forest. The main difference between the two classifications >>More
The state plans to combine the High Peaks Wilderness and Dix Mountain Wilderness after the Adirondack Park Agency classifies the Boreas Ponds Tract and other nearby lands. Kathy Regan, the APA’s deputy director, told the agency’s board Thursday that the expanded High Peaks Wilderness would encompass 274,000 acres, making it by far the largest Wilderness Area in the Northeast. The expansion is possible as a result of the state’s acquisition of the Boreas Ponds Tract, MacIntyre East Tract, MacIntyre West Tract, and Casey Brook Tract. The last tract provides a crucial link between the existing High Peaks Wilderness and Dix >>More
Several environmental groups are applauding a recommendation by the Adirondack Park Agency staff to classify most of the 20,543-acre Boreas Ponds Tract as motor-free Wilderness. The APA board is expected to begin discussing the recommendation at its meeting next Thursday and vote on it the next day. The agency’s staff considered five classification schemes. The preferred alternative, called 2B, would classify 11,412 acres as Wilderness, 9,118 acres as Wild Forest, and eleven acres as Primitive. It’s expected that the Wilderness acres will be added to the High Peaks Wilderness. Boreas Ponds themselves—an impoundment of three ponds—would be Wilderness under the >>More
There’s an urgency to “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes” by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Great Lakes reporter Dan Egan that reminds us there is still time to protect the fresh lakes and streams in the Adirondark Park. The book chronicles years of pollution, invasive species, and efforts to repair damage that in some cases changed the makeup of the five Great Lakes. And while the Great Lakes face different sets of challenges, you will recognize many of the issues – and some of the invasive species – because we’ve talked about them here. We spoke with Dan Egan >>More
Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to file a petition with the federal Surface Transportation Board to force a rail company to remove empty oil-tanker cars stored on tracks in the central Adirondacks. “The Adirondack Park is home to some of the world’s most pristine forest lands, which powers its tourism economy, and we will not stand by and allow it to be used as a commercial dumping ground,” Cuomo said in a news release. Iowa Pacific Holdings, which operates the rail line, has brought in about seventy-five tank cars since mid-October. They are stored on sidings near the Boreas River in >>More
Is the controversial idea of establishing huts at the ponds dead?
DEC proposes trail improvements in Sentinel Range Wilderness.