A midlevel state court has rejected challenges by environmentalists to the Adirondack Park Agency’s 2016 decision to allow a new snowmobile trail in the Essex Chain Lakes region. Protect the Adirondacks and Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve sued in State Supreme Court in Albany contending that the management plan violates the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan, the state Wild, Scenic, and Recreational Rivers System Act, and state snowmobile-trail policy. Named as defendants are the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which drafted the management plan, and the APA, which approved it. The Appellate Division justices, upholding the lower >>More
By Michael Virtanen LAKE GEORGE _ Public works trucks now dump almost 193,000 tons of salt on highways and local roads annually in the Adirondacks, which eventually join runoff into the region’s waterways, according to the Paul Smith’s College professor who’s researching it. Daniel Kelting, also executive director of the Adirondack Watershed Institute, said the total is almost seven million tons of sodium chloride since the practice began around the 1980 Winter Olympics, raising the salt levels in most Adirondack waterways, which were historically low. “This widespread use of road salt has resulted in regional salinization of our surface waters, >>More
By Michael Virtanen State environmental officials have approved a mining reclamation permit for a Tupper Lake company to resume crushing and removing stone from the former titanium mine near the headwaters of the Hudson River in Newcomb. The Department of Environmental Conservation approved the permit for Mitchell Stone Products on May 3, DEC environmental analyst Sarah Davies said. Paul Mitchell, owner of the company, bought the former titanium mine from NL Industries this year. For a decade prior, he had been trucking stone from the site under a contract with NL, which stopped mining at Tahawus in 1989. Mitchell said >>More
Standing on the shoreline of Follensby-Clear Pond on May 1, Doug Fitzgerald surveyed the ice conditions before him. “This (pond) is still locked up tight,” said Fitzgerald, referring to how ice covered much of the pond and hugged the shoreline. Fitzgerald has been keeping ice records on a handful of lakes and ponds in the vicinity of the St. Regis Canoe Area since 1992, when he started collecting data for a climate change study being conducted by a professor at the University of Buffalo. This visit marked the first time Fitzgerald has seen ice on Follensby-Pond Pond this late in >>More
After spending millions on litigation and permitting, the developers began road construction last fall after securing final permits. The regulatory process with the Adirondack Park Agency and defense of a lawsuit and appeals by Protect the Adirondacks and the Sierra Club contributed costs that reached $10 million, said Foxman. Concerns by the environmental groups resulted in the developers cutting fifty-three sites on steep slopes from the plan.
Last year marked the first time in ten years that the number of lakes in the Adirondack Park where aquatic invasive species were found did not increase.
By Michael Virtanen An economic analysis recently filed by the new owner of the long idled Tahawus titanium mine in Newcomb says shipping crushed stone from the tailings by rail isn’t feasible at current market prices. That analysis further calls into question the future of the 30-mile rail line from North Creek to Tahawus, whose current owner has publicly offered to sell it for $4 million or less, saying it’s losing money. Iowa Pacific Holdings was pressured to remove tanker cars it stored this winter on the tracks in the state Forest Preserve and said it now wants a buyer >>More
ALBANY _ New York has approved $2.3 million in conservation grants for 51 nonprofit land trusts statewide including several in the Adirondacks. The Department of Environmental Conservation announced the awards Tuesday at a Land Trust Alliance conference in Albany. DEC Executive Deputy Commissioner Ken Lynch said the grants come through New York’s Environmental Protection Fund, which has $300 million this year for the third year in a row. The partnership grants are expected to leverage another $2.3 million in private and local funding to protect farmland, wildlife habitat and water quality, improve access to outdoor recreation and preserve open space, >>More
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
Owners of a thirty-mile rail line in the central Adirondacks who sparked controversy by storing dozens of empty tank cars…