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Adirondack Explorer

Monday, June 11, 2012

Landowner closes road to Madawaska Flow

Madawaska Flow in the Adirondacks.

The logging road to Madawaska Flow and Quebec Brook, waterways acquired by the state in 1998, is closed to the public, the Adirondack Explorer has learned. I intended to drive to Madawaska on Sunday to take photos for a paddling guidebook and was surprised to find the gate locked. A sign indicated that the road was closed on June 4 and that public access was prohibited. The road provides the only motorized access to Madawaska Flow, the centerpiece of a 5,800-acre tract known as the Madawaska Flow/Quebec Brook Primitive Area. The area is used by birders, paddlers, and hunters. Dave >>More

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Land trust sells wild tract to private buyer

For the May/June issue of the Explorer, Brian Mann wrote a piece about the difficulty of getting state funding for smaller land deals in the Adirondacks. That’s because all the attention is on the acquisition of former Finch, Pruyn lands and Follensby Pond–roughly 80,000 acres in all. As a result, Mann reported, the Adirondack Land Trust planned to sell land abutting the Pigeon Lake Wilderness to a private buyer rather than the state. Today the Land Trust announced that it has indeed sold the 340-acre property to a private buyer for $1.3 million. Known as the Mays Pond Tract, it >>More

Monday, May 7, 2012

Bauer to lead Protect the Adirondacks

Peter Bauer appointed by Protect the Adirondacks

Peter Bauer, a longtime environmental activist, has been named executive director of Protect the Adirondacks, an organization formed in 2010 with the merger of two green groups, one of which Bauer ran. In an interview with the Explorer, Bauer said he was drawn to Protect by the strength of its board of directors. “It was the right job at the right time with the right group of people,” he remarked. Bauer will start his new job in early September. He is currently executive director of the Fund for Lake George, where he delved deeply into water-quality issues. Bauer went to >>More

Monday, April 30, 2012

Schumer backs Tahawus rail line

Tahawus rail line

  U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has come out in favor of reopening the rail line between North Creek and Tahawus, which some environmentalists argue would violate the forever-wild clause of the state constitution. In a letter to the Federal Surface Transportation Board, Schumer said the line would provide “much needed economic development and jobs in the Adirondack Region.” Iowa Pacific Holdings bought the line last year from NL Industries and wants to use it to transport waste rock from the closed NL mine in Tahawus at the foot of the High Peaks. The green group Protect the Adirondacks contends that >>More

Friday, March 30, 2012

Camps to stay on former Champion lands

  After years of negotiation and some controversy, the state has finalized an agreement that will allow more than two hundred hunting camps to remain on timberlands formerly owned by Champion International. In 1998, the state entered an agreement with Champion to purchase 29,000 acres in the Adirondacks and preserve another 110,000 with conservation easements that allow public access. Under the original agreement, the hunting camps on the easement lands were to be removed by 2014, but following an outcry, the state Department of Environmental Conservation renegotiated the agreement to permit them to stay. In return, the new landowner, Heartwood >>More

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Should floatplanes be allowed on Lake Lila?

Lake Lila in the Adirondack Park

The state attorney general is again asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit that demands that the disabled be allowed to fly to remote lakes in regions of the Adirondack Park classified as Wilderness, where motorized use is prohibited. Among the waterways targeted in the suit is Lake Lila, long a prime destination of canoeists and kayakers.  Assistant Attorney General Susan Taylor argues, among other things, that the five men who filed the suit, though disabled, can access Wilderness Areas and many Adirondack lakes without a floatplane. But Lake Placid attorney Matthew Norfolk says his clients (who include Maynard >>More

Thursday, February 16, 2012

DEC to build bridge over Marcy Brook

Marcy Dam pond after Irene.

Sometime this year hikers will have a brand-new bridge for crossing Marcy Brook on their way to Mount Marcy and other destinations in the High Peaks Wilderness. The state Department of Environmental Conservation plans to build the bridge about a quarter-mile downstream from Marcy Dam. The old bridge at the dam was washed away during Tropical Storm Irene in August. After Irene, hikers had to rock hop across Marcy Brook at a place known as the Squirrel Crossing. The new bridge will be upstream of the Squirrel Crossing, according to DEC spokesman David Winchell. Winchell said the log-stringer bridge will >>More

Friday, January 27, 2012

The strange shape of Senate District 47

In North Country Public Radio’s blog the In Box, Brian Mann describes the proposed redistricting of the New York State Senate as a naked power grab by Republicans (click here to read his post). He writes that the plan “is really designed to do one simple thing: maintain a fragile GOP majority.” He points out that it pits six Democratic incumbents against each other in re-election races. “Meanwhile, not a single Republican lawmaker faces serious disruption or an intra-party battle,” Mann says. In other words, it appears to be a classic case of gerrymandering. I’m sure many of you know that >>More

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Betty Little stands to lose Hamilton County

Betty Little's proposed Senate district.

State Senator Betty Little will no longer represent Hamilton County, one of two counties wholly within the Adirondack Park, under a redistricting plan released today. Little, a Republican, will continue to represent Adirondack communities in Essex, Franklin, Clinton, Warren and Washington counties—all located in the eastern or northern Adirondacks. She also will pick up six towns in St. Lawrence County, five of which are in the Park. (Essex County is the other county located entirely in the Park.) Dan MacEntee, Little’s spokesman, said the senator is disappointed to lose Hamilton County, as well as two towns in southern Washington County, >>More