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Adirondack Explorer

Friday, November 6, 2009

Youth Climate Summit

The Wild Center in Tupper Lake will host 170 students from high schools and colleges throughout the Adirondacks next week for its first Adirondack Youth Climate Summit. Each school will send a team of students, educators, and school administrators who will develop plans to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions.  They also will learn how global warming is expected to affect the Adirondacks. The conference was the brainchild of Zachary Berger, a graduate of Lake Placid High School. Inspired by the museum’s climate-change conference in 2008, he suggested a similar conference targeted toward youth. “We know that progress can’t be >>More

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Enck appointed to EPA

Judith Enck, the governor’s deputy secretary for the environment, has been named a regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She will oversee EPA’s Region 2, which includes New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She is expected to assume the job in about a month. Enck was a longtime green activist before then-Governor Eliot Spitzer named her to her current post in 2007. That spring, the Explorer ran a profile of her headlined “The ultimate insider.” After Spitzer resigned, she remained in the job under Governor David Paterson. A native of the Catskills, Enck >>More

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Land swap approved

Voters overwhelmingly ratified on Tuesday a constitutional amendment to allow the state and National Grid to swap parcels of land in the northwestern Adirondacks. The amendment retroactively approves the construction of a power line in a two-mile strip of Forest Preserve along Route 56. The state will receive forty-three acres from National Grid in exchange for six acres of the Preserve. With 95% of districts reporting, nearly 67% of the voters favored the amendment, according to the state Board of Elections. About 1.2 million people voted on the measure. For more details on the land swap, see this earlier post.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Land swap on ballot

On Tuesday, voters will be asked to approve the construction of a power line that’s already been built—through the forever-wild Forest Preserve in the northwestern Adirondacks. If Ballot Proposal One is approved, the state will cede to National Grid a two-mile strip, totaling six acres, along Route 56 where the line was built last year. In exchange, National Grid will give the state a forty-three-acre parcel along the South Branch of the Grass River. John Sheehan of the Adirondack Council says it’s a good deal for the state. If the line were not built along the road, Sheehan said, National >>More

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Paterson urged to reject Lows proposal

The executive director of the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board has written Gov. David Paterson to urge him to reject a proposal to classify part of Lows Lake as Wilderness. At its September meeting, the Adirondack Park Agency voted 6-4 to classify the western part of Lows Lake as Wilderness and the eastern part as Primitive. Adjacent lands also were placed in one or the other of the two categories. To take effect, the proposal must be approved by the governor. Fred Monroe, director of the Local Government Review Board, argues in a letter to Paterson that the proposal >>More

Monday, September 14, 2009

ATV abuse unabated

The first time I hiked to Gull Lake in the Black River Wild Forest I was appalled at the damage to the trails caused by the illegal use of all-terrain vehicles. That was more than ten years ago. This past Sunday, I went for a morning run on these same trails and discovered that nothing has changed. The photo above shows just one of numerous mud swales I encountered on my eight-mile jog. Not only do the machines create giant mud puddles, but they also double, triple, or quadruple the width of the trail in places. It’s a shame, because >>More

Friday, September 11, 2009

Lows Lake proposal OK’d

The Adirondack Park Agency voted 6-4 Friday to classify most of Lows Lake and adjacent lands as Wilderness, despite objections from local politicians. Under the proposal, which requires approval from the governor, Lows Lake west of Frying Pan Island will be designated Wilderness. The rest of the lake, which is much narrower, will be designated Primitive. The two classifications do not differ much in their management guidelines. Both classifications forbid motorized use by the general public. In this case, the Primitive classification reflects a recognition that the eastern part of Lows Lake abuts private lands, access roads, and a large >>More

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

McCulley wants Grannis off case

State Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis may have ruled in Jim McCulley’s favor in the Old Mountain Road dispute, but McCulley still wants him off the case. McCulley’s lawyer, Matthew Norfolk of Lake Placid, filed a motion Tuesday asking Grannis to recuse himself for engaging in in “ex-parte” communications about the case with the Adirondack Council and Adirondack Park Agency, both of which are seeking permission to intervene in the legal controversy. They want Grannis to reconsider the decision. This spring, Grannis ruled that the state never legally closed the Old Mountain Road, which runs between Keene and North Elba >>More

Monday, July 27, 2009

The road to Pine Pond

Last Sunday, two friends and I paddled from Second Pond on the Saranac River to Oseetah Lake and then walked to the beach at Pine Pond for a swim. Although the weather was iffy throughout the afternoon (we got rained on twice, albeit briefly), the sun came out just as we returned to our canoes on Oseetah. Pine Pond is a beautiful body of water that lies just inside the High Peaks Wilderness, where motorized recreation is forbidden. We were somewhat surprised to find an all-terrain vehicle and a golf cart at the pond. But only somewhat surprised. The High >>More

Monday, July 27, 2009

Extra hearing on Lows Lake

The Adirondack Park Agency has scheduled an extra hearing on the controversial proposal to classify Lows Lake and adjacent lands as Wilderness. The proposal encompasses 12,545 acres, including the bed of the nine-mile-long lake. The agency already has held hearings in Long Lake, Wanakena, and Albany. The additional hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, August 10, at the APA headquarters in Ray Brook. The hearing will be broadcast on the agency’s Web site. Opponents of the proposal argue that Lows Lake, which is an impoundment of the Bog River, doesn’t qualify as Wilderness, which is the most restrictive of >>More