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Adirondack Explorer

June, 2018

Hamlets to huts: an idea worth exploring

In the near future, if hikers on the Northville-Placid Trail choose, they can stop in the Town of Long Lake via a new spur trail that comes out at the top of Mount Sabattis, offering a rare mountaintop view on the NPT journey that looks out over the town and lake. They can pick up mailed-ahead supplies from the post office directly below, grab a bite to eat in town, and even get a room for the night with a hot shower. The partially completed trail (the town has built its part, and the state will complete the last mile >>More


May, 2018

Let nature determine the ski season

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In the March/April issue, I was struck by the juxtaposition of the two articles “Canaries in the Mine” and “Giving Winter a Hand.” In the latter, Mr. Cheney-Seymour’s answer to how global warming is disrupting the Van Hoevenberg ski season: install “snow factory” machines that can make snow in any temperature. These machines, of course, operate with electricity generated mostly by fossil-fueled power plants. Which create more global warming. Which will require Van Hoevenberg to install more snow factories. While the catastrophic climate effects of CO2 and methane emissions are becoming clearer every year, global emissions keep rising. This is >>More


May, 2018

Fewer agencies, not more

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I just read the letter from Robin DeLoria, Newcomb town supervisor, regarding rail-car storage in the Adirondack Park (March/April issue). While I’m sure the recommendation of involving all parties is theoretically the proper way to proceed, unfortunately this course of action will result in inaction. Getting two governmental agencies to agree on a course of action is difficult; getting six or more agencies involved means there will be months or years of debate, and nothing will ultimately happen. Someone needs to make a stand to protect the Park from being a dumping ground and get it done.       >>More


May, 2018

Bring back elk, introduce red deer

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I enjoyed your story on eastern cougars. Regarding reintroducing new species, how about another try at restoring elk to the Adirondacks. Even better, European red deer, which are halfway between elk and white-tailed deer in size. They are majestic and a great game species and adapt easily.          Terry Wespestad, Pequannock, NJ


May, 2018

An inspired winter hike

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Thank you for the piece about your editor’s annual March ski up Mount Marcy (“A skier’s rite of winter”). It provided the inspiration I needed. While I have climbed almost all of the forty-six, I was never keen on bagging Mount Marcy, due primarily to the crowds (kind of defeats the purpose of a true Adirondack experience in my mind). However, I had been thinking of summiting Marcy in the late winter, when I knew I would experience fewer climbers. I also hoped to enjoy the High Peaks blanketed in a lovely crust of snow. So, on St. Patty’s Day, >>More


May, 2018

More women environmental leaders

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For too long there have been too few women in leadership positions in the Adirondack conservation movement, but Olivia Dwyer’s important story in the March/April issue (“Where are the women?”) reveals how this historical imbalance is being rectified. I was surprised, however, to see some notable achievements missing in Dwyer’s account. To name a few omissions: Barbara Glaser not only served on the board of the Adirondack Council for twenty-five years, she was also chairwoman of the council’s board during an earlier stage of the council’s development. Frances Beinecke also chaired that organization in its early days and later went >>More


April, 2018

Consider reintroduction carefully

I do not believe reintroduction in northeastern states would be successful in the long run unless all states with significant wildlands participate. Trying to introduce cougar by creating a single “island” of breeders in one state would likely have poor long-term results. But if several islands in different states are created throughout the Northeast that have reasonable wildlife corridors connecting them, the long-term prospects would likely be better and healthier for a stable northeastern population as a whole. Any viable breeding population would likely be regional and need to cross state borders.          Dana Rohleder, Port Kent >>More


April, 2018

Supervisor weighs in on trains

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Back in 2012, when Saratoga & North Creek Railway applied for an exemption to operate the rail line, they received an overwhelming voice of support from state lawmakers, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and other local and public officials. Although I was not directly involved with local government at the time, I have read the concurring and dissenting filings with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and support the exemption decision. The current controversy over the storage of train cars on the Tahawus line, specifically in the Town of Newcomb, does not in my opinion represent a “depraved indifference” to the >>More


April, 2018

No ‘design’ to crossbills’ bills

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Alongside the photographs accompanying John Thaxton’s otherwise unobjectionable article about crossbills in the January/February edition of Adirondack Explorer, I found this appalling claim: “Crossbills have bills that are designed to pry apart spruce cone scales to get at the seeds inside.” Now even some biologists will occasionally make the mistake of referring to evolutionary outcomes as intentional, so I don’t want to assume that the writer of this caption actually believes that the birds’ bills are “designed,” or that the writer meant to sneak in an attack on evolution, but the correct statement would have been that the bills “evolved” >>More


April, 2018

Process left ideas off the table

The long-awaited Boreas Ponds land classification decision by the Adirondack Park Agency in early February is worth celebrating. The classification will split the 20,543-acre tract into 11,412 acres of Wilderness, 9,118 acres of Wild Forest, which allows some motorized access, and a small Primitive Area. Another aspect that deserves notice: the vast public participation in the process, but especially the young faces in the crowds at public meetings. They made themselves visible in their green T-shirts calling for Wilderness. They were passionate and enthusiastic, and we were heartened to see them pack meetings in 2016 to share their views and >>More