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Adirondack Explorer

September, 2017

Consider a convention

This November’s election may be an offyear, but it’s an important one for New Yorkers. The ballot will include the question of whether to hold a convention to make changes to the New York State Constitution, a chance that comes along once every twenty years. New York State residents with ties to the Adirondacks should be conflicted: on the one hand, their state constitution is in desperate need of revision—punctuated by a string of corruption convictions against state leaders in recent years. The changes needed to fix this problem aren’t likely to come from lawmakers themselves through constitutional amendment. But >>More


August, 2017

Let Mother Nature do her thing

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I read with interest the letter in the March/April issue requesting the Department of Environmental Conservation to place a moratorium on all trapping and hunting of red and gray fox. The intent is to increase the fox populations, which feed on white-footed mice. White-footed mice are a vector species for the bacteria (Lyme disease) transmitted by the deer tick. The author, Mr. Butura, states this is the only way to stem the spread of Lyme disease. This is a rather strong statement when dealing with the biological world. Any factor, man-instituted or not, may cause a wide range of unintended >>More


August, 2017

Hey, that’s my uncle!

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The photo with “Why I Miss Richard Nixon” shows my uncle Russell Train, who went on to become administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under Presidents Nixon and Ford. Nixon gave him wide authority in the early 1970s to usher in such landmark legislation as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, Superfund, the Toxic Substances Control Act, and initiatives to protect wetlands and ban dangerous pesticides, among many other progressive environmental protections. My uncle was not a political personality, and he strongly supported the scientific research carried out at EPA. The generally free rein he enjoyed was gradually >>More


July, 2017

Trump bad for the Park

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I write in response to Sandy Trevor’s recent letter titled “Trump Deserves a Chance.” Since taking office, Trump has proposed the gutting of clean-air regulations in order to benefit the coal industry. What true Adirondacker wants a full return to the acid rain that so egregiously attacked our otherwise pristine lakes? He has also scrapped Obama-era rules protecting the water in America’s streams. Does Mr. Trevor not value clean water? Trump has appointed a person to head the EPA who hates the EPA and wants to weaken its power to enforce rules to keep the environment clean. And, of course, >>More


July, 2017

Three ladies and the CATS

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This May we three ADK members and Forty-Sixers decided to explore the newly designed trail system in the Champlain Valley. We contacted CATS (Champlain Area Trails– www.champlainareatrails.com) for advice on spotting cars and how best to approach a duplication of their “Grand Hike” held this year on May 13, which went from Wadhams just north of Westport to the end at Essex on Lake Champlain. Their staff, housed in a very sweet log cabin in the town of Westport, was so helpful with both email contact and in-person advice. None of us was familiar with the area, and we were >>More


July, 2017

Keep Boreas Ponds hut-free

The Adirondack Explorer joins the largest Adirondack environmental groups in saying “no” to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s conceptual proposal to classify a small area of the Boreas Ponds as Intensive Use for the purpose of putting seasonal lodging and dining facilities there to continue the hut-to- hut system linking trails to community amenities. We haven’t seen any details—nor has the public. What we know we’ve learned from environmental groups, whose opinions were tested a few months ago by representatives for the governor. In fact, more than six months after the last public hearings concluded and the deadline for comments to the >>More


July, 2017

That’s ‘Grasse’ to you

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As a subscriber, I wish to point out an error in the May/June issue of Adirondack Explorer. Your paddling article took me by surprise, sitting in my seat as the Clifton town historian here in Cranberry Lake. The river you’ve written about is the Grasse River, not the Grass River. I am a third-generation year-round resident of Clifton, and as an old-timer here, when I say Grasse River I pronounce the e on the end, just as my father and grandfather before me did. It is an old habit that I cannot break. Most of the signs correctly spell the >>More


May, 2017

With hiking crowds come stakeholders

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In my observation, there’s been steady increase in the popularity of outdoor recreation. As I travel through the Adirondacks, hiking trails and canoe launches that were once empty are now constantly flooded with cars and people heading out into our great state park. The most obvious spot to see this change is the parking lot at the Adirondak Loj in near Lake Placid; only a few years ago it seemed impossible that the lot would be almost full. This summer and fall, not only was the lot full, but the road leading up to it was lined on both sides >>More


May, 2017

Pronunciation an exact science

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In your review of the Colvin film, you are absolutely wrong about the pronunciation of Colvin’s name. Phil Terrie is correct in calling Colvin’s name as CALLvin. I grew up in a North Country farming community where a prominent family named Colvin existed in the early I900s; it was pronounced with a short “o.” When I began hearing people I met on the High Peaks trails using a long “o” for Colvin’s name, to me there was something amiss about this. I think that using Colvin’s name with a long “o” is a travesty for a person of his historical >>More


May, 2017

More ‘Praise for Quiet Waters’

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I was pleased to see the review by Betsy Kepes in your March/April issue about Lorraine Duvall’s books and wanted to add a comment about what for me makes In Praise of Quiet Waters so engaging. The way Duvall interweaves history, advocacy, and personal story kept each aspect from bogging down the narrative. Her questions about the differences between “wilderness” and “the wild,” and what is necessary to allow a sense of being able to commune with nature, are especially apt. And unlike typical guidebooks, she really conveys the felt experience of canoeing in specific waters. Finally, I appreciated Duvall’s >>More


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