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Adirondack Explorer

July, 2012

Spare the bobcat

The bobcat, an elusive and beautiful Adirondack neighbor, has managed to do what the wolf and the cougar could not. It has held its own against the trophy hunters, fur traders, and those who through fear or misplaced sense of sport take aim at the wild predator. In the Adirondack Park and other regions of the state bobcats continue to pad through the forest. We should celebrate this victory of wild nature over senseless destruction and do what we can to extend the bobcat’s reign. Instead, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has proposed expanding the hunting and trapping of >>More


July, 2012

Lake George needs reasonable care, not radical action

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Recently the Adirondack Explorer reported on the decline of Lake George, pointing to shoreline and upland development and the lack of adequate land-use controls by the Lake George Park Commission. The water is still clean, pure, drinkable, and rated as AA Special. The lake is still one of the cleanest and clearest in the state, if not the nation. The water quality has remained relatively stable due to the concern of property owners, environmental groups, and local municipal leadership. Property owners and business owners recognize that it is the water quality which keeps the local economy going and protects property >>More


July, 2012

Put an end to bobcat trapping

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I just read an article in the Adirondack Explorer [May/June 2012] about a proposal to extend the trapping of bobcats. I wholeheartedly oppose any trapping of this animal. As a resident of New Jersey, but a frequent visitor to the Adirondacks, I see no purpose in this trapping which causes so much suffering to the animal. In New Jersey we have just the opposite thinking and have a vigorous program to encourage the number of bobcats, which play such an important part in balancing a healthy ecosystem. These words don’t come from a “tree-hugger,” but from a concerned environmentalist that >>More


July, 2012

Turn off gadgets; go outside

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Lou Curth’s concern that children are no longer interested in nature is cause for enormous worry [“Rangers do more than search,” May/June 2012]. It’s yet another indication that personal computers are threatening to take over and we humans are becoming subservient. Habitat for Humanity has a thrift shop here in Pittsboro, North Carolina. I asked a volunteer salesperson how it was to work for this store that helps house the less fortunate and went on to ask if Jimmy Carter was still involved. He said, “Who is Jimmy Carter?” I said, “You know, our president, the one that served before >>More


July, 2012

Canoe tale shows value of easements

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The article “Unwinding on the Kunjamuk,” in your May/June issue was excellent. While it was mentioned that the lands on both sides of the Kunjamuk River, nearly twenty-four thousand acres, are owned by the Lyme Timber Company, it is important to note that these lands are permanently conserved via the acquisition of perpetual working-forest conservation easements by the state Department of Environmental Conservation in 2006. This was part of a large DEC-initiated conservation easement transaction funded by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund. This is a great example of how working-forest conservation easements allow for the continued sustainable harvest >>More


July, 2012

New Canoe Area campsites stink

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As I plan for my annual canoeing week in the Adirondacks, I realize I haven’t seen any debate in the Explorer about relocated campsites in the St. Regis Canoe Area. Frankly, all of the new sites that I checked out last year in the Canoe Area were terrible, particularly on St. Regis Pond, where we checked out every new designated campsite. The landings were rocky and rough and the designated tent sites too small and uneven for even the smallest of tents. Long Pond wasn’t much better. But what particularly incensed us, given that the changes were supposed to restore >>More


May, 2012

Step up invasives campaign

From Asian clams to Eurasian watermilfoil, from zebra mussels to water chestnut, invaders threaten Adirondack waterways. Aquatic invasives can foul boats, clog water systems, and choke once-clear waters, spoiling both the natural character and recreational opportunities of the Park’s lakes. If we are to defend the wild waters that are at the heart of the Park’s character, we can’t be passive in defense of our lakes, rivers, and streams. Volunteer efforts and the honor system for keeping boats from spreading contamination have helped slow invasive species, but now it’s time to raise the level of alert and take the offensive. >>More


May, 2012

Thoughts of a hidden treasure stir the soul

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Here I sit in Iowa, too busy to make my annual pilgrimage to Saranac Lake. I have vacationed in the Adirondacks almost every summer since 1931, and now I have to take solace in that thought of a recent letter writer, Gary Randorf: “I need to know they are there.” There are so many treasured vistas embedded in my memory. But one I never saw. I’m asking you to make a trek there, and report on it. About seventy years ago, Fred M. Rice told me of the lumbering-off of most of that corner of paradise. Few islands of virgin >>More


May, 2012

We are stewards, not owners, of nature

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I thoroughly enjoyed and “huzzah!’d” several articles and opinion pieces in the March/April Explorer, but none more so than Phillip Terrie’s insightful (and prophetic) Viewpoint on the cumulative impact of development, which is the Achilles’ heel of the Adirondack Park Agency, and the sound, humane argument against the trapping and hunting of one of our most magnificent mammals, the bobcat, in Larry Master’s Viewpoint. Both articles serve to sustain my belief that at least a few other of my species share the same deeply held convictions that we don’t “own” the land nor the animals that inhabit it, but that we should rise >>More


May, 2012

Use lasting materials in backcountry

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Thanks for the essay by Neil Woodworth, “Natural Not Always the Best” [January/February 2012], arguing that synthetic materials can be best for backcountry construction. It is right on target. In these days of shrinking budgets, it makes zero sense to build structures like bridges and privies out of stuff that is going to quickly rot. Steel cable, Trex decking, and other similar materials are made to last; that’s why experts use them in real construction projects. Folks seem to forget that the trail itself is a man-made feature. True wilderness would not have man-made trails, markers, and signs. But since >>More




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