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Adirondack Explorer

March, 2011

Floatplane argument doesn’t fly

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Regarding the disabled veterans’ lawsuit to allow floatplanes on lakes in the Forest Preserve [“Floatplane ban challenged,” November/December 2010]: First, wilderness with motorized vehicles is not wilderness. This should be kept a separate issue from a person’s right of access to public lands within the Park and should also be kept separate from the American’s With Disabilities Act and their rights to access public lands. Second, the plaintiffs do not mention anything about people who don’t have the cash to hire floatplane pilots, whether they are disabled or not. Apparently they favor access by individuals that can pay—which is far >>More


March, 2011

Mixed message aids bad development

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In looking at the proposal for a sprawling Adirondack Club and Resort in Tupper Lake [“Tupper developer perseveres,” November/December 2010], what I support is a redevelopment of the Big Tupper ski slope with a modest cluster of residential construction around the base of the mountain. The application for such a development would be relatively simple and might very well have galloped through the Adirondack Park Agency the first time around. This, I believe, is the vision that the Adirondack Council supports when its executive director, Brian Houseal, says he has “a mandate” from his board of directors to see that >>More


March, 2011

Adirondack bikeway proves do-able

A study released in January makes one thing wonderfully clear: We need to face reality about the best use of the railroad line that runs thirty-four miles from Lake Placid to Tupper Lake, and another fifty-four miles from Tupper to Old Forge. The study, undertaken by Camoin Associates, should put an end to the nostalgic dream of restoring rail service through the Adirondacks. It should also open the way for a more appropriate and beneficial use of the old railroad bed—the creation of a world-class recreation trail through some of the loveliest,wildest, lake-studded backcountry in the eastern United States. For >>More


January, 2011

Facts debunk hunters’ complaints

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Kudos to George Earl for his article “Deer numbers debated” [November/December 2010]. I would like to address three points in the article. First, Dan Ladd, who argues that coyotes have reduced the deer population, is a hunter who wrote a book on deer hunting. That makes him an author, not an authority. He deals strictly in opinions. Second, Ed Reed, who notes that studies show the deer population is increasing, is also a deer hunter and a Department of Environmental Conservation biologist. He presents the facts and statistics with evidence and records, not just an unsupported opinion. Finally, the real >>More


January, 2011

A forest-ranger’s legacy

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As the founder of Lean2Rescue [the volunteer repair group featured in September/October 2010], I’m often asked about our cooperative relationship with the DEC. I credit this to my instinctive trust of the department based on the privilege of knowing Ranger Douglas King. I first met Doug in the spring of 1974 when I was nineteen. A few of us intended to spend the entire summer in the woods in secrecy because of the all-too-common myth that the DEC would “just hassle us.” When Doug showed up at the campsite, our suspicions were immediately disarmed by his respectful and friendly approach. >>More


January, 2011

For Cuomo: An Adirondack to do list

Andrew Cuomo moves into the governor’s office this month at a time of deep concern for the well-being of the Adirondack Park. He should act quickly to restore adequate protections for the Park and move forward on critical actions that have been postponed too long Cuomo succeeds a governor who demonstrated little understanding of or interest in the Adirondacks. Engulfed by a financial crisis and impaired by political breakdown in the state Senate, David Paterson had to cut programs and agencies across the state. But the ax fell with extra violence on programs that the Adirondacks rely on, among them >>More


December, 2010

Protect Park’s precious waters

The town of Lake George, long at the epicenter of overbuilding in the Adirondacks, has now become a leader in the fight against one of the damaging consequences of sprawl—the surge of nutrients that can virtually smother a lake. The law is an important part of broader efforts to roll back the damages caused by excessive development and provide lasting protection to the lake. As of September 1, the town banned the use of lawn fertilizers containing phosphorus, a chemical responsible for algal blooms that can choke previously pristine lakes. In doing so it has shown the way for other >>More


November, 2010

Pitch in against phosphorus

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As the director of education for the Lake George Association, I am writing in response to your editorial “Protect Park’s Precious Water” [September/October]. The Lake George Association can share with your readers extensive research and resources regarding water protection, phosphorus fertilizers, and the new laws in the town and village of Lake George. Earlier this year, we designed and presented a training course for municipalities around Lake George. This course was instrumental in explaining the dangers of phosphorus to town officials and convincing them to take action. This training program may prove helpful to other municipalities in the Adirondacks considering >>More


November, 2010

Fighting invasives takes teamwork

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Kudos to the Explorer and writer Mary Thill for covering the Champlain Canal as not only an aquatic invasive-species pathway but also as an opportunity for prevention [“Invasion by water,” September/October]. The issue of canals and invasive species is a timely topic as seen in the Asian carp threat to the Great Lakes, but it’s also very relevant to our work in New York. The partnership among the Lake Champlain Basin Program, the Canal Corporation, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and others is the type of multi-interest discussion that is necessary for invasive-species management. Hilary Smith, Keene Valley Smith is >>More


November, 2010

Hunting defense missed the mark

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Reading Joe Hackett’s defense of hunting in “It’s Debatable” [September/October], I couldn’t help but wonder if he knew that neither “natural” nor “traditional” is synonymous with “ethical.” Jon Hochschartner, Lake Placid