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Adirondack Explorer

November, 2010

Council is stronger than ever

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At the end of Brian Mann’s article about two new environmental groups [September/October], he mentioned the Adirondack Council as one of the region’s largest environmental groups, but he mischaracterized the council’s situation when he says that we “have also struggled financially.” The Adirondack Council actually raised more money in 2009 than it did in 2008, and we are on pace to do the same in 2010. At the same time, we have been very prudent about our expenses and sought to cut costs wherever practical. Our members and supporters know we will use their donations wisely and effectively. They also >>More


November, 2010

Tighten upland building rules

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It’s good to hear that the Adirondack Park Agency is looking into tightening regulations for building on uplands [“Losing the high ground,” September/October]. As stated by Tom Both, the current Keene Site Plan Review Law’s main weakness is that it leaves too much to interpretation. I was involved in a couple of the site reviews of proposed upland single-family dwellings in Keene where we incorrectly determined that the plans, when implemented, would not have any adverse consequences. The ideal situation is to involve the towns to address local issues and the APA to provide their planning and environmental expertise, working >>More


November, 2010

Protect Adirondacks from eyesores

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I write in response to your article “Losing the high ground” [September/October]. During my twenty-six-year career in the Air Force, which included three wonderful years at Plattsburgh Air Force base in the late 1980s, I have gotten long looks at both the good and bad in terms of land-use practices. I still consider—even after two decades in Pennsylvania—the Adirondacks to be my real home, and it is the wide-open, wild (and largely blight-free) landscape that makes the region so attractive to me. I remember well the first time I saw the mansion from atop the summit of Baxter Mountain, perhaps >>More


September, 2010

Trailhead mystery solved

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A few years ago I learned in reading the Explorer of a short hike that runs from Uncas Road to Eighth Lake near Inlet. I have hiked this many times, but recently to my surprise I found a tree lying across the parking area with a no-trespassing sign and a no-parking sign on the other side of the road. The state sign-in box also has been removed, yet one hundred yards in from the road the state fence and trail markers are intact. Can you shed some light as to what is going on in this area so I and >>More


September, 2010

Mountain memories to treasure

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Almost every page of the July/August issue brought back beautiful memories of my homeland. Newcomb caught my eye in the “Ghost cats of the Adirondacks” as this is my hometown. I do believe a few cougars are out there as the habitat is perfect in so many remote areas. Having seen as well as heard them in Florida I know how beautiful they are. The account of the Cold River excursion reminded me of a visit with Noah Rondeau. And the article on whether the state will go forward with acquiring former Finch, Pruyn land brought me back to the >>More


September, 2010

Who releases exotic cats?

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I just read your column on the phantom cougars of the Adirondacks [July/August 2010]. Almost every year I see a similar article, and invariably human sightings are blown off as misidentifications or purely imagination. Three or four years ago in May I was headed to Lake Placid for our first hike of the year. Somewhere between Chapel Pond and St. Huberts on Route 73 we almost hit a large black cat, I would guess in the fifty-to-sixty-pound range. It came out on the left side of the road and angled directly toward our car, veering off at the last second >>More


September, 2010

Natural beauty is economic asset

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In response to your article on Fred Monroe of the Local Government Review Board (“Going against the green,” July/August): People like him are stuck in the 1950s. Does he think that any tourist is going to visit the Adirondacks and spend thousands of dollars to watch people slaughtering trees, digging mines, and letting the rich build homes that destroy the Park’s scenery? New York has some of the highest utility rates, taxes, and payroll costs. Why would a company with many employees want to be here, especially in the Park? The region’s economy relies on scenery, hiking, camping, fishing, etc. >>More


September, 2010

Deafening rally spoils weekend

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I suppose, since the “Thunder in Old Forge” motorcycle festival must be a big moneymaker for the village, my comments will fall on deaf ears, but I have to vent! We have a camp on Raquette Lake, and there must have been hundreds of very loud cycles going by there in a nearly constant stream the whole weekend of June 4-6. Anyone outdoors couldn’t hear to carry on a conversation much of the time. I can’t imagine what the wildlife thinks. But that weekend is not, by any means, a quiet time in the mountains or on the water for >>More


September, 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


July, 2010

River access settled long ago

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In 1893, William Seward Webb sued the state of New York for damages he claimed to have suffered from the flooding of the Beaver River, after the original dam was enlarged by the state. The higher water, said Webb, interfered with his ability to remove standing timber from his lands that bordered the river. Central to Webb’s case was his assertion that the Beaver River and its tributaries were a “natural highway” for the transport of his logs and timber starting from its source in Lake Lila (also known as Smith’s Lake). In 1896, while Webb’s case was pending in >>More