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Adirondack Explorer

May, 2010

Activism beats isolationism

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I want to say how much I liked Tom Woodman’s essay “The Mayor of Cold River” in the March/April issue of the Explorer. Since I had just read and reviewed the latest book about our favorite Adirondack hermit, your writing hit me hard, particularly the difference between being an activist and being an isolationist. It is easy to retreat to our beautiful woods and do nothing. It is much more difficult to stand in our beautiful woods and think about what else we can do to protect them. Thank you for reminding readers to keep up the fight. Betsy Kepes, >>More


May, 2010

Little help for trout

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The March/April Explorer contained an interesting article regarding the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Heritage Strain Brook Trout Program. Sadly, with only two fishery biologists currently working in Ray Brook, it appears this valuable program is as endangered as the remnant trout populations they seek to protect and restore. Brookies are truly the jewel of the Adirondacks. I know the term is overused, but one look at their autumn spawn colors provides proof of the claim. Unfortunately, the fish seem to be of little value in terms of preservation. Recently, a combination of budget cuts, proposed hatchery closures, and staff >>More


May, 2010

Angler sets poor example

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The article on heritage trout is, of course, sobering. I am a brook trout fisherman, and to learn more about the troubles the heritage strains are undergoing is sad. I have to admit, though, that I would think that an article conveying the woes of Adirondack brook trout would not feature a fisherman killing a heritage-strain trout on the cover. It was a nice brook trout, and the way that Sam was handling it, there was no way that it could have been released without harm. He was presumably fly fishing as he was wearing a vest with flies on >>More


March, 2010

The Adirondack experiment works

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The January/February Adirondack Explorer carries a letter by Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward concerning Protect the Adirondacks’ opposition to a constitutional amendment that would permit NYCO to mine a deposit of wollastonite currently under Forest Preserve lands. She cites Protect’s position as evidence that the Adirondack experiment that tries to sustain communities while preserving wilderness has failed. We write as directors of Protect and as full-time Adirondack residents who welcome further discussion of these issues. We believe that NYCO has not presented enough information to determine if a land swap would provide substantial gain to the local communities, benefit the public Forest >>More


March, 2010

No need to mine Forest Preserve

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Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward writes (January/February) that the Willsboro-based NYCO is in need of Forest Preserve land in order to continue future mining operations adjacent to their facility adjoining the Jay Mountain Wilderness. She fails to mention the lengthy adjudicatory hearing that was held in 1995 at great expense to the taxpayers of New York and to many local citizens in order to create a permit for another NYCO wollastonite mine at Oak Hill in Lewis. After fifteen years the Oak Hill site still awaits serious NYCO mining to begin. I assume NYCO Minerals and Sayward would prefer that New York >>More


March, 2010

Dire forecast came true

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In the mid-1980s on an Adirondack Park Agency field trip, the superintendent for Litchfield Park, John Stock, a pretty astute forester, stated that the beech die-back was as serious a problem as acid rain. I thought, you have got to be kidding: His concern was made clearer when he pointed out that beech is extremely prolific and competitive, sprouting en masse from old roots. He predicted that most, if not all, would succumb well before reaching maturity and they would be of poor quality. At the same time, and this is a critical and devastating factor, these poor-quality sprouts would >>More


March, 2010

Remove rail; promote growth

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I read with interest in your last two issues about the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. The first article detailed different possibilities for the corridor, including the plan to extend the ten-mile-long tourist line, now operating between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, another twenty-five miles to Tupper Lake. The January/February issue included a debate about removing the tracks versus keeping the tracks. It was quite telling that Dan McClelland, who advocates expanding the tourist line, agrees that Tupper Lake would get more business if the tracks were removed for snowmobiling in the winter. And he doesn’t really dispute the argument that this >>More


March, 2010

World-class bikeway envisioned

There’s a wonderful opportunity that has been staring us in the face—the opportunity to open up a whole new recreational dimension in the Adirondacks that will also provide important economic benefits. The map above suggests the possibilities. Right now, it’s a dangerous, even death-defying proposition to bicycle between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake. The traffic on Route 86 is heavy in the summer and fall; the shoulder is narrow and rutted. But now consider this: With the train tracks removed, the public would have a safe, serene, and scenic bikeway connecting the Placid and Saranac train stations. As a free-wheeling >>More


January, 2010

A failed experiment

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When the state decided in 1885 to set aside land for protection in the Adirondacks, it was to be an experiment to show it is possible to have sustainable communities while still preserving a great wilderness area. It becomes more and more evident that the experiment has failed. I have been working for several years with NYCO Minerals, a mining operation in Willsboro. NYCO employs seventy-five to a hundred people. These are family-sustaining jobs that support our communities, businesses, and schools. NYCO wants to amend the state constitution so it can continue to mine deposits of the mineral that are >>More


January, 2010

Name this lily

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In the November/December Adirondack Explorer you have a beautiful picture by Mark Bowie captioned “Tiger Lilies on Hackensack Mountain.” Those are actually wood lilies, not tiger lilies. Dr. Stuart Delman, Chestertown