In the near future, if hikers on the Northville-Placid Trail choose, they can stop in the Town of Long Lake via a new spur trail that comes out at the top of Mount Sabattis, offering a rare mountaintop view on the NPT journey that looks out over the town and lake. They can pick up mailed-ahead supplies from the post office directly below, grab a bite to eat in town, and even get a room for the night with a hot shower. The partially completed trail (the town has built its part, and the state will complete the last mile >>More
The long-awaited Boreas Ponds land classification decision by the Adirondack Park Agency in early February is worth celebrating. The classification will split the 20,543-acre tract into 11,412 acres of Wilderness, 9,118 acres of Wild Forest, which allows some motorized access, and a small Primitive Area. Another aspect that deserves notice: the vast public participation in the process, but especially the young faces in the crowds at public meetings. They made themselves visible in their green T-shirts calling for Wilderness. They were passionate and enthusiastic, and we were heartened to see them pack meetings in 2016 to share their views and >>More
It’s January, time for a fresh, blank sheet on which to start our new year. Plenty of us are making renewed attempts at weight loss or looking to get better organized or at least vowing to break our addiction to twenty-four-hour cable news. Here at the Explorer, we’re renewing our hopes for smart decision-making in the Adirondacks and more chances to work together to ensure that the Park that we all love so much is protected for generations to come. Here are ten hopes we have for 2018. 1. A Wilderness classification for the Boreas Ponds that doesn’t allow people >>More
The Fund for Lake George has developed a low-impact development (LID) certification that, if widely adopted, could significantly reduce one of the greatest threats to water quality—storm-water runoff—by stopping it at its source. And in a region dependent on its three thousand lakes and ponds for their recreational value—and sometimes drinking water—that seems like a program we all should get behind. Using a hundred-point scoring system across five categories—protect, build, restore, maintain, and innovation—the certification encourages development that maintains the natural landscape to mitigate runoff. It is designed for public and private development projects—new or redevelopment— and has already been >>More
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
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
By Tracy Ormsbee In early April, twelve more businesses in the vicinity of the former Finch, Pruyn lands received a total of $500,000 in Upper Hudson Recreation Hub Microenterprise grants backed by the Nature Conservancy. The money pays for businesses to capitalize on recreational opportunities, such as hiking, rafting, canoeing, and fishing, on the newly protected lands, including the Essex Chain Lakes, Boreas Ponds, stretches of the upper Hudson River, and the two MacIntyre Tracts near Tahawus. The state acquired the Finch, Pruyn lands—sixty-five thousand acres, in all—from the conservancy over the past several years. There is a long history >>More
Even as debate over how the state should classify newly acquired lands continues, creative ideas from state and local officials point to exciting ways for local communities and the Park as a whole to benefit from the expansion of the Forest Preserve. The state’s phased purchase of sixty-five thousand acres of former Finch, Pruyn and Company timberlands over the past five years has held out the promise of sustainable economic development from the start. As spectacular natural attractions like OK Slip Falls, the Essex Chain Lakes, and Boreas Ponds are open to the public for the first time, they should >>More
What to do when as a nation we are preparing to inaugurate as president a divisive figure whose campaign behavior has invigorated the kind of bigotry and intolerance that we should have put to rest long ago? Whose policies are hard to discern amid a torrent of tweets, threats, and campaign-promise reversals?
When Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the state’s purchase of Boreas Ponds and the surrounding land for the Forest Preserve it was an occasion for lofty rhetoric.
“Once in a rare while,” he said, “. . . you get a chance to do something that makes a difference forever. Forever. That literally leaves our children a place that is a better place than we inherited.”
As stirring as those words were, they will sound empty if the state doesn’t rise to the occasion and commit to using these lands in a way that truly preserves their natural wonder for the next generations.