FacebookTwitterInstagram Youtube
Adirondack Explorer

November, 2011

The power of nostalgia

Category:

Change is always hard to come by, especially when nostalgia clouds the picture. A current example may be seen in the debate (page 56) over the best use of the old railroad corridor that connects Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake—a thirty-four-mile segment of the line that traverses a wild and scenic landscape of lakes, forests, hills, and wetlands. Though the debate can seem complicated, the basic issue is simple. A tourist train has been running for a dozen years on the ten-mile section between Lake Placid (the end of the line) and Saranac Lake. It has cost taxpayers >>More


September, 2011

Another bum rap for the APA

Reading a recent editorial from the Glens Falls Post-Star, which pillories Chairman Curt Stiles and the state’s Adirondack Park Agency for being too strong on environmental protection, brings back memories of the anti-APA hostility so rampant four decades ago, in the earliest days of this state entity. “Who are you to come here and tell us what we can or can’t do with our land?” was a frequently heard sentiment. “We’ve always taken good care of the Adirondacks and we don’t need you interfering!” was another. The fact is that outside intervention was urgently needed. A number of land developers >>More


July, 2011

Tupper Lake deserves better

At first glance the proposal might seem irresistible: a development that would bring affluent residents and visitors, resurrect a cherished ski resort, create jobs, and revive an Adirondack region that desperately needs new vitality. But we long ago moved beyond the first glance at the Adirondack Club and Resort proposal in Tupper Lake. And, sadly, the development as currently proposed presents unacceptable environmental and financial risks. The resort envisions a style of subdivision that forgoes crucial conservation principles, carves up land that’s supposed to be protected as open space, and rests on a financial strategy that Adirondack real-estate experts describe >>More


May, 2011

An Adirondack Park Service

If you talk with a leader of the Adirondack preservationist movement you get a deep appreciation of how far we have come in the last forty years. But you also get a vivid sense of how much more should be accomplished. Both judgments—the work well done and the work left to do—reflect on one idea: Park. As Peter Paine points out in “Talk of the Towns,” there has been an inspiring, if subtle, change over the last four decades:  Adirondackers now commonly refer to their region as a park. Yet the state continually fails to provide services in a way >>More


March, 2011

Adirondack bikeway proves do-able

Category:

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

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


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

Don’t blame the Park

It seems like a no-brainer. A rural area like ours, with much of it designated as “forever wild” or subject to regional development controls, has to be better off than other rural areas in the northern United States. Protected to the extent that it is, the Park’s environment provides the basis for the Park’s economy and is the best hope for its future. Yet ever since the Adirondack Park Agency was established in 1971, this state agency has been blamed by local officials and real-estate interests for hurting our economy and forcing residents out of the Park. The Adirondack Forest >>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