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Adirondack Explorer

May, 2018

Let nature determine the ski season

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In the March/April issue, I was struck by the juxtaposition of the two articles “Canaries in the Mine” and “Giving Winter a Hand.” In the latter, Mr. Cheney-Seymour’s answer to how global warming is disrupting the Van Hoevenberg ski season: install “snow factory” machines that can make snow in any temperature. These machines, of course, operate with electricity generated mostly by fossil-fueled power plants. Which create more global warming. Which will require Van Hoevenberg to install more snow factories. While the catastrophic climate effects of CO2 and methane emissions are becoming clearer every year, global emissions keep rising. This is >>More


May, 2018

Fewer agencies, not more

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I just read the letter from Robin DeLoria, Newcomb town supervisor, regarding rail-car storage in the Adirondack Park (March/April issue). While I’m sure the recommendation of involving all parties is theoretically the proper way to proceed, unfortunately this course of action will result in inaction. Getting two governmental agencies to agree on a course of action is difficult; getting six or more agencies involved means there will be months or years of debate, and nothing will ultimately happen. Someone needs to make a stand to protect the Park from being a dumping ground and get it done.       >>More


May, 2018

Bring back elk, introduce red deer

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I enjoyed your story on eastern cougars. Regarding reintroducing new species, how about another try at restoring elk to the Adirondacks. Even better, European red deer, which are halfway between elk and white-tailed deer in size. They are majestic and a great game species and adapt easily.          Terry Wespestad, Pequannock, NJ


May, 2018

An inspired winter hike

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Thank you for the piece about your editor’s annual March ski up Mount Marcy (“A skier’s rite of winter”). It provided the inspiration I needed. While I have climbed almost all of the forty-six, I was never keen on bagging Mount Marcy, due primarily to the crowds (kind of defeats the purpose of a true Adirondack experience in my mind). However, I had been thinking of summiting Marcy in the late winter, when I knew I would experience fewer climbers. I also hoped to enjoy the High Peaks blanketed in a lovely crust of snow. So, on St. Patty’s Day, >>More


May, 2018

More women environmental leaders

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For too long there have been too few women in leadership positions in the Adirondack conservation movement, but Olivia Dwyer’s important story in the March/April issue (“Where are the women?”) reveals how this historical imbalance is being rectified. I was surprised, however, to see some notable achievements missing in Dwyer’s account. To name a few omissions: Barbara Glaser not only served on the board of the Adirondack Council for twenty-five years, she was also chairwoman of the council’s board during an earlier stage of the council’s development. Frances Beinecke also chaired that organization in its early days and later went >>More


April, 2018

Supervisor weighs in on trains

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Back in 2012, when Saratoga & North Creek Railway applied for an exemption to operate the rail line, they received an overwhelming voice of support from state lawmakers, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and other local and public officials. Although I was not directly involved with local government at the time, I have read the concurring and dissenting filings with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and support the exemption decision. The current controversy over the storage of train cars on the Tahawus line, specifically in the Town of Newcomb, does not in my opinion represent a “depraved indifference” to the >>More


April, 2018

No ‘design’ to crossbills’ bills

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Alongside the photographs accompanying John Thaxton’s otherwise unobjectionable article about crossbills in the January/February edition of Adirondack Explorer, I found this appalling claim: “Crossbills have bills that are designed to pry apart spruce cone scales to get at the seeds inside.” Now even some biologists will occasionally make the mistake of referring to evolutionary outcomes as intentional, so I don’t want to assume that the writer of this caption actually believes that the birds’ bills are “designed,” or that the writer meant to sneak in an attack on evolution, but the correct statement would have been that the bills “evolved” >>More


March, 2018

In defense of ‘managing’ coyotes

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I would like to dispute some information in Larry Master’s article about coyotes in the January/February issue of Adirondack Explorer. Coyotes do, indeed, need to be “managed” like any other wild game and/or furbearers. The current seasons for coyotes in most of New York State are from October 1 to March 25 for hunting and from October 25 to February 15 for trapping. These seasons, set by the Department of Environmental Conservation, protect the coyote during the time of birth and whelping of their young. There are always food sources for coyotes, including young grouse, turkeys, and fawns, as well >>More


February, 2018

Limit drone usage

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People go to the woods for all sorts of reasons. Still, I think it’s a reasonable expectation that your reason to visit not unduly impact my or anyone else’s reason to visit. Tossing a drone up in a peaceful place enjoyed by thousands pushes that, in my opinion. Expecting that your aerial photography is OK while the rest of the thousands in attendance do not want drones around is also unreasonable. Anyone see an issue with everyone who visits Cascade’s summit enjoying unfettered aerial photography? I also find the tourist flyovers in real planes a little annoying. Fortunately they seem >>More


February, 2018

Hemlock danger understated

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As a longtime fan of your magazine, I would like to comment on your recent report titled “Hemlock pest found in Park.” The article seemed to minimize the danger from the woolly adelgid, an invasive insect that has been killing hemlock forests elsewhere and was recently discovered near Lake George. My wife and I have a summer place in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Our hemlocks are in great distress and are expected to be wiped out. I am having thirty-four beautiful old hemlocks on a one-acre plot sprayed this fall at a cost of over $4,000—a stopgap measure that >>More


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