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Adirondack Explorer

March, 2014

Polaris Bridge built to last

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In your January-February issue, you had an extensive article titled “A Consensus Solution.” I would like to comment on the Polaris Bridge section. Dave Gibson from Adirondack Wild is reported as saying in regard to the bridge that it was meant to be temporary and should be removed. “Finch, Pruyn constructed this bridge to allow for easy de-construction. It should go, no question about it,” he is quoted as saying. This is not accurate, as Finch never intended to remove the bridge. We purchased the bridge, which had been used in Baltimore, and installed it in the early 1990s to >>More


March, 2014

Don’t restrict extended camping

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I like to camp and trap in remote areas of the Adirondack Park. I need permits for extended stays at a campsite, but I’m allowed only one permit during hunting season. Then I must remove my tent and gear. But trapping season extends for months past the end of hunting season. Then I’m allowed to stay in a campsite for only three days before removing all my gear. This makes it impossible to camp in remote areas. I’m only doing what my ancestors did for one hundred years. Trappers don’t harm the environment in any way with their tents. The >>More


January, 2014

Wilderness is vital to Adirondack economy

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In the It’s Debatable section of the November/December issue, Sue Montgomery Corey, then supervisor of Minerva, took the position that Wilderness Areas hurt the economy. To test this theory, on the opening day of the Essex Chain Tract, she polled several businesses in the local area and found that they had no increase in activity on that day. So she concluded that Wilderness Areas would not “draw a large contingent of hikers and paddlers who would exercise their economic power in the area.” Strangely, Hornbeck Boats was not part of her poll. We have operated a business in Minerva for >>More


January, 2014

Scenic railroad a success story

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I am surprised by your reporter’s description of the nonprofit Adirondack Scenic Railroad as “a shoestring operation” [“A trainload of questions,” November/December 2013], especially when you send me requests for a donation to keep your nonprofit magazine afloat! Most of the search-and-rescues and fire protection in the Park are done by struggling nonprofit volunteer organizations. I am amazed by the way you gloss over the major accomplishments of the railroad. In the last five years they have paid off all long-term debt and have paid down most of their accounts payable. Also within the last two years ASR even bought >>More


January, 2014

Set aside rail line differences

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The article “A trainload of questions” [November/December 2013] leaves a very negative impression of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, its paid staff, and scores of dedicated volunteers. In order to set the record straight, I would like to point out the following: Regarding the finances of the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society (ARPS) and the Adirondack Scenic Railroad (ASR), all long-term debt has been paid off as the story acknowledges. Last year ARPS purchased two rebuilt, updated locomotives for cash. ASR employs a highly qualified, professional, experienced mechanical and operating staff, both paid and volunteer. These staff members are committed to safety >>More


January, 2014

Tours could help elderly enjoy Park

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Since 1957 I have been a summer resident in the High Peaks. Never a Forty-Sixer, I was a Twenty-Sevener and greatly enjoyed numerous lesser peaks. Now approaching my eighty-ninth year, last summer all I could manage was the lovely one-mile trail through the woods adjoining the Ausable River at the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge in Wilmington. This got me thinking: How can the elderly, the handicapped, and yes, probably some of the very young get to enjoy the deep beauties of the Park. Then I thought of a daydream I started having a few years back of all the places in >>More


January, 2014

More lore of the Upper Hudson

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I enjoyed the interesting article “The Hudson’s mellow side” in your September/October issue. I thought you would be interested in some additional information I have gathered on the subject. The Blackwell Dam was built for Finch, Pruyn in 1909 by Jack Donohue. The dam was five hundred feet wide with a maximum height of nineteen feet. It had three sluiceways and two spillways. At high water, the flowage behind the dam covered 267 acres and reached up to Wolf Creek. In 1964, Finch, Pruyn attempted to rebuild the dam, but it washed out. The boulders in the photo with your >>More


November, 2013

Rail trail would meet key need

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My wife and family have been visiting the Lake Placid region for the past thirty years. We love the area so much that we recently invested in what we hope will be our future retirement home in Saranac Lake. Since buying our condo back in February, my wife and I have become aware of the proposed conversion of the railroad tracks between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake to a multi-use bike path. As fifty-something weekend residents of Saranac Lake, we are happy to be able to hike, fish, and kayak in a safe and leisurely manner. The single exception is >>More


November, 2013

Business case doesn’t favor rail

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Years ago my wife and I camped along the Cape Cod Bikeway and had a very enjoyable experience riding our bikes along the converted rail bed. We have also biked along the Erie Canal and always enjoyed the ride. Having a safe, flat, smooth pathway with pedestrians as the only obstacles makes for a wonderful ride. Having a route through nearly undisturbed wild forest would be even better. The thought of hundreds of tourists boarding the train in Syracuse or elsewhere for an overnight or weekend excursion to the Adirondacks is enough to warm the heart of anyone in the >>More


November, 2013

Story should have warned of avalanche risk

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After reading “2 sides of Indian Lake” by Bill Ingersoll [January/February 2013], I feel obligated to point out that the Griffin Brook Slide on Snowy Mountain is a known avalanche slide path. Ingersoll fails to mention this fact anywhere in his account of a climb up the slide. This slide has a slope angle in the low-to-mid-30-degree range with a convex roll approaching 40 degrees at the bottom—the best possible situation for avalanches. In 1999, a soft snow avalanche carried a skier down two hundred feet. By some miracle, he was not buried or injured. In 2006, a skier witnessed >>More