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Adirondack Explorer

July, 2010

Don’t water down river rights

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In Phil Brown’s good article on public-navigation rights, “A 20-Year Standstill,” in the May-June, 2010 issue, John Humbach’s concluding concerns about the bill that’s currently pending in the state legislature were right on the mark. If political compromises and the vagaries of the legislative process result in changes that diminish the public’s longstanding rights, it would be better to have no bill at all. That would suit the private vested interests of the Adirondack Landowners Association well while, unfortunately, doing a great disservice to the public. The opposition to the bill by ALA has no rational basis. The bill would >>More


July, 2010

Another lake at risk

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In the May/June issue of the Explorer there are several references to Upper Chateaugay Lake. This unspoiled and unpolluted lake has been threatened by the sale of properties on Parson’s “Hill” bordering the lake. This hill slopes from the village of Lyon Mountain to the lakeshore. It is a forested wetland with streams and beaver-dammed ponds. Ignoring the objections of local residents, three years ago the Adirondack Park Agency approved the development of seven lots. To date, one lot was sold, development started, and then stopped. A driveway was excavated and nothing further done. The lake’s water quality could be >>More


July, 2010

New uses for our historic towers

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To many of us that live year-round in the Park, nothing symbolizes the need to protect the Forest Preserve more than the image of a fire tower on a mountain summit. This is especially true for those that recall the horrendous forest fires of the early 1900s. Not a day goes by that I am not saddened that DEC removed the fire tower on Crane Mountain in Warren County. In addition to being historically significant and a symbol of man’s relationship to nature, I think there are ways such towers can be of use in the twenty-first century. In many >>More


July, 2010

Bikeway could be a treasure

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I’m glad to see the Explorer supporting turning the Adirondack railroad line into a bicycle/recreational trail. As bicyclists who take weeks-long bike trips in the Adirondacks, my riding buddy and I would love to see a stone-dust trail to Lake Placid originating in Remsen. That would be one of the most beautiful trails in the United States. A trail like this would benefit a lot more people and the economy than the railroad. And the salvage value of the steel rails would offset a lot of the cost. Peter C. Speir, Wynanskill, NY


July, 2010

Climbing has come a long way

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My brother and I spent many happy days rock climbing in the Adirondacks. We were lucky enough to have been around in the mid-seventies when relatively little had been done and we could not only put up new routes whenever we felt like it but be the first, or among the first, to open up whole new walls and climbing areas. According to Alan Wechsler’s article, “The climber’s new bible,” [reprinted in the 2010 Annual Outings Guide] the guidebook describes over two thousand routes! When we arrived on the scene in 1974, we easily learned every route name in the >>More


May, 2010

Stillwater barge reduces impact

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In the article “Showdown at Stillwater” (March/April) you covered many of the issues surrounding the Stillwater boat launch and access to the hamlet of Beaver River. However, a major benefit of the barge service that carries vehicles to Beaver River was not addressed. Prior to the Thompsons’ purchase of the barge, the vast majority of trips in or out of Beaver River required a motorboat trip the full length of the reservoir. Because the barge can carry up to six vehicles, and only crosses a mile of water, many of the impacts associated with motorboat use have been greatly reduced. >>More


May, 2010

Barge isn’t only option

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In reference to your article, “Showdown at Stillwater”, the influx of vehicles in Beaver River is of some concern to many longtime homeowners. Imagine that traffic is an issue there! Also, if people want to drive a vehicle to town, they have another option besides the barge; they may procure a “high-rail” vehicle, which is duly inspected, registered, and insured, and ride the rails under a permit issued to the property owners’association. True, I have found the barge a blessing on many occasions, especially since I had to rebuild my home after it burned down. The barge has transported many >>More


May, 2010

More land to save

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The renewed focus by the State of New York on the northeastern area of the Adirondack Park known as the Sable Highlands is exciting. The watersheds of two large, natural lakes, Chazy and Upper Chateaugay, have recently been conserved by major easements and state land purchases in the Sable Highlands. While this is a giant step forward, the work in my mind has just begun. Several new open-space opportunities have arisen in the Lyon Mountain region. On Chazy Lake, Eagle Point is for sale. This 150-acre property featuring about three thousand feet of lakefront and old-growth forest, should be protected. >>More


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


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