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Adirondack Explorer

March, 2010

Dire forecast came true

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In the mid-1980s on an Adirondack Park Agency field trip, the superintendent for Litchfield Park, John Stock, a pretty astute forester, stated that the beech die-back was as serious a problem as acid rain. I thought, you have got to be kidding: His concern was made clearer when he pointed out that beech is extremely prolific and competitive, sprouting en masse from old roots. He predicted that most, if not all, would succumb well before reaching maturity and they would be of poor quality. At the same time, and this is a critical and devastating factor, these poor-quality sprouts would >>More


March, 2010

Remove rail; promote growth

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I read with interest in your last two issues about the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. The first article detailed different possibilities for the corridor, including the plan to extend the ten-mile-long tourist line, now operating between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, another twenty-five miles to Tupper Lake. The January/February issue included a debate about removing the tracks versus keeping the tracks. It was quite telling that Dan McClelland, who advocates expanding the tourist line, agrees that Tupper Lake would get more business if the tracks were removed for snowmobiling in the winter. And he doesn’t really dispute the argument that this >>More


January, 2010

A failed experiment

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When the state decided in 1885 to set aside land for protection in the Adirondacks, it was to be an experiment to show it is possible to have sustainable communities while still preserving a great wilderness area. It becomes more and more evident that the experiment has failed. I have been working for several years with NYCO Minerals, a mining operation in Willsboro. NYCO employs seventy-five to a hundred people. These are family-sustaining jobs that support our communities, businesses, and schools. NYCO wants to amend the state constitution so it can continue to mine deposits of the mineral that are >>More


January, 2010

Name this lily

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In the November/December Adirondack Explorer you have a beautiful picture by Mark Bowie captioned “Tiger Lilies on Hackensack Mountain.” Those are actually wood lilies, not tiger lilies. Dr. Stuart Delman, Chestertown


January, 2010

Make Tahawus tracks wilderness

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In his article in the November/December issue of the Explorer about the prospect of a trail being constructed on the mining company NLI’s thirty-mile D&H rail spur to Tahawus, Alan Wechsler noted that if the rails are removed, the seventeen miles of so-called permanent easements and the thirteen miles of temporary easements on the Forest Preserve will be extinguished. Actually, the legal issues are much more extensive and serious, not to mention the fact that many people do not think it a good idea to have a trail that would be used by snowmobiles ending on the doorstep of the >>More


January, 2010

More housing saves communities

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Working homeowners in the Adirondacks are losing ground, and community life suffers as we go elsewhere. The recent APA farm-housing suit got me thinking: what if everyone whose principal residence is in the Adirondack Park was allowed to develop an extra residential unit on their property regardless of APA classification? A unit that couldn’t be subdivided and sold separately and that met all site-review, zoning and code requirements. Whether this unit provided rental income, farm help, or housing for family, it could add value for those who want to stay here, in communities with possibilities for the next generation. Maybe >>More


January, 2010

Thanks to the Land Savers

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I’d like to express our appreciation to the Smith and Kingsley families for their generous thoughtfulness in setting aside their parcel of land on Lake Placid (Land Savers, November/December 2009). Most people don’t have the ability to make significant donations to conservation in the Park. But we enjoy being in the woods thanks to contributions like theirs. Vincent Tauro, Liverpool


January, 2010

There’s hope for beeches

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In your article headlined “Alien bugs at our door” (November/December), the first paragraph says: “Since the 1960s, the beech-scale insect has devastated the region’s beech trees—so much so that scientists believe the species may not survive here.” I don’t know any scientist working on beech-bark disease who thinks the species won’t persist here. After all these years the area covered by beech trees is the same as it was before, but the forest structure has changed drastically. What we have ended up with is a lot of small trees and very few large, old beeches. New beeches continue to sprout >>More


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