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Adirondack Explorer

September, 2016

Update land classification

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Tom Woodman’s editorial on management of the Park [“End piecemeal management, March/April 2016] hit the nail on the head. Creating a new Backcountry classification is necessary to adjust to the many influences on the Park that have changed and will continue to change. The growing popularity of biking is a good example. In classifying lands, officials should also pay more attention to the potential for noise pollution. Being mindful of the sounds of the Park should be a high priority. Mark Swanberry, West Fulton


September, 2016

Open Adirondack waterways

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I am watching the Shingle Shanty Brook/private lands issue with great interest. I paddled that route about ten years ago and remember it well. What may be more interesting to you is that here in Florida, where I live, we also had a struggle to keep a public paddling route open. It took about ten years; I wasn’t actually involved at the time, but I have been since involved in keeping the agreement and navigation rights going. We had help from Earthjustice. It was a negotiated settlement that left the creek open to the public but with some restrictions. I >>More


September, 2016

Abandon road to Boreas

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I must say that I agree with Bill Ingersoll’s Viewpoint [“Greens take the wrong road,” July/August 2016]. And I disagree with the major Adirondack environmental groups about the Boreas Ponds if they want to create a substantial expansion of the High Peaks Wilderness (which I do) but want to keep a six-mile access road into the heart of it open to make it easier for paddlers to get their canoes and kayaks there. It is my experience that when a place is easier to get to it becomes overused and used more by people that generally do not treat the >>More


September, 2016

Walkers bring business

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Dennis Sullivan’s thoughts about “arranged” walks are intriguing [Letter to editor, July/August 2016]. Two years ago, I walked coast to coast in England along Hadrian’s Path and had the same excellent experience he described. A similar arrangement in the Adirondacks might boost the economies of many of the villages. I disagree with George Locker’s comments about biking on trails [Letter to the editor, July/August 2016]. Trail bikes often travel quite slowly; there’s not much danger of a collision. I’ve experienced them on the Colorado Trail and on the hundred-mile trail around Mont Blanc. But trails should be hardened if they >>More


August, 2016

Ban bikes for safety, not aesthetics

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In New York City, only bicycles with solid tires ridden by children under twelve are allowed on the sidewalks. The reason? A moving bike can injure and kill. And each year many do. Mixing bicycles with hikers on steep, narrow, and rocky Adirondack trails is a bad idea because the two activities are incompatible with one another. However, I do not believe allowing bicycles on Adirondack trails violates the “aesthetic” of the wilderness ideal, as Pete Nelson has put it [“It’s debatable,” May/June 2016]. When I go camping, whether by foot or by carbon canoe, I carry a flashlight and a butane stove. I wear shoes with Vibram soles, >>More


August, 2016

‘Arranged’ walks would draw visitors

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I read the article “Moose inspires idea for trail” [May/June 2016] with great interest. The Algonquin-to-Adirondacks trail, which is proposed to promote a wildlife corridor, could also provide economic benefits to nearby villages and hamlets. I’ve backpacked many times in the Adirondacks, including the Northville-Placid Trail. I also enjoy long-distance treks that enable hikers to spend evenings in B&Bs or inns along the way. I’ve done such walks in the British Isles, where the terrain and the existence of small villages along the way is conducive to such adventures. A local company provided me with multiple options based on distance, terrain, etc. They coordinated overnight lodging. They arranged the daily transport of my >>More


August, 2016

Use trestle to keep trail off road

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Bill Ingersoll’s “A flawed trail plan” [Viewpoint, March/April 2016] refers to the “inexcusable gap” in the state’s proposal for the North Country National Scenic Trail between North Creek and Minerva. The NCNST must cross the Hudson in this vicinity, where the only public bridge is at North Creek. Using this bridge would result in having “to route the NCNST along a portion of Route 28N that is very narrow and winding.” But the presently unused railroad trestle over the Hudson just upstream of the Boreas River offers a solution to this problem. The trestle connects on both sides to state land and would keep the trail in the woods. Surely a pedestrian walkway >>More


August, 2016

Landowners’ warning spoiled day

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I just read in the Ithaca Journal about your lawsuit over public access to navigable creeks and rivers in the Adirondacks. We attempted to canoe the Beaver River from Lake Lila but were surprised to find our access blocked by a severe warning posted by private-land owners in addition to a log over the creek. We were aware from our map that Beaver River traversed private property, but we believed that, as a waterway, the creek should be accessible. Do the landowners have a right to block access to the creek? We had three kids along and were very upset by the menacing nature of the postings. This wasn’t a good introduction to canoeing in >>More


August, 2016

Rail trails can showcase history

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It is never an easy decision to remove railroad tracks, but as far as destroying history I agree with Philip Terrie that a rail trail can actually increase awareness of the industrial past. [“Would rail trail destroy a piece of history?” March/April 2016]. This winter I bicycled the 152-kilometer Otago Central Rail Trail on the South Island of New Zealand. Every few kilometers, well-placed signs tell of local history, often with fascinating photos. A few small train stations are still intact, and at an old gold mine I enjoyed learning how gold was “harvested.” Thousands of people a year travel the trail and read the signs. The people in Central Otago didn’t >>More


July, 2016

‘Frenzy’ perfect word for finches

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The title of your article about finches [“A frenzy of finches,” January/February, 2016] really hit home at our house! We put out a feeder specifically designed for finches this year, and the results have been spectacular at times. The thistle seed has brought them like oiled sunflower never has in the past. I’m attaching a photo that will illustrate. After the birds grab some seed at the feeders, they often land in the cherry tree that is outside our living-room window. Barry Lobdell, Saranac Lake


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