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Adirondack Explorer

September, 2011

Keene Valley wants its lifeline back

No community identifies with the High Peaks as much as Keene Valley. State Route 73, the only way in or out, snakes through the same mountains that attract tens of thousands of hikers to the hamlet every year. Now the High Peaks are closed and Route 73 is barricaded to the north and south—a double-whammy to a local economy that relies on tourist traffic. The state Department of Environmental Conservation may start opening some trails in the High Peaks as early as next week, but it’s uncertain when the highway will reopen. During Tropical Storm Irene, raging brooks washed out >>More

September, 2011

A thousand words

  By now, many of you have seen the pictures of the Keene fire station: it lost two bays when Gulf Brook overflowed and undercut the structure. Half of its roof fell off and lies partly in the water. Yesterday while driving through the hamlet I noticed the firefighters’ uniforms drying on the railings outside the town hall. Though not as dramatic as the photos of the storm damage, it tells the story.

August, 2011

Aerial photos of Duck Hole draining

In the current issue of the Adirondack Explorer, we ran a debate on whether the state should fix the dam at Duck Hole in the High Peaks Wilderness. Now that the dam has been breached, the debate is whether the state should rebuild it. This afternoon, we obtained several aerial photos taken after the rains of Hurricane Irene broke the dam. They were shot Monday by Kris Alberga, a forester with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The top photo shows Duck Hole as one looks southeast toward Preston Ponds. Much of the water has drained, exposing numerous mudflats. The >>More

August, 2011

Raising the Champlain bridge

Sightseers gathered in Crown Point today to watch the installation of the arch for the new bridge connecting New York State and Vermont. The arch was still being slowly hoisted this afternoon. Crown Point photographer Seth Lang took these photos of the massive structure–which is about eight stories high–being moved into place by barges. The original bridge was closed in 2009 because of structural damage, causing economic hardship to towns on the both side of Lake Champlain. The new one is scheduled to open this fall, according to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. Updates on the bridge construction, including photos, are >>More

May, 2011

Some Moose River Plains roads will open

Yesterday, I reported that the roads in the Moose River Plains would not open in time for Memorial Day weekend. A few minutes ago I received a news release from the state Department of Environmental Conservation saying some of the roads would open after all. Following is the full text of the agency’s release. MOOSE RIVER PLAINS ROAD PARTIALLY OPEN FOR MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND The Moose River Plains road system in Hamilton County was partially opened today in time for the Memorial Day Weekend the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced. The Moose River Plains (Limekiln Lake-Cedar >>More

May, 2011

DEC proposes to ban gas motors on 13th Lake

The state Department of Environmental Conservation proposes to ban gas-powered motorboats on Thirteenth Lake on the edge of the Siamese Ponds Wilderness. DEC says it has received numerous complaints about the noise and pollution caused by motorboats on the lake. Under the proposed regulation, electric motors would be allowed on the lake. The agency’s news release, with links to more information, follows. DEC PROPOSES THE USE OF ELECTRIC MOTORS ONLY ON THIRTEENTH LAKE A proposed regulation that would limit motorized boating  on Thirteenth Lake to electric motors only was released for public comment today  by the New York State Department >>More

May, 2011

Forest Preserve road closures

Because of damage caused by flooding, the roads in the Moose River Plains will not be open for Memorial Day weekend, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. DEC spokesman David Winchell said work crews have not yet repaired washouts created by snowmelt and spring rains. He expects the roads will be fixed sometime in June. “The intent is to have the open as soon as we can,” he said. Last year, DEC touched off a controversy when it proposed to keep the Moose River Plains roads closed all year to save money. DEC relented after local governments agreed >>More

May, 2011

Cuomo pushes agenda in Lake Placid

Governor Andrew Cuomo came to Lake Placid on Wednesday to push the three initiatives of his “People First” agenda: a property-tax cap, ethics reform, and gay marriage. Cuomo delivered a polished speech, with graphics, to a packed room in the brand-new Conference Center at Lake Placid and received loud applause for all three causes. Property-tax cap. Cuomo said property taxes for years have been rising faster than inflation. He proposes to cap property-tax hikes to 2 percent a year or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. It would take a supermajority vote of the taxpayers or a local legislative body >>More

May, 2011

Nature Conservancy cleared in land inquiry

The Adirondack Nature Conservancy has been cleared of wrongdoing in a probe of state land deals sparked by an article in the New York Post more than a year ago. “We were happy to cooperate with the investigation, and we are pleased with the outcome,” said Connie Prickett, a spokeswoman for the conservancy. New York State Assistant Attorney General Rachel Doft wrote the conservancy’s lawyer last week to say the investigation is over. “The Nature Conservancy complied with all relevant laws, regulations and policies in connection with those transactions,” Doft said in the letter. The Post article, published last spring, >>More

March, 2011

Driving to Marcy Dam?

Imagine how the High Peaks Wilderness would change if people were allowed to drive to Marcy Dam or Indian Pass. The Adirondack Park Agency raises this possibility in a legal brief filed last week in the long and convoluted dispute over the Old Mountain Road in the Sentinel Range Wilderness. The Old Mountain Road is now used as a trail for hiking and cross-country skiing, but in May 2009 the state’s environmental conservation commissioner ruled that the route was never legally closed and thus, theoretically, could be reopened to motor vehicles. If allowed to stand, the decision could be cited >>More