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Adirondack Explorer

March, 2010

The mountain lion conspiracy

A top-secret confidential source sent me a link to a YouTube clip that offers definitive proof that the government is releasing mountain lions in the Adirondacks. It’s part of a Nazi plot.


March, 2010

Beaver resigns as state mammal

A coalition of environmental groups launched an ad campaign today to protest Governor David Paterson’s proposed $69 million cut to the Environmental Protection Fund, which is used to pay for a variety of green initiatives, including land preservation. The Adirondack Council sent us the ad below, which features a snapping turtle, eastern bluebird, beaver, and brook trout resigning as the state’s reptile, bird, mammal, and fish, respectively. The proposed cut amounts to about a third of the fund.


February, 2010

DEC debunks cougar rumor

Did you hear they found a dead mountain lion in Black Brook? It was hit by a car. The state Department of Environmental Conservation picked up the carcass and hauled it away the other day. There’s even a photograph to prove it. Naturally, DEC put out a news release denying the whole thing, but what would you expect? Everybody knows DEC is secretly releasing mountain lions in the Adirondacks and then lying about it. You can read all about this mountain lion on the Internet. Some guy took a picture of it on his cell phone. But there is a >>More


January, 2010

How to scare a bear

State wildlife biologists experimented for years with different methods to keep bears from stealing campers’ food in the High Peaks Wilderness. Finally, the state decided to require all campers in the eastern High Peaks to store food in bear-resistant canisters. This not a problem unique to the Adirondacks. The latest issue of the Journal of Wildlife Management includes a study conducted in California’s Sequoia National Park of the various ways people try to scare away “problem” bears: yelling at them, spraying them with pepper, throwing things at them, shooting them with rubber bullets, etc. “Aversive conditioning was most effective when >>More


January, 2010

Bob Marshall’s booklet online

Bob Marshall was one of the original Adirondack Forty-Sixers, but he thought he was born too late. He would have preferred to have lived in the nineteenth century, before the Adirondacks were overrun by civilization. Well, Bob is now part of the twenty-first century. John Warren, the guy behind the Adirondack Almanack, reports in his blog that a number of old Adirondack books have been digitized and put online. Among them is Marshall’s 1922 booklet The High Peaks of the Adirondacks. It can be read online or downloaded for free. Marshall wrote the booklet after he and his younger brother, >>More


October, 2009

Our wolflike coyote

Scientists have recognized for a while that Adirondack coyotes are bigger than western coyotes, but there has been debate over whether the cause is genetic or environmental. A recent study led by Roland Kays, mammal curator at the New York State Museum, comes down squarely on the side of genetics: the Adirondack coyote is part wolf. Although scientists have suspected a wolf connection, Kays said the study proved it. “One of the big results was to show this in a systematic way,” he said. Kays and two colleagues, Abigail Curtis and Jeremy Kirchman, tested the DNA from 686 coyotes and >>More


October, 2009

Goodbye, Nellie

The Adirondacks and sportsmen everywhere lost a friend this week when Nellie Staves passed away at ninety-two. We liked to think of Nellie as our friend, too. In 2000, Ed Kanze wrote a nice profile of Nellie that we published in the Explorer. After that, she often stopped in the office when she was passing through Saranac Lake. She was ever  talkative and cheerful. Nellie was a legend in her hometown of Tupper Lake. When the village held a Nellie Staves Day several years ago, more than four hundred people took part. She was born in 1917 in the Northeast >>More


September, 2009

Harbingers of fall

We should be hitting peak foliage soon. Last weekend, I climbed the slide on East Dix and saw lots of color, mostly yellow, in the forest. But what really caught my eye were the succulent red berries of the American mountain ash. E.H. Ketchledge, in Forest and Trees of the Adirondack High Peaks Region, calls the mountain ash “one of our loveliest trees.” In June, it blossoms with clusters of white flowers. In the fall, the flowers transform into berries (actually, they are pomes, a false fruit) that resemble cranberries. The fruit can last into winter. “A stalk of mountain-ash >>More


September, 2009

Bull moose on Upper Ausable

A friend of the Explorer just forwarded these photographs of a bull moose taken on Upper Ausable Lake.  He also forwarded an e-mail from Ron Hall, who described the recent encounter. Hall was rowing a guide boat on the lake–on “a perfect morning, cool, mist”–when he heard clunking and splashing sounds near a boathouse. “Suddenly a large bull moose stepped out from the overhanging cedar branches. I spun the guide boat around … face to snout … with Bullwinkle. About 20′ away.” Adam Whitney took the photos. Moose vanished from the Adirondacks in the nineteenth century, but they have made >>More


August, 2009

Pelican postmortem

The brown pelican that excited Adirondack birders for a few weeks has died of starvation, according to Amy Freiman, a wildlife rehabilitator in Newcomb. The pelican was first spotted on Fourth Lake in the Fulton Chain and later on Lows Lake. Observers said it exhibited strange behavior, approaching people in boats and at campsites, apparently looking for food. The photo above is a case in point. Freiman said the bird, though it may have appeared healthy, probably was famished the whole time. She speculates that it may not have been able to fish in our murky waters. Brown pelicans usually fish >>More




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