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Adirondack Explorer

August, 2011

After Irene, where can you hike?

With the most popular Wilderness Areas in the Adirondacks closed, many people are wondering where they can hike this Labor Day weekend. Forest rangers have yet to reconnoiter all of the backcountry, but it’s believed that the central and western Adirondacks largely escaped the wrath of Irene. Yesterday the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced that the eastern High Peaks Wilderness, the Dix Mountain Wilderness, and the Giant Mountain Wilderness would all be closed during the holiday weekend. The three areas probably encompass more than 175,000 acres. The western High Peaks—which constitutes more than half of the High Peaks Wilderness—remains >>More


August, 2011

DEC closes High Peaks trails

With Labor Day weekend approaching, the long-range forecast calls for sunny skies, but that will be of little consolation to people who hoped to hike in the High Peaks. Because of damage caused by Irene to trails and backcountry infrastructure, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has closed the eastern High Peaks Wilderness, Dix Mountain Wilderness, and Giant Mountain Wilderness through the weekend. The eastern High Peaks Wilderness and the other two Wilderness Areas contain some of the Adirondack Parks’ most spectacular scenery and the majority of the forty-six High Peaks. In addition, the roads to the most popular High >>More


August, 2011

Marcy Dam bridge washed away

The rains from Irene washed away the bridge over Marcy Dam, one of the most well-traveled crossings in the High Peaks Wilderness, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. DEC spokesman David Winchell said the crossing is now impassable. He does not know when the bridge will be replaced. The bridge is used by hikers who access the High Peaks, including Mount Marcy, from Adirondak Loj via the highly popular Van Hoevenberg Trail. It crosses Marcy Brook as it spills out of Marcy Dam Pond. The Van Hoevenberg Trail reaches Marcy Dam after 2.3 miles. Hikers can still get to >>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


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


February, 2011

AG intervenes in paddling lawsuit

NOTE: THE FOLLOWING NOTICE WAS POSTED BY TOM WOODMAN, OUR PUBLISHER. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has moved on behalf of the State of New York and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to intervene in the navigation-rights lawsuit filed against our editor, Phil Brown, by the Friends of Thayer Lake and the Brandreth Park Association. Schneiderman is defending the position of DEC that the waterways in dispute are open to the public for paddling. The state’s motion also discloses its intent to make counterclaims against the plaintiffs, including a claim that they have created a public nuisance by hindering >>More


February, 2011

Franklin County opposes land deals

The Franklin County legislature has unanimously passed a resolution opposing the state’s proposed acquisition of Follensby Pond and some 65,000 acres once owned by Finch, Pruyn & Co., according to this story in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. The action follows a similar resolution adopted last week by the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board. Yesterday, the Adirondack Council accused the board of overstepping its authority. The council also accused Fred Monroe, the board’s executive director, of having a conflict of interest, since he belongs to a hunting club that would lose its lease if the state buys the Finch, Pruyn >>More


February, 2011

DEC lawyer files brief in McCulley case

A lawyer for the state Department of Environmental Conservation argues that his former boss misconstrued the Highway Law in dismissing a ticket against a Lake Placid man who drove his pickup truck on an abandoned road in the Sentinel Range Wilderness. Randall Young, the top attorney in DEC’s Region 6, is asking the commissioner of DEC to clarify a decision handed down in 2009. The decision was made by then-Commissioner Pete Grannis. Jim McCulley, the president of the Lake Placid Snowmobile Club, sparked the legal dispute after driving his truck on the Old Mountain Road in 2005. The road, now >>More


February, 2011

Council calls for Review Board probe

The Adirondack Council is accusing the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board of misleading the public in its critique of the state’s plan to buy Follensby Pond and former Finch, Pruyn lands. In a news release this morning, the council asks that the Review Board withdraw a resolution calling on the state to back out of the land deals.  Moreover, the council is calling for an ethics investigation of Fred Monroe, the board’s executive director, and Newcomb Supervisor George Canon, the board’s chairman. Both Monroe and Canon belong to hunting clubs that would lose their leases if the state buys the Finch, Pruyn >>More


January, 2011

DEC move called risky

The state Department of Environmental Conservation’s plan to move its Adirondack emergency dispatchers from the Lake Placid region to Albany is creating quite a stir. Critics contend the move will make the public less safe. The argument is that dispatchers in Albany will be less familiar with the Adirondack—and its bewildering nomenclature—and this could slow the response time of search-and-rescue crews. State Senator Betty Little, who represents the North Country, is among those questioning the change. “Obviously, the state is looking at ways to be more efficient all the time,” she told the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, “but in the Adirondacks, >>More