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Adirondack Explorer

December, 2011

View exhibits work of seven photographers

Quick, think of an Adirondack photographer. What name jumps to mind? Is it Nancie Battaglia? Carl Heilman II? Mark Bowie? Nathan Farb? Perhaps the up-and-coming Johnathan Esper? If you’re a fan of any or all of these pros, you should love the Adirondack View Finders exhibit at View, the new arts center in Old Forge. View will be exhibiting the work of all five—and two other photographers, Clark Lubbs and Lesley Dixon—through March 3. The Explorer frequently runs photographs by Nancie, Carl, and Mark, and we once ran a spread of Johnathan’s photos, including the one above. We could say >>More


December, 2011

OR shirt a good base layer for skiers

For backcountry ski trips, I usually wear three tops: a base layer for wicking away perspiration, a fleece jacket for insulation, and a shell for keeping out moisture and wind. (I also carry a down jacket in my pack.) As I warm up, I remove layers as needed. When I first started skiing, I experimented with a variety of base layers, but I eventually settled on a long-sleeve T-shirt with a short zipper at the collar.   No doubt many companies make such a shirt, but I happen to wear a model sold by Outdoor Research: the Sequence Long-Sleeve Zip >>More


December, 2011

Adirondack Council: Protect Poke-o tract

The Adirondack Council wants the state to purchase or otherwise protect a 2,257-acre parcel near Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain that is on the market for $2,275,000. Dubbed Burnt Pond Forest, the tract lies just southwest of Poke-o-Moonshine, bordering state Forest Preserve. It is being marketed by LandVest, a real-estate company that deals in timberlands the Northeast. In an online brochure, LandVest says the property contains six peaks, several trout streams, an eighteen-acre pond, and a trail system. The brochure touts the property’s timber value but also suggests that the pond would be suitable “for the development of a recreational cabin or second >>More


November, 2011

Christopher Amato to leave DEC

Christopher Amato is resigning as the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s assistant commissioner for natural resources. He said will return to practicing law in the private sector or go to work for the state attorney general. Amato told the Explorer that he expects to remain in the Albany region, where he lives. He said he will stay at DEC for “at least a week” longer. “It was time for me to move on,” he said. “I very much enjoyed my time here.” Amato had been in private practice before joining DEC four and a half years ago. Earlier in his >>More


November, 2011

Groups spar over Lake Placid train

Two nonprofit groups are sparring over the future of a rail corridor near Lake Placid, each accusing the other of spreading misinformation. The spat began this week when Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) issued a news release in support of keeping the railroad tracks in place. AARCH noted that the corridor is on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. In response, Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates wrote a letter to AARCH, asserting that placement on the historic registers is no bar to tearing up the tracks. “We are writing to suggest that whatever legal advice you are getting on this >>More


November, 2011

No decision on Marcy Dam

Now that the state has decided not to rebuild the dam at Duck Hole, people are wondering about the future of Marcy Dam. The short answer is that there is no answer—not yet. “No decisions have been made. We’re still evaluating that,” David Winchell, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation, said this morning. Unlike the Duck Hole dam, Marcy Dam remains largely intact. However, flooding triggered by Tropical Storm Irene washed away the bridge over the dam and the dam’s sluice gate. Most of the pond behind the dam has since drained, leaving a mudflat. DEC plans >>More


November, 2011

The APA’s slippery criteria

Resource Management is the most restrictive zoning category for private land in the Adirondack Park. In the debate over the Adirondack Club and Resort, one of the big questions is whether the proposed resort is suitable for RM lands. Essentially, RM lands are timberlands. The Adirondack Park Agency Act says the primary (or best) uses of such lands include forestry, agriculture, and recreation. Housing developments are considered “secondary uses.” The law says that residential development on RM lands is permissible “on substantial acreages or in small clusters on carefully selected and well designed sites.” The developers contend that their design >>More


November, 2011

DEC won’t rebuild Duck Hole dam

The state Department of Environmental Conservation does not plan to rebuild the dam at Duck Hole, an iconic pond deep in the High Peaks Wilderness. The wooden dam was breached in the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene in late August, draining about two-thirds of the impoundment. Even before Irene, fans of Duck Hole had been urging DEC to repair the old dam. In fact, the Explorer ran a debate on the question in its September/October issue, which was on the newsstand when the storm hit. Nestled among high mountains, Duck Hole is a favorite camping spot on the Northville-Placid >>More


November, 2011

John Davis finishes TrekEast

After hiking, biking, canoeing, and sailing 7,600 miles over 280 days, John Davis says the hard work has just begun. Davis resigned as the Adirondack Council’s conservation director last year to undertake TrekEast, a muscle-powered journey designed to draw attention to the need to protect wild lands in the eastern United States and Canada. He began his travels on February 3 in Key Largo, Florida, and finished this past Monday (November 14) on Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula. In between, he meandered through swamps, fields, and forests, along coastlines, and over mountains. He reached New York State in the summer and traveled >>More


November, 2011

Review of La Sportiva Karakorum boots

A few years ago, I was asked to test a pair of La Sportiva Karakorum boots. They’re cool-looking boots, but they struck me at first as almost too rugged for ordinary hiking. I wondered what use I could put them to in the Adirondacks. Then it hit me: slide climbing. La Sportiva bills the Karakorums as lightweight mountaineering boots, and that makes them ideal for scrambling up the rock slide paths that scar many of our High Peaks. The Karakorums also are great for hiking on Adirondack trails in early spring, when you’re likely to encounter mud, snow, ice, you >>More


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