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Adirondack Explorer

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


April, 2011

Most Poke-O climbing routes to reopen

Every spring, the state Department of Environmental Conservation closes routes on popular rock-climbing cliffs where peregrine falcons are known to nest. Once it’s determined exactly where the falcons are nesting, some routes are reopened. Recently, DEC biologist Joe Racette said it has been confirmed that falcons are nesting on the Nose on Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain. As a result, fifty-four climbing routes in the vicinity will remain closed. But more than two hundred other routes on Poke-O will be open to climbers starting tomorrow (Thursday, April 28). Racette said all routes on Moss Cliff in Wilmington Notch and the Upper and Lower >>More


April, 2011

Passing on lessons learned

C. Bernard McCartan is not someone you likely have heard of. The son of a Pennsylvania coal miner, McCartan made his living as a technical writer for DuPont and, with his wife Mary, raised ten children. McCartan loved the outdoors, including the Adirondacks, and instilled his passion in his kids. Recently, one of his sons, Jack McCartan, sent me a poem his father wrote years ago about the spiritual value of the outdoors. It was addressed to “Jack and Tom,” then young boys. Here’s a snippet: I can teach you to walk Over green forested  hills, Along cool streams of >>More


April, 2011

Video: Mount Arab snowshoe

The Explorer‘s intern, Evan Williams, climbed Mount Arab recently with his father and captured the adventure on video. Arab is a small summit west of Tupper Lake. It’s a great destination if you’re looking for a short, easy hike. The hike to the 2,545-foot summit is only a mile. The Friends of Mount Arab have restored the fire tower, which offers a panoramic view of the western Adirondacks. But enough of my words. Watch Evan’s video. Snowshoeing Mount Arab


April, 2011

Dance to benefit bike trails

The Fellowship of the Wheel, Vermont’s largest mountain-bike club, will host a dance and raffle at the Echo Center in Burlington this month to raise funds to help maintain more than a hundred miles of trails that are open for public use. The Singletrack Dance and Fundraiser will be held on Friday, April 15, from 7 p.m. to midnight. The Pulse of Boston, a popular dance band, will perform. The band plays a mix of covers and originals in a variety of genres, including funk, Latin, reggae, soul, and disco. More than $5,000 prizes will be given away. The $25 >>More


April, 2011

Winter is hanging on

Winter hasn’t ended yet. It has been snowing off and on since early Tuesday. Driving from Plattsburgh to Saranac Lake last night, I found myself in a blinding snowstorm. The new accumulation has amounted to only a few inches, but it was enough to inspire me go for a short ski through a pine forest in Saranac Lake on my lunch hour. The forest is at the start of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail. It’s a beautiful place after a fresh snowfall. If you like snow, enjoy it while it lasts. The temperatures are supposed to climb into the fifties this >>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


March, 2011

The politics of wind

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a report today on 341 energy projects around the nation that the chamber says have been delayed by red tape (and are often opposed by environmental activists). The chamber’s website lists sixteen projects in New York State. It’s interesting that six of the sixteen are wind projects, including the proposed Adirondack Wind Energy Park near Gore Mountain. Wind is usually seen as a clean alternative to burning fossil fuels, but even many environmentalists object to constructing giant turbines on rural landscapes. Just this morning, North Country Public Radio aired a story about the controversy over >>More


March, 2011

Ski festival this weekend

The Mountaineer in Keene Valley will host the ninth-annual Adirondack Backcountry Ski Festival this weekend. As in the past, skiers can sign up for a variety of intermediate and expert tours. The most difficult outings entail skiing slides in the High Peaks. As of today, there were still three openings for the High Peaks Traverse on Saturday, an end-to-end trip through Avalanche Pass. Cost: $90. All the other tours are full, but if you’re interested, you can get on a waiting list. In addition, the public can demo gear and take part in free clinics for telemark skiing, skinning, and >>More


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