About Zachary Matson

Zachary Matson has been an environmental reporter for the Explorer since October 2021. He is focused on the many issues impacting water and the people, plants and wildlife that rely on it in the Adirondack Park. Zach worked at daily newspapers in Missouri, Arizona and New York for nearly a decade, most recently working as the education reporter for six years at the Daily Gazette in Schenectady.

Reader Interactions


  1. MARK WENCKUS says

    Good informative read!! I hope you recieve build back better infrastructure grants. If you were to include a small hydro it may assist funding with new hydropower grants. Keep us posted on the 500 dam status. We would like to help as possible.
    Mark Wenckus, President Wenckus Energy, Inc.

  2. David King says

    I am retired now but I worked in the field of dam safety and dam hazard classifications for almost 40 yrs. I have noticed that nothing gets done until people in the flood routed area below these high hazard class dam die from flash flood events! Does it always have to come down to $$$$? How much is a life worth? City, county, state, Federal governments, please put the money required into fixing these ageing dams before many people die, millions of dollars in property/infrastructure is destroyed!
    This problem is even more enhanced by higher intensity storm events caused by climate change!
    This is a mega accident just prime to happen.
    Thank you!

  3. Neil Brandmaier says

    The Starbuckville Dam that maintains water levels in Schroon Lake and Schroon River has issues as well. The dam was reconstructed in 2005 but the DEC has rated it unsafe due to a lack of a current engineering assessment and a current emergency action plan. The sluice gate controls technology is 17 years and unmaintained and there is little understanding of the downstream inundation zone. The Schroon Lake Park District operators are untrained, and do not follow American Association of State Dam Safety Officials best practices.

  4. Ted Smith says

    The Adirondacks are in Northern New York State. All of the dams discussed are located there within the Adirondack Park which has a large amount of state owned land which does not generate a large tax base for small communities within the park.

  5. Bleibtrey Charles says

    Let’s get that build back better money rebuild these dams with a generator run. Each one to supply electricity Hydro power is continuous 24 hours a day seven days a week it’s not only if the sun is shining it’s there continuously and there’s more water where that came from.

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