Writer to trek wildlife corridor between Adirondack and Algonquin parks
By Mike Lynch
A 64-year-old Quebec science writer plans to hike 400 miles on the Algonquin to Adirondack (A2A) corridor for about five weeks, starting in mid-August.
If he completes the trek, he’ll be the first known person to do so.
Jamieson Findlay lives in Chelsea and works for the nonprofit Nature Canada, which is based in Ottawa, Ontario. He is walking the route to promote the wildlife corridor and collect information for the nonprofit Algonquin to Adirondacks Collaborative, which protects and promotes the corridor.
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A2A connects the Adirondack Park with Algonquin Park. It has been recognized for decades but has been gaining attention in recent years. In 2000, researchers tracked Alice the Moose’s journey between the two parks.
“We have to do more than just create (protected areas), especially in the populated parts of North America,” Findlay said. “We have to link them because animals will not stay in protected areas.”
The A2A corridor is considered critical by wildlife advocates because it would allow plants and wildlife to migrate in a northward direction, which is expected to be important due to warming temperatures that are occurring because of climate change.
The corridor is a work in progress and many of the lands within it are developed.
Findlay will be following the proposed Pilgrimage for Nature trail, which has not been completed but is an initiative of the A2A nonprofit. He will camp when possible but will also stay in lodges and hotels.
He compared the upcoming experience to the well-known books, “Call of the Wild” by Jack London and “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac.
“I really wanted to get out and experience the land,” he said. “So that was a big motivator to get out.”
He said the Adirondacks, Thousand Islands and Ontario are among his favorite places.
Jamieson plans to start the trip in Newcomb and hike for 11 days to the Canadian border, passing through through heavily wooded areas in the Adirondack Park before the terrain becomes a mix of woods, farmlands, and communities in St. Lawrence County. He’ll cross the St. Lawrence River on the Thousand Islands bridge and head into southern Canada, which is more developed than the beginning and ending legs of the journey. From there he’ll roam through Portland, Westport, Calabogie, Renfrew and Barry’s Bay to Algonquin’s Eastern Gate.
Jamieson anticipates that his good friend from high school, Bill Barkley, will join him for much of the journey and other friends and colleagues will tag along for shorter stretches. A farmer, Barkley lives in eastern Ontario. He is a proficient canoer and an experienced wilderness camper
Findlay will be chronicling his walk through the Nature Canada blog and will take part in activities to celebrate nature and promote the dedicated conservation work that goes into the corridor.
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