About Melissa Hart

Melissa is a journalist with experience as a reporter and editor, combined with work for nonprofits. As the Explorer's digital editor, she serves as editor of Adirondack Almanack.(com) and helps manage the Explorer's website. When not online, she enjoys hiking, camping and other outdoors activities, and spending time with her husband, their twin daughters, and rescue animals -- two dogs and two cats. Sign up for Melissa’s newsletter

Reader Interactions


  1. Nancy Gonyea says

    I am often negative regarding some articles because like many people that have been in a particular area all their lives, have seen the changes that change our lives also. I also understand where your articles are coming from and why. I get a lot of back lash from many people who want to enjoy ‘the Park’ also and resent my attitude. Change is difficult for some of us that have to wait for the off season and not the best weather to go to places that were in our back yards for decades. So many places seem to be off limits to us much of the time now. Who wants to hike to Copperas Pond and so many other places with 60 or more other people? Not me. On free days, I used to hike to the pond and almost always see no one. Often on my way out I’d say ‘Hello’ to Henry who was on his way in at about 3p.m. on a hot summer day. You see, Henry, in his 80s, liked to hike in for a swim (skinny-dip). I thought that was the greatest. My children and later my grandchildren, would jump off the ‘Big Rock’ with me. As time went on we couldn’t jump and swim there because so many people were there also. I think you may often hear similar stories from small town people. In some small towns, ‘Mum’ is the word for favorite swimming holes and special places. I don’t think I could be on a vacation and impose on the ‘locals’ at their special gathering spots. But tourism is what it’s all about now. It is our industry. It doesn’t cause air pollution which I am so grateful for. There are many reports of other types of pollution though. I wish there was a happy medium but there doesn’t seem to be. The local businesses tell tourists what would be fun for them to do because they want their guests to be happy, return the next year, tell their friends, and ultimately keep the businesses ‘in business’. They have mortgages and taxes to pay. This year, especially, we saw the onslaught of people from all over our country. I understand why they came here and to so many other more rural areas. Their fears brought more fear to us and we sigh in relief that we made it through almost unscathed. I hope it stays that way as I look forward to some quiet outings in the near future. — Also, thank you for stating ‘Cooper Kiln’ instead of ‘Cooper Kill’. I don’t know why DEC felt the need to change the name.

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