Sculptor John Van Alstine talks about the interaction of human-made and natural objects. Van Alstine is based in Wells. His work has been widely exhibited in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
The state announced several initiatives today to address issues related to overuse in the High Peaks. The High Peaks, Dix, Giant and Hurricane Wildernesses, Baxter Mountain, and the Saranac Lake 6’er peaks are attracting an unprecedented number of users, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The increase in hikers, climbers and campers has resulted in dangerous driving conditions along the state Route 73 corridor from Chapel Pond to Cascade Mountain during peak days in the summer and fall. That’s because parking lots overflow and people park alongside the state highway. In addition, trails have become eroded, garbage has >>More
The Wright Peak Ski Trail is one of the top backcountry-skiing trails in the Adirondacks, but skiers often complain that it dumps them out onto a narrow and often-rocky hiking trail that leads to Algonquin Peak. The state Department of Environmental Conservation proposes to fix the problem by rerouting the bottom of the ski trail so that it terminates at the Whales Tail Ski Trail. It is one of several skiing proposals in a draft amendment to the High Peaks Wilderness unit management plan (UMP). Ron Konowitz, founder of the Adirondack Powder Ski Association, said he was ecstatic over the >>More
The state Department of Environmental Conservation is currently removing contaminated sediment from Lake Flower in Saranac Lake. The sediment is located in Pontiac Bay and is contaminated with coal tar, coke, and ash from a gas plant in the village. Other pollutants include volatile organic compounds such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes. Starting in the late 1800s, the Saranac Lake Gas Company used a coal-gasification process to manufacture gas for lighting. The site of the plant on Payeville Road is also contaminated. It is a now vacant lot. The plant also contaminated Brandy Brook, which carried pollutants to Pontiac >>More
The Upper Works Road in Newcomb is one of the most interesting roads in the Adirondacks. It is the southern entrance for many of the High Peaks, historic buildings from the former mining village of Tahawus are located alongside it, and the scenic Hudson River can be found nearby. I visited the area in late May, and the above photo gallery contains images from the visit. Read More Explorer gets a bird’s-eye view of High Peaks
Wildlife Conservation Society has decided to close its Adirondack program after more than two decades. “I think the best way I can describe it is we are all kind of sad,” said Zoe Smith, WCS’s Director of Programs for the Adirondacks. “What we built for so many years is changing. There is some optimism the work will be continuing.” Smith, Director of Science Michale Glennon, and Office manager Carrianne Pershy will lose their jobs as of Sept. 30, Smith said. Livelihoods and Conservation Coordinator Heidi Kretser will continue working on national and international projects. Established in 1994, the Adirondack program >>More
Mirror Lake didn’t experience its natural spring turnover for the second consecutive year due to its high concentration of road salt, according to the Ausable River Association. Spring turnover occurs when top and bottom water levels mix after ice out. The mixing causes a distribution of nutrients and oxygen throughout the water column. This turnover generally occurs in both the spring and fall when water temperatures become more uniform throughout the lake. The lake then settles into layers during the summer months. “We’re not re-oxygening at the beginning of the spring when the lake would take a big deep breath >>More
Work on a controversial road project along state Route 30 between Tupper Lake and Long Lake is scheduled to wrap up by the end of the week, reopening the busy road. The State Department of Transportation closed a section of the road eight miles north of Long Lake several weeks ago in order to replace a culvert. A DOT spokesman said an announcement about the road reopening is scheduled for Wednesday and the road could open again Thursday. DOT said from the beginning the road would be open by this weekend. The project raised the concern of wildlife advocates, who >>More
As Tim Rowland and I paddled Little Clear Pond toward the St. Regis Pond carry in the early afternoon in mid-May, we noticed a group of anglers had gathered at the take-out. Two men were loading large backpacks into what looked like a Radisson canoe, a popular fishing boat that is propelled with oars like a guideboat. Behind them, two other men were standing at the edge of the woods, holding cans of beer, catching a break. The men looked slightly beat from hauling their large load of gear on the quarter-mile long carry. The group had spent the past >>More
The current theme for the Explorer’s Views of the Park photo contest is “wildflowers.” Enter your favorite Adirondack wildflower shots by posting them on social media and using the hashtag #adkexplorerpix with the images. Five winners will receive free subscriptions and be published in the July/August issue.