Highway crews removed ice from the East Branch of the Ausable River this winter to clear a channel, hoping to prevent ice jams. The ice now lines the river along state Route 9N. Here’s a video that shows how much ice was removed.
These two short videos on wilderness were made with the January-February issue in mind. In this edition, several writers explore ideas related to wilderness in the Adirondack Park. In the first video below, writer Phil Brown talks about potential wilderness areas that could be added to the park. In the second video, hikers James Hopson and Spencer Morrissey discuss what wilderness means to them.
Jack pines are dependent upon fires. Their cones remain closed until they are exposed to the heat of a forest fire. Walking around the forest, I noticed hundreds of small jack pine trees had already began to grow as a result of the fire. Two other plants – huckleberries and blueberries – were also sprouting up from the darkened forest floor.
Located less than two miles upstream of Ausable Forks, the Jay town board voted in March of 2017 to remove the Rome Dam after an engineering study found that it posed a threat to residents downstream because of its potential to fail. The engineering study found that it was structurally unsound and would be especially vulnerable during a flood.
Photos of the Rome Dam in May 2017 on a rainy day. The dam is currently being removed because it was found to be structurally unsound in an engineering study. The removal started in August and is expected to be completed by mid-November.
In early August, staff writer Mike Virtanen and I visited the Santa Clara Tract with the Molpus Woodlands Group. The visit was part of the research Mike was doing for an in-depth story about Adirondack conservation easements for the September issue of the Explorer. Below are links to those articles.
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 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
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