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Adirondack ExplorerAdirondack Explorer

Adirondack Explorer

September/October 2019

Seven issues a year devoted to the enjoyment and protection of the Adirondack Park. In-depth writing and vivid photography bring the Adirondacks to life in tales of recreational adventure, coverage of environmental and policy issues and exploration of the communities that make up this unique six-million acre park.

United States
Adirondack Explorer
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7 Issues


access_time4 min.
working for diversity

For Rocci Aguirre, being a person of color in the Adirondacks is a different experience from others. “The Adirondacks is a place where, it’s not that it doesn’t feel welcoming, (but) there are times when walking around I feel something,” he said. “I can’t always put a finger to it…. “I always say that that feeling is just a further explanation of what we need to work on.” Aguirre, director of conservation at the Adirondack Council, is on a team looking to change this experience for people of diverse backgrounds. He’s part of a project to create a more welcoming Adirondack Park—a project called the Adirondack Diversity Initiative. Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) this summer announced the start of their search for the initiative’s diversity director. Preparations for the hiring process began this spring after…

access_time2 min.
e-bike bill could restrict use on forest preserve

The state legislature has passed a bill that would prohibit e-bikes on trails in New York’s forest preserve, unless otherwise authorized by state agencies, but would allow them on most roads. The bill differs substantially from legislation proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who at deadline had not decided whether to sign it. Cuomo’s concerns reportedly pertain to the safe use of e-bikes and electric scooters in cities. In the Adirondacks, however, one of the main issues is whether pedal-assist e-bikes should be treated as mountain bikes and so allowed on trails in wild forest areas of the forest preserve. Mountain bikes are not allowed in wilderness areas. PREVIOUS COVERAGE:E-Bikes charge intothe Adirondacks Under a bill approved by the legislature in June, e-bikes would not be permitted on any public lands (except roadways) unless authorized…

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adirondack explorer

A nonprofit magazine supported by donors, subscribers and advertisers, and devoted to exploring, protecting, and celebrating the Adirondack Park. (888) 888-4970 • (518) 891-9352 Fax (518) 891-9312 AdirondackExplorer.org 36 Church Street Saranac Lake, NY 12983 STAFF Publisher: Tracy Ormsbee Ext. 21 tracy@AdirondackExplorer.org Editor: Brandon Loomis Ext. 22 brandon@AdirondackExplorer.org Associate Publisher: Betsy Dirnberger Ext. 23 betsy@AdirondackExplorer.org Designer: Susan Bibeau design@AdirondackExplorer.org Advertising Design: Valisha Arnold Staff Writer/Photographer: Mike Lynch mike@AdirondackExplorer.org Staff Writer: Michael Virtanen mvirtanen@AdirondackExplorer.org Customer Service: Andreas Mowka Ext. 20 andreas@AdirondackExplorer.org Office Manager: Michael Armstrong Ext. 24 michael@AdirondackExplorer.org Intern: Sara Ruberg Founder: Dick Beamish dick@AdirondackExplorer.org Contributing Writers: Christopher Amato, Phil Brown, Melissa Hart, Edward Kanze, Betsy Kepes, Stephen Leon, Larry Master, Janet Reynolds, Tim Rowland, Sara Ruberg, John Thaxton, Brendan Wiltse, Alan Wechsler Photographers: Nancie Battaglia, Nancy Ford, Carl Heilman, Mike Lynch, Larry Master, Jeff Nadler Artists: Nancy Bernstein, Carin Lane, Jerry Russell Explorer Board of Directors Chair Tom Curley Vice Chairman Timothy Thompson Treasurer Charles Updike Secretary Tracy Ormsbee Dick Beamish, Dean…

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michele drozd

Age: 39. Birthplace: Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Residence: Elizabethtown. Occupation: Executive director of Craigardan, a nonprofit educational center located in Keene/Elizabethtown with a focus on the studio, agricultural, culinary and intellectual arts. Accomplishments: Started three businesses, traveled 14 countries mostly by bicycle, renovated 10 historic buildings, worked in the remote field camps of Antarctica, graduated with a degree in ceramics from Alfred University, and founded Craigardan. Favorite hike/adventure/outing: Discovering new routes in the park by mountain bike, especially if they connect towns with coffee shops. Often it requires river crossings or hike-a-bike, which is all part of a true adventure. Favorite view: Each fall we hike Hurricane Mountain before sunrise, an annual pilgrimage to watch the sun come up over the Champlain Valley as it slowly illuminates the autumn colors. There’s nothing quite like the view of…

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message from the publisher

Since the non-profit Adirondack Explorer first published in 1998, we have been dedicated to presenting and explaining the news of the park with intelligence and clarity. We zero in on the stories that inspire you to get more involved in serious issues and to be aware of the facts that influence land protection. We give you both sides of the important issues. We also show you how to really enjoy yourselves outdoors in our glorious wilderness. WE FACE, TOGETHER, SERIOUS THREATS TO THE PARK’S LAND, WATER AND WILDLIFE. WE PRESENT SOLUTIONS. To our many readers who recognize the Explorer’s crucial role in advancing the dissemination of news inside and outside the park, and have donated generously to our endowment and Annual Appeal, thank you so much. To those readers who haven’t yet…

access_time5 min.
a lake’s identity at stake

Some conservationists look at Lower Saranac Lake and they see the High Peaks. Not the High Peaks of today, but the peaks of the pre-selfie days, when it was still possible to get a parking spot at the Roaring Brook trailhead on the weekend, and not be confronted with sadly necessary signs instructing hikers on the finer points of human waste disposal. MORE PHOTOS Concerns of overuse on Lower Saranac are being raised following completion of a bigger state boat launch at Second Pond and the proposed expansion of the Saranac Lake Marina. By a circuitous route, motorboats can also access Lower Saranac from as far away as the marinas on Lake Flower in the Village of Saranac Lake, not to mention from a number of private camps. Along with higher numbers, there…