Adirondack Explorer

Adirondack Explorer September/October 2020

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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.

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United States
Adirondack Explorer
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6 min.

New York to suspend some trout stocking New York State won’t stock brook trout in 13 unnamed ponds throughout the Adirondack Park in 2020 and 2021 so biologists can study the resilience of wild fish swimming in those waters. After tracking improvements in water quality—specifically acid/base chemistries and contaminants—the department determined the populations of brook trout that already inhabit these select waterways have the potential to reproduce naturally and will be surveyed in 2022 to see if they do so. While this is promising news for the iconic species, it doesn’t guarantee their success. Acidity in many lakes and streams is improving but not fully resolved, Paul Smith’s College natural science professor Curt Stager said. That could contribute to rebounding brook trout, he said, though the park’s warming climate is another threat. “Eventually temperature is…

2 min.
brief bio

Age: 61. Residence: Old Forge. Occupation: Retired hairdresser, and currently a basket weaver and instructor. Accomplishments: My husband and our daughters would be my greatest. Secondly would be that I have been able to be self-employed most of my adult life, and I was the third woman on the Webb Town Board, on which I still serve. Favorite adventure: A great adventure was taking a seaplane ride when my daughters were young and witnessing the vastness of the Adirondacks from the air! Favorite view: My favorite view is actually right out my front window. We overlook Class 1 wetlands at the west end of First Lake on the Fulton Chain. We see all kinds of wildlife. Nature is literally outside my front door, and yet we can see beauty everywhere. Local lessons: The greatest lesson I…

13 min.
testing the limits

Hiker restrictions may come sooner than expected to the Adirondack High Peaks. In a sense, the coronavirus pandemic has led New York to start imposing restrictions already. New parking limits in place this summer at the Adirondack Mountain Reserve could be a soft opening for further restrictions to manage crowds there and elsewhere. A state advisory group is considering more, including hiker permits or other measures in future years. “COVID may end up being the most effective thing for limiting public use in the High Peaks for the last couple of decades,” said Peter Bauer, of Protect the Adirondacks. “It certainly has forced the state into taking a series of actions that it has been slow to take heretofore.” MORE PHOTOS The parking restrictions are one part of the High Peaks Strategic Advisory Group’s plan…

11 min.
peak lagging

Where there’s a will, there’s wilderness. I formed that conclusion about the High Peaks Wilderness experience somewhere on the northeastern flank of Mount Haystack, where I had pointed my walking sticks to evade the summit and its throng of alpine worshippers in early July. There’s still wild solitude to be had among the peaks in high summer season, but it takes some willpower to reach it. Some of these trails are so rocky and steep they require lugging your camp gear up or down ladders. On this particular trail, descending the Haystack Brook watershed, my pack and I lurched down several, including one with 27 rungs. No wonder this 1.6-mile cutoff was one of just three trail segments where I didn’t see another person during my outing, even though it took me…

12 min.
a place for all

Matt Hughey was at work in the North Country when a police officer pulled a gun on him. Hughey, a 29-year-old Black man raised in the Plattsburgh area, was about 19 at the time, working near his company truck and wearing a company uniform. A police officer approached him and asked Hughey for his identification. There was no reason for the request, but Hughey obliged. He was about 300 feet away from his truck, and he told the officer it was in the vehicle. The officer pulled his car next to the company truck, opened his door, pulled out a firearm and pointed it at Hughey. His white coworkers would take the same work route and had never had anything like that happen to them, Hughey said. The encounter ended without any physical harm…

9 min.
wild nights

Public lighting of a sort dates back to the ancient city of Antioch, but it was really King Louis XIV—the Sun King—who put street lighting on the map and turned Paris into the celebrated City of Light. With electricity came a blaze of glowing advertisements that at the turn of the 20th century earned Broadway the title of the Great White Way. “Mildly insane by day, the square goes divinely mad by night,” beamed journalist Will Irwin in 1927. “For then on every wall, above every cornice, in every nook and cranny, blossom and dance the electric advertising signs.” But all this light has come at a cost. Eighty percent of Americans cannot see the Milky Way at night for the glow of artificial light. Bad sleep is a result of locales that never…