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Adirondack Explorer

Adirondack Explorer March/April 2021

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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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Adirondack Explorer
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3 min.
fort drum training will avoid forest preserve

The U.S. Army at Fort Drum won’t conduct training sessions on Adirondack Forest Preserve lands, according to members of an ad hoc committee in talks with the Army. The Army is revising its environmental study of possible training areas in the Adirondack region, including other potential lands within the park (January/February Adirondack Explorer). Beside the forest preserve, the Army will avoid sensitive wildlife areas and community hubs, and will decrease the amount of training from what was originally proposed, according to committee members. The Army had proposed up to six air and ground training exercises per year for the 10th Mountain Divisions’ Aviation Brigade and Sustainment Brigade. Each training could last up to 14 days, with a maximum of seven days cleanup. In a January news release, Fort Drum officials said the reason for…

2 min.
some businesses thrive in coronavirus pandemic

Even as COVID-19 has ravaged the American economy, the pandemic has proven an economic boon for some in the Adirondack Park. Yes, many restaurants, some hotels and motels, and most arts and entertainment venues continue to struggle. But for others who could more easily pivot to different operating models or who make their living outdoors, nature seekers have delivered cash and consolation. In some ways the Adirondack Park was perfectly positioned for pandemic life. When travel restrictions began to lift, people started looking for a safe place within driving distance to try to salvage summers without camps or vacations requiring air travel. “The Adirondacks probably had the best summer of anybody,” says Mark Dorr, president of the New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association. “The winners this summer were the Adirondacks, the Catskills…

1 min.
brief bio: eric adsit

Birthplace: Lowville. Residence: Saranac Lake. Occupation: Videographer and photographer for Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism. Accomplishments: Won 2017 Best Accomplished General Film in the National Paddling Film Festival; made a successful kayaking expedition to the Thule Bheri and Karnali rivers of Nepal; created Visit Adirondacks “Dawn Patrol” video series; created “My Home Run” video series presented by Northwest River Supply (NRS); wrote Red Bull’s Hanging Spear kayaking mini-documentary; made numerous kayaking first descents in New York. Favorite Adirondack whitewater: It’s hard to choose just one stretch of whitewater in the Adirondacks, but if I had to choose, I’d say the Bottom Moose in the western foothills because it is a river I can return to year after year and still learn something new. Favorite view: The view from the summit of Algonquin looking into Lake…

14 min.
green and pristine?

During a stretch of unusually warm weather and calm water last fall, a pair of algal blooms appeared on famously pristine Lake George. The blooms were the first documented harmful “algae” or cyanobacteria outbreaks on the lake, and they’ve raised urgent questions about whether state officials are doing enough to keep pollution out of the lake. In theory, Lake George should be among the most protected in the country. To describe Lake George is to invite cliché. Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying it was, “without comparison, the most beautiful water I ever saw.” Today’s devotees call the summer vacation spot “the Queen of American Lakes.” PAST COVERAGE But ancient compliments and modern nicknames didn’t stop the algal blooms from smearing the lake’s surface last fall, and it’s not clear the state can either. One…

14 min.
ripple effect

The boats built by Peter Hornbeck have exhibited legendary toughness, but occasionally an extraordinary and often boneheaded circumstance would lead to a tear in the fabric. The stories that accompanied the punctured hulls afforded the craftsman no small degree of amusement, and when owners sheepishly brought their boats back to the shop for repair, he was happy to fix them back up for free, on one condition: They had to regale him with the story of how the damage occurred. It generally involved a hold-my-beer paddle through the rapids into an iron spike, or an encounter with a garage door. Then one day a couple of forest rangers showed up toting a Hornbeck canoe and asking if it could be fixed. On inspection, Hornbeck was surprised to discover the craft was riddled…

9 min.
snow future

The Adirondack winter of 2015-2016 was one for the record books, and not in a promising way. There was no December “Snowdeo” gathering for snowmobilers in Old Forge, and scarcely a snowmobile season later. It had snowed 1.6 inches in November. During the first week of December, riders wore T-shirts, a local official recalled. That November snowfall on its own was not a record low in the village that proudly qualifies as an Adirondack snow capital. The weather station had twice charted just an inch in November, in 2001 and 2009. And neither was it a trend, exactly. The following November brought 10 times the snow; the previous one 15 times as much. Snow droughts have always visited occasionally, but that 2016 winter’s total—just 78.9 inches from Nov.1 through March 31 in…