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Adirondack Explorer

Adirondack Explorer January/February 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.

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Adirondack Explorer
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2 min.
land groups preserve 2,500 acres and a native trout

Three land preservation groups announced transactions protecting nearly 2,500 acres in the Adirondacks this fall, with most of that acreage coming in a single conservation easement around waters containing a native strain of brook trout. Other purchases on the Adirondack Park’s east side will protect historic Fort Ticonderoga and a scenic mountain near Lake George. The big transaction was at the Little Charley Pond tract, west of Little Tupper Lake. The Adirondack Land Trust purchased the 2,122-acre tract with three ponds for $2 million in 2007, executive director Mike Carr said. Now a buyer wishing to remain anonymous has purchased the trust’s property for $1.9 million and granted a conservation easement ensuring that no more than one new camp will be built there. Back in 2007 the fear was that inappropriate logging or…

2 min.
hikers favor wilderness over access

Hikers value protecting the Adirondack Park’s wild character more than expanding recreation opportunities. That was one of the key findings in a survey of roughly 1,000 hikers at High Peaks Wilderness region trailheads earlier this year by the Adirondack Council and Colgate University’s Upstate Institute. About 70 percent of those surveyed favored wilderness protection over accommodating unlimited recreation, according to the Council. More than 80 percent of hikers want more information regarding appropriate trail use, etiquette and safety by the state and stakeholders. About 75 percent of hikers said the park should receive additional state funding and the state Department of Environmental Conservation should hire additional staff and forest rangers. “Hikers were least likely to support wider trails or bigger parking lots, and favored protection over recreation,” Council Executive Director Willie Janeway said, “knowing that…

2 min.
adirondack wild questions proposed trail’s constitutionality

Adirondack Wild and a former high-ranking state environmental official contend that the state’s plan to cut a snowmobile trail in the Blue Ridge Wilderness violates the forever-wild clause of the New York Constitution. Adirondack Wild and Christopher Amato, a former assistant commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, make the argument in a letter to Nick Addison, a DEC forester. DEC is proposing to build a “community connector” that will enable snowmobilers to travel between the hamlets of Raquette Lake and Long Lake without crossing frozen lakes. About four miles of the trail would pass through the Blue Ridge Wilderness. Ordinarily, snowmobiles and other motorized vehicles are not allowed in wilderness areas, but the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan allows snowmobile trails to be created in wilderness—“in limited instances”—within 500 feet of…

2 min.
tom manitta

Age: 25 Birthplace: Syracuse Residence: Jay, NY Occupation: Outdoor educator at Adirondack Mountain Club Accomplishments: I established a professional career right after finishing college in a field that is relevant to what I studied in school. Favorite season: Spring. Everything comes back to life after the long, cold winter. It’s exciting to see all of the new flowers and plants as the snow melts. It’s like the light at the end of the tunnel. Favorite hike/adventure: The Dix Range Wilderness. As a young teen, I participated in a backpacking trip to the Dix Range with a youth group, and a naturalist. It was my first time backpacking and my first time in the Adirondacks, and it changed my life. The naturalist helped me realize the benefits of the outdoors and inspired me to want to share…

4 min.
park oks rail removal

The Adirondack Park Agency’s board voted 10-0 in December to approve a change to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan that will allow the state to go forward with a controversial plan to remove 34 miles of railroad tracks between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake. The board’s action was a response to a court ruling more than a year earlier that the state’s proposal to tear up the tracks and create a multi-use rail trail violated the master plan. EARLIER STORY: Court ruling Before work on the rail trail can begin, the state Department of Environmental Conservation must revise the unit management plan (UMP) for the rail corridor. The UMP will require approval from the APA. Tom Martin, a natural resources supervisor for DEC, expects the UMP will be finished this year. The…

9 min.
a green era in albany?

Environmentalists see Democratic control of both New York’s Senate and Assembly starting in January as a sea change improving prospects for bills protecting the Adirondacks. The November election removed a GOP roadblock in the Senate that has stopped several conservation measures in the past, advocates said. The Assembly kept a Democratic veto-proof majority of 106 seats, with 43 held by Republicans and one by an independent. New York’s new Senate will have 39 Democrats, 23 Republicans and one Brooklyn Democrat who has been caucusing with the Republicans. Climate Change “We have, for the first time, an incoming majority that publicly is concerned about the adverse impacts of human-induced climate change,” said Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Manhattan Democrat on the Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee. “There was no acknowledgement on the part of the (GOP) leadership that…