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Adirondack Explorer

Adirondack Explorer November/December 2018

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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6 min.

Paddlers await ruling By Michael Virtanen A new ruling is expected by year’s end in the eight-year-old lawsuit that pits landowners against outside paddlers over rights to a two-mile waterway in the remote northwestern Adirondacks. State Supreme Court Justice Richard Aulisi, after hearing three weeks of trial testimony this summer, is tasked with deciding whether Mud Pond, its outlet and parts of Shingle Shanty Brook and Lilypad Pond are “navigable in fact” where they pass through private land and there-fore open to any canoeist or kayaker. The land is owned and controlled by the Friends of Thayer Lake LLC and affiliated Brandreth Park Association, whose members sued because they don’t want strangers on their land and waters. The defendant is former Adirondack Explorer editor Phil Brown, who in 2009 wrote an article for the magazine…

1 min.
sarah galvin

Age: 40 Birthplace: Plattsburgh Residence: Lake Placid Occupation: Co-owner of The Bookstore Plus Accomplishments: Completing the Adirondack 46 when I was a junior in high school. Completing a National Outdoor Leadership School semester in the Australian outback. Purchasing a first-generation independent bookstore and transitioning it into its second generation. Favorite outing: Hiking the Nun-da-ga-o Ridge loop. Favorite book: Charlotte’s Web—I love animals. Our newest four-legged family member is named Fern. Favorite book-reading spot: Anywhere I can sit! Why I live in the Adirondacks: I live in the Adirondacks because it’s in my soul. I love the mountains, the people, the towns and the change of seasons. If I were in charge of the Park: I’d keep a healthy balance between tourism and protection of the Park’s natural resources and beauty. I’d be open to trying new things while respecting…

1 min.
salt claims piling up

A potential lawsuit over road-salt contamination in the Adirondacks began gathering clients this fall. Notices of claim have been filed on behalf of a dozen clients against the state and several Adirondack counties and towns that spread salt, generally on behalf of the state, seeking the cost of drilling new, uncontaminated wells, attorney Bill Owens said. “We’re really in the very early stages.” PREVIOUS STORYThe Adirondack Watershed Institute tested 358 wells and found that water from sixty-three wells—more than half of those that are downslope from state roads—contained sodium at levels above the federal guideline of 20 parts per million for people on low-sodium diets. The median level was 26 ppm, and the maximum was 748 ppm. Dan Kelting, the institute’s director at Paul Smith’s College, said Adirondack water usually contains less than…

9 min.
the pollution patrol

Water is the lifeblood of the Adirondack Park’s tourism, adventuring and second-home economy, as well as its wilderness. Its lakes and rivers face multiple threats ranging from salt to human waste and invasive plants and aquatic animals. Hundreds of volunteers routinely monitor or test many waterways, including Nevton Dunn, who has a home on Mirror Lake. Dunn, a retired engineer, often canoes the roughly 2.5-mile perimeter of the lake in a lightweight solo boat, collecting any trash he finds and almost daily yanking out non-native purple loosestrife plants. Last year Dunn discovered sewage leaking into Mirror Lake. “It was black water and a sewer odor,” Dunn recalled. “It was very localized.” The dark pool was about seven feet by ten feet, and evidently came from one of the nearby motels laundering clothes and sheets that…

9 min.
remote jobs on the line

Need proof that getting universal high-speed broadband internet access in the Adirondacks is a vital piece of the region’s economic jigsaw puzzle? Just ask Suzanne Hurtado, who lives on Lost Pond. Within days of getting fiber-optic access in 2017, she was able to live video chat several times a day with students she teaches in China. Yes, China. “At the start, I had satellite internet,” she shared in an email with Joe Steiniger, chair of Schroon Lake’s broadband committee. “Many times my classroom would not load and I could only teach early in the morning and only one class a day, [affecting] my pay and bookings. Our fiber-optic internet was installed mid-December and it has been wonderful!” It’s a story echoed by others in Schroon Lake, according to Steiniger. Within ten days of…

8 min.
3 peaks, 1 great day

On a Saturday a few winters ago, I awoke late and started thinking of where to go backcountry skiing. I wanted to go someplace new, but given the hour, it couldn’t be too big of an outing. Then it struck me: Goodman Mountain near Tupper Lake. The state opened a trail to the summit a few years earlier. Most of the route is fairly mellow, with open woods suitable for off-trail skiing. On the drive from Saranac Lake, I decided to ski nearby Coney Mountain too. If only I had not been such a late riser, I thought, I could ski Mount Arab as well. A Tupper triple crown—what a novel idea! As I got out of my car in the Goodman parking area, a guy on telemark skis emerged from the woods. “Did…