The day dawned as blue as a robin’s egg and comparatively mild, but big snow and bitter cold was in the forecast. So I had a choice. I could spend the day attending to the tough but essential details of North Country living, laying in firewood, fueling the tractor and shoveling the existing snow off the roof of the old garage. Or I could do the totally irresponsible thing and go for a hike.
Ninety minutes after this dilemma had presented itself, we were at the trailhead of Coney Mountain in Tupper Lake, strapping on the ’shooz and reading a history of the little peak on the kiosk by the trail register.
There were multiple reasons for being there, one being that I was doing “research” for a 2023 Explorer piece I’m working on about the Tupper Triad, a three-mountain challenge that includes Coney, Goodman and Arab.
If you have a weed problem in your pond, you may want to consider stocking it with Grass Carp. These fish have a tremendous appetite for aquatic vegetation and can be used as a non-chemical agent to control weed growth in ponds. The fish that are available for stocking are Triploid Grass Carp, which means they are sterile and cannot produce viable young. This non-native species of fish does not compete with native fish species that you may already have swimming around in your pond.
Because these fish are not native to New York and because they have huge appetites, a permit is required from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The Herkimer County SWCD starts the permitting process now with stocking to take place in June 2022. The permitting process conducted by DEC is free of charge. If permitted you will be able to purchase these fish from the Herkimer County Soil & Water Conservation District, an approved Triploid Grass Carp supplier.
If you would be interested in more information, including a permit application for stocking Grass Carp, please contact the Herkimer County Soil & Water Conservation District at 315-866-2520, Ext. 5 before April 30th. Information is also available on our website at http://www.herkimercountyswcd.com.
AdkAction’s Compost for Good project is seeking businesses and individuals interested in organics recycling opportunities. If you have considered starting a business related to composting, or have an existing business that you would like to expand upon, we want to hear from you! The Compost for Good (CFG) team is seeking farmers, haulers, composters, retailers, landscapers, grocery stores, manufacturers, restaurants, etc. in St. Lawrence, Franklin, Essex and Clinton Counties to discuss organics recycling goals and dreams.
AdkAction also welcomes input from municipalities or nonprofit organizations interested in supporting businesses in their area as well as business owners who are trying to navigate the Food Donation and Food Scrap Recycling Law.
“AdkAction supports projects that significantly improve the social, economic and cultural lives of local residents and enhance the long term natural resources of the Park. Through this grant, the CFG team will support the development of business opportunities and economic development that will simultaneously improve the natural systems of the North Country,” said Eric Holmlund, CFG Project Chair with AdkAction.
As a child in a devout Catholic household I was intrigued by “Indulgences,” a way for sinners to avoid penalties in the afterlife by paying a fee commensurate with their bad deeds. This was years before Heaven went digital, of course, and as a youngster I assumed these bookkeeping adjustments were made in such a way that God didn’t notice the erasure marks in the Eternal Ledger.
When I first heard the phrase “carbon offsets” it reminded me of the practice of Indulgences – if you pay enough cash you can fly your Learjet up to Nova Scotia to see the total eclipse of the sun, and through some kind of accounting magic, not emit a speck of CO2. Someone would instantly plant a forest, pump carbon into a deep ocean trench, or build a wind farm for you.
Apparently I’m too cynical at times, because carbon offsets are genuine. But there are limitations. In a July 2021 Denzeen article, Fredrika Klarén, who runs the Sustainability Division at the Chinese electric-car maker Polestar, says “It is impossible to get down to zero [CO2 emissions] with offsets alone.”
The AdirondackExperience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake,(ADKX) has received a $500,000 grant from the Challenge Grants program of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), a federal agency. The funds will help support the $2.25M construction cost of the Artists & Inspiration in the Wild project. As part of the Challenge Grant requirements, ADKX must match the funds 3:1. ADKX is in the final phase of fundraising for this project during which they will be seeking funds to match the NEH Challenge Grant. Currently ADKX has raised $3M of the $4.5M overall cost of the project. This grant was secured following a highly competitive application and review process. NEH receives funding requests from across the U.S. and makes grants to a select few. Just eight Challenge Grants were made at the $500,000 level or more in the current round of NEH funding. In addition to ADKX, other recipients included the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, a Carnegie library in Braddock, Pennsylvania, and WETA, which serves Washington, DC.
This funding will support the renovation of a 6,200-square-foot exhibition space dedicated to the museum’s fine and decorative art collection. Planned upgrades to an existing building will make possible the first permanent home with appropriate climate controls and gallery spaces for this collection. Once completed in 2023, the building will provide permanent galleries dedicated to the most comprehensive showing of the ADKX collection of art in the museum’s 60-plus-year history. Artists & Inspiration in the Wild will include masterpieces from the museum’s painting, decorative arts, furniture, print, drawing, and photograph collections placed in the context of the landscape that inspired their creation. As noted by environmentalist Bill McKibben, on view will be what were, in all probability, the first photographs that brought the wholesale destruction of forestland to Americans’ attention.
Some people could be making maple syrup this week with the above normal temperatures we are going to get and some more rain. The rain we got last week is still running off in places even with the below zero temperatures we’ve had since then. Several folks to the east of Whiteface Mountain in Jay and Au Sable Forks on the West Branch of the Ausable River had a couple ice jams that flooded several residences and washed away some vehicles when they broke loose. Some of those vehicles could be in Ausable Chasm or even out in Lake Champlain as they rolled down the river in the ice flow.
Recently, I was reading about the log river drives and thought if they had logs in the South Branch of the Moose River Stillwater by Camp Nine this year, those logs would be gone and headed for Lyons Falls. They had a couple scares when they had the river full of logs a couple of years ago, but the ice held until the spring break up before going down river. I looked out last Friday morning and water was four inches deep going across my driveway, so I knew something was wrong with the culverts. Actually, the culverts were fine, but the snowpack was damming up the water before it got to them.
Save the Date: This summer, Georgia O’Keeffe will sing and dance in Lake George! Nearby Faraway, the brand-new Georgia O’Keeffe musical, will premiere July 22-24 and July 29-31, 2022, at the Carriage House Theater at Fort William Henry in Lake George, NY. The intimate musical will feature music by local composer Catherine Reid, and book and lyrics by Neal Herr. On the centennial anniversary of O’Keeffe’s breakthrough summers in Lake George, this dramatic tour-de-force is bound to be the centerpiece of what Mayor Robert Blais calls an “O’Keeffe-Fest,” with related activities by art and historical groups celebrating the life and art of “America’s Favorite Painter.” Adirondack Institute’s production of Nearby Faraway is made possible with generous grants from both the Touba Family Foundation and Warren County Tourism/VisitLakeGeorge.com. More details, including a full press release, to follow as we inch closer to the premiere date.
The results are in — and the Town of Bolton’s first-of-its-kind demonstration project using Adirondack woodchips to protect Lake George from algae-causing nitrate has proven successful.
A 27-month monitoring study conducted by the Lake George Association (LGA), Lake George Waterkeeper, and the Town of Bolton, with a grant from Lake Champlain Sea Grant, found that the town’s woodchip bioreactor removed 38% of nitrate from the wastewater that flowed through it during the project compared to zero removal of nitrate from the rest of the plant’s effluent stream. This is believed to be the world’s first use of a woodchip bioreactor at a municipal wastewater treatment plant. The bioreactor was funded in 2018 by a $50,000 grant from The FUND for Lake George (now the LGA).
“Over the past two years, our study demonstrated conclusively that the woodchip bioreactor is an effective, affordable and environmentally compatible nitrate-reduction tool for smaller municipal treatment plants like Bolton’s that were constructed decades ago, prior to the advent of denitrification technology,” said Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky, who conducted the study along with water quality scientist and LGA Science Advisor Dr. Jim Sutherland.
For more than a few Adirondackers, buying groceries is more complex than it ought to be, because the simple act of loading bags in the hatchback is complicated by the presence of skis, snowshoes, spikes and myriad other vaguely medieval looking winter gear left there for the express purpose of impromptu adventures.
Don’t try to tell me I’m wrong about this. I’ve been in the grocery store parking lot. I’ve seen your cars. But it’s OK, because I maintain that you haven’t lived until a previously unnoticed trailhead causes you to slam on the brakes on an icy road, affording the people behind you one of those all-too-rare chances to test out their wintertime evasive driving skills.
The following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information web pages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.
Snowmobile Trails: Recent thaws, rain, and flooding have left many snowmobile trails in poor or variable conditions. Forecast snow may improve trails, but riders should proceed with caution, especially near water and at water crossings, and be prepared to find alternate routes. Check local club, county, and State webpages and resources, including the NYSSA Snowmobile web map, for up-to-date snowmobile trail information.
High Peaks Wilderness:
Snowshoes or skis are now required to be worn as snow depths exceed 8 inches.
Water crossings in John’s Brook Valley are currently dangerous, especially on the Phelps Trail to Slant Rock.
Due to unsafe ice conditions and high water, river crossings on the trail to Allen Mountain should not be attempted and are considered impassable at this time.
The cable bridge on the trail to Mt. Adams may be affected depending on water levels and ice jams. Plan for alternative hikes if encountered.
Ice conditions on the Flowed Lands are unsafe and should not be crossed.
Crossings of the Opalescent River around Lake Colden are unsafe and should not be attempted.
Snow report as of 02/24: Lake Colden is frozen. The south side of Avalanche lake is now open. There is over 2ft of snow at the Lake Colden Outpost with more at higher elevations. Trails are passable from the Adirondack Loj to the Colden Outpost, but the Opalescent River is impassable due to high water at this time. Note: With significant snowfall expected overnight, expect conditions to change.
I honed my trail maintenance skills as a young man on a DEC Trail crew team in the Adirondack high peaks. There I learned a wide variety of valuable skills and techniques, everything from axemanship, to two-man blowdown clearing bowsaw skills, crafting freshly felled cedar trees into water bars, ladders and stringer bridges. I even studied the mystic art of building bases for trailside privies.
One thing that I never gave much thought to back then, as we braved blackfly blitzkriegs, dragging evergreen mountains of hand cut logs, branches and brush clear of mile after mile of winding high peaks trails, was the value resident non-hiking boot clad denizens found in the tangled mass branches we discarded as refuse.
The Ausable River Association (AsRA) and the Town of Wilmington are collaborating on a winter road conditions camera. The camera will offer a live stream of road conditions and can be viewed by town employees, residents, and visitors of the Ausable River watershed. The effort supports the Randy Preston Salt Reduction Act and AsRA’s Salt Use Reduction Initiative.
The camera builds upon existing salt reduction efforts in Wilmington. It will allow town road crews to monitor and respond to current road conditions and give the public access to the live stream 24/7.
It’s an important part of the town’s and AsRA’s efforts to maintain safe roads while reducing road salt usage and to keep road salt pollution out of our lakes, streams, and drinking water, according to Roy Holzer, Wilmington Town Supervisor.
“We hope to continue the legacy of Randy Preston and his wishes for the Wilmington community and the Adirondack Park,”Holzer said.
Wilmington Highway Superintendent, Lou Adragna, said he looks forward to using the new technology.
“The camera system will let us quickly assess snow, ice, and road conditions on Whiteface Memorial Highway,” Adragna said.
The Sembrich has announced its 2022 Summer Festival Reimagining the Classics. The festival will explore reinvention – from transcriptions and arrangements of beloved classics, to rhapsodies and variations on themes of popular composers. Some events will return to the intimacy of the historic Sembrich Studio and others will be held under a lakeside performance tent. Events will begin in June and run through early September. Tickets are now on sale for all events in the 2022 summer festival.
“We’re delighted to present another summer of music here on Lake George,” said Artistic Director Richard Wargo. “Reimagining the Classics will explore all manner of reinvention and present a variety of refreshing new takes on classical favorites. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to reimagine many aspects of life, including the way we present and experience music. This summer’s festival will incorporate the best of those bold reinventions, including the introduction of our new outdoor Promenade Series.”
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