It is in Chapter 19 of the NYS Climate Action Council’s Draft Scoping Plan, the chapter on “Land Use,” that I expected the words “Adirondack” or “Adirondack Park” or “Adirondack Park Agency” to get some focused attention. I was disappointed to see that the word “Adirondack” is cited in just four places within the 340-page climate scoping report, all perfunctorily.
The Climate Action Scoping Plan is the result of two years of work by the Climate Action Council, established by state law in 2019 to “establishes the path forward for New York to achieve 70% renewable energy by 2030, 100% zero-emission electricity by 2040, a 40% reduction in statewide GHG emissions by 2030, an 85% reduction in statewide GHG emissions by 2050, and net zero emissions statewide by 2050. The paths to 2030 and 2050 require a comprehensive vision and integrated approach to build new programs while significantly expanding existing efforts. Each economic sector discussed in this Plan establishes a vision for 2030 and 2050 in an effort to paint the picture of the future and show the direction the State must head.”
Have you noticed spongy moth egg masses in your neighborhood? Last year was a boom year for spongy moth (formerly known as gypsy moth) caterpillar populations, especially in Central and Western NY. Egg masses contain 600-700 eggs each and will hatch around May. If you find them now, you can scrape them off trees or buildings and drop them into a container of detergent to prevent the eggs from hatching.
Spongy moths are non-native, but are naturalized, meaning they will always be around in our forests. They tend to spike in numbers roughly every 10-15 years but outbreaks are usually ended by natural causes such as predators and disease. Removing their egg masses is not a cure for spongy moth infestations, but it is a small step you can take to help protect trees in your neighborhood. To learn more about this species and management efforts throughout the year, visit our website.
Trudeau Institute researchers played a key role in confirming the effectiveness of two approaches to fighting the novel coronavirus, according to a pair of papers published this winter.
Both projects relied on pre-clinical studies carried out at Trudeau on behalf of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), which developed the vaccine and treatment. One, which tested a new COVID-19 vaccine, was published in Cell Reports. The other, which tested a monoclonal antibody treatment aimed at infected individuals, was published in Nature Immunology.
WRAIR is a leading researcher of diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, Ebola and dengue. It relied on Trudeau’s laboratory expertise to verify the effectiveness of the vaccine and treatment before moving to clinical trials.
“We have really extensive experience and knowledge of how to work with pathogens,” said William Reiley, Ph.D., head of research services at Trudeau. “Since the start of the coronavirus epidemic, we’ve been developing models to conduct preclinical, early developmental stage testing of vaccines, therapeutics and monoclonal antibodies.”
For decades editors have told me not to use the word “elderly,” because it is both subjective and derogatory, an edict that I have afforded the same bland indifference with which I semi-acknowledge a dental hygienist who has just pressured me to floss.
But at a public hearing over a Ticonderoga public works project this week, a young woman was decrying new curbing that had facilitated the formation of ice and caused her to fall. She was OK because she was young, she said, but — and here she pointed to her neighbor, not much older than me — “this elderly gentleman” might not be as lucky.
He gave her a look, but didn’t say anything. I got to admit, though, that kind of stung. Still, the Adirondacks is filled with little hikes suitable for us elderly folk.
I used to think some of these short but interesting jaunts like Essex Quarry or Cathedral Pines as beneath my dignity, but now that I’m elderly I revel in these, and other perks of the infirm.
Town of Keene Essex County Wilderness Rescue: On April 3 at 9:30 a.m., Forest Rangers Evans and Lewis responded to a call for an injured hiker on Big Slide Mountain. At 11:25 a.m., Ranger Evans found the 34-year-old from Scotia, splinted the hiker’s injured shoulder, and helped her to the trailhead. Ranger Lewis and Keene Valley EMS were hiking up from the Garden trailhead and met the group to provide pain medication. Rangers assisted the subject back to the trailhead at approximately 1 p.m.
The ‘Round the Mountain Canoe & Kayak is set for Saturday, May 14 in Saranac Lake. The annual event takes paddlers on a 10.5 mile course starting at Ampersand Bay Resort, across Lower Saranac Lake, through Second Pond and Oseetah Lake, and ending at Riverfront Park on Lake Flower, adjacent to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation boat launch.
This May 21-22, Paul Smith’s College Visitor Information Center will host the BIG TREE FEST – celebrating Old Growth and the tall, tall trees that we love to find in the Adirondacks. The weekend will feature guided hikes into Old Growth stands, learning how to determine the age and the height of trees, contests on who can find the tallest and largest by species, food, music, fun and a tribute to Tree 103!
For nearly a century, observers watched the forests of New York State–including the Catskill and Adirondack forest preserves– from more than 100 fire towers perched atop the highest peaks, searching for the dangerous, telltale signs of forest fires. The Catskills Fire Tower Challenge encourages experienced hikers to visit the region’s remaining five historic fire towers, as well as a new sixth fire tower that was opened at the Catskills Visitor Center in the fall of 2019.
With Canadian testing requirements set to change on April 1st, the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau (VCB), a division of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, is excited to once again be able to welcome our Canadian visitors to the area for the upcoming tourism season. The ability to invite and host our Canadian visitors once again on the Adirondack Coast, after over 2 years of separation, will be huge not only to our economy but to the vitality of our community.
“The message is simple but important to express after two years of separation,” says Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. “We have missed our friends and neighbors and are really looking forward to seeing and welcoming them. Just as we are anxious to get back to places in Canada we so enjoy, our mountains, lakes, shops and businesses are ready and waiting here. We have dubbed April 1st Reunion Day for Canadians and Americans so let the reunion begin.”
The eastern bluebird is our official state bird. It became so on May 18, 1970, making New York the last state to acquire an official state bird.
Bluebirds are among the first birds to return in the spring. And for some bird-enthusiasts, attracting a pair of these harbingers of spring to a backyard nest box and having them fledge a brood of young bluebirds is the ultimate birding experience.
By Adele Burnett and Margie O’Hara for the Town of Inlet
It’s public comment time for APA Project 2021-0207 – Town of Inlet Shared Use Public Safety and Wireless Communication Tower. The proposed project includes the installation of two monopine telecommunications towers, one 90-feet tall and the other 95-feet tall (95 feet and 100 feet tall to the top of simulated branching); installation of antennas on the towers for T-Mobile, AT&T, Herkimer County, Hamilton County, and the Town of Inlet; and construction of three separate equipment shelters/pads at the base of the towers. The project involves construction of an access drive 1,130± feet in length from Limekiln Road, to connect with an existing 3,010±-foot-long access drive, and then to connect with an additional 830± feet of existing access drive (to be widened) to reach the tower site. Underground utilities will be installed along the access drive.
From sewers in North Creek to drinking water supplies in Essex and St. Armand, town supervisors often fight for years to get the funding to make improvements to their systems – updates that are often required under state directive. The economics of the park make these projects all the more challenging: too few residents to fund the work solely at the local level.
The Adirondack Region is being featured in two episodes of the PBS television docu-series “Fly Brother With Ernest White II.” One episode is currently airing nationally; the other will be airing later this year.
The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) worked with the show’s producers to bring the show’s host and his team to the region. The ROOST team provided location scouting, background information, and made arrangements for the crew to meet, interview, and learn about the region from those directly involved in the tourism industry.
Now in its second season, PBS’s “Fly Brother” is an award-winning travel series, hosted by Ernest White II, that focuses on friendship and connection in some of the most intriguing destinations around the world.
Spring Greens are the edible young leaves or new growth of plants. Spring greens are the tender new growth that first emerges in early spring. In the Adirondacks, spring greens start to appear in greenhouses at the end of March and early April.
These tender greens are the unofficial start of the new year. They are the first fresh growth of the season! They indicate that young radishes, asparagus, and scallions are coming soon.
When we say “spring greens”, we mean baby cut lettuce, kale, chard, spinach, and other plants like bok choy. Many times, a variety of different spring greens or types of lettuces are packaged together and called “Spring Mix” or “Salad Mix.”
Scientist-like persons hired by the fossil fuel industry have long maintained we should celebrate an ever-increasing level of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. This gas, a key building block in the photosynthetic process, can enable plants to grow faster and get larger. It’s been called the “CO 2 fertilization effect.” Many crop yields are projected to increase. And bigger woody plants, the reasoning goes, can amass more carbon, thus helping to slow the rate of CO 2 increase in a handy negative-feedback loop.
In other words, they argue that climate change is good for plants, which in turn will help curb climate change. It’s an elegant win-win situation, and environmentalists no longer have to lose sleep over skyrocketing carbon dioxide. However, as with many supposed “truths,” this argument falls apart upon close examination. It’s like in 1981 when former President Ronald Reagan said “Trees cause more air pollution than automobiles do.” He was referring to terpenols (responsible for the pleasant piney-woods aroma in the forest), which can react with auto emissions to form ozone. In the larger picture, trees reduce air pollution of all sorts – and sequester carbon as well – on a colossal scale worldwide. His statement was “true” in a minor, technical sense for a single pollutant, but it was misleading, and for all intents and purposes, false.
The Adirondack Almanack is a public forum dedicated to promoting and discussing current events, history, arts, nature and outdoor recreation and other topics of interest to the Adirondacks and its communities
We publish commentary and opinion pieces from voluntary contributors, as well as news updates and event notices from area organizations. Contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The information, views and opinions expressed by these various authors are not necessarily those of the Adirondack Almanack or its publisher, the Adirondack Explorer.
General inquiries about the Adirondack Almanack should be directed to editor Melissa Hart.
To advertise on the Adirondack Almanack, or to receive information on rates and design, please click here.