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5 Things You Need to Know | ADK Conservation News

By: Casey Marvell - Adirondack Council's Policy Fellow
Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Adirondack Conservation News is a collection of the most current events taking place in New York’s Adirondack Park, a unique national treasure and legacy we inherited over 100 years ago, that we must to protect for future generations. Adirondack Conservation News aims to highlight both threats and opportunities concerning the Park’s ecological integrity, wild character and community vibrancy.

dead spruce

Our View: Let’s not Reverse Progress We’ve Made on Acid Rain

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has refused to enforce the “Good Neighbor” rule in the Clean Air Act which prevents coal burning power plants in the Midwest from emitting toxins that are carried to Eastern states by prevailing winds. This comes at a time that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that brook trout have been discovered in Lake Colden for the first time since it was declared fishless 32 years ago due to acid rain. The Adirondack Council and partners state that without EPA enforcement the Adirondacks’ recovery from acid rain damage could be in jeopardy.

 

oil trains Brendan Wiltse

Tahawus Rail Line May be Scrapped  

The Saratoga and North Creek Railway consented to “abandonment” of the Tahawus rail line between North Creek and Newcomb. The 30-mile stretch of rails crosses the Forest Preserve as well as the Hudson and Boreas rivers. The state has been trying to have the line declared abandoned due to inactivity. Two years ago, the company used the line to store dozens of out-of-service junk tank cars on the rail line which drew significant criticism from the state and the Adirondack Council and partners. If the rail line is declared abandoned by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, other uses, such as a recreational trail, can be explored. Railroad use could be resurrected in the future if needed.

 

trail work

New Cascade Trail May not be Open Until 2021

A new trail up Cascade Mountain from the Mount Van Hoevenberg Olympic Sport Complex may not open until 2021 according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The new trail is being touted as much more sustainable than the current one off of Route 73. It was originally planned to be opened this year, but the DEC says that this type of trail is more complicated than traditional trails to construct and requires more time to complete. The DEC believes that the new trailhead will help alleviate the ongoing problematic parking situation along Route 73, and provide hikers the option of hiking up Mount Van Hoevenberg.

 

loon Larry Master

Warming Threatens Iconic Adirondack Bird Species

A recent report from the National Audubon Society determined that 64 percent of North American bird species are at risk of extinction from climate change. In the Adirondacks, if global temperatures rise 5.4 degrees, the common loon may lose upwards of 27 percent of its summer range. This would force loons to move northward to a cooler climate during the summer. The report stresses that if emissions levels are not significantly reduced in coming decades, warmer temperatures may drive many other iconic Adirondack bird species like the Bicknell’s thrush, boreal chickadee and spruce grouse to other areas.

 

parking

Peak Crowding: Droves of Hikers Clog High Peaks

On Columbus Day weekend, the High Peaks experienced significant hiker activity coupled with illegal roadside parking. In preparation, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) initiated 45 mile per hour reduced speed zones to protect pedestrians. This was in addition to the ban of roadside parking along a four mile stretch of Route 73 from Chapel Pond to Rooster Comb instituted last year. Nevertheless, the droves of hikers continued to test Forest Rangers who are tasked with parking enforcement and public outreach. Rangers and their supporters have stated that low staffing numbers are draining Rangers, risking public safety, and jeopardizing the protection of sensitive public lands.

 

Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/staff-headshots/Casey_Marvel2.jpgCasey Marvel is the Policy Fellow in the Council’s Albany office. He assists the government relations and communication teams by tracking legislation, researching issues and advocating for the Adirondacks. A native of Niskayuna, New York, Casey recently completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Albany, and is currently pursuing his Master’s in Political Science. Casey has always been intrigued and passionate about the Adirondacks, having visited the Park throughout his life, from fishing at Paradox Lake, to recently pursuing the 46 High Peaks.

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