5 Things You Need to Know | April 2020 ADK Conservation News

By: Caroline Dodd - Adirondack Council's Clarence Petty Legislative Intern
Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Please note: In light of COVID-19, the Adirondack Council team is currently working remotely to continue to advocate for your Adirondack Park. We will be back in the office and out in the field when it's safe for our staff, families, partners, and community. We can be reached at 518- 873-2240 (Adirondacks) and 518-432-1770 (Albany) and at

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 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.

Tupper Lake - Carl Heilman

NYS Budget Capital Projects Good for Adirondacks

On April 1, Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders approved a state budget which included a $3-billion “Restore Mother Nature” Bond Act and a $300-million Environmental Protection Fund that includes money to address overuse and preserve the most popular wilderness areas, trails and destinations in the Adirondack Park. This is crucial funding that will help protect the Adirondack Park for future generations. Even amid the COVID-19 crisis, this budget recognizes that clean water, open space, wildlife, and a healthy environment remain priorities for the state no matter what challenges it faces.


Smoke Stack

EPA Weakens Control on Mercury

The Trump administration rolled back several regulations this month that provide protections against harmful pollutants for millions of  citizens. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) weakened regulations on the release of mercury and other toxic chemicals from oil and coal-fired power plants, which opens up the possibility to justify loosening restrictions on any pollutant the fossil fuel industry may deem too expensive to control. The deregulatory efforts could prove detrimental to human health by reducing air and water quality, and reverse progress on acid rain recovery.


Earth Day 2020

Legislators, Advocates Meet Virtually to Celebrate Recent Victories on 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

April 22, 2020 marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and environmental advocates found creative ways to celebrate in lieu of in-person events. Several environmental organizations co-hosted a virtual event with guest speakers from the state legislature and Department of Environmental Conservation, where they discussed recent legislative progress on environmental initiatives in New York. Many of the speakers mentioned the notable items in this year’s state budget including a renewed $300 million Environmental Protection Fund and the proposed Restore Mother Nature Bond Act.


Tufted Titmouse - Larry Master

Breeding Bird Atlas Kicks Off its Third Statewide Survey Since 1980

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is kicking off New York’s third Breeding Bird Atlas, a five-year survey of the state’s bird populations that relies on citizen scientist volunteers. Experienced and novice bird watchers alike can participate by signing up for a free account with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird app. While practicing social distancing, people are encouraged to contribute to the record-keeping efforts to get an accurate picture of the bird populations throughout the six-million acres Adirondack Park and the entire state.



Advice on “Hiking Local" from an Adirondack Forest Ranger

As we all feel the stress of the COVID-19 crisis weighing on us, it is more important than ever to spend time outdoors. But it is important that outdoor recreation is safe and close to home, per state recommendations. Adirondack Forest Ranger Scott Van Laer provides recommendations for how to properly social distance on the trail, and reduce your risk of putting unnecessary stress on the search and rescue system. Several trails are closed, as are all fire towers, and Van Laer encourages hikers to avoid trailheads with lots of cars in favor of less popular places.


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Caroline Dodd, a Saranac Lake native, is the Adirondack Council’s Clarence Petty Legislative Intern for the 2020 legislative season. She graduated from Cornell University, where she studied Environmental and Sustainability Sciences with a concentration in Environmental Policy and Governance and a minor in Music. Caroline has worked with The Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program and is also a member of the Lake Placid Climate Smart Communities Task Force, where she is working to conduct an emissions audit to provide recommendations for more sustainable and environmentally sound practices in the Village of Lake Placid. As the Council’s Legislative Intern, Caroline is tracking legislation that pertains to the Adirondacks and advocating in the state legislature on behalf of the Adirondack Council.

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