5 Things You Need to Know | August 2019 ADK Conservation News

By: Casey Marvell - Adirondack Council's Policy Fellow
Thursday, August 29, 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.

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DEC Commissioner Talks Safety, Possible Changes with Influx of Visitors

In an interview, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner, Basil Seggos discusses the surge in Adirondack tourism that is causing overuse in certain areas of the Park. Seggos noted that the boost in tourism is beneficial to communities, however, the DEC is considering an aggressive plan to ensure quality visitor experiences, preservation of natural resources, and visitor safety. This would include infrastructure updates, parking projects and possibly a pilot permit program. The Commissioner said that a plan needs to balance the region’s tourism economy with the preservation of the environment.


Bald Eagle in flight photo by Larry Master

Local Species Could be at Risk Under Trump’s Revised Endangered Species Act

New changes to the federal Endangered Species Act may undo many of the wildlife protection victories of recent decades. The changes would disregard how climate change impacts wildlife, limit protections for not yet endangered but still threatened species, and attach an economic statement to the value of saving a species. Advocates in the Adirondacks point to the resurgence of wildlife such as the bald eagle as justification for strongly opposing these new changes. The Department of Environmental Conservation expressed major concern of these protection rollbacks and said the state will continue to protect threatened and endangered wildlife.


Leave No Trace tabling event

"Hot Spot” Backcountry Education Kicks off

Leave No Trace traveling trainers were in the High Peaks from August 7- 14 to work with local groups and develop a long-term plan for sharing Leave No Trace principles in the heavily trafficked High Peaks. The “Hot Spot” identified the High Peaks as an area of significant ecological importance that is experiencing a surge visitor usage. Trainers were able to engage the public directly with educational outreach workshops in an effort to motivate visitors to practice environmentally sound principles while recreating outdoors.


watch out for spruce grouse

Warning: ‘Endangered Spruce Grouse on Road’

When traveling around Blue Mountain Road near Paul Smiths drivers should use caution and be on the lookout for passing spruce grouse. This summer, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released 60 spruce grouse in an effort to help repopulate the area. The endangered spruce grouse population used to be much higher than it is currently. However, since 2012, the DEC has had a recovery plan to help regain the grouse’s presence in the Adirondack Park.



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$55.4M for Rural NY Broadband

The Federal Communication Commission authorized two grants that will help provide broadband internet access to thousands of residents across the state, including over 2,500 homes in the North Country. Over the next decade, internet providers will install new fiber-based broadband infrastructure and be able to expand their services to Adirondack homes and businesses. This initiative is a major victory that will provide quality communications access and ensure prosperous communities across the Park.


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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