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

By: Charlotte Staats - Adirondack Council's Clarence Petty Advocacy Intern
Wednesday, January 29, 2020

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.

Gov, Andrew Cuomo State of State 2020

Cuomo Addresses Adirondacks in State of the State

Governor Cuomo highlighted the Adirondacks and the environment in this year’s State of the State address. He announced plans to rebuild the Mid-Station Lodge at Whiteface Mountain, fund the remaining needs for the Lake George wastewater treatment plant, and address overuse with the Adirondack High Peaks Strategic Planning Advisory Group, a new shuttle system and expanded trail crews,. Cuomo also proposed a $3 Billion “Restore Mother Nature Bond Act” which includes plans for habitat restoration, flood risk reduction, open space preservation, and associated recreational infrastructure.

Senator Kaminsk, Willie Janeway, Assemblyman Englebright

State Legislature EnCon Committee Chairs Talk Priorities

New York State Assemblymember Steve Englebright and Senator Todd Kaminsky discussed the successes from the 2019 Legislative Session, including the enactment of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and an extension of the law requiring the removal of invasive species on boats before they are launched. In 2020, the Governor and Senate will work to appoint a full slate a full and diverse slate of qualified candidates to the Adirondack Park Agency board, and the Assembly will join them to address overuse in the High Peaks Wilderness Area and other popular destinations to protect natural resources, visitor safety, and the wilderness character of the region.

Forest Ranger - Nancy Battaglia

Forest Rangers: Thanks, But No Thanks, On Pay  Raise

The union representing the state's Forest Rangers rejected a proposed pay raise and instead asked for an increase in staff and more equipment. The pay raise was part of a move to consolidate the Forest Ranger job title into the Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) position. Forest Rangers have different responsibilities than ECOs and were concerned the title change could be a step towards a merger of the divisions. Rangers are trained to educate people how to be safe in the woods, fight forest fires, and conduct search and rescue missions. ECOs focus on enforcing environmental laws. More Rangers are needed with the growing number of visitors and search and rescues in the Park. 

Deer - Larry Master

DEC Releases New Regulations for Feeding of Deer, Moose

The state’s newly adopted regulations on feeding of deer by the public contain a provision that will hopefully help kill ticks on deer that spread Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Counties in the Adirondacks have seen a 20-fold jump in Lyme disease cases in the last 13 years. Other goals of these regulations are to continue to limit the spread of chronic wasting disease (a contagious neurological disease that is fatal to deer), prevent the size of deer herds from growing too large and damaging the environment, and discourage changes in winter migratory patterns. 

Lake Champlain - Carl Heilman

A Lake in Crisis

Lake Champlain is suffering from harmful algae blooms that can create toxic conditions for wildlife and humans. These blooms are usually caused by blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), and occur when excessive nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen) flow into the water. This runoff comes from sources like farms and outdated wastewater treatment plants. Intense rainstorms and warming water temperatures are causing algae blooms to start earlier in the year and last longer. These blooms close beaches, threaten public health, and negatively impact tourism in New York and Vermont. Both states are working on this issue through research, phosphorus reduction and water quality improvement plans.


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Charlotte Staats is the Adirondack Council’s Clarence Petty Advocacy Intern for the 2020 legislative session. She grew up in Westport, New York, and graduated from Clarkson University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Policy. For the past five years, Charlotte worked on a professional trail crew, building and maintaining hiking, skiing, mountain biking, and snowshoe trails throughout the Adirondack Park.


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