5 Things You Need to Know | January 2024 ADK Conservation News

By Justin A. Levine - Communications Associate
Thursday, February 1, 2024

two people in a canoe taking water samples
Critical cuts affect Adirondacks in Governor’s budget proposal - Adirondack Almanack - January 27, 2024

Governor Kathy Hochul unveiled her budget proposal for the state earlier this month, and she unfortunately proposed cutting several programs that are vital to studying and understanding the Adirondack Park and environmental impacts across the state. While the state is facing budget shortfalls, cutting long-term programs that account for 0.1% of the state’s budget will do more harm than good. You can help restore critical funding by emailing the governor.

a full solar eclipse
Safety measures urged for total solar eclipse watchers in the Adirondacks - WPTZ - January 24, 2024

On April 8 this year, there will be a rare total solar eclipse, and parts of the Adirondacks will be within the path of totality. Organizations, including the Adirondack Council, are expecting an influx of visitors who may not be familiar with the weather and climate of the Adirondack Park. So the Council, Adirondack Mountain Club, and Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) are urging caution for those who may want to get into the Adirondack backcountry. Due to the likely winter conditions and unpredictable weather, those who are unfamiliar with winter hiking in the Adirondacks are encouraged to view the eclipse from one of our many beautiful communities.

a sign welcoming people to the Adirondack Park
Environmental advocates want more money in N.Y. budget for clean water - Times Union - January 17, 2024

In 1892, the law creating the Adirondack Park was passed based on the need for “preservation of the headwaters of chief rivers of the state.” The Adirondack Park continues, more than 130 years later, to do just that for rivers that impact the lives of millions of people. Unfortunately, Gov. Kathy Hochul proposed lowering the amount of money in the budget to help small municipalities - such as the rural communities of the Adirondacks - upgrade water and sewer operations. The Council, along with many other groups, are urging the governor to increase funding for the benefit of all New Yorkers as impacts to waterways have far-reaching consequences.

a group of students at the Timbuctoo Climate and Careers Institute at John Brown Farm
Ups and downs for Adirondacks in Hochul’s budget – Adirondack Explorer – January 17, 2024

When Gov. Hochul gave her budget address in January, there were some bright spots and some disappointments for the Adirondack Park. The Adirondack Council was encouraged by her proposal for a $400 million Environmental Protection Fund, however, she also proposed cutting critical programs such as long-term monitoring of Adirondack lakes (SCALE) and funding for the Timbuctoo Climate and Careers Institute. 

a beautiful rainbow over a farm field
Hochul signs wildlife protection law banning use of certain pesticides - The Saratogian - January 4, 2024

Governor Kathy Hochul signed an important bill that will protect native pollinators from harmful insecticides, while allowing farmers plenty of time to adjust to the change. The Birds and Bees Protection Act bans the application of neonicotinoids to certain types of crop seeds. Neonicotinoids work against unwanted pests, but also native birds and bees, which provide invaluable services in our ecosystems. This bill will help protect our native pollinators so that natural systems can continue to flourish on the working lands of the Adirondack Park.

Justin Levine

Justin Levine joined the Council staff in 2021 as the Communications and Outreach Assistant. He previously worked as a regional marketing manager for the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism and was an award-winning journalist and photographer for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and Lake Placid News. Since graduating from Paul Smith’s College in 2004, Justin has worked in the environmental field in various roles in both the Adirondacks and Florida. When not working, Justin loves spending time with his family, running, and doing all the outdoor things the Park has to offer.

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