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

By: Charlotte Staats - Adirondack Council's Clarence Petty Advocacy Intern
Tuesday, March 26, 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.

Culvert Erika Edgley/The Nature Conservancy

‘Mother Nature’ Bonds Proposed at Critical Time for New York’s Climate Resilience, Backers Say

The $3 billion “Restore Mother Nature” Bond Act proposed by Governor Cuomo offers funding to protect wildlands, wildlife, waters, and communities from the impacts of climate change. In Lake Placid, a Bond Act roundtable, which included conservationists, government officials, planners, and other stakeholders discussed Adirondack projects that could be funded. Bond Act monies could fund land acquisition, carbon reduction, riparian preservation, and culvert replacement projects. Stakeholders are hopeful the Bond Act will be included in this year’s budget and voters will approve it on the ballot in November.

Zebra Mussels

Lake Champlain’s Back Door for Invasive Species 

Lake Champlain, already the host of 50 invasive species, is open to potentially more aquatic invasives through New York’s canal systems. The Great Lakes, which has more than 200 non-native species present, and Hudson River, home to more than 100 non-native species each connect to Lake Champlain and both are potential entry-points for additional aquatic invasive species. Recently, there has been discussion about stopping the spread of invasives between these waterways, either by creating barriers in the canal system or temporarily closing certain parts.


Salt Truck

Salt Surveillance 

The Department of Transportation has installed three monitoring stations in the Lake Placid and Wilmington area to collect data and help measure the effectiveness of an ongoing road salt reduction pilot program. Studies have shown that the application of road salt on state roads has led to polluted private drinking wells, lakes and streams. Senator Betty Little and Assemblyman Billy Jones have introduced a bill that would create an Adirondack road salt reduction task force to discuss modernizing Adirondack winter road management practices that take into account public health, environmental impacts and road safety.


Blanding Turtle

Giving Blanding’s Turtles a Chance to Nest in Peace in the North Country 

Blanding’s turtles, a rare turtle species with large populations found in the North Country, will be given alternative nesting locations thanks to funding granted to Dr. Glenn Johnson by a U.S. Fish & Wildlife grant. The project will involve fitting radio transmitters and GPS trackers onto individual Blanding turtles to determine their preferred nesting areas and creating open, sandy areas with protective electric fences. Dr. Johnson has been studying Blanding’s turtles in the North Country for about 20 years, and this funding will allow him and his students to continue their research.


Work horses - Make Lynch

Workhorses of Sustainability 

Chad Vogel of Reber Rock Farm works with draft horses to log forests. Horse logging, as it is called, is an opportunity to conserve land while harvesting forest products and reduce the carbon footprint of forest products. Working with draft animals is good environmentalism and good economics, combining humans and nature together to support one another. Paul Smith’s College draft-animal program is gaining popularity in students who are interested in work that is more harmonious with the natural world.


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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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