5 Things You Need to Know | May 2021 ADK Conservation News

By: Alycia Bacon - Adirondack Council Clarence Petty Advocacy Intern
Thursday, June 3, 2021

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.

Wilcox Lake Wild Forest

State Buys Huckleberry Mountain in Johnsburg

New York State secured 1,263 acres in the town of Johnsburg, Warren County that contains Huckleberry Mountain, with a summit that caps 2,400 feet. The newly protected land abuts the Wilcox Lake Wild Forest, which contains a wide range of wildlife habitats, including a cold-water stream with brook trout, cliff faces that provide nesting places for endangered peregrine falcons, and wetlands that are home to an active heron rookery. The Department of Environmental Conservation purchased the lands from the Open Space Institute for $770,000 using funds from the state’s Environmental Protection Fund.


Love Our Lands

DEC Launches Campaign to “Love Our NY Lands”

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) launched the “Love Our NY Lands” campaign to encourage visitors to exercise responsible and sustainable recreation. According to the DEC, this effort follows a significant up-tick in visitors in recent years, with a boom in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in Adirondack and Catskill parks. The “Love Our NY Lands” campaign will encourage visitors to plan, be responsible, and practice Leave No Trace™ principles. The campaign was developed to support priorities and objectives identified by the High Peaks Overuse Advisory Group and concerns of local stakeholders and environmental groups.



State Tree Cutting Reined In

In a 4-2 decision, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled that the Department of Environmental Conservation violated Article 14 of the NYS Constitution when it cut down thousands of trees to build a wide snowmobile trail in the central Adirondacks. The court said this constituted an unlawful destruction of the public’s timber, which is expressly forbidden under the “forever wild” clause of the state constitution. The Adirondack Council submitted a friend of the court brief in support of Protect the Adirondacks, which filed the successful lawsuit.


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Adirondack Council Calls for Widespread Septic Regulations

According to a new report from the Adirondack Council, old and improperly maintained residential septic systems pose a growing threat to water quality across the Adirondacks. These septic systems allow excessive amounts of nutrients to get into lakes and rivers, resulting in chemical changes that can be harmful to fish, aquatic plants, and humans. The Council is urging New York State and Adirondack towns and counties to continue to work together to enact mandatory septic system inspection programs that include provisions for upgrading. The report suggests more Park municipalities follow and expand upon the septic system protection measures now in place in the Lake George watershed.


Give Turtles a Brake

In May and June, turtles are on the move as they search for the perfect spot to lay their eggs. Ideal nesting areas are places with sandy or loose soil, which means many cross roadways. Sadly, each year thousands of turtles are killed by vehicles. So, if you are traveling in the Adirondacks, please be mindful of turtles near water crossings, roadside water access points, swamps and marshes, and sandy soil areas. If you see a turtle on the road, please slow down and avoid hitting it with your car! If you can park safely, move the turtle to the side of the road in the direction it was facing. Use caution when moving snapping turtles: either pick them up at the rear of the shell near the tail using two hands or slide a car mat under them to drag them off the road.


Alycia Bacon is the Adirondack Council’s 2021 Clarence Petty Advocacy Intern working with the Government Relations and Communications teams in Albany, helping to advance the Council’s advocacy programs. Alycia is originally from Scottsdale, Arizona, but she’s lived in the Capital Region for almost 11 years. Currently, Alycia is a graduate student at the University at Albany, where she is working on her Master's degree in Africana Studies, with a focus on philosophy and history - particularly in Ancient Civilization and African Americans. Alycia is proud to be working to protect and maintain the Adirondacks as a beautiful living ecological space because she loves our planet and wants to see it healthy for future generations.

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