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

By: Lisa M. Genier - Adirondack Council Program Analyst
Wednesday, October 6, 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 highlights threats and opportunities concerning the Park’s ecological integrity, wild character, and community vibrancy.

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Adirondack Council Calls for State Investment Sustainable Backcountry Trail Design

A recent study by the Adirondack Council revealed that many trails on St. Regis and Ampersand Mountains are “too steep to be sustainable” and would benefit from rerouting in the face of increased use. The report said that trails in the Park were built before sustainable trail design practices were developed. As use has increased, many of those poorly designed trails have been washed out and widened causing major erosion. The Council has pushed for trails to be reconstructed or rerouted using modern sustainable trail design standards and proposed funding for this from an environmental bond act that will go to the voters on next year’s ballot.

 

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Hochul Visits Lake Placid, Says She will Appoint New APA Board Chair 

In September, Governor Kathy Hochul visited Lake Placid highlighting $15 million in new water infrastructure projects in the village. Another project touted by the Governor was a new parking lot located just above Mirror Lake that is now made out of more porous material meant to capture runoff before it ends up in the lake. Hochul also revealed that she has plans to appoint a new chair to the Adirondack Park Agency board and that Basil Seggos will be staying on as the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation. The Council looks forward to working with Governor Hochul on a variety of Adirondack issues.

 

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250 Acres Added to Forest Preserve on Moxham Mountain

Through the work of the Adirondack Land Trust and the Department of Environmental Conservation, 250 acres will be added to the “forever wild” Forest Preserve. This addition will increase public access to the south side of Moxham Mountain between Minerva, Essex County and North Creek, Warren County for hiking and rock climbing. The current 2.7-mile north side trail climbs to Moxham’s 2,418-foot summit and offers views of Gore Mountain and the Hudson River to the south and the High Peaks to the north. This area will remain forever protected and take some of the pressure off the more popular trails in the High Peaks Wilderness that are suffering from overuse.  

 

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Adirondack Council Releases State of the Park Report

The Adirondack Council released its annual State of the Park Report describing the Adirondack Park as a place of refuge during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 28-page illustrated publication reports on the actions of local, state, and federal officials that helped or harmed the Adirondack Park over the past 12 months. The report is broken into nearly 100 topic summaries for which officials are given a thumbs up or thumbs down. Highlights of the report include giving former Governor Cuomo a thumbs down for failing to appoint anyone to the Adirondack Road Salt Task Force and giving a thumbs up to Attorney General Leticia James for her lawsuit overturning the Trump administration’s Affordable Clean Energy Rule.

 

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Adirondack Search and Rescues Down Since 2020, but so is the Ranger Force

Because of the pandemic in 2020, the Forest Preserve saw more hikers, which brought about more search and rescues by the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Forest Rangers. Although the number of search and rescues in the Park is down 27% since last summer, there are fewer Rangers. The two DEC regions that include the Park had 65 Rangers in 2020, and are now down to 59. The good news is that despite the statewide hiring freeze during the pandemic, the DEC secured the largest class for the upcoming Ranger School. Also, DEC Commissioner Seggos says he’ll press the Hochul administration for more resources for Rangers in the next state budget.

 

Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/staff-headshots/LisaG.jpgLisa M. Genier joined the Council in 1992 working as its Legislative Associate in the Albany office. During her tenure, she played a role in the creation of the Environmental Protection Fund, which has been used to fund land purchases and environmental programs in the Adirondack Park and around the state. She was also a member of the negotiating team that worked on re-licensing agreements for several hydroelectric facilities in the Park, which preserved thousands of acres of land, expanded recreational opportunities, and protected other natural resources. Lisa now works part-time as Program Analyst writing action alerts, interacting with members, managing the Council’s website, and serving in a consultative role on legislative and other issues.

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