Warrensburg, NY, Aug 24, 2012 — John Warren, of the Adirondack Almanack, joins us Friday mornings with information about local outdoor and backcountry conditions.
Conditions remain abnormally dry, especially in the Southwestern edges of the Adirondack Park. The weather will continue to be dry this coming weekend, the fire danger remains moderate, and a 90-day ban on open burning remains in effect, so be cautious with fire.
Temperatures are considerably cooler in the evenings, morning and overnight. Temperatures drop into the 40s overnight and even into the 30s in higher elevations. Be sure to pack a non-cotton jacket or sweater.
Water levels are at seasonal lows and all rivers and streams are running below or well-below normal, even for this time of year. Be watchful for navigation hazards. Larger boats running between the Lower Locks and Second Pond in the Saranac Lakes Chain system run the risk of becoming grounded.
Local water temperatures are beginning to fall. Most lakes, river and streams are in upper-60s and lower 70s. Lake Champlain remains at about 72 degrees, and the water temperature at Warner Bay on Lake George has fallen to 78.
The Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative will be applying lampricides to portions of five tributaries of Lake Champlain during the months of September and October. Areas to be treated include the Saranac River delta, Mill Brook, Great Chazy River, and Mount Hope Brook in New York. Treatments are scheduled to begin with the Saranac River delta on September 10th, depending on weather conditions. Temporary water advisories will be in effect for each of the treatments. The Department of Health recommends avoiding treated waters while the advisories are in effect.
Looking elsewhere around the region, repaving of the Route 86 between Lake Placid and Wilmington continues. Motorists should expect delays and consider alternate routes.
The Haskell West River Road along the West Canada Creek from Route 8 into the Black River Wild Forest is closed and is gated at the first bridge (which needs replacing). DEC says it continues to be a high priority to fix the bridges and reopen the road.
Darling Ford Road and the Buttermilk Road Extension in Hudson River Recreation Area, part of the Lake George Wild Forest, remain closed as is the road that provides access to the Santa Clara Tract Conservation Easement Lands and the Madwaska Flow/Quebec Brook Primitive Area.
In the High Peaks, the Southside Trail from the Garden Trailhead to John's Brook Outpost remains closed as does the Cold Brook Trail between Lake Colden and Indian Pass.
A reminder that due to the possibility of spreading invasive species that could devastate northern New York forests, moving untreated firewood more than 50 miles from its source is prohibited. Forest Rangers have established several checkpoints recently and are ticketing violators of the firewood ban.
Finally this week, nuisance bear encounters have been occurring more frequently than usual this summer leading to a spike in bear-related calls to DEC and local law enforcement officials, as many as a dozen per week. Higher reports have been coming from the camps and campgrounds in the Old Forge-Inlet corridor, and also from the High Peaks. Nearly a dozen nuisance bears have had to be put down so far this year.
The use of bear resistant canisters is currently required for overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness and recommended elsewhere. All food, toiletries and garbage should be stored in bear-resistant containers at home, camp, or in the backcountry.