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News stories tagged with "conservation"

The Essex Chain of Lakes will be purchased by New York State this year. The process is now underway to determine what kind of recreation and public use will be allowed. Photo: Carl Heilman, courtesy Adirondack Nature Conservancy)
The Essex Chain of Lakes will be purchased by New York State this year. The process is now underway to determine what kind of recreation and public use will be allowed. Photo: Carl Heilman, courtesy Adirondack Nature Conservancy)

NY to shape public use of new Adirondack park land

State officials say they plan to buy the first big chunk of the former Finch timberlands by the end of the year.

Roughly 19,000 acres will be added to the "forever wild" forest preserve in the first phase of the project. State officials say they plan to buy the first big chunk of the former Finch timberlands by the end of the year. Roughly 19,000 acres will be added to the "forever wild" forest preserve in the first phase of the project. Supporters say these lands will open popular new areas for hiking, paddling, hunting and fishing.

The process is now underway to determine the kind of rules and guidelines that will shape public access, and state officials say they hope to avoid the kind of clashes that have marked past land classification efforts.  Go to full article
Poke-O-Moonshine. Archive Photo of the Day: John Sherman
Poke-O-Moonshine. Archive Photo of the Day: John Sherman

Few concerns about DEC plan for Taylor Pond Forest

Preserving a trail to the summit of Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain and access for people with limited mobility were the two big concerns at a public hearing on the draft unit management plan for the Taylor Pond Wild Forest.

About 30 people gathered at the community center in AuSable Forks last week for a public hearing on the proposed plan. It was hosted by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The Taylor Pond Wild Forest totals more than 76,000 acres of land in the northeast corner of the Adirondack Park. Unit management plans are required by the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan for each unit of state land in the Park. Chris Morris reports.  Go to full article

Song and dance: woodcocks announce spring

Every spring, a Department of Environmental Conservation biologist drives along north country highways at dawn or dusk, stopping every so often to pull over and listen. They're listening for the distinctive "peent" of the singing American woodcock, a brown speckled bird a little larger than a songbird with a long, narrow beak for pulling earthworms out of the ground.

The little game bird is under threat New York state, and the survey each year is meant to get a handle on what population trends are in this region. DEC regional spokesman Stephen Litwhiler is the happy host to several of the birds in his backyard in southern Jefferson County. He says the birds' appearance each year is his personal "harbinger of spring."

For this Heard Up North, reporter Joanna Richards donned camouflage and hid behind the birds' favorite tree in Litwhiler's backyard to get a close-up look - and listen.  Go to full article
Indian River Lakes Conservancy region (Source: IRLC website)
Indian River Lakes Conservancy region (Source: IRLC website)

Indian River Lakes Conservancy expands, builds bridge to Canada

On Friday, North Country Public Radio reported that some small land conservation deals are still moving forward in the Adirondack Park, despite the state's cash crunch. Groups outside the blue line are also working to protect key parcels of open space.

This spring, the Indian River Lakes Conservancy in the St. Lawrence Valley bought another parcel of wetlands and shorelines around Grass Lake, using a major grand from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The group now owns more than 1500 acres.

As Brian Mann reports, the land could serve as part of a key wildlife corridor between the Adirondacks in New York and Algonquin Park in Canada.  Go to full article

Conservationists draw on Rwanda experience for work in Adirondacks

Conservationists Amy Vedder and Bill Weber have spent decades in Rwanda, studying and working to preserve that country's famous population of mountain gorillas. They wrote the book "In the Kingdom of Gorillas." Both served as directors of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Africa Program. For years, Vedder and Weber have lived part-time in the southern Adirondack town of Johnsburg, where they've also been active in conservation and community work. Last year, they moved full-time to Johnsburg. Weber is currently acting director of Two Countries One Forest, an organization dedicated to trans-boundary conservation in the Northern Appalachian forest region of southeastern Canada and the northeastern U.S. Vedder is currently vice-president of WCS. Vedder and Weber will share some of their experiences in Rwanda at a talk at St. Lawrence University tonight. They'll also be talking about their work in, and their connection to--the Adirondacks. Nora Flaherty spoke with them yesterday about the challenges and pleasures conservation work in the Park. (There's more of their conversation below.)  Go to full article
Mary and Helen Eldrett at Downybrook. Photo: Joanna Richards.
Mary and Helen Eldrett at Downybrook. Photo: Joanna Richards.

New easement protects an Eden of grassland, rocks and water

The land just off eastern Lake Ontario near Watertown contains thousands of acres of fields and wetlands that are valuable habitat for birds and wildlife.

In the Jefferson County town of Brownsville, owners of a private wildlife preserve have signed an agreement ensuring their land will be forever protected. Ontario Bays Initiative announced the new conservation easement on the 182-acre property.

Joanna Richards visited the sanctuary and has this story.  Go to full article
All these towns were effectively trying to negotiate the best deal they could, knowing that they had in effect a gun to their head...

Some Adirondack towns say they were pressured to support Finch conservation deal

Yesterday, NCPR reported that local governments in the Adirondack Park are deeply divided over the future of the Finch conservation project.

That land deal would add roughly 60,000 acres to the "forever wild" forest preserve.

One reason that the project is still so controversial, four years after it was unveiled, is that many community leaders feel that they were strong-armed into accepting it.

Other town supervisors say they felt the negotiations were fair and productive.

In part two of his special report, Brian Mann looks at the politics and the backroom talks that shaped the Finch deal.  Go to full article
Section of the proposed new snowmobile  <br />trail system in the Adirondacks
Section of the proposed new snowmobile
trail system in the Adirondacks

NY finalizes Adirondack snowmobile plan, first project set for Hamilton County

Later this morning, the Adirondack Park Agency is expected to approve a plan creating the first major piece of a new regional snowmobile trail.

The project in Hamilton County includes construction of a new 12-mile hub trail that would link the towns of Piseco and Speculator.

State officials say this project in the Jessup River area will be a model for a much larger snowmobile trail system now in development across the Park.

But critics on all sides say they're not sure this plan is workable or affordable. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article
Are Federal researchers moving fast enough to protect infected bats? (Photo:  Greg Thompson/USFWS)
Are Federal researchers moving fast enough to protect infected bats? (Photo: Greg Thompson/USFWS)

Vermont green group wants bats threatened by 'white nose' syndrome added to endangered list

An environmental group based in Vermont says it plans to sue the federal government over its handling of white nose syndrome. That's the deadly disease that's been killing bats across the eastern US.

The Center for Biological Diversity hopes to pressure the Interior Department into adding two species of bats to the endangered species list.

As Brian Mann reports, that could mean changes to timber harvesting and other human activities in the forests where the bats spend their summers.  Go to full article
Peter Borrelli will head Protect the Adirondacks (Source:  PtA)
Peter Borrelli will head Protect the Adirondacks (Source: PtA)

Protect the Adirondacks reorganizes again; Borrelli to lead green group

One of the region's most influential environmental groups is re-organizing yet again, hoping to continue operations with a much smaller staff.

Protect the Adirondacks has brought on long-time environmentalist Peter Borrelli from Northville to serve as president and CEO.

But as Brian Mann reports, the group doesn't plan to hire a permanent executive director.  Go to full article

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