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News stories tagged with "conservation"

For North Country drivers, horror at an oil spill but hunger for gas

For weeks, we've been horrified by the images and reports coming from the Gulf coast.

BP's shattered well continues to spew oil that has begun washing up on sensitive coastlines from Louisiana to Florida.

Oil from that well would have supplied some of the gas that we pump into our cars across the U.S.

So Brian Mann decided to check in with drivers at local convenience stores to find out what connection they feel to the disaster that's still unfolding.  Go to full article
OK Slip Falls is one of the areas that the Nature Conservancy hopes to protect with the help of NY State.  (Source:  TNC, Carl Heilman photo)
OK Slip Falls is one of the areas that the Nature Conservancy hopes to protect with the help of NY State. (Source: TNC, Carl Heilman photo)

NY budget crisis: "Old assumptions" about the Adirondack Park "will have to be reexamined"

The Adirondack Park Agency was created in 1971. In the decades since, a debate has raged over how the Park should be managed.

Specific issues change from year to year. But the basic battle lines over conservation, property rights, and economic development have long seemed carved in stone.

But now some observers say the budget crisis in Albany is changing all that, throwing into doubt some of the core ideas about the Park and its future. Brian Mann has our special report.  Go to full article
Joe Martens, OSI (Source:  APA
Joe Martens, OSI (Source: APA

OSI's Joe Martens: "We've got to start figuring out the (Adirondack Park) differently"

The Open Space Institute has helped to engineer some of the most important land conservation deals in the Adirondack Park over the last decade.

OSI financed the Tahawus purchase, which protected parts of the southern High Peaks. The group also helped fund the massive Finch, Pruyn deal worth more than $110 million.

But OSI executive director Joe Martens, who also heads the Olympic Regional Development Authority board, says the fiscal crisis in Albany is changing the rules for how the Park should be managed. Martens spoke in depth with NCPR's Adirondack bureau chief, Brian Mann.  Go to full article

DEC chief says Adirondack environment much improved since '70

AP - As a young lawyer, Pete Grannis helped organize the first Earth Day celebration in New York City - just a few months before he was hired to put teeth into enforcement at a new environmental agency created by Gov. Nelson Rockefeller.

Later, after 30 years in the state Assembly, Grannis rejoined the Department of Environmental Conservation as commissioner in 2007. This week, he's traveling around the state in an electric car, visiting the sites of environmental success stories to mark the 40th anniversary of both Earth Day and the DEC.

Grannis says the DEC has made great strides over the past four decades, but is now hobbled by the state's fiscal crisis - the DEC budget has been cut $32 million dollars and the staff reduced by 400 in the past 18 months.

Grannis was in Lake George yesterday to give the good news about the Adirondacks. Since the first Earth Day, he said, acid rain levels in the Adirondacks have fallen and species such as moose and bald eagles have returned. The DEC commissioner said a recent analysis found that acid rain levels dropped in all 48 Adirondack lakes that are monitored on a long-term basis. And he said wildlife such as moose, bald eagles, peregrine falcons and ospreys have re-established themselves in the North Country, and beaver and otter populations are flourishing.  Go to full article
APA executive director Terry Martino is managing a "major transition"
APA executive director Terry Martino is managing a "major transition"

Adirondack Park Agency shrinks, loses core staff to retirement

The Adirondack Park Agency often finds itself at the center of big controversies. The APA is charged with regulating more than six million acres of public and private land. That's an area roughly the size of Vermont. But the Agency itself is tiny - and it's getting even smaller.

A plan approved by Governor David Paterson will slash roughly ten positions over the coming months, bringing the total staff at the Agency to fewer than sixty employees.

As Brian Mann reports, the APA is also facing a flurry of retirements and resignations, with six of its most experienced staff members departing next month.  Go to full article
OK Slip Falls would be protected as part of the Finch deal (Photo: C. Heilman, courtesy of Nature Conservancy)
OK Slip Falls would be protected as part of the Finch deal (Photo: C. Heilman, courtesy of Nature Conservancy)

State DEC confirms that Finch, Pruyn deal "will have to wait"

State officials have confirmed that a plan to add more than sixty thousand acres of land to the Adirondack forest preserve is on hold until the state budget crisis has passed. The massive project, known as the Finch, Pruyn deal, was hailed by Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis when it was unveiled in 2007. The state's decision leaves the Adirondack Nature Conservancy holding more than $80 million of debt. Environmentalists were angered by this week's decision. But as Brian Mann reports, some critics are questioning whether the project should go forward at all.  Go to full article

Farmland back into wetland

The government's Conservation Reserve Program pays farmers to return a certain amount of agricultural fields to their original wetlands. As Tanya Ott reports, a new study finds those efforts might be paying off.  Go to full article

Finch Pruyn deal at risk as governor proposes moratorium on Adirondack land buys

Governor Paterson's budget plan would slash also tens of millions of dollars from environmental and land conservation programs. In the proposal unveiled yesterday, state officials say new land purchases in the Adirondack Park should be suspended at least through 2012. The news comes at a time when the Adirondack Nature Conservancy is hoping to sell more than 50,000 acres of timberland to the state. Martha Foley has details.  Go to full article
Clarence Petty. Photo by Nancie Battaglia.
Clarence Petty. Photo by Nancie Battaglia.

Clarence Petty: a personal history of Adirondack preservation

Clarence Petty, a tireless and iconic advocate for the Adirondack wilderness, died last evening in the family home he built outside Canton. He was 104. Ed Petty said his father died of old age after about a month of declining health.

Clarence Petty grew up at Corey's, near Upper Saranac Lake, and had returned there to live in his later years. He was a state forest ranger, and was part of the team that did seminal surveys leading to the protection of large wilderness areas in the Adirondack Forest Preserve, as well as its wild and scenic rivers.

He was also a Navy pilot in World War II, and was well known as a flight instructor in St. Lawrence County, teaching until he was 94.

Phil Brown is the editor of Adirondack Explorer magazine. Readers, and Brown himself, got to know Clarence Petty through a regular column in the magazine, "Questions for Clarence." He spoke with Martha Foley during the 8 O'clock Hour this morning.  Go to full article

Protecting and restoring what counts

The author of A Conservationist Manifesto joined co-hosts Ellen Rocco and Chris Robinson last night on NCPR's Readers and Writers. Todd Moe has more.  Go to full article

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