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News stories tagged with "conservation"

Will the smart grid be smart enough?

Back before health car reform took over Washington, energy independence and efficiency were top priorities for the Obama Administration and Congress. Lawmakers and the President still say a new national energy policy is on the agenda. The phrase on everyone lips is the "smart grid," a high tech replacement for our old 19th century electricity grid. The stimulus package includes $5 billion for smart grid projects and billions more for related weatherization and energy efficiency projects. Experts say the smart grid will make power cheaper, use less fossil fuels that cause global warming, and make our electricity more reliable and secure. Who will make sure the new smart grid does lives up to the promises? That's the question Steven Bird asks. He studies the politics of electricity at Clarkson University. He told David Sommerstein the smart grid is being asked to do an awful lot.  Go to full article
A new book challenges fundamental ideas of the Park's past and future
A new book challenges fundamental ideas of the Park's past and future

Adirondacks: Great Experiment and a product of ?Visionaries with Power?

A new collection of essays published this summer by Syracuse University Press challenges some of the basic ideas behind the Adirondack Park. "The Great Experiment in Conservation" gathers together some of the most provocative thinkers and activists from all sides of the debate over the Park's future. Brian Mann spoke with Ross Whaley, former APA chairman and one of the book's editors.  Go to full article

Sen. Little on Adirondack land purchases: ?when is enough enough??

This week, North Country Public Radio has been looking at the changing economics of big land purchases, in the Adirondacks, Vermont and across the Northeast. Land prices are down, making big parcels more affordable. But state budgets and private donations are down, too, meaning there are fewer dollars to spend on land conservation. State Senator Betty Little, from Queensbury, says it's time to re-evaluate whether more land purchases make sense, given New York state's massive budget shortfalls. Little is lobbying for additional parcels of the Finch, Pruyn land to be sold to logging companies - with conservation easements - rather than added to the Adirondack forest preserve. She spoke with Jonathan Brown.  Go to full article

Land conservation leader calls economic climate ?close to ruinous? for green groups

This week North Country Public Radio has been looking at the changing battle over land conservation. In northern New York and Vermont the amount of private and taxpayer dollars available for protecting open space has been cut dramatically by the sour economy.

This morning, we'll hear from one of the people on the front lines of the debate. Kim Elliman heads the Open Space Institute, an organization that helps to finance land conservation projects from Georgia to Maine.

OSI - as its known - has helped fund some of the biggest land deals in the Adirondacks: the Finch, Pruyn land deal, and the purchase of the Tahawus tract in the southern High Peaks in 2003. Elliman tells Martha Foley the economic model for protecting forests and farms has changed dramatically.

(Tomorrow, we'll hear from state Senator Betty Little, who opposes expanding the Adirondack forest preserve. She says the changing economy means that land conservation groups should shift their agenda.)  Go to full article

WEB EXTRA: more from the Open Space Institute on the land conservation crunch

Full interview with Kim Elliman, executive director of the Open Space Institute. Based in New York City, OPI is involved in land conservation from Maine to Georgia. Elliman spoke with Martha Foley for our series on how the recession is complicating the dynamics of land acquisition for conservation in the Northeast.  Go to full article

State conservation officials still at odds with key Adirondack environmental law

In the latest issue of the Adirondack Explorer magazine, our reporter Brian Mann tells the surprising story of the Adirondack Park's State Land Master Plan.

The "SLUMP," as it's known, shapes nearly every activity in the Adirondack forest preserve, from hiking and snowmobile trails to the building of roads and lean-tos.

While researching the story, Brian learned that the regulations developed in the 1960s have been a source of friction and animosity among state officials for decades - often pitting the Department of Environmental Conservation against the Adirondack Park Agency.

Brian spoke about his report with Martha Foley.  Go to full article
Carl Herzog checks his equipment before a night on the road (Source:  C. Herzog, NYSDEC)
Carl Herzog checks his equipment before a night on the road (Source: C. Herzog, NYSDEC)

Bat songs in the Adirondacks silenced by white nose syndrome

This summer, researchers across the Northeast are working to measure the impact of white nose syndrome, a deadly disease that has wiped out bat population in the region. Scientists say whole colonies have been obliterated. Brian Mann rode along on a survey in the Adirondacks and has our story.  Go to full article

Adirondack communities: "We've got a problem here and we need to fix it"

A new study of the Adirondack Park is raising troubling questions about the future of the region's town's and villages. The Adirondack Park Regional Assessment found that the overall population in the mountains has stabilized. Just under 140,000 people live inside the blue line year-round. But a rapidly aging population could mean more school closings, and more towns turning into second-home communities. Brian Towers is supervisor in the town of Wells in Hamilton County and head of the Adirondack Association of Towns and Village, which sponsored the study. Towers told Brian Mann that the biggest worries are in communities like his in the interior of the Park.  Go to full article

For one non-profit exec, a year of hard (and scary) choices

Non-profits make up one of the biggest chunks of the North Country economy, providing jobs and services to thousands of people. But NGOs have been slammed by the deepening recession, as foundations and governments closed the tap on grants and other funding. Today as part of our Year of Hard Choices series, Brian Mann talks with Michael Washburn. Washburn has led the Residents Committee to Protect the Adirondacks for the last year. But he's engineered a merger of the RCPA with another green group and plans to leave the organization by the end of the summer.  Go to full article

Two Adk green groups to consolidate; RCPA director stepping down

Two of the Adirondack Park's most influential environmental groups have agreed in principle to join forces. The Residents Committee and the Association say they hope to consolidate their operations by mid-summer. Meanwhile, the director of the RCPA says he's stepping down. Brian Mann reports.  Go to full article

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