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Entries from May 23rd, 2013

Adirondack Rail Controversy

May 23rd, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack Life

Rail or Trail or “First-world Problem”?

All the “very cool, passionate, community-minded people” on both sides seem to have ignored a third-option – Rail-biking.

Richard B. did this back in the 90’s – A Ride on the Adirondack Railway.

Rail-bike at Stillwater Reservoir

Rail-bike at Stillwater Reservoir.
Photo courtesy of: R. Bentley

Non-motorized Re-Use. Leave the tracks. Get rid of the train. A healthy, cost-efficient, and non-polluting activity.

Look what they are doing in Koreawww.oceanrailbike.com.

As far as I can tell from my very brief research, Lake Placid, NY to Remsen, NY could be the longest Rail-biking trip in the world. Ride On!

Sweden, Belgium, Austria, UK, and FRANCE!!

Enjoy these Rail-biking videos.

Anyway, don’t do this here – you could get injured or die.
It might be illegal too, you could get arrested.

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Red Fox

May 22nd, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack Life

Red Fox

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If You Care, Leave It There

May 21st, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News

DEC Urges New Yorkers Not To Disturb Fawns and Other Young Wildlife

NYSDEC LogoNew Yorkers should keep their distance and not to disturb newborn fawns or other young wildlife as many animals are in the peak season for giving birth, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today cautioned.

It is not unusual to see a young bird crouched in the yard or a young rabbit in the flower garden, both apparently abandoned. Finding a fawn deer lying by itself is also fairly common. Many people assume that young wildlife found alone are helpless and need assistance for their survival, however, in nearly all cases this is a mistake and typically human interaction does more damage than good. Those that see a fawn or other newborn wildlife should enjoy their encounter but keep it brief, maintain some distance and do not attempt to touch the animal.

Young wildlife quickly venture into the world on shaky legs or fragile wings. While most are learning survival from one or both parents, some normally receive little or no care. Often, wild animal parents stay away from their young when people are near. For all of these young animals, the perils of survival are a natural part of life in the wild.

White-tailed deer fawns present a good example of how human intervention with young wildlife can be problematic. Most fawns are born during late May and the first half of June. While fawns are able to walk shortly after birth, they spend most of their first several days lying still. During this period a fawn is also usually left alone by the adult female (doe) except when nursing. People occasionally find a lone fawn and mistakenly assume it has been orphaned or abandoned, which is very rare. Fawns should never be picked up. If human presence is detected by the doe, the doe may delay its next visit to nurse.

A fawn’s best chance to survive is by being raised by the adult doe. Fawns nurse three to four times a day, usually for less than 30 minutes at a time, but otherwise the doe keeps her distance. This helps reduce the chance that she will attract a predator to the fawn. The fawn’s protective coloration and ability to remain motionless all help it avoid detection by predators and people.

By the end of its second week, a fawn begins to move about more and spend more time with the doe. It also begins to eat grass and leaves. At about ten weeks of age, fawns are no longer dependent on milk, although they continue to nurse occasionally into the fall. During August, all deer begin to grow their winter coat and fawns lose their spots during this process.

Related: Sad ending for baby squirrels

Should you find a fawn or other young wildlife, If You Care, Leave It There. In nearly all cases that is the best thing for the animal. DO NOT consider young wildlife as possible pets. This is illegal and is bad for the animal. Wild animals are not well suited for life in captivity and they may carry diseases that can be given to people. Resist the temptation to take them out of the wild. For more information and answers to frequently asked questions about young wildlife, visit the DEC website at: Care of Young Wildlife

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DEC Alerts Hikers to Muddy Conditions in the High Peaks

May 6th, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Hikers Should Temporarily Avoid High Elevation Trails in the Adirondacks

NYSDEC LogoWith the start of a new season of outdoor hiking and recreation, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) urges hikers to be cautious and postpone hikes on trails above 3,000 feet until early June when muddy trail conditions are expected to improve.

Trails and vegetation in the higher elevations are most vulnerable at this time of year when melting snow saturates thin soils found on the steep slopes of the mountains and much of the vegetation growing in high elevations is surviving on the edge of existence. Hikers can cause severe erosion of trails and significant damage to vegetation.

DEC urges hikers to avoid hiking on high elevation trails during mud season. Specifically, all trails above 3,000 feet in the Dix, Giant and High Peaks Wildernesses but also any high elevation trails on steep slopes throughout the Adirondacks.

Hikers are also more likely to slip and injure themselves on steep, wet and muddy trails.

On the lower elevation trails, snows melt sooner, soils are thicker and dry more quickly, slopes are not as steep and vegetation is less sensitive to damage from hikers. Even lower elevation muddy trails are less susceptible to erosion.

Hikers are encouraged to wear waterproof footwear and gaiters and to hike through, not around wet and muddy portions of trail to avoid widening the trails or creating “herd paths” around those areas.

DEC asks hikers to avoid the following trails:

  • High Peaks Wilderness Area – all trails above 3,000 feet; where wet, muddy, snow conditions still prevail, specifically: Algonquin, Colden, Feldspar, Gothics, Indian Pass, Lake Arnold Cross-Over, Marcy, Marcy Dam – Avalanche – Lake Colden which is extremely wet, Phelps Trail above John Brook Lodge, Range Trail, Skylight, Wright and all “trail-less” peaks.
  • Dix Mountain Wilderness Area – all trails above Elk Lake and Round Pond
  • Giant Mountain Wilderness Area – all trails above Giant’s Washbowl, “the Cobbles,” and Owls Head.

DEC suggests the following alternative trails for hiking, subject to weather conditions:

  • Debar Mt. Wild Forest:
  • Azure Mountain
  • Giant Mt. Wilderness:
  • Giant’s Washbowl
  • Roaring Brook Falls
  • High Peaks Wilderness:
  • Ampersand Mountain
  • Cascade Mountain
  • Porter Mountain from Cascade Mountain (avoid all other approaches)
  • Big Slide
  • The Brothers
  • Hurricane Mountain Wilderness
  • The Crows
  • McKenzie Mt. Wilderness:
  • Baker Mountain
  • Haystack Mountain
  • Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area:
  • Pharaoh Mountain
  • Saranac Lakes Wild Forest:
  • Panther Mountain
  • Scarface Mountain

Hikers who wait for drier conditions will protect natural resources and trails. Also, the trails will be in better condition later in the season, making for a safer and more enjoyable hike.

DEC’s website contains additional information on :Adirondack Trail Information or contact the DEC Forest Rangers at (518) 897-1300.

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