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Entries from May 22nd, 2014

Adirondack Backcountry Visitors – Memorial Weekend Information

May 22nd, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

DEC Trail MarkerIf you are planning to recreate in the Adirondacks this Memorial Day Weekend, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation asks you to please remember the following:

FIRE DANGER: Low. Campfires are prohibited in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness.

HIGH USAGE LEVELS: Visitors to the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness should be aware that trailhead parking lots and interior campsites will often fill to capacity on Memorial Day weekend. Please plan accordingly and seek backcountry recreation opportunities in other areas.

TRAIL CONDITIONS: Trails are wet and muddy. Wear waterproof footwear and gaiters. Walk through, not around, mud and water on trails to avoid further widening and eroding trails.

MUDDY TRAIL ADVISORY: Hikers are advised to avoid trails above 3000 feet to protect the trails and surrounding vegetation which are very vulnerable at this time of year. Hikers can cause severe erosion of trails and significant damage to vegetation. Steep, wet and muddy trails are also very slippery. Hikers are asked use low and mid-elevation trails at this time.

BEAR RESISTANT CANISTERS: Regulation requires the use of bear-resistant canisters by overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness between April 1 and November 30. All food, toiletries and garbage must be stored in the bear resistant canisters at all times. DEC encourages the use of bear resistant canisters throughout the Adirondacks.

ROADS: Due to the harsh winter and washouts caused by heavy rains this spring some roads remain closed. Roads that are open may be rough and muddy – use caution. Pickup trucks, SUVs and other high axle vehicles are recommended – four wheel drive vehicles will serve even better. Corey’s Road is open and the Elk Lake Road is open beyond the Clear Pond Gate. South Meadow Lane remains closed.

BITING INSECTS: The “Bug Season” has begun in the Adirondack. Back flies are present almost everywhere; mosquitoes & ticks may be found in many locations. Follow these steps to minimize the nuisance of biting insects:

  • Wear light colored clothing, long sleeve shirts and long pants;
  • Tuck shirts into pants, the bottom of pant legs into socks and button sleeves at the wrist;
  • Wear a headnet when insects are thick and use an insect repellant with DEET.

SUMMITS: Conditions on summits are more extreme – cooler temperatures, stronger winds and possibly snow and ice.

WATER LEVELS & TEMPERATURES: Water levels are at or above average spring high levels and water temperatures remain cold. Although Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs, aka life jackets) are not required at his time, paddlers and boaters are strongly encouraged to wear PFDs at all times while on the water. Children under age 12 are required to wear a PFD at all times while on the water. Strong currents and cold water can quickly cause a person without a PFD to lose their ability to keep their head above water.

Visit the website for current weather forecasts, regulations, safety tips, trail conditions, and more: Adirondack Trail Information

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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2014 Victoria Day Holiday Weekend Information

May 15th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

GREETINGS TO OUR CANADIAN FRIENDS
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

If you are planning to recreate in the Adirondacks this Victoria Day Weekend the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation wants you to be know the following:

FIRE DANGER: Low

CAMPGROUNDS: The Saranac Lake Islands Campground is not open this weekend. It will open on Friday, May 23. All other DEC campgrounds are open for the season.

ROADS: Corey’s Road is open to public motorized traffic, but South Meadow Lane and the Clear Pond Gate on Elk Lake Road remain closed.

BOAT LAUNCHES: The Second Pond Boat Launch accessing the Saranac Lakes Chain remains closed for construction this weekend. It will open on Friday, May 23. Most other DEC boat launches are open at this time.

WATER CONDITIONS: Water levels are average level for spring but water temperatures remain cold. Paddlers and boaters are strongly encouraged to wear Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs, aka life jackets) at all times while on the water.

HIGH USAGE LEVELS: Visitors to the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness should be aware that trailhead parking lots and interior campsites will often fill to capacity on Victoria Day weekend. Please plan accordingly and seek backcountry recreation in other areas of the Adirondacks.

MUDDY TRAIL ADVISORY: Hikers are advised to avoid trails above 3,000 feet to protect the trails and surrounding vegetation which are very vulnerable at this time of year. Hikers can cause severe erosion of trails and significant damage to vegetation. Steep, wet and muddy trails are also very slippery. Hikers are asked use low and mid-elevation trails at this time.

BEAR RESISTANT CANISTERS: Regulation requires the use of bear-resistant canisters by overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness between April 1 and November 30. NYSDEC encourages the use of bear resistant canisters throughout the Adirondacks.

BITING INSECTS: Black Flies & Mosquitoes are present in the lower elevations. Take steps to minimize the nuisance of biting insects:

  • Wear light colored clothing.
  • Wear long sleeve shirts and long pants, and tuck shirts into pants.
  • Button or rubber band sleeves at the wrist.
  • Tuck the bottom of pant legs into your socks.
  • Pack a headnet to wear when insects are thick.
  • Use an insect repellant with DEET, follow label directions.

ROCK CLIMBING ROUTE CLOSURES: Due to nesting Peregrine Falcons:

  • Chapel Pond – All climbing routes on Lower and Upper Washbowl Cliffs are closed.
  • Wilmington Notch – All routes on Moss Cliff are closed.
  • Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain – All climbing routes on the Main Face are closed, except for the climbing routes between and including “Opposition” and “A Womb with a View”.

Visit the Adirondack Trail Information web page for current weather forecasts, regulations, safety tips, trail conditions and more.

Enjoy your visit to the Adirondacks!

Nous vous souhaitons un séjour agréable dans les Adirondacks!
Informations en français (PDF)

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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New Adirondack Park Report Finds Four Dominant Trends Shaping Life Inside The Blue Line

May 15th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

A newly published report identifies four dominant trends shaping life inside the Adirondack Park:

  • The Park’s population is declining at a steadily increasing pace;
  • The median age in the Park is eight years older than in the rest of New York State and, more strikingly, five years older than in the communities outside the Park’s boundary in the same 12-county area;
  • State-owned lands and public conservation easements have grown by one million acres in the past 30 years. Since 1972, these protected lands have grown by 50% to 3,392,000 acres;
  • Park school enrollments, which had been declining at 2% per year since the start of the millennium, are now declining at nearly 2.5% annually.

The report, entitled “The Adirondack Park Regional Assessment 2014: Seeking Balance,” is a follow-up to the 2009 Adirondack Park Regional Assessment Project (APRAP) report. The research team remained the same through both studies, including Brad Dake, Chairman of the APRAP study, and a team of community planning experts from The LA Group of Saratoga Springs. Overseeing the report, along with Mr. Dake, were Town of Chester Supervisor Fred Monroe, executive director of the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board; and former Adirondack Park Agency Commissioner Deanne Rehm.

“Our goal is quite simple: to bring new information to the 140-year discussion about the preservation of the Park and the communities therein,” said Mr. Dake.

Among APRA 2014’s many findings:

  • The Park’s population is declining at a steadily increasing pace and the median age will increase by four years this decade alone. In the early 1970s, the population was 115,000 and the median age was 31. The population is projected to drop to that level again by 2030 (a loss of 17,000+ residents) and the median age will rise to 51.
  • From 2000 to 2030, the number of Park residents younger than age 30 is projected to decline by an average of 14% each decade. By 2030, more than one-third of the Park residents will be over the age of 60.
  • From 2003 to 2013, the number of public school students living inside the Adirondack Park dropped by 21% (an average of 422 students per year), twice the rate of decline in communities outside the Park’s boundary in the same 12-county area.
  • State-owned forever-wild lands now account for 45% of the Adirondack Park land area, while state-owned conservation easements in perpetuity account for another 13% of the Park. Taken together, 58% of the area of the Park is restricted from future development. Each of these percentages is the highest in the Park’s history.
  • Over the past 16 years, New York State has acquired conservation easements on private lands in the Park at a pace of 63 square miles annually. Over the past 25 years, these acquisitions have exceeded the size of Yosemite National Park.

“Historically, analyses of population and demographic trends in the Adirondacks have relied on data from the 12 North Country counties. But only two of those counties are wholly within the Adirondack Park, while 10 counties straddle the Park boundary,” said Mr. Dake. “Data from communities outside the Park’s boundaries have often produced a skewed picture of what’s happening inside the Blue Line. APRA 2014 took unprecedented steps to look specifically at what’s happening inside the Park and we found the picture to be quite different than what’s happening outside in the same 12-county area.”

Sources for APRA 2014 include the Program for Applied Demographics at Cornell University, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Department of Education and several other state agencies. In addition, an extensive survey of Blue Line school districts provided the most accurate count ever of K-12 students living inside the Park.

APRA 2014 can be read online at www.apra2014.com.

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DEC Announces Area Recreational Facilities to Open May 23

May 13th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Second Pond Boat Launch Site, Saranac Lakes Island Campgrounds and the Upper & Lower Locks Will Be Open Memorial Day Weekend

NYSDEC LogoSecond Pond Boat Launch Site, Saranac Lakes Island Campgrounds and the Lower Locks on the Saranac Lakes Chain will be open and staffed beginning Friday, May 23, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 5 Director Robert Stegemann announced today.

“We are pleased to have these popular recreational facilities open for Memorial Day weekend,” said Director Stegemann. “People will be able to enjoy camping and boating in the Saranac Lakes Chain of Lakes and will be pleased with the improvements at the Second Pond Boat Launch.”

Construction work to upgrade the Second Pond Boat Launch – the entrance gate to Saranac Lakes Islands Campground – continues, but has progressed enough to allow safe operation of the boat launch site in time for the opening.

Because of the construction, the opening of the campground was delayed a week. The work on the launch ramp, parking area and entranceway will provide a safer and more convenient experience for campers, boaters and anglers that use the boat launch site.

Accommodations have been made for campers that had reservations next week.

The Lower Locks will be staffed beginning Friday, May 23, allowing the passage of boats between Lower Saranac Lake and Oseetah Lake, which connects to Kiwassa Lake and Lake Flower. The locks may be manually operated by boaters beginning Friday, May 16.

The Upper Locks between Lower Saranac Lake and Middle Saranac Lake currently can be manually operated by boaters. DEC staff will be present on weekends and holidays beginning Friday, May 23.

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DEC Alert Hikers of Muddy Conditions in the High Peaks

May 8th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Hikers Should Temporarily Avoid High Elevation Trails in the Adirondacks

NYSDEC LogoIt is the start of a new season of outdoor hiking and recreation on public lands in the Adirondacks and the New York State Departmentof Environmental Conservation (DEC) urges hikers to be cautious and postpone hikes on trails above 3,000 feetuntil early June, the agency announced today.

DEC is asking hikers to avoid trails above 3,000 feet, particularly high elevation trails in the Dix, Giant and High Peaks Wilderness Areas in the northern Adirondacks, due to muddy conditions and the potential damage hiking can cause to vegetation and soft ground.

Hikers are advised to only use trails at lower elevations during the spring mud season to avoid damaging natural resources and to promote safety. Lower trails usually dry soon after snowmelt and are on less erosive soils than the higher peaks.

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:

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Ampersand Mountain
  • Cascade Mountain
  • Porter Mountain from Cascade Mountain (avoid all other approaches)
  • Big Slide
  • The Brothers

Debar Mt. Wild Forest:

  • Azure Mountain

Giant Mt. Wilderness:

  • Giant’s Washbowl
  • Roaring Brook Falls
  • 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

DEC’s web site contains additional information on trail conditions at Adirondack Trail Information or contact the DEC ForestRangers at (518) 897-1300.

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