Friday, December 19, 2014

Adirondack Mountain Club Applauds the New York State Decision to Ban Fracking

By ADK's Public Affairs Office

The Adirondack Mountain Club applauds the decision by Governor Andrew Cuomo, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joseph Martens,and Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to protect the air, waters, lands, and health of New Yorkers by prohibiting high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) or fracking in New York, now and forever.

“This decision was made on the basis of sound science and public health considerations.  Governor Cuomo told New Yorkers that the difficult decision to permit or ban fracking would be based on “sound science” and he kept that promise,”said Neil Woodworth, Executive Director of the Adirondack Mountain Club.

This landmark decision was solidly based on scientific and health studies done by doctors and scientists in other states with active shale fracking operations. Dr. Zucker’s staff carefully assembled research on methane and chemical contamination of groundwater, air, and lands in the vicinity of the fracking operations in Wyoming, Colorado, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Texas.

Governor Cuomo’s decision will protect New York’s abundant and precious surface and groundwater supplies from the billions of gallons of severely contaminated water that would have been produced if the state had given a green light to fracking in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. This wastewater is too polluted to be treated by any waste water treatment facility and must be disposed of by deep injection drilling. No one knows what the future environmental consequences of this activity will be. Of equal concern is the evidence of methane, benzene, toluene, and other dangerous chemicals in the groundwater near fracking operations due to failures in the concrete and steel components of the drill casings. ADK is especially pleased that the state forests and wildlife management areas that provide a wild setting for the Finger Lakes Trail and the North Country National Scenic Trail will not be despoiled by frack drilling on or under these precious lands.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Home Away From Home

By Jason Brown

There are some places in the world that you visit once and instantly have a connection with. Something in the air hits you, and you immediately know you’ve found a place you can call your home away from home.  For me, it’s the Adirondack Park in upstate New York, the largest park in the continental United States. At roughly the size of the state of Vermont, the Adirondacks always provides an abundance of excitement.

I first visited the Adirondacks several years ago. A few friends of mine had invited me to do some hiking in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness, and having been bitten by the backpacking bug not long before, I gladly obliged. The Eastern High Peaks is well known for housing the largest mountains in New York, the highest being Mt. Marcy at 5,344 feet. For me, it was a chance to really test my mettle against a few of the peaks.

Friday, December 12, 2014

New York Plans Progressive Strategy to Combat Aquatic Invasives

St. Regis Canoe Area

By ADK's Public Affairs Office

For many New Yorkers, the awe inspiring beauty of our waterways is difficult to put into words. The light breeze that carries crisp fresh air into your lungs, the soft plunk of your paddle as it breaks water and the gentle lapping of the lake against the sides of your boat create a tangible tranquility. As your craft cuts across the cold and clear water, the haunting song of a loon echoes across the landscape. Perhaps a harbinger of a disturbing change, the loons call is not yet complete when a putrid scent assaults your senses. The clean water is marred by dense mats of vegetation, clinging to your paddle and boat. The smell, created by masses of dead plant matter, is a sign of an aquatic invasion.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Love from a Distance

By Jacqueline Keating

It was love at first sight. When it happened, I was too young to have ever had been in a serious relationship before, but I knew it was the real thing. When we were apart, I thought about nothing else. When we were together, there was nowhere else I wanted to be. I would anxiously count down the days until our next reunion, my heart rate accelerated and my eyes filled will happy tears whenever I caught that first glimpse after time spent apart.

I don’t know exactly when first sight was (I couldn’t have been older than two years old). But like most of us who desperately follow this blog from busy offices or cluttered houses with our camping gear piled in the garage collecting dust, I am hopelessly in love with the Adirondacks, and my life would be on a very different path if we had never met.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

#GivingTuesday - Another Reason For The Season

by Rob Rezin

Announced in October of 2012 – and first officially celebrated one month later – #GivingTuesday is the internationally recognized collaborative creation of the 92nd Street Y (in New York City) and the United Nations Foundation as a rebuttal to the obsessive consumerism for which our Thanksgiving weekends have become so known. Since then, each #GivingTuesday has been observed on the Tuesday immediately following (American) Thanksgiving – falling last in the line of hectic, over-advertised days that now make up our holiday weekend. But with so much energy – and money – spent on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, is there enough left for anything else?

Friday, November 21, 2014

ADK Announces New Education Director

By John Million

Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) proudly announces the promotion of Julia Goren to ADK Education Director effective December 1, 2014. Since 2008, Julia has served ADK as Summit Steward Coordinator and has led that showcase program to new heights of success in terms of greater mission accomplishment, increased financial support, and most importantly, expanded coverage and protection of the fragile alpine environment of the Adirondacks. She has helped make ADK a leader in stewardship programs in a national context. It is fitting that Julia returns to her roots in the ADK Education department where she started with ADK in 2004 as one of our first Summer Naturalist Interns and stayed on through the next year as a Community Outreach Instructor. Julia describes that time as, “a formative one in my career as an environmental educator”. Indeed it was as she then transitioned to two summers as a Botany Steward for ADK before assuming the helm for the Summit Steward Program. Julia will retain that leadership role with additional support for the foreseeable future as we cannot envision the Summit Steward Program without her passionate yet steady guidance. Please join me in congratulating Julia on her new position and wish her the best as she helps form the future of the ADK Education department.

You can learn more about Julia here.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Remembering Peace and Friendship

Explaining the Hiawatha Wampum belt.

By Cathy Pedler

Much of the work that we do in Adirondack Mountain Club's Advocacy Office focuses on monitoring the actions of government in the context of laws and regulations established by New York State and by the federal government. We also consider and analyze the impact of our society and its behavior resulting from policy (or lack thereof) on the landscape, specifically on public lands and waterways. It is critical to remember that long before our state and federal governments were established, there were, and continue to be, older governments and societies that interacted sustainably for thousands of years with the same landscape that we currently share. In fulfilling our mission to protect public land and to interact responsibly with the earth, it is essential that we understand and maintain friendship with elder nations and governments, and respect our parallel paths together.

November 11, 2014 marked the 220th year of the Canandaigua Treaty, which was signed in 1794 by United States representative Colonel Timothy Pickering, and leaders of the Haudenosaunee Nations: the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora. The Canandaigua Treaty established peace, friendship, and respect between the Nations and the United States. Each year leaders of these Sovereign Nations and others remembering and honoring the treaty meet at the original site of the treaty’s signing, a place called Council Rock.  Council Rock sits on the front lawn of the Ontario County Courthouse on Main Street in Canandaigua, NY. The treaty brought about peace between the Haudenosaunee Nations and the United States, and “recognized the sovereignty of the Nations to govern and set laws as individual nations.”  In the image above Peter Jemison site manager of the Ganondagan State Historic Site, explains the history and context of the treaty signing to those assembled at the Council Rock. The Friends of Ganondagan, a non-profit group, organizes the treaty day each year.