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.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Dom Riccio: 2014 Johns Brook Lodge Hutmaster

Dom Riccio

By Seth Jones

Every year, Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) hires over 50 seasonal staff during the summer to help run our facilities and to facilitate our mission oriented programs.  This group of seasonal staff, mostly young college and post college students, are always an inspiring and accomplished group even at their young age.  Dom Riccio, this year’s Johns Brook Lodge’s Hutmaster, was one seasonal staff member that really stuck out and his dedication should be commended.

Dom started working out at Johns Brook Lodge (JBL) during the summer of 2012 after visiting JBL for the first time in 2011 while on a hike to Haystack, Basin and Saddleback.  He was hired as a crew member in 2012 and returned in 2013 as the Assistant Hutmaster and this season as the Hutmaster.  After the departure of Brendan Wiltse, ADK’s Johns Brook Property Coordinator this spring, Dom took on the responsibilities of not only the Hutmaster but of the coordinator as well.  With little direction or supervision Dom went on to manage a successful season out at JBL, an overwhelming task for a 22 year old. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Professor Ketchledge: An Inspiration for #507 Fund

Dr. Ed Ketchledge

By Seth Jones

In August of 1968, Edwin Ketchledge finished climbing the 46 high peaks of the Adirondacks and received his 46er number, #507. Dr. Ketchledge (“Ketch”) was no ordinary peak-bagger. He was a professor of botany at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) in Syracuse, an active member of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), later a President of the 46ers, and a researcher very much interested in the fragile ecosystem found on the Adirondack High Peaks.

Dr. Ketchledge began experimenting ways to help the alpine ecosystem recover from trampling caused by hikers in 1967. His research began on the summits of Dix Mt. and Mt. Colden. He began by transplanting Deer’s hair sedge, one of the rare alpine species, to see if it could successfully colonize impacted areas. It could not.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ADK Starts New Conservation Internship

Paul Gallery

By Seth Jones

This fall, Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) created a new internship opportunity at ADK’s Public Affairs Office in Albany, NY.  ADK’s Conservation Intern is the vision of long time (over 40 years) member Jack Freeman, an active member in ADK’s Conservation Committee and Chair of ADK’s Archive Committee.  Jack’s vision was to have a graduate student shadow ADK’s Executive Director, Neil Woodworth, in order to train and provide practical experience for the next generation of conservation advocates in the way that ADK has historically been known for.  Since 1998, ADK has had an office in Albany so that it could exert an even greater influence on the legislature through lobbying efforts.  According to Neil Woodworth, “ADK’s advocacy program has achieved a great deal of political influence and is seen as a major stakeholder in policy related to not only the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserves, but all the public, wild lands and waters throughout the state.” It is because of this success that Jack wanted this wealth of knowledge transferred to future conservation advocates. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

For a Good Time…Plan Ahead and Prepare

 By Ryan Doyle

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

One of the busiest hiking weekends of the year concluded this Columbus Day.  Education Programs Coordinator Seth Jones set up a Leave No Trace-themed table on the porch of the High Peaks Information Center (HPIC) to provide information and interact with hikers.  Seth has a broad variety of skill sets and knowledge, so his conversations were as all-over-the-map as the hikers’ destinations.  One thing he noted was the number of unprepared hikers.  The weekend presented challenging trail conditions with snow and ice in higher elevations and single digit wind-chill temperatures on summits.  Some folks were dressed for the weather.  Others were dressed for the weather…at the trailhead, and unaware of what lay beyond the trail register.  HPIC staff see this on a regular basis.

Monday, October 6, 2014

2014 School Outreach: Fall at Heart Lake

By Seth Jones

Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) just completed its fall portion of the Three Seasons at Heart Lake School Outreach Program which is funded by the Marie L. Haberl Grant.  This fall, ADK educators worked with six schools in the Adirondacks, providing this program for over 240 4th graders.  The fall program focuses on being prepared for your hike, making naturalist observations and hiking to the top of Mt. Jo.  The following are a series of pictures of this program.

Adirondack 4th graders get transported to ADK's Heart Lake Program Center for a day of programing.

Students make naturalist observations on the shores of Heart Lake.