Conservation Report sept 2014

ADK-ON Conservation Committee
7/7/14 Mary Coffin

The ADK Conservation Committee met as usual in August by conference call. The next meeting is 11/1/14. Let Kathy Disque or me know if you wish to attend with us.

CURRENT HOT TOPICS:
1.Rail transport of Alberta tar sands oil [bitumen, heavy crude] from Montreal to Albany for processing: ADK is formulating its position on this issue. The hazard is risk of derailment or explosion due to the type of rail tankers used [older DEC111 thin walled tankers] and the proximity of the tracks to Lake Champlain, Mohawk and Hudson Rivers and the lack of a response plan for heavy crude [does not float but sinks in water].

Bakken, a very volatile, highly flammable, explosive, light sweet crude, is presently shipped to an Albany processer, Global, who has been given a permit by the DEC to build seven gas-fired boilers, and to allow the off loading of heavy petroleum products from tank cars by heating the contents of those tank cars. It is hoped that these tank cars will be required to be beefed up [thicker more puncture-resistant shell or jacket, extra protective head shields at both ends of tank car, and additional protection for the top fittings].

2. Aquatic Invasive Species [AIS] legislation: Watercraft are now required to be rinsed off and drained before entering a body of water to prevent transfer of AIS.
That means as responsible paddlers we should rinse off our kayaks and canoes after each trip. 94 lakes and rivers in the Adirondack Park have some of these invasives but the majority are free, so far. Examples include: Asian clam, hydrilla [acquatic weed], quagga mussels and spiny water flea. ADK supports this.

3.ATV permitted weight increase: There are proponents for increase in the permitted weight for ATV use on public lands. These larger 4 wheelers weighing up to 1500 lbs are really little utility trucks used mostly in agriculture. They seat 3 people side by side. ADK opposes this. One of our landowners in Cortland County was killed when his 4 wheeler rolled over on him.

ONGOING ISSUES:
1. Classification of Finch Pruyn/TNC lands AKA Essex Chain: Amendments are being made by DEC regarding the snowmobile/multi use trail up the middle between the two other units [Hudson George Wilderness Area & Essex Chain Primitive Area]. Does a bridge over the Cedar River violate the State Land Master Plan?

2. Rail Trail UMP reopened by DEC for public comment: DEC is now proposing to make the tracks between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid [34 mi] into a muti use bike & snowmobile trail. The tracks between Tupper Lake and Utica [includes Beaver River and Old Forge] would remain in place. One reason is that this southern corridor owned by the NYS DOT passes through sensitive and remote wilderness. Look for public hearings this fall. ADK has not yet taken a position on this other tan to support the second look at the UMP and is concurrence with the SLMP.

3. NYCO-Jay Mt. Wilderness land exchange: A State court has placed a ban on drilling on State land [lot 8] by NYCO to test to see if these is enough wollasonite to make the land trade for mining feasible. This is a result of Protect the Adirondacks and other environmental groups filing suit. It is felt that the SLMP and SEQRA are violated. ADK is not listed in the suit.

4. Fracking- No change. It is election time!!! There is still a ban on high volume hydrofracting in NYS while the NYS Dept. of Health and DEC determine human heath hazards and environmental [ground water etc] hazards. But drilling companies are putting pressure on the Governor to lift the ban. ADK still advocates no drilling on or under State land.

Conservation/environmental focus hike: The Great Swamp Conservancy, Canastota, Nov 22. Wear boots!

Additional information on ADK’s positions is available by pulling down the “ADVOCACY” tab on WWW.ADK.ORG as well as by signing up to receive ADK TODAY on line.
Other good Adirondack environmental sites: www.protectadks.org, www.adirondackexpress.com, www.adirondackalmanack.com,

Camera found in August on FLT

In early August an FLT hiker found a camera on a trail section of map M22, Ridge Road to Ratville Road, in the Bucks Brook State Forest.  To reclaim the camera please contact  Claire Ders(Claire.E.Ders@usps.gov).

Earn this patch for hiking all 41 miles of the Onondaga Trail

Earn this patch for hiking all 41 miles of the Onondaga Trail. (FLT Maps O1 – O2)

adkfallpatch

To qualify for a free patch you must;

 1. Be a current ADK Onondaga Chapter member.

2. Must hike the entire Onondaga Trail, or have hiked it with-in the past 5 years.

To receive a patch email or mail Sigi Schwinge a short description of what you liked best about the trail and the approximate dates that you hike the trail. Email sigischwinge@aol.com Sigi Schwinge 212 Tilden Ave. East Syracuse, NY 13057

Mark Your Calendars!

Holiday Gathering Dec. 6th or 13th

ADK Winter Outing: Jan 23-25,2015 Tug Hill, www.adktravel.org/seasonal.htm

ADK EXTENDED OUTING: Sept 15-21, 2015, Boundary Waters Lodge Trip, MN, hiking and paddling, contact maryccoffin@gmail.com

Deadline for submissions for next newsletter is  October 31, 2014 

Trail News – Tony Rodriguez

I am forwarding a letter from an experienced hiker lauding the status of our trails she has hiked. It is great to have the stewards and workers so recognized for their efforts and dedication. You are all very special, so pat yourself on the back with pride.

I’m new to Central New York, but am a long distance hiker, a 2012 AT thru hiker, a Smoky Mountain 900-miler, Cranberry Lake 50 finisher, and aspiring 46er. I wanted to send this note to tell you I recently hiked on the Onondaga Trail/Finger Lakes Trail/North Country Trail this weekend, hiking from NY-13 to Spruce Pond and back. ! This portion of your trail was by and far the best hiking trail I’ve walked on in years and I am truly impressed. A sign of good maintenance is being able to see another blaze from where you’re standing and at any given point I could see as many as four. The brush was trimmed, the trails weren’t eroded, the water bars were proper, and the switchbacks were impressive. ! I don’t know who the volunteer or volunteers are who maintain this section, but I hope you pass this note along to them because I’ve hiked a lot poorly maintained trails in the Northeast and this trail was a pleasant and welcome surprise. Thanks for all the hard work. I can’t wait for my next trip on this amazing trail.Jen “Sprinkles” Kelley ******** William “Jay” O’Hern is all about the Adirondacks. Now, O’Hern has three new books for those who appreciate the mountains, their people and their history. “Adirondack Memories and Campfire Stories” “Adirondack Wilds: Exploring the Haunts of Noah John Rondeau,” and “The Hermit and Us. ! The books are available at local and Adirondack bookstores, North Country Books, Inc. (800-342-7409), and at www.adkwilds.com

Say Hello to Our New Members!

Laurel & Craig Chiesa, Robert & Julia Cleghorn, Joseph Condon, Lucas Cullen, Donna & Chris Curtin, Spencer Lovelace, Susan Machamer, Richard & Nancy O’Brien, Michael Ratner, Georgette Schmidt, Sean Sharp, Tyler Sliker, Laura Steinberg, Grahame Ward, Kathryn Gersch, John Macdonald, Helen Macgregor, Hayley Cavino,Martha Nerenhausen, Laura Norris, Tanya Silverstein.

Welcome aboard! We’ll catch you outside.

Candidates for the 2015 ADK-ON

 Slate of Officers

Chair— Sigi Schwinge

Vice-Chair—Nancy Morey

Secretary— Missy Etheridge

Treasurer— Kathy Disque

Advisor— Dick Harper

Advisor— Dick Lightcap

Director— John Lang

Please plan to attend the November Business Meeting when the elections will be held. Additional candidates may be nominated from the floor before the elections.

BY-LAWS Onondaga Chapter, Adirondack Mountain Club Inc. – Proposed Change

ARTICLE I – Name  

ARTICLE II – Organization  

ARTICLE III – Objectives

Use of the Finger Lakes Trail and the North Country National Scenic Trail

* The Chapter defines a foot or hiking trail as pedestrian use only with no trail riding of any kind. A trail distance that meets this qualification is a dedicated foot trail and is authorized by a Chapter agreement with the landowner authority.

* A trail connector is where motorized and or non-motorized riding are otherwise authorized by a land authority. The Chapter uses trail connectors as temporary and all will be replaced with dedicated foot trails over an indefinite period of time. The dedicated foot trail and trail connector are the only two Chapter designations.

* The Finger Lakes and North Country trails will be known by the purpose and objective of their dedicated foot trails and not by use of temporary trail connectors.

* The need by many people to have primitive foot trail experiences on single use paths is as important as any other kind of trail recreation.

PROPOSAL WILL BE VOTED ON BY ADK-ON CHAPTER MEMBERS AT THE ANNUAL MEETING,
NOV 15, 2014, 3:00PM AT THE COLLAMER CHURCH, 6865 FLY ROAD, EAST SYRACUSE.
MEETING FOLLOWED BY POTLUCK DINNER.

Change in hike EXPLORE ESSEX CHAIN OF LAKES – Dick Lightcap

 The destination for the July 19th EXPLORE ESSEX CHAIN OF LAKES will be
changed to the Northville Placid Trail along the eastern shore of Long Lake.  This will decrease the mileage of this trip to 265 miles round trip.  This change was necessitated by the closing of the access road.

Campground Host Program – Jon Bowen, Coordinator

My wife, Kathy, and I have been campground hosts at Heart Lake for 8-9 weeks during the past 8 years. Our week at Heart Lake is always enjoyable and we look forward to it each year. The campground host program is available to all ADK members by contacting the coordinator.

The week begins at noon on a Sunday and ends a week later at noon. A typical day for us begins early when we walk from the campground to the Loj to check our email using the Loj’s wifi. This is followed by breakfast in the dining room where we interact with the Loj guests and some campers who sign up for breakfast. Experiences hiking the High Peaks are exchanged; “newbies” are given advice; when asked, we suggest trails and hikes to inexperienced hikers, etc. At 8am, we check in at the front desk and provide with a list of late camping arrivals to contact about registering at the Loj. Sometimes there are other messages to transmit to campers. We make a circuit of all the campsites picking up litter as we go. We check the washroom to ensure both have necessary supplies. Usually we finish our loop between 9 and 9:30am and again check in at the front desk to let them know of any problems.

At that point, we are free for a few hours. With the campground responsibilities, there isn’t enough time to hike the longer High peak trails, although a few times I have climbed a high peak while Kathy did the host duties.

Dinner at the Loj is next with people extolling the day’s exploits and planning the following day’s hikes. After dinner we return to our site where we sell firewood after the High Peaks Information Center (HPIC) hss closed. Quiet hours are at 10 p.m and a staff member walks the campground at that time and speaks with groups who are too loud. Prior to the 10 a.m. quiet time, Usually 9:30-9:45 we make a loop in the campground to warn people of the impending quiet time.

The campground has a short list of rules that we remind campers of during our interactions with them on each of our “walk-throughs”.

If the above appeals to you, email ADK.CGH@gmail.com. This email address can also be accessed through ADK’s website.