The Adirondack Council and other environmental groups are pushing the state legislature to include $6 million in funding over three years to conduct a large-scale study of Adirondack water-bodies. The study of 400 or so lakes and ponds would create baseline data on the impact of climate change, algal blooms, and changes to water oxygen levels. The study is needed to assess the impacts to native fish and plant populations of changing carbon cycles, and the remote locations of many of the water-bodies allow researchers to differentiate the effects of climate change from those of agriculture or land development.
Numerous environmental groups, including the Adirondack Council, are calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to keep one lock on the Lake Champlain canal closed to prevent an infestation of the invasive round goby fish. The fish, which can wreak havoc on native fish populations by eating eggs and young, is numbered in the billions in other New York lakes. The round goby is native to the Caspian and Black seas in Europe and reproduces every 20 days during breeding season. The action to close the lock would buy some time for advocates and scientists to develop a long-term plan to prevent the fish from reaching Lake Champlain.
According to a recently released analysis, the $1 billion increase for the New York’s Environmental Bond Act proposed by Governor Hochul in her budget would generate an estimated $8.7 billion in project spending and thousands of new jobs. A $4 billion Bond Act would create 84,000 jobs and pay for environmental infrastructure projects that can help mitigate climate change and improve water quality. Voters will have a chance to approve the Bond Act in November and make investments in protecting the environment and benefiting the economy.
During the Joint Legislative Hearing on the Environment in January, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos said that funding for Forest Ranger positions would remain flat. This will leave the Ranger force with too few personnel to effectively patrol the state’s millions of acres of Forest Preserve. While the DEC frequently touts new classes of Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Officers, the cadets that successfully complete the 6-month training will only fill existing openings. The total number of Forest Rangers will remain the same due to the positions lost to retirees.
New York State Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie and Assembly member Michaelle C. Solage from New York City are calling for the creation of a Timbuctoo Summer Climate and Careers Institute in a partnership with CUNY Edgar Mevers College and SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry. The program would bring high-schoolers from New York City to the Adirondacks for two weeks to teach the importance and basics of green-collar jobs and the impacts of climate change. This effort is in conjunction with the Adirondack Council’s Forever Adirondacks Campaign, led by former Sierra Club Executive Director Aaron Mair.
This round-up of Adirondack conservation news is a collection of the most current events taking place in New York’s Adirondack Park, a unique national treasure. This regular feature provided by the Adirondack Council highlights threats and opportunities concerning the Park’s ecological integrity, wild character, and community vibrancy.