The Adirondack Council’s Aaron Mair and Assemblywoman Michaelle Solage were recently on the Capitol Pressroom radio show out of Albany. Mair and Solage made the case for the state budget to include funding to create the Timbuctoo Summer Climate and Jobs Institute, which would provide job and environmental training to high school students who may not otherwise get much exposure to the Adirondacks. The effort would involve Medgar Evers College in New York City and the SUNY School of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse.
The Adirondack Council and other environmental groups are pushing to have funding in the state budget for a new Survey of Climate Change and Adirondack Lake Ecosystems (SCALE). The Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation can use these funds to continue and expand its work. This new major survey of Adirondack lakes will allow scientists to monitor for modern impacts such as climate change, road salt contamination, harmful algal blooms, and more. Governmental agencies can then use this comprehensive analysis to make informed decisions.
The popularity of New York’s Forest Preserve lands continues to create an issue of overuse at some of the most popular destinations in the state. In addition to one site in the Catskills and one in the Adirondacks, the state announced that it would require permits for a popular hiking spot in southern New York. Permitting can be an effective way to manage increasing crowds, but the state would benefit greatly from funding Visitor Use Management Framework (VUMF). This system, which has been used in numerous national parks, allows managers and planners to take into account the environmental impacts of large crowds and the resources being impacted.
Parking reservations for one of the High Peaks’ most popular trailheads will resume this year on Sunday, May 1. The parking reservation program at the Adirondack Mountain Reserve began last year and saw 16,000 reservations, most of which were made by New Yorkers. The program is intended to limit the damage to natural resources and increase public safety along the state Route 73 corridor. Reservations for the 70 parking spots are free and can be made anywhere from two weeks to 12 hours in advance.
In an example of the need for the newly appointed Adirondack Road Salt Reduction Task Force, the state Department of Transportation has been providing bottled drinking water to residents of the Adirondacks whose wells have been contaminated by road salt. Residents that live near salt storage sheds are in particular need of clean drinking water while the state works out a long-term solution. However, road salt well infiltration has also been documented in areas not located near these storage sheds.
This round-up of Adirondack conservation news is a collection of the most current events taking place in New York’s Adirondack Park. This regular feature provided by the Adirondack Council highlights threats and opportunities concerning the Park’s ecological integrity, wild character, and community vibrancy.
Photo of AMR Parking by Mike Lynch.