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What's New In the Adirondacks

Recently in Nature Category

Back in May 2016, the Adirondack Park Agency (APA), the NYS Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Transportation (DOT), and Gov. Cuomo had all approved of a plan to remove 34 miles of historic railroad track to build a recreational rail-trail. Now, the future of the rail-trail is unknown due to multiple delays and issues that must be resolved.

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Are you planning on exploring the Adirondacks during this week's February Break? Although recent snowfalls have made backcountry trails prime for snowshoeing and skiing, the fluctuating temperatures have also increased the risk of avalanches in the High Peaks Region.

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President's Day is coming up, and next week, many schools will be closed for a mid-winter recess. Looking for a fun and free activity you and your kids can enjoy? Participate in the 20th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, a worldwide survey of birds: February 17-20, 2017.

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The Wilmington Wild Forest is a very popular area in the northeastern Adirondacks for mountain biking, hiking, and other recreational activities. A new community preserve located in the Town of Wilmington has recently been announced, and it will include new trails and greater accessibility to the Wild Forest!

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Public meetings over the classification of the New York State-owned Boreas Ponds Tract have taken place since early November, and everyone - from local snowmobile clubs to environmental advocacy groups - has voiced their opinion on the issue. As these meetings wind down, the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will have to weigh the pros and cons of each land classification proposal.

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Spelunking, or exploring natural caves and mines, can be an extremely fun outdoor activity in the Adirondacks. However, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has recently asked adventurers to suspend their explorations from now through April 30, 2017 because human disturbances can be extremely harmful to local hibernating bats.

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Photo Credit: Gerry Lemmo
Ever since New York State purchased the Boreas Ponds Tract this past April, numerous questions have been raised over the land's future classification by the Adirondack Park Agency (APA). Some groups have advocated for a more restrictive classification, and others have supported opening up the tract for recreational opportunities. All of the different proposals and the agency's own alternatives will be discussed at public meetings over the next few weeks.

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Photo Credit: Gerry Lemmo
With New York State's regular hunting seasons underway, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is asking local hunters for help finding a man missing in the Adirondacks since November 2015. Hunter Thomas Messick went missing near Brant Lake last year, and the DEC would like any clues as to his whereabouts.

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Photo provided
Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain is renowned for its historic fire observation tower at the summit, but in recent years, the peak's Ranger Trail has been in need of repairs and upgrades. As part of a multi-year project, the New York State DEC and Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) - Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain have been working to improve the Ranger Trail and will continue their efforts in 2017/18.

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Photo Credit: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
There's a new hiking challenge in the Adirondacks that's perfect for families and beginning hikers - the Chester Challenge! Created by the Town of Chester in Warren County, the Chester Challenge consists of 11 designated trails in the region, and all you have to do is complete 6 of them to receive a commemorative pin.

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Palmer Pond (Photo Credit: Sara Westcott)