ADK Today

Vol. 1, No. 3: December 26, 2008



State Budget

Governor Paterson's $121 billion 2009-10 Executive Budget would have serious consequences for environmental projects and open-space protection across New York, particularly in the Adirondacks and Catskills. It's not just that the budget would reduce the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), it would also make the EPF dependent on passage of an expanded Bottle Bill for the majority of its funding. The budget would also cap state tax payments on Forest Preserve lands at the 2008 level. ADK strongly opposes the cap because it threatens ongoing and future open space projects in the Adirondacks and Catskills. Read more...


Snug as a Bug

Adirondak Loj guests staying in the Loft or Private Rooms 7 and 8 will be a bit cozier this winter thanks to the efforts of ADK's Construction Bugs. In early December, the volunteer crew installed electric baseboard heaters in the two private rooms and a propane heater in the Loft. The zoned heating will conserve energy and make it more comfortable for guests.The crew also replaced the vanity top in the women's bathroom and continued renovation of the dining room wall. (Construction Bugs Tom Andrews, Steve Klauck, Jim Covey, Van Stringham, Noel Davis and Brian Whitman worked on the project.)



Volunteers at the fall Work Weekend cut down, cut, split and stacked 70 cords of firewood for use at the Wilderness Campground at Heart Lake. The project will help meet increased demand for firewood because of the growing popularity of the campground and the Department of Environmental Conservation's restriction on importation of firewood. The restriction is designed to prevent the spread of tree-destroying diseases and pests that could devastate New York's forests. DEC has proposed making the regulation permanent and is holding public hearings in Albany and western New York in January on the reg. More here. In a related matter, DEC Senior Forester Bruce Barnard visited the Heart Lake property on Dec. 9 and advised staff and volunteers on sustainable forestry practices. Only dead, dangerous and diseased trees are cut for firewood.


Speaking of Volunteers

To say that volunteers are vital to ADK would be an understatement. Volunteers are the backbone of ADK and contribute thousands of hours each year helping the club fulfill its mission. In 2008, as part of the Supervised Volunteer Program, ADK volunteers spent more than 4,500 hours on trail work, and that does not count the hours put in by Trail Stewards, Lean-To Adopters and chapter trail volunteers. Among other things, ADK volunteers renovated the kitchen at the Johns Brook Lodge, spruced up the Lake George property and helped make the ididaride bike tour a success. But you know what they say about words and pictures, so here's a slideshow of some ADK volunteers at work (and play.)


 ADK in the News


Other News of Note


Chapter Notes


Some words of wisdom from chapter newsletters:


In the January-March Cloudsplitter, Albany Chapter Chair Phil Seward touts the pleasures of winter hiking, but warns: "BE PREPARED. If you're new to winter hiking it's important that you do some research, have the right gear, hike with experienced companions, start with small hikes and be sure of your itinerary and weather conditions. One of the best resources is John Dunn's book Winterwise: A Backpackers Guide."


Bill Ingersoll in the December Trailmaker, the newsletter of the Iroquois Chapter: "What does it take to get a new privy to a remote lean-to deep within an Adirondack wilderness area? In November, eight chapter members found out that determination was the main factor!" Check out Bill's photos in the volunteer slideshow above to see how it was done.


Black River Chapter Chair Ron Fillhart in the winter Black River Currents: "In the years that I have belonged to ADK I have met a number of individuals who have a common characteristic. When faced with a challenge, they see an opportunity. They say, 'How are we going to get this done?' when others might say 'There is no way to get this done.' "


Winter Outing

It's not too late to sign up for the Tug Hill Winter Outing scheduled for Jan. 23-25. The 2009 Winter Outing is hosted by the Onondaga Chapter. More information here.


1 Million Hikers Served?

If you liked "No Place I'd Rather Be" you may enjoy this. (Can't vouch for its authenticity, but it is amusing.)


Work for ADK

ADK is now accepting applications for summer naturalist interns. More here.


Happy New Year. See you in '09.


ADK Today is an occasional compendium of news and views of interest to members of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). It is produced and distributed by the ADK Communications Department, 301 Hamilton Street, Albany, NY 12210. Comments, questions or concerns about the content of this newsletter? Want to be added to or dropped from our distribution list? Send us an e-mail

Paul Ertelt