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AdkAction.org hosted an informational reception in Old Forge on July 12, 2012. The Adirondack Express, a weekly newspaper based out of Old Forge, ran an article highlighting the program's success on July 17th.
Read all about it here.
AdkAction.org is working with various Adirondack lake associations to stop the spread of invasive water milfoil. Currently, both Eurasian and Variable-Leaf water milfoil are present in many Adirondack waters. These non-native plants have the ability to take over entire ecosystems, harming both aquatic life as well as recreational activities such as boating and fishing. Although it is difficult to eradicate milfoil once it has already taken hold in a body of water, it is possible to prevent its spread to other lakes by exercising caution when entering or leaving a lake. AdkAction.org's goal is to protect the waters that are free of invasive milfoil, such as Upper and Lower St Regis Lakes, Osgood Pond, and Rollins Pond, from future infestations.
AdkAction.org has created an informational tri-fold brochure and accompanying web page about how to prevent the spread of milfoil, with advice on how to properly clean boats and identify both species of plants. After seeking the approval and assistance of lake associations, AdkAction.org hopes to intiate a plan of attack that will involve placing these brochures at boat launches for public use and replenishing the supply when needed.
AdkAction.org purchased three sets of stream monitors to track NY State's attempts to reduce salt use along Route 3 between Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake, one of four roads the State is using as test areas for new approaches to winter road maintenance. Paul Smith's Adirondack Watershed Institute (PSAWI) installed the monitors in three streams, one each on the upstream and downstream sides of the highway. PSAWI will compile the results of these flows on a continuous basis.
AdkAction.org wrote letters of support for PSAWI's application for additional grant funding to acquire five more sets of monitors. On June 25th they received word that the Lake Champlain Basin Program had accepted their application. These additional monitors will be deployed on other roads in the test set starting in August.
Our efforts over the past three years to convince the state to reduce winter road salt applications are paying off. This winter the State Department of Transportation (DOT) agreed to reduce road salt by 10% across the board in the Park and to experiment with four trial routes where new techniques and chemicals will be used to reduce salt even further.
AdkAction.org has been working in conjunction with the Adirondack Council and Paul Smith's Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) for several years to make the case to state officials and the public that heavy winter road salt applications are damaging the environment and costing taxpayers and consumers heavily for salt damage to cars and infrastructure. We have sponsored two well-attended, annual conferences to bring officials from the state, environmental groups and scientists together to consider solutions.
In December, 2011, NYSDOT met with AdkAction.org and the Adirondack Council and announced a goal of cutting road salt use in the Park 10% across the board, a total reduction of about 11,000 tons of salt. In addition, DOT agreed to set up to four experimental runs where the state will use alternative de-icers and slow the salt trucks to 25 mph (from 35 mph) to reduce splatter. If successful, this could lead in future years to adoption of "zero-velocity" spreaders that drop material at the same rate as the truck's forward speed. DOT also agreed to work with AWI to monitor water quality along the trial routes. AWI has proposed a continuous monitoring program, costing approximately $25,000, that would involve placing monitors in streams along the experimental routes both upstream of the roadway and downstream to get continuous readouts of results.
Full funding needs to be worked out, but ADkAction.org has agreed to underwrite the initial set for three streams shown on the map below:
To view pictures showing salt monitoring equipment being installed, click here.
We have made a request that DOT underwrite part of the monitoring on the remaining experimental routes out of savings in salt costs in the test areas, which would be approximately $58 per ton.
A ground-breaking study of salt pollution in Adirondack lakes conducted by Dr. Dan Kelting and his team at AWI will be published inspring of 2012 in the scientific journal Water Research. A copy of the article, titled "Regional Analysis of the Effect of Paved Roads," will be posted on our website when it is published. But you can learn more about Dr. Kelting's findings on our website now by reading a copy of his presentation at our salt conference last summer.
AdkAction.org Chair Dave Wolff was a key participant behind a successful application for a state grant of almost $600,000 announced in December, 2011, that will bring the first-ever broadband service to Hamilton County, starting with Long Lake. Dave first outlined the idea in a presentation in September, 2011, at an Adirondack Park Broadband Symposium hosted by Congressman Chris Gibson. Dave then worked with the following people on development of the grant proposal:
Dave Wolff, Mark Dzwonczyk and Bill Farber submitted the grant proposal. Late in 2011 the North Country was awarded $103.2 million in state funding to support 70 projects across the region. The awards included $596,000 for Slic Network Solutions to install 25 miles of fiber optic cable (middle-mile cable ) from Tupper Lake to Long Lake. Slic plans to begin installation of the fiber during the second half of 2012.
Hamilton County has virtually no high-speed broadband available for a permanent population of fewer than 5,000. There is no fiber connectivity in the county and only about 5% of the residents have access to cable broadband.
AdkAction.org sees universal broadband as a key to a sound economic future in Adirondack communities. We have been working with a coalition of local government, business and Internet service providers for more than a year to improve broadband access in the Park. The collaborative efforts began when AdkAction.org proposed that the Tri-Lakes enter a national contest run by Google, which was offering to install affordable, ultra-high-speed broadband for the winning community. Although the Tri-Lakes was not chosen by Google, the creative application process led to formation of an ad hoc, inter-community group which continues to press for improved broadband service in the Adirondacks.
Dave Wolff, AdkAction.org chair, spoke in September at an Adirondack Park Broadband Symposium hosted by Congressman Chris Gibson. Dave's presentation is a short and interesting read with many important facts. For instance, he presented figures showing that extending the average stay of seasonal residents could add 10% to the summer economy. One important way to enable more people to work from their seasonal homes -- and even move their businesses to the Adirondacks -- is to provide good broadband service. One of AdkAction.org's key priorities is expansion of broadband in poorly served areas of the park.
AdkAction.org sponsored a second meeting of the Adirondack Association of Assessors June 23 at the Wild Center. More than 50 assessors from across the North Country attended to discuss best practices for collecting assessment data. Click here for more information regarding the conference and our efforts at establishing fair assessment procedures.
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AdkAction.org is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. All donations are deductible. AdkAction.org creates projects that address unmet needs, promote vibrant communities, and preserve the character of the Adirondacks.
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