Adirondack Outdoors

Spring on the Scene

The Adirondack landscape has been undergoing a rapid transformation as mild weather and sunny skies accelerate the spring. Hillsides are sporting unfathomable spectrums of greens, while wildflowers carpet the forest floor. Offsetting the mix are stands of witchhobble with pods of white flowers that provide a stark contrast to the omnipresent green scene.

Water temperatures continue to rise and fish are actively feeding on insect hatches that have begun in earnest. As the remaining snowpack diminishes in the upper elevations, water levels will return to normal on local streams and fishing opportunities will gradually improve. With warmer weather on the way, I expect black flies will be hot by the weekend.

DEC: Department of Eternal Consternation

Theres been a lot of grumbling lately about the major changes at the NYSDEC as Commissioner Grannis installs new regional directors across the state in a process that occurs whenever state government undergoes a change in regime. However the usual department-wide, whitewash never had such an obvious, green tint.

Grannis appointments were welcomed by the environmental community, yet panned by many in the conservation lobby. Within the park, incoming Regional Directors include a pair of longtime locals with extensive experience in the department.

In Ray Brook, Betsy Lowe, a Lake Placid resident and former executive director of the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, will replace Stu Buchanan at the helm of Region 5 . With experience developed over her 19 years of working for the DEC, Ms. Lowe will be able to hit the ground running.

In Watertown, Judy Drabicki takes the reins from outgoing regional director, Sandy LeBarron at Region 6 headquarters. Ms. Drabicki had served as Region 6, staff attorney for 13 years and possesses an extensive knowledge of environmental issues, especially as they pertain to the communities of Region 6 which comprise nearly half of the Adirondack Park.

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