Hiker injured in Platte Clove

On Sunday, February 19, 2017 a 50 year old hiker was injured deep inside Plattekill Clove. At this time of the year, the Platte Clove (Devil’s Kitchen) and Hell’s Hole is filled with ice. But, with warm weather the ice becomes very unstable, and it can be very dangerous.

EMS was contacted around 11:30am on Sunday with a hiker with minor injuries. The Fire department and Rescue personnel responded. A rescue team with ropes and climbing experience was called in to extract the injured hiker.

Update on Rescue from the DEC: On Feb. 18 at 11:45 a.m., Greene County 911 called DEC requesting assistance in Platte Cove for a climber who had fallen approximately 15 feet and had a piece of ice fall on him. Responding Rangers established Incident Command and assessed the injured subject, determining no cervical spine precautions were needed. Palenville Fire Department, Hunter Fire and Police departments, Centerville Cedar Grove Fire Department, and Greene County Paramedics also responded. The subject was assisted out under his own power and declined further medical care. All Forest Rangers were clear of the scene at 2:53 p.m.

Jefferson Project – Road Salt and Developing Trout


[The Jefferson Project at Lake George is conducting ongoing research into how human activities may be affecting the lake. This guest blog by Bill Hintz, a post-doctoral research associate in the lab of Jefferson Project Director Rick Relyea, summarizes recent research published in the journal Environmental Pollution. The Jefferson Project is a collaboration between Rensselaer, IBM Research, and The FUND for Lake George, founded to develop a new model for technologically enabled environmental monitoring and prediction to understand and protect the Lake George ecosystem and freshwater ecosystems around the world.]

What did you want to know?
We wanted to know how common road salts affect young trout found in streams, and which salts are the most toxic. Three of the most common road deicing salts are sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, and calcium chloride. Snow melt and stormwater runoff carries these salts off roads and eventually into streams. The contamination of stream ecosystems by road salts can negatively affect organisms in the streams. Given that young trout and salmon are hatching and growing in streams in the spring, it is important to know how road salts affect the growth of newly hatched trout.

How did you go about it?
We acquired newly hatched rainbow trout from a local hatchery and exposed them to five environmentally relevant concentrations of sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, and calcium chloride. These concentrations can be observed in streams of the Lake George basin and in streams around the world where road salts are applied. We exposed trout to road salts for 25 days as they grew and developed, and then weighed and measured them.

What did you find out?
Road salts had distinct effects on trout growth, but none of the salts affected trout development or resulted in death. Magnesium chloride did not affect trout growth at any concentration, which was interesting because it is thought to be the most toxic deicing salt to fish. The most common deicing salt, sodium chloride, did not affect trout growth at the lowest three concentrations, but reduced trout length by 9 percent and mass by 27 percent at the highest concentration, which is a concentration observed in highly contaminated streams. We found that calcium chloride had the greatest impacts on trout growth. At modest concentrations, it reduced trout length by 5 percent and mass by 16 percent. At the highest concentration, calcium chloride reduced trout length by 11 percent and mass by 31 percent. Our findings indicate that sustained high levels of road salt in streams could lead to smaller young trout, which may have implications for the health of recreational trout fisheries.

The research, titled “Impacts of road deicing salts on the early-life growth and development of a stream salmonid: Salt type matters,” can be found with the DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2017.01.040

Flood Watch in the Adirondacks This Weekend

FLOOD WATCH: The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch from Friday evening through Saturday evening for Northern New York and Central and Northern Vermont including Essex, Franklin, Clinton, St. Lawrence, and Lewis counties – including the Adirondack High Peaks and Western Adirondacks. Localized ice jam flooding could begin Thursday into Friday, however record warm temperatures and a period of moderate to briefly heavy rainfall is expected on Saturday. Minor to locally moderate flooding is possible due to a combination of snow melt and rainfall. The greatest flood threat will occur during and after the heaviest rainfall, which is expected Saturday afternoon into Saturday night, and could be made worse by localized ice jams. The flood threat will be enhanced on rivers with potential ice breakup, which includes the basins of far northeastern New York and the northern third of Vermont. Models show a minor flood for the Ausable at Au Sable Forks.

High Peaks Region Endangered by Increased Hiking Activity: What’s the Solution?



Have the 46 High Peaks become too crowded? That’s a question many environmental advocates have asked in response to the significantrise in the number of hikers recently.
In addition to more hiking incidents, such as winter rescues, increased activity endangers natural resources. As we prepare for another busy summer season where even more hikers are expected to hike the high peaks, some feel it is time to update the region’s management plan.
Photo Credit: Jacob Geer
Over the past decade, hiking activity in the High Peaks has grown exponentially. The Adirondack Explorer noted that from 2005 to today, the Van Hoevenberg Trail saw a 62% increase in the number of hikers who registered at the trailhead. When you add in how many people chose not to sign the trailhead, it’s a large number of hikers.

That’s just at one of the popular trailheads in the High Peaks Region. Other high peaks have seen similar rises in activity as well.
More hikers in the High Peaks Region means more people who may not be fully prepared for the challenge. The Daily Gazette noted that over 350 search-and-rescue operations were conducted by forest rangers this past year.
In December 2016, the dangers of winter hiking were raised when the two missing hikers on Algonquin Peak were found. Even though they were experienced hikers, winter can be extremely dangerous on high peaks. All hikers need to be educated about how to stay safe and prepare for hiking in winter.
The second issue that has many calling for a revised management plan is the damage to the trails and wilderness. When hikers are unaware of or don’t abide by the “leave no trace” principles, thenatural resources of the High Peaks Region are at risk.
“Leave no trace” is a set of principles that was established to minimize the impact hikers have on trails and prevent conflicts. Some of these principles include disposing of waste properly and being considerate of other hikers.
Unfortunately, not everyone follows these principles. In fact, last August, a group of 67 hikers was dropped off at the Adirondack Loj, didn’t sign the trailhead, and exceeded the day-use group-size limit of 15 hikers in the High Peaks. The group limit helps prevent overcrowding on trails and damage to surrounding vegetation.
A DEC ranger ticketed the two trip leaders of this large group. However, these kinds of incidents are reasons why there has been a recent push to update the High Peaks management plan.
In a Daily Gazette article, Peter Bauer, director of Protect the Adirondacks, emphasized a need for greater funding for managingthe 46 High Peaks. Since they are a major draw for visitors to the Adirondacks, Bauer believes the state should invest more in trail maintenance, parking, staffing, and public education.
What local environmental advocates are calling for is reestablishing the High Peaks advisory group so the management plan can be revised. Some of the suggested updates include a traffic crackdown, increase in education at major trailheads, and possibly a day-use fee system.

While these are just ideas, many believe something must be done to ensure the protection of the High Peaks Region before it becomes unmanageable.

Walkway Over The Hudson State Historic Park

We spent the day enjoying a photography shoot by car on a day that yielded temps in in fifties and beautiful blue skies.

Penny and I always love discovering new places especially in the Catskills.

From New Paltz we headed west toward the Gunks and discovered the scenic highway that winds it’s way to the top and an awesome lookout.

Then it was off to the Walkway Over The Hudson. The trip over the bridge was filmed on a GoPro and will be uploaded when finished but here are some teaser photos. More photos from Penny will be coming soon. I’ve included information about the Walkway below the photos

The Hudson Valley’s most unique state park, the Walkway crosses the river atop the former Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge. When originally opened in 1888, the 6,768-foot span was considered the world’s longest bridge and an engineering marvel. After a fire destroyed a large portion of the bridge’s wood decking in 1974, it was abandoned. In 1998 the non-profit group Walkway Over the Hudson assumed ownership and began securing financing to construct the linear walkway that connects to the Greenway Trail System. Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park is 212 feet tall and 1.28 miles long, making it the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. It is one of three Quadricentennial Legacy projects, meant to provide a lasting commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s 1609 voyage of discovery on the river.

By the Numbers:

3,500 Number of train cars that once crossed on a daily basis
6,768 Length of bridge in feet (about 1.28 miles)
212 Distance (in feet) that the bridge rises above the water
130 Depth of wood piers under the water (in feet)
35 Years bridge has been out of commission
16 Months it took to convert bridge to walkway
15 Weight of each cement panel (in tons)
973 Number of panels used
$27.1 million: Original fund-raising goal in 2007
$38.8 million: Revised fund-raising goal
$54 million: Amount it would have cost to demolish bridge
$0 Usage fee
267,700 Number of projected annual visits
307 Total number of jobs the project created
100 Percentage of local workers
$727,400 New annual tax revenues for Dutchess and Ulster counties

For more information about the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park, please visit:

Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park
87 Haviland Rd.; Highland, NY 12528; Phone: (845) 834-2867; Fax: (845) 834-2868
Email: walkway@oprhp.state.ny.us