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Adirondack Council fights to save beloved park from impacts of climate crisis

The Adirondack Park in St. Lawrence County, New York is filled with green vibrant trees and flowing rivers.
Adirondack Council
The Adirondack Park in St. Lawrence County is home to various wildlife and flowing rivers.

The six-million-acre Adirondack Park is seeing its share of impacts from climate change, according to the Adirondack Council. Adirondack Council Conservation Director Jackie Bowen said climate changes affect the economy and wildlife.

“We’re starting to see changes in temperatures to our streams, thinking about native Brook trout species, where waters have to be between 44 and 64 degrees for them to survive,” Bowen said. “We're also seeing growing seasons starting to lengthen for farmers, … but those warmer temperatures also means that there are migrating pests and pathogens that are moving up from the south and impacting the health of crops and things like that.”

Stream temperatures are now rising to 80 degrees, driving out or even killing species of trout in the Adirondacks. Council officials praise actions at the state level to reduce emissions that cause climate change. But the Adirondack Council calls for bolder steps, especially in a part of the New York Climate Action Council’s plans and a program to preserve forested lands, increasing the amount of trees on housed land.

“So essentially pay landowners to keep their trees in the ground to protect the carbon storage that is happening and the carbon sequestration that is happening there,” Bowen Said.

Adirondack Council request additions to NYSERDA Draft Scoping Plan

Bowen previously sent a letter to theNew York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), in which she provided a 10-point plan on how to control "public and private forest conservation and management."

In the letter, Bowen asked to decrease the number of land homes can occupy and to only build homes in designated areas, preserving the forest and the homes of wildlife. To support farmers involved in climate supportive practices, Bowen also asked the authority to:

  • Make payments to farmers for climate-friendly land-management practices  
  • Expand the role of county Soil & Water Conservation Districts to support on-farm emissions reductions and sequestration management efforts 
  • Develop protocols for Carbon Farm Planning 
  • Develop benchmarks and monitoring for agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation 
  • Include feedstocks grown in New York in the Sustainable Biomass Feedstock Action Plan 
  • Take more aggressive action to reduce emissions from controlled animal feeding operations and industrial agriculture 

Bowen and Adirondack Council Executive Director William Janeway urge New Yorkers to vote for the Environmental Bond Act this November that includes other climate change-fighting measures to protect New York's environment and decrease the climate crisis.

“If that's approved, that provides billions of dollars for green jobs, clean water for fighting climate change and with [recent] action by Congress, we have more incentives, the more modern, more economic friendly incentives approach,” Janeway said. “We need to go further."

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.