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Gwendolyn Craig
Policy Reporter
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I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July!

I went on another hike, but I will get to that at the end of this newsletter. 
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One of the things I've been working on for our website is a story about the new Adirondack Park Agency board members. My vision was to talk to all four. I would learn more about their journeys, their backgrounds and what they hoped to bring to the table at the APA. 

Breaking news threw a bit of a monkey wrench in the middle of my reporting that story, with the state releasing the High Peaks Strategic Advisory Group's initial recommendations. At that point, I had interviewed one new board member, Johnsburg Supervisor Andrea Hogan. 

As I got back on track, I reached out to others, and to the APA spokesman because I couldn't get contact information for everyone. He wrote me back to say that " longstanding APA procedure is for the Chairperson to act as a spokesperson for the Agency Board," and he would be in touch once someone was designated. When I wrote him back explaining more about how this was intended to be profiles, the compromise was I could submit questions to him, which he would send to the board members. Then he would relay those answers back to me. He also pointed me to the APA website, which now has biographies up of the new board members.

The results I got back were short, emailed statements that provide no fruitful opportunity for follow-up or elaboration. I hope APA board members responsible for making public and private decisions in the park will be willing to speak for themselves and not rely on one spokesperson, going forward. I know some do speak to the press, and I'm appreciative of that. I know some speak out more than others during meetings, too. I hope they take on the kind of transparency that the Lake George Park Commission tends toward, with board members asking lots of questions, voicing their opinions and staff and board members alike taking questions from the press. 

The profiles with what I was able to get back will be published sometime this week so check our website. I'm off my journalist soap box now.

Over the weekend I hiked Jay Mountain. One thing I noticed: There were so many more hikers wearing masks than in the Lake George region. I also noticed Route 73 packed with cars and more highway department signs warning about parking.
A view of one of the lookouts in the Jay Wilderness area with Whiteface Mountain in the distance. 
Lake Champlain in the distance from Jay Mountain.
Jay Mountain has views of a number of the High Peaks, including Whiteface. You can also see Lake Champlain from a distance. The ridgeline walk is fabulous, with 360-degree views and wildflowers everywhere. There were a number of white-throated sparrows calling in the tree tops. The Cornell Lab describes their song as a "thin whistle," sounding like "Oh-sweet-canada-canada." 

I scraped my shin, fell on my behind coming down the mountain, and burnt my shoulders to a crisp, but I can say the views were worth it. 

Leaving you with a quick story and video I published about tick research in the Adirondacks. Last month I got to shadow Dr. Lee Ann Sporn, who studies ticks at Paul Smith's College. Take care!

On the search for ticks in the North Country

Lee Ann Sporn is one of the few people on earth who actually hopes to see ticks.

And unfortunately this year, they aren’t biting, at least not as much.

Read more
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