A global warming apocalypse has been brewing for centuries since the Industrial Revolution converted Western countries and then the world into great carbon emission machines. Some historians divide history up into periods by looking at energy source: from very early fire to wood, wind, water, then on to coal, gas petroleum. Environmental history generates interpretations that resonate with this energy-based view of the past, because industrialization has such dramatic impacts on ecology. Continue reading
On Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 7 pm, the Fort Plain Museum will present “Sir William Johnson and the Evolution of the Mohawk Valley Fur Trade by Michael Perazzini. The presentation will take place at the museum located at 389 Canal Street in Fort Plain. This is the second of four lectures that will take place at the museum.
Perazzini will discuss the evolution of the fur trade in Upstate New York as well as the changes implemented by Superintendent of Indian Affairs Sir William Johnson. He will also display and lead a discussion about many of the artifacts involved in the fur trade. Continue reading
Hanford Mills Museum will hold a family-friendly Woodsmen’s Festival on Saturday, October 15 from 10 am to 5 pm. The daylong event, included with regular Museum admission, features lumberjack skills, woodworking demonstrations, exhibits, local vendors, live music, BBQ, kids’ activities, and the historic water-powered mill. Continue reading
From its founding in 1893, and over the next 30 years, the Beaver River Club was the destination of many of the visitors to the Stillwater area.
It was the summer retreat of wealthy and influential families from Syracuse, Utica and to a lesser extent from throughout New York State. The decision to enlarge the Stillwater Dam and create today’s Stillwater Reservoir utterly destroyed this glittering outpost in the wild. Here is its story. Continue reading
In addition to a remarkable shooting career that included winning three Olympic gold medals, New York attorney Karl T. Frederick was deeply involved in conservation issues. In the early 1900s, through membership in groups like the Camp Fire Club of America, he became involved in national issues as well as regional ones. Foremost among them was the battle to protect the Adirondacks. He supported the club’s stance, recommending the purchase of private land inside the Blue Line for addition to the state Forest Preserve, and advocating for expansion of the Adirondack Park, which at that time consisted of approximately three million acres— half of what it encompasses in 2016.
His law practice was briefly derailed when the company disbanded, but in 1925, the new legal firm of Kobbe, Thatcher, Frederick & Hoar, with offices on Broadway, began handling cases ranging from high-profile divorces to corporate litigation. Besides further enhancing Karl’s profile as a capable lawyer, it expanded his connections among like-minded business leaders who favored protecting the natural world. In time, his respected abilities as an attorney and his deep interest in preserving the nation’s outdoor resources led to an unusual blending of leadership positions on the state and national levels. Continue reading
One of the ways of demonstrating the work we do is to show the value of history for revealing historical precedents, insights or parallels which help shed light on current issues. We might call it “putting history to work.”
Four examples from the past few weeks: Continue reading
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has issued a Draft Lake Champlain Islands Management Complex Unit Management Plan (Draft UMP) in compliance with the Adirondack State Land Master Plan. The plan includes a number of historic and recreational sites.
Public comments on the plan are being accepted through September 18, 2015. A Public Meeting on the Draft UMP will be held August 20th in Plattsburgh. Continue reading
The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has cut down the Balmville Tree, a historic and unusually large Eastern Cottonwood tree that has been growing since before 1699 in Balmville, a hamlet in Town of Newburgh, Orange County. The tree sat at the intersection of River Road, Commonwealth Avenue and Balmville Road at a place commonly known as the Balmville Tree Circle. It was believed to be the oldest eastern cottonwood tree in America.
DEC issued a statement to the press saying the tree was deemed “an immediate threat to passing traffic” by DEC and Newburgh officials, “due to its deteriorated condition and a greatly expanded crack”. The statement said DEC consulted with a professional arborist who inspected the tree and found it to be an extremely high risk to public safety and recommended removal. Continue reading
The New York State Board of Regents has appointed Dr. Lisa Amati as New York State Paleontologist.
As State Paleontologist, Dr. Amati is responsible for curating the New York State Museum’s paleontology collection, conducting paleontological field and laboratory research, overseeing the development of research grants and participating in the development of public and educational programs. Continue reading
The Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner has officially opened the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center on Route 28 in the Hamlet of Mt. Tremper, Town of Shandaken, Ulster County, which is expected to serve as a gateway for visitors to Catskills Forest Preserve to learn about the area’s outdoor recreation opportunities, its ecology, and according to a press release, its history. Continue reading