Special Message from the Chair, Janet Kowalski – January 16, 2017:

Gerry Rising Pens New Essay for ADK Chapter Visit
At our monthly meeting on January 10, Gerry Rising, ADK member and former Buffalo News ‘Nature Watch’ Columnist, honored us with an evening to remember, as we listened attentively to Gerry read personal essays from his new book titled “Birds and Birdwatchers”. Inspired by this special occasion with ADK friends, 46-er Gerry shared a newly-composed essay with the group describing unforgettable personal tales of some of his High Peaks adventures. He graciously agreed to share his new essay with our chapter. Click here to view Gerry’s essay, “Two Climbs.”

General Membership Meeting – January 10, 2017
Meeting location: Fellowship Hall – Amherst Community Church
77 Washington Highway, Snyder NY 14226  

6:30 – 7:00pm: Education Workshop: (Meet in room adjacent to the Main Meeting Room) WINTER SKI FORUM
: Winter fun forum! We will gather to review or learn for the first time great local places to snow shoe and cross country ski. We will get some insights on back country skiing too! We will also review equipment needs, and how to get started. If you are experienced, please come with recommendations. If you are a newbie, please join us so you can learn how to have fun on snowy trails. We promise to end on time for the pre-meeting social half-hour!

7:00 – 7:30pm: Meet & Greet with Refreshments and a Special Guest
Our invited speaker, Gerry Rising, will sign copies of his new book – “Birds and Birdwatchers” – which will be available for purchase.

7:30 – 7:45pm: General Meeting – Brief Updates & Reports

7:45 – 8:45pm: Presentation – GERRY RISING,  ‘Nature Watch’ Buffalo News Columnist.  The Niagara Frontier Chapter is honored to welcome Gerry Rising on January 10. Gerry is a long time member of ADK and an official 46er since 1985. His love of the outdoors started long before a rewarding career as a Professor of Math at University of Buffalo.

In Gerry’s presentation, we will be treated to readings from his new book “Birds and Birdwatchers” detailing how he began his bird watching as early as a teenager. While his expertise in birds grew Gerry was juggling another job of writing the Nature Watch column for 25 years for the Buffalo News. In total Gerry has produced 1280 columns. Be a part of this history of one of Buffalo’s greats. Gerry Rising has agreed to sign books available for purchase both prior to and after his presentation.

Looking Back
December’s Holiday Potluck was the best of all time! If you attended I’m sure it put you in the holiday mood. There was Santa’s helper, Jay Wopperer, greeting folks and giving away candy canes, cheery Christmas music, and pretty decorated tables. There were so many different and delicious dishes that I wasn’t able to sample all of them, like I usually do. But, what really made it great was the wonderful turnout of over 60 ADK’ers. It was great fun to enjoy dinner and socializing afterwards. Good food, Good friends, a great end of the year event! See you next year – 2017!

Message From the Chair, Janet Kowalski
You may have heard about the dramatic successful rescue of the young couple from the summit of Algonquin Mountain in the High Peaks on the morning of December 13. Thankfully the young couple (ages 19 and 20) recovered from hypothermia after spending over 48 hours in the cold winter wilderness. Their challenging experience will surely inspire hikers to take extra precautions on winter outings. The hikers climbed Algonquin early on Dec 11 and reached the summit by noon. They immediately got socked in by thick, blinding fog. While trying to descend from the summit, they accidentally slid down over 200 feet to land in deep snow off the trail. They were unable to climb their way out on snowshoes and spent the next 2 nights in the cold winter elements, encouraging each other, and doing everything possible to stay hydrated and warm. Finally on Tuesday Dec 13 a DEC Ranger heard their cries for help and they were airlifted to safety. They did many things right, including telling family members (who contacted help when the hikers didn’t return on time), signing the trailhead register, and staying put once they were off the trail. They were well prepared for a winter day hike, but not an overnight stay in deep snow. ADK-NFC member Paul Gannon was at the LOJ working on the new HPIC construction, and said he was immensely proud of ADK’s role in providing the Rescue Command Center, and a supportive home base for the couple’s family members while they waited for news. Have fun this winter, be prepared with the 10 essentials that you need and be safe!
Happy Trails!  Janet Kowalski

I attended the 4th quarter ADK Director’s meeting earlier this month and following are some highlights from the meeting. If there are any questions or anyone would more detail on any of this please don’t hesitate to contact me at rlaing537@gmail.com.
• Three new yurts will be purchased and setup at the Heart Lake facility. These will be primarily used for educational programs and allow more and larger events to be held. Currently, education events are held at the Loj which means that the Loj space cannot be rented to other visitors. This will free up space in the Loj to be used by overnight guests.
• The remaining funds for the HPIC/Heart Lake renovations were released. Construction is ongoing at the HPIC at the Heart Lake property with the facility opening back up to the public by 12/21(hopefully). Other projects will commence once the weather allows in April or May and are to include: new well, new washhouse, campground loop addition, existing washhouse renovation and other smaller items. The majority of the funding for this was from a NYS grant, however about $75,000 is coming from ADK.
• The club remains on strong financial footing, and membership continues to grow at a slow but steady pace. Discussions are ongoing on how to grow the membership at a faster rate, with a focus on the downstate area.
• The club has yet to take a stance on the upcoming NYS Constitutional Convention and is soliciting feedback from each chapter. At the local chapter’s executive committee meeting in February we will be discussing this topic and provide our recommendations to the main club. Anyone who wishes to participate or provide input is welcome to attend or pass on their thoughts to an ex-com member.
• Other items discussed include: continued success of the Summit Steward program with additional funding provided by the state for next year, a multi-year contract between ADK and DEC for ADK to provide full time trail maintenance staff for projects in the Adirondacks and the Catskills, Boreas Ponds classification hearings have completed and now we wait for a decision.

Newsletter Name Update
Thank you to all who attended the December Holiday Potluck and voted on naming options for our chapter newsletter. Voter turnout was high and results will help inform the Executive Committee’s discussion on “branding” and personalizing our monthly publication to better reflect the unique attributes of Western New York’s outdoors. Stay tuned, more to come!

HELP WANTED at ADK High Peaks Information Center (HPIC)

Your Help is needed during December to help complete HPIC reconstruction. Can you volunteer your time?

Reconstruction is ongoing at the Heart Lake High Peaks Information Center. Currently HPIC services are being provided from a tent next to the existing HPIC while the permanent structure is being completed. We’re at the point where “non-skilled” labor is needed to assist with the finishing touches. This includes sanding, painting, staining and maybe even the ability to swing a hammer and make contact with a nail. This assistance is needed throughout the month of December and will be supervised by the Heart Lake property maintenance supervisor. Lodging and meals will be provided. For more details and to discuss possible dates please contact Rob Laing at rlaing537@gmail.com

Conservation Corner, Lynn Rehfeld-Kenney, Chair
There is hope that the DEC and New York City will provide funds to grow a native beetle (Lari Conbius Niarinus) that naturally attacks the hemlock wooly adelgid infestation. ADK plans to lobby for DEC funding for this program in Albany. The destruction of hemlock trees would be very detrimental to the environment. Hemlocks help to stabilize the soil. Loss of trees would result in increased water turbidity which would negatively impact native fish and mollusks and the NY City water supply. Your tax dollars would have to go towards building a water filtration plant that would cost billions of dollars. Increasing the number of dead trees could result in large, high intensity forest fires if a fire starts. It would also negatively impact your hiking and canoeing experience with views of large areas of dead trees.

Attacks on the environment never stop. Join the Conservation Committee to see how you can help.

Wanted: Electronic Communications Chair!

We are looking for an individual with computer skills who would like to join our wonderful Executive Committee, which meets ecc-computer-glasses-smonce per month. The time commitment is flexible, usually just a few hours per month. The Electronic Communications Chair (ECC) maintains a database of chapter email contacts, and composes/disseminates email communications as needed. The ECC also oversees the ADK-NFC website. For more information please contact our current ECC Cheryl Peluso (cherylp17@verizon.net) or Webmaster Rob Laing (RLaing537@gmail.com).

ADK 46er Update: EIGHTY-ONE members in our chapter have accomplished this impressive goal since our formation in 1971. To add your name, send it to Cheryl Peluso, cherylp17@verizon.net, or call Kate Hacker at 688-8618. If you don’t have a number because you didn’t register we can still add you to our 46er list.

Many Niagara ADK members are currently working towards this objective. 46er Lynn Kenney is the keeper of our chapter’s official 46er banner, an impressive prop to display from the summit of your 46th peak. Please contact Lynn if your completion is imminent, to borrow the banner and properly photo your achievement! (Lynn Kenney: woodthrush3@hotmail.com).

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