Special Event: 2017 CONSERVATION CONVERSATION Click here for details

Next GENERAL MEETING – Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Location: Fellowship Hall – Amherst Community Church
77 Washington Highway, Snyder NY 14226
NOTE: Please park in rear and enter through back door (walk up to 2nd floor)


PLEASE PLAN TO SHARE THE ADVENTURE FUN you’ve had over the past year with fellow ADK members at the Annual ADK Members Slide Show! Start thinking about TEN pictures you’d like to present! They can be from one OUTING, or a few. It’s always fun to see what others have experienced. They are great suggestions for future trips for all of us!

Send 10 pictures to Slide Organizer Doug Gaffney (dgaffney@roadrunner.com) by MONDAY SEPTEMBER 11. The traditional ICE CREAM SOCIAL will begin at 7 PM, and the General Meeting and Slide Show will start at 7:30. YUM! See you there!

Looking Back at the ADK Niagara Frontier Chapter Annual Picnic and “Predators of the Night” Presentation – June 11, 2017

A good time was had by all who attended the Annual ADK Members Picnic at the Ellicott Creek Park Casino. The scenic creekside setting was ideal for our group, with water access for paddling, handy kitchen facilities, and expansive green space for games and fellowship. On a sunny, breezy Sunday afternoon, an impressive selection of Outings began at noon, which included biking, paddling and a nature hike. Short workshops on lightweight backpacking, and waterproofing canoe camping gear followed the outings.

At our picnic dinner, a delicious variety of grilled offerings were supplemented by an eclectic array of salads, sides and desserts, and made for an outstanding summer picnic feast.

Before dinner, we were treated to a captivating OWL Presentation, with gorgeous close up views of several types of these spectacular creatures. Paul from Wild Spirit led a wonderful and informative program on the beautiful and amazing owls in our area. The little screech owl, barred, and great horned owl were on display. Who would have guessed that these creatures were so lightweight given their large size. The beautiful feathers are not only lightweight but a cloaking device to make their flight as silent as the night during which they hunt. Amazing is the fact that these great hunters do not turn their eyes, they are fixed in place but have such amazing vision at night. We hope everyone learned something and enjoyed the time spent together with this informative group from our area.

Message From the Chair, Janet Kowalski

The Annual July 4 ADK Paddle down the beautiful Niagara River is undoubtedly one of the Outing Highlights of the year! Our Colorful Flotilla of Kayaks and Canoes leisurely paddling the gorgeous Niagara is a Vision to Behold. Plus, the delicious lunch which follows at The Silo in Lewiston is a classic way to kick off the summer. ADK offers many paddle outings at this time of year, ranging from exciting fast water to tranquil quiet paddles, and also overnight canoe camping at beautiful destinations. Bravo to the ADK crew of paddle leaders who facilitate these fantastic adventures, and special thanks to Paddling Coordinator Richard Schraven (RichardSchraven1@gmail.com).

Kayak popularity has exploded worldwide in recent years as one of the fastest growing sports for men and women of all ages. Kayaking is easy to learn, and empowers the paddler to navigate their own boat to secluded places and over long distances. Paddling is fantastic exercise, and a fun way to enjoy outdoor adventures.

Kayaks and canoes can be purchased or rented at many locations in WNY. Informative guidebooks that describe Put-In locations and trip details are invaluable. Two of my favorites include “Take A Paddle; WNY Quiet Water for Canoes and Kayaks” by Rich and Sue Freeman, and “Adirondack Paddling” by Phil Brown which can be purchased online (adk.org). ADK member Bob Van Hise’s online paddling guide (Buffalo Paddles Put-In Guide & Map) is a valuable source of information for paddlers.

Happy Trails!
Janet Kowalski

Executive Committee Officers Elected at the Annual Meeting

The following members were elected or re-elected at the Annual Meeting on June 11:

CHAIR: Paul Gannon

Mary will serve a 2nd term beginning in September 2017. Rob, Cheryl and Kate will serve 2nd terms starting in January 2018.

Conservationist Of The Year

At the Annual Meeting, the Conservation Committee presented the Conservationist of the Year Award to Diana Strablow of the Sierra Club Niagara Group. Diana organized opposition of landowners, environmental advocates and the public against National Fuel’s proposed 97-mile Northern Access Pipeline. The 24-inch diameter pipeline would have crossed private properties in Western New York as well as numerous wetlands and waterways in order to export Pennsylvania shale gas to Canada.

After an in-depth review of the proposed Northern Access Pipeline project, and following three public hearings and the consideration of over 5,700 comments, NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation denied the permit due to the project’s failure to avoid adverse impacts to wetlands, streams, and fish and other wildlife habitat.


I attended the Adirondack Mountain Club annual meeting and quarterly Directors meeting in Lake George on April 1. There are typically up to 50 people attending these meetings, including chapter Directors, club officers, club staff and committee chairs. This meeting also included a Directors roundtable, which I’ll mention later, but in total we spent over 6 hours discussing past performance, current status and future direction of the club. The annual meeting reviewed the financial performance of the club for 2016 – in summary 2016 was a solid year: operating surplus, increasing revenues, increased donations and increasing membership. Not spectacular performance, but solid performance.

2016 also saw the start of a major reconstruction project at the Heart Lake property. ADK received a 3:1 matching grant from NYS to improve the High Peaks Information Center and the surrounding facilities and campground. The HPIC was closed late in October 2016 and reopened in February of this year. The interior was completely gutted and rebuilt. A new well was also dug in the fall. Exterior finishing will commence once the weather indicates winter is over. The next steps will be construction of a new washhouse, concession area, new septic and new campground loop. The existing washhouse will be renovated as well, however that will not happen until the end of the project. Over 600 hours of volunteer effort went into the reconstruction of the HPIC with some local chapter members participating.

An ongoing concern has been increased use (overuse?) of the Eastern High Peaks region. With the increased use have come parking and traffic issues, waste disposal issues and backcountry abuse. The effort to address this started last year and will continue this year. This is a complicated issue and if anyone wants to discuss in more detail please contact me, but to summarize: discussions are ongoing with the State DOT regarding traffic and parking, education efforts are ongoing to address waste disposal and LNT efforts in the backcountry, and discussions are ongoing with the DEC about reopening the UMP for the Eastern High Peaks region.

Some conservation issues that ADK will take a public stance on include:
• Opposition to the NYS proposal of dining and lodging facilities on the forest preserve.
• Opposition to the NYS proposal of a hotel on Goat Island
• Opposition to the 2018/2019 NYS Constitutional Convention
• Support for including an amendment to the NYS Constitution for an Environmental Bill of Rights.

Finally, we started the day with a Directors Roundtable. An effort is being made to assist less active club chapters to increase local participation: whether that means increasing local chapter outings or having an increased voice on local conservation issues is up to each individual chapter to decide where to focus. We are lucky in the Niagara Frontier Chapter that we have an active chapter with many dedicated volunteers. Other chapters around the state are not as lucky and we, as Directors, are attempting to share ideas on what makes our chapter successful. This is something that will precede each Directors meeting for the foreseeable future until we run out of ideas to talk about.
As always, if anyone would like more information on any topic please don’t hesitate to contact me at rlaing537@gmail.com.

Conservation Committee, Lynn Rehfeld-Kenney, Chair

Help is needed to design a flyer and program handout for the Conservation Conversation seminar on September 16th. Please contact Lynn Kenney (825-7329) by July 15th if you are interested. Volunteers are also needed for the day of the event, call Lynn to volunteer. The free public Conservation Conversation seminar is on Innovative Ways to Combat Climate Change. Three dynamic speakers will present on ways to mitigate the effects of global warming.

During the club wide Albany ADK Conservation Committee meeting in May, we were informed that the NY state budget will include 1.1 million dollars towards the battle against the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid infestation. The funding will go towards the setup and staffing of a “bug factory” at Cornell University to raise the native beetle (Lari Conbius Niarinus) that naturally attacks the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid infestation. The beetle consumes enough of the Wooly Adelgid to protect the adult Hemlock tree so it can still produce seeds to grow seedlings to maintain the forest. However since beetle production takes time, it is important to know where to release the beetles to have the most impact. ADK will be working with Mark Whitmore at Cornell University and the NYS Hemlock Initiatives Partners on using the iMap invasive survey tool to mark where the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid has been found. This allows real time information to be uploaded immediately to a data base to help determine where to strategically release the beetles.

It is now expected that the land designation ruling for the Boreas Ponds lands will be made public by the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) in August or September.

There are no Conservation meetings in the summer. Join us for the next meeting September 19th. New members are always welcome.

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

Calling All Young Members!

The Young Members subgroup of the Niagara Frontier chapter is looking forward to another great year of events specially designed for members in their 20s and 30s. The goal of the Young Members subgroup is to promote greater participation and membership of young members through special events for them and communications from me, the Young Members Coordinator. My name is Deena Mueller and I recently joined the Niagara Frontier chapter.  In the next few months, I will be reaching out to young members by email and Facebook to inform you of events and seek your input on what events you want the Young Members subgroup to organize. Until then, you can email at deena.mueller1@gmail.com about your suggestions and to let me know that you’d like to be a part of the Young Members group. Cheers! – Deena Mueller

ADK members have a smorgasbord of outings to choose from, including year-round local outings, and an enticing variety of challenging trips to Adirondack Park. Members can also travel around the world with the ADK Adventure Travel Program, and spend fun-filled days with like- minded ADK members at some of the most exciting destinations on the planet. Qualified ADK Adventure Travel Leaders offer knowledge, experience, and helpful advice to insure these are Trips of a Lifetime.

The newest ADK Adventure Trips include Hut-to-Hut Backpacking in Norway, Hiking Alaska’s Denali National Park, Cycling throughout Germany’s Wine Country, and Hiking in Finland’s National Parks. Look for details in the Adirondac July/August issue, or on the adk.org website.

ADK-NFC Member Paul Gannon recalls a recent ADK Adventure Travel trip to the Canadian Rockies: “Do you love the outdoors? Enjoy our local club trips? Consider taking part in ADK Adventure Travel. Every edition of Adirondac lists club- sponsored trips around the world. I have attended three of them so far, most recently one to the Canadian Rockies last fall. Based out of the Lake Louis Inn, every day we drove to a different trail head in Banff National Park for a wonderful day hike in the spectacular Canadian Rockies. I enjoyed the company of fellow ADK members, who are some of the best people I know. It was literally a life-changing experience for me. Next spring, I will take a float trip through the desert canyons of Utah along the San Juan River. There are still openings. Maybe you will join me. See you out there!”

Here’s a fun way to display the wonderful opportunities offered by ADK!

To enlarge the image, click here.

ADK-NFC Meeting Cancellation Policy
The Executive Committee approved a new policy coordinate the decision to cancel the Monthly General Meetings with the Amherst Central School Closings. Since the Amherst Community Church property abuts Amherst High School, the winter weather conditions that warrant school closings will also dictate our General Meetings. When Amherst Schools or After School Activities are cancelled on the day of our ADK meeting on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, then our monthly general meeting will be cancelled. Cancellation news will be reinforced with emails and Facebook postings.

ADK-NFC Bylaws Changes
Minor modifications to our chapter bylaws will be voted on for approval by membership at our Annual Picnic/meeting on June 11.

  • Chair/Vice-chair terms: “The Chair and Vice Chairs may be reelected for one 2-year term and can later be reelected after at least a 1-year vacancy”
  • Addition of Appointed Position: “Historian: Assembles and safely stores hard copies of ADK-NFC Newsletters, Annual History Reports, and other important documents in order to provide a historical chapter record and reference library to support future ADK operations.”

Advocacy Updates
Consistent with the ADK mission to protect the Waterways of New York State, the ADK-NFC Executive Committee has voted to support the following endeavors:

  • Our Outer Harbor (OOH): We joined the OOH Coalition, a group of WNY advocacy groups dedicated to preserving the public trust on Buffalo’s waterfront. Any development of the public properties in the Outer Harbor must benefit the wider public, be water dependent, and support the unique natural character of the Outer Harbor.
  • Great Lakes Restoration Initiative: ADK signed a letter circulated by HOW (Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition) urging the federal government to not cut funding to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a federal program that has helped to remove water pollution and harmful algae from the Lakes.
  • Northern Access Pipeline: ADK supports the DEC decision to stop the natural gas pipeline proposed to transport natural gas from PA to Canada, which would intersect and threaten over a hundred waterways and wetlands that marble the WNY landscape.

Special Message from the Chair, Janet Kowalski:
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.”

We are delighted to introduce 2 new young members of our Executive Committee!

  • MARY KATHRYN NOACK, Electronics Communications Chair – Mary Kathryn loves the Adirondacks and is an avid explorer of the Adirondack Region. A SUNY at Buffalo graduate with a degree in Communications, Mary Kathryn has extensive management and technology experience with numerous projects affiliated with UB. In addition, Mary Kathryn volunteers at the DEC Nature Preserve at Reinstein Woods, and is very knowledgeable about Beavers! Mary Kathryn’s sweet personality and cheerful spirit are wonderful additions to our group.
  • DEENA MUELLER, Young Members Coordinator – Deena is an avid outdoorswoman who enjoys all winter sports in addition to hiking, paddling and mountain climbing! Originally from Chicago, Deena is an attorney and has lived in WNY for about 4 years. Deena has enthusiastically embraced the Young Member Chair position, reaching out to members in their 20s and 30s for both local and Adirondack adventures, starting with a Vertical Climbing outing on Saturday April 8. Deena’s dedication and eager enthusiasm are fantastic additions to our Board.

Join the ADK Niagara Frontier Chapter!
Click here to visit the ADK website. Select a Membership Type and Number of Years. Under Chapter, select Niagara Frontier.

Affiliate Membership of the Niagara Frontier Chapter:
We welcome ADK members of other Chapters to become Affiliate Members of the Niagara Frontier Chapter! Affiliate Members receive our monthly newsletter and may attend our chapter outings and events. Annual dues are $5. Contact the ADK Membership office to arrange Affiliate Membership: (518) 668-4447 or laurie@adk.org

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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