Next GENERAL MEETING – Tuesday, November 14, 2017 (Program starts at 6:30pm)

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)

Program Schedule:
6:30 – 7:15pm: Education Workshop – Basic Map and Compass Skills

Former Chapter Chair and Niagara Frontier Search and Rescue instructor Jerry Sultz has many hours of experience hiking for pleasure, training in search and rescue, and looking for those who are lost. At our education workshop he will help us stay on course and prevent us from getting lost. Dr. Sultz will help us with some basic map and compass skills. This workshop will be extremely helpful whether you are an experienced hiker looking for a few new pointers, or a total newbie. Depending on interest and weather conditions we will follow this workshop on Saturday November 18th , with a “pop up hike”, location TBD, to practice some of these skills. Bring an open mind, a compass if you have one, and friends and family members too!

7:00 – 7:30pm: Meet, Greet & Treats – Social Time with Refreshments

7:30pm: General Meeting and Presentation – “Amphibian Conservation Initiatives” Presented by the Buffalo Zoo 

This program will focus on the threats to amphibians worldwide, and the measures that institutions like the Buffalo Zoo take to preserve populations globally and locally. We will discuss our motivations for preserving amphibians, including their role as indicator species. We will review the Buffalo Zoo’s participation in three specific conservation projects.

The first, Amphibian Ark, is an international project to ensure the global survival of amphibians. It focuses on species that currently cannot be safeguarded in nature, largely due to threats such as chytrid fungus.

The second, the Puerto Rican Crested Toad Recovery Plan, is a collaborative effort that reintroduces captive‐bred tadpoles to their native habitat through careful breeding and environmental monitoring.

The third, the Hellbender Head Start Project, is another reintroduction program designed to rear these young salamanders through their most vulnerable phases of development, and then releasing to boost local populations. The program will conclude with an overview with our yearly participation in the Citizen Science project, Frogwatch. The program will also feature 2‐3 live amphibians from the Buffalo Zoo.

Message From the Chair, Paul Gannon

I was going through items I received as the new chair. I came across some nametags labeled “Ambassador”. Apparently, we used to have a program where certain members volunteered to be ambassadors at our meetings and greet new members and guests. It got me thinking about how all of us should strive to be ambassadors for ADK.

It starts at the monthly meetings. I am asking all of you to look around for new faces, and people sitting or standing alone. Reach out to them. Make them feel welcome. However, it shouldn’t end there.

Set a good example during our outings. Conduct yourself in a safe and responsible manner. Observe Leave No Trace principles. Respect nature and fellow nature lovers. Others who encounter us should be able to say, “They know what they are doing. They’re from ADK”. How would they know we are from ADK, you might ask? Advertise! Have an ADK sticker on your car, and a patch on your backpack. Consider wearing some ADK apparel and carrying gear with ADK logos.

If someone approaches you and asks about our club, be prepared. Visit our state club website. Read our mission statement and learn about our programs. One member told me she carries ADK brochures in her pack so she can distribute them to the curious. What a great idea!

I attended the recent Conservation Conversation. I was speaking to a member of another outdoor organization who complained that ADK didn’t support conservation efforts. I replied by explaining that our chapter had an active conservation committee, which was sponsoring that very event. I then described how our club had a public affairs office in Albany, funded by member dues, which employed lawyers and lobbyists to help protect the environment, especially the forest preserve in the Adirondacks. This individual was unaware of any of this.

We are all, every one of us, ADK. I ask you to please take this message to heart. Let’s all strive to be great ambassadors for our club. Thank you.

Conservation Corner, Lynn Rehfeld-Kenney, Chair

The Conservation Committee meeting will be held at Richard and Mary Schraven’s home on Tuesday, November 21st at 7:00pm. Call #564‐2106 for directions. The Schravens’ graciously offered to host the meeting to provide the latest information on how they personally worked to mitigate climate change by decreasing their carbon footprint and greenhouse emissions. They will show us their recently installed roof top solar panels on their home and their plug‐in hybrid car. This will show how you can personally take action to mitigate climate change. Please note this topic was changed from the October meeting to the November meeting.

ADK’s position is to vote NO on the Constitutional Convention amendment during the November election. It could potentially allow changes to be made to Article 14 that provides critical protection to the Adirondack Park via the Forever Wild clause. To view the ADK home page for specific details, click here .

Thank you to Mary Schraven for taking the lead on manning a table at the Great Lakes Restoration Project that provided information about ADK to conference attendees. Richard Schraven, Larry Beahan and others also helped spread the word about ADK.

We are also looking for a new local project for the Conservation Committee to work on. If you have a local project please contact me to discuss your concern. Our committee has spearheaded several projects in the past that have enhanced our local environment such as preserving the Great Behre Swamp in Amherst, etc.

Check out the Conservation Committee meeting! We are looking for members who want to make a difference by protecting our environment. Attacks on the environment never stop. Join the Conservation Committee to see how you can help. If interested in joining, call Lynn at 716‐825‐7329 or email her at woodthrush3@hotmail.com.

Newsletter Editor Needed!

Our Chapter Newsletter, known as THE NIAGARA EXPLORER, needs an Editor! This individual would compile documents submitted by various Board Members and create an informative and appealing monthly publication. Basic computer skills are needed. You will have a template to work with, and can create graphics as room allows. This is an automatic board position with a great team! Contact Interim Newsletter Editor Deena Mueller (deena.mueller1@gmail.com) or Chair Paul Gannon (paulmgannon54@gmail.com).


Congratulations to our Chapters Recent 46ers!!

The climbers listed below were celebrated at the September 12 ADK General Meeting as new 46ers. Bravo!

46er #, Name, Date Completed, Final Peak

TBD, Mike Hilburger, 8/26/17, Skylight
10202, Beth Hartz, 6/10/17, Gothics
9986, John Burnham, 10/12/16, Saddleback
9183, Manon Paquet, 9/06/15, Haystack

Beth Hartz from Clarence climbed Gothics this summer to finish her 46 High Peaks!

ADK 46er Update: Nearly 100 members in our chapter have accomplished this impressive goal since the chapter’s 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: 716-825-7329).


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.

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.

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.

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.”

Join the ADK Niagara Frontier Chapter!
Click here to visit the Adirondack Mountain Club (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

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ADK CARES about:
Conservation, Advocacy, Recreation, Education and Stewardship