Tuesday, February 12, 2019 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)

6:30: EDUCATION WORKSHOP – Let’s Get (Backcountry) Cooking!
Please join us for a review of backcountry stoves. We will discuss and examine some of the most common models as well as their advantages and disadvantages. We will also share some favorite backpacking recipes (if you are a backpacker please bring one so we can put it on the website) and favorite food finds. It is not good for you to hike hungry and we have got you covered with this workshop. Our workshop is in the Community Room adjacent to the main meeting room. We hope to see you there!

7:00: SOCIAL TIME – Meet & Greet with Sweets & Refreshments

7:30: PRESENTATIONImportance of Preserving Coral Reefs
Our February monthly speaker will be educator/photographer Mary Lou Frost. She will open ours eyes to the extraordinary underwater ocean beauty through her years of oceanic photography. Looking forward to her sharing her aquatic adventures and experiences and educating us on the delicate nature and importance of preserving our coral reefs.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the ADK February meeting!

Meeting cancellation policy: If Amherst Schools or Amherst After-School Activities are cancelled, then the General Meeting (2nd Tuesday of the month) will also be cancelled. This will be reinforced with a general email to membership and a Facebook posting.

LOOKING BACK:  January’s ADK-NFC’s speaker was Kimberly Adriansen from Tifft Nature Preserve. Her presentation guided us through the historical changes and human impacts on the area. The 246 acre land has been transformed into an urban sanctuary for a vast array of birds and various plant wildlife. Thanks to the extensive restoration and dedication of the staff and community volunteers Tifft Nature Preserve is an Urban Jewel attracting thousands of visitors each year!
For info on how to volunteer at Tifft, see the ADK-NFC February 2019 Newsletter.

Message From the Chair

I just finished reading a wonderful book my son gave me for Christmas, entitled Grandma Gatewood’s Walk, by Ben Montgomery. It is the inspiring story of Emma Gatewood, the fifth individual, and first woman, to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail.

In 1955, Gatewood was a 67-year-old divorced mother of eleven then grown children, with 23 grandchildren. She was an Ohio farmer, who had worked hard all her life raising her family through the difficult years of the Great Depression and World War II. She learned about the trail in magazine article several years earlier.

She set out from Georgia wearing dungarees and sneakers, carrying her meager supplies over one shoulder in a drawstring cloth bag. She had no tent or sleeping bag, only a blanket and shower curtain for shelter. As she continued her journey north, word of her trip spread and she became a media sensation. By the time she reached Mt. Katahdin in Maine, people all over the country were following her progress and celebrated her triumph.

After the holidays, I have been going through my library and rearranging my shelves. Along with my how-to texts and trail guides, I have a number of stories of other individuals and their experiences in the natural world, everything from the works of Thoreau to Wild, by Cheryl Strayed. Why do I enjoy them so much?

I think it is because each of them serves to remind me of what nature has to offer – its beauty, the peace and quiet, its healing power, and the opportunity for exercise and adventure.
At our last meeting, I heard that there is talk of reviving the chapter outdoor book club. I wholeheartedly recommend that we do so, and further recommend Grandma Gatewood’s Walk as a worthy choice for the next book to read.

Paul M. Gannon

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

46er NEWS

Our Chapter’s 46ers webpage has been updated. It now includes useful information for Aspiring 46ers and a colored, terrain map showing the locations of the 46 High Peaks in Adirondack Park. Also updated is the list of Niagara Frontier Chapter members who have completed the 46 High Peaks.

We want you on our list! Please submit any new entries or updates to David Kowalski (dfk2008@gmail.com).

To visit our 46ers webpage, click ‘Our Chapter’s 46ers’ in the menu bar at the top of this page, or click here.

Conservation Corner

Next Conservation Committee Meeting
Tuesday, February 19 from 7-9pm | All ADK members welcome
Gander Outdoors–Lodge Meeting Room, 880 Young St., Tonawanda 14150

Have you visited Tifft Nature Preserve lately? A new fenced enclosure has been planted with a variety of natural vegetation that should look great in another year or two; the enclosure will protect the plants and shoreline wildlife from over-grazing by the 60+ deer that live in or visit Tifft every day. You’ll also enjoy observing the variety of waterfowl and other animals that live in this bit of nature surrounded by the city.

ADK-NFC Outings Book: Wilderness Weekends in Western New York – Get your copy of our book at the next meeting and start working on the Wilderness Weekends in WNY Patch Challenge! Click on WW in WNY here (or in the menu bar at the top of this page) to get details on the on the types and locations of outings in the challenge. Visit our Chapter’s Facebook page to share your stories.

Our Chapter’s work on maintaining the Allegany Boundary Marking Project will resume this spring in late April or May. We need volunteers to walk remote parts of the Allegany State Park-Pennsylvania border to do basic brush clearing and perhaps post a couple park boundary signs to better enable environmental monitoring of drilling & logging activity in PA near the park’s boundary. Scheduled work dates will be listed in next month’s newsletter in coordination with New York’s Allegany Region Forester. If you would like more info, or want to volunteer to spend a day or 2 working in the forest, call me or send a message with the subject line “ASP BOUNDARY’ to adkpaddles.bvh@gmail.com

Allegany State Park’s Summit Fire Tower was built in 1926 and restored nearly 20 years ago by volunteers that included some of our Niagara Frontier Chapter members. It’s seems that the tower needs a little TLC again, and we may be involved in helping. More on that as info becomes available.

Northern Access Pipeline: Some of our members went to National Fuel’s Williamsville HQ in January to join in with Defend Ohi:yo’, and the Sierra Club to protest the fossil fuel company’s eminent domain claim to an easement across private property to trench through and bisect the 325 sq mile Cattaraugus Creek Basin Sole Source Aquifer. Kudos to those who were able to make an appearance.

An energy project called “Lighthouse Wind” has been proposed by Apex Clean Energy. 47 wind turbines and affiliated infrastructure would be installed inland of the shore of Lake Ontario in Somerset (Niagara Co.) and Yates NY (Orleans County). Citizens are divided over it, with local governments mostly opposed. Think green. To read a report, click here.

Get your reusable tote bags ready! As part of the 2019 NYS budget plan, Governor Cuomo announced a planned state-wide ban on single use plastic bags. Clean single use plastic bags, such as grocery bags, can be left for recycling at Home Depot, Lowes, and certain other stores. It’s a good thing.

Pot Plant? If NYS legalizes recreational marijuana, we might have a large grow farm near Buffalo’s waterfront. A west coast company has proposed a “cannabis campus” to grow medicinal and recreational marijuana on 70 acres just east of Route 5 (just south of Tifft) in the Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park. I’m sure we’ll hear a lot more about this in the next few months. Dude.

— Submitted by Bob Van Hise


Kathy Clerkin

Kathy Clerkin is the cheery face that welcomes ADK members to our monthly meetings. She also reaches out to new members every month with a friendly phone call and a Welcome Letter.

In addition, Kathy serves one week every summer as the Heart Lake Campground Host near the epicenter of the Adirondack High Peaks. There she assists campers and as usual, provides that warm cheerful welcome to ADK guests.

As the coolest grandmother ever, over the years she has invited her grandson to spend the week with her, and his resulting love for the Adirondacks has shaped his desire to attend Paul Smith’s College near Saranac Lake.

A retired 70-something nurse, Kathy realizes the benefits of staying active for a long and healthy life. She works out 6 days a week at her local YMCA and quick-walks several miles on most days in Chestnut Ridge Park.

It is a challenge to keep up with her, as evidenced on a recent roadwalk she led for ADK!

Kathy was recently featured in a Buffalo News article on the secrets to aging gracefully, based on a study by the UB Center for Successful Aging.

Her top 3 tips for healthy aging:
• eat healthy
• keep active
• have a good outlook on life!

Kathy is an avid hiker and traveler, and is also blessed with close family and friends.

We are honored to have this spunky, inspiring example in our ADK family!


Report: ANNUAL ADK FALL OUTING – Finger Lakes Area

October 26-28, 2018

One of the many benefits of ADK membership is the annual ADK Fall Outing, an opportunity to explore a new scenic part of New York State and be hosted by locals who know the surrounding terrain. The sublime Finger Lakes area around Watkins Glen provided glorious settings for this year’s Fall adventures. Numerous lakes, streams and waterfalls carved by ancient glaciers enabled nearly 30 hiking, paddling and biking options to choose from over the 3-day event. Since the ADK Finger Lakes Chapter has a small membership, our Niagara Frontier members provided invaluable expertise to organize the weekend.

NFC Outings Chair Mary Schraven did a formidable job organizing 28 outings. Our Webmaster Rob Laing oversaw the website for outreach and registration, and our Treasurer Doug Gaffney handled the finances. Many of the outings were enthusiastically led by Niagara Frontier members including Rob Laing (Sugar Hill Fire Tower, Goundry Hill hikes), Janet and David Kowalski (Finger Lakes National Forest and CT Hill Wildlife Management Area hikes), Mary Schraven (Watkins Glen and Taughannock State Park hikes, Richard Schraven (Chemung paddle), Teresa and Peter Corrigan (Cornell Ornithology Lab visit), and Cheryl Peluso (Tanglewood Nature Center hike).

Over 130 ADK members attended, with the diehards from the Niagara Frontier Chapter having the highest participation!

Of course the best perk of all was meeting and getting reacquainted with the congenial, terrific ADK folks from other chapters across the state. It was a joy to engage with others who share similar interests and values in the beautiful outdoor settings.

Look forward to the 2019 ADK Fall Outing that will be held September 6-8 in the Poughkeepsie area.

—Submitted by David and Janet Kowalski


RECOGNITION: Award Recipients Honored at Picnic

Volunteer of the Year Award
This year, the ADK-NFC Volunteer of the Year Awards have been given to Janet and David Kowalski. Our Chapter would like to recognize their many contributions that have enabled our monthly meetings to run more smoothly and helped create a sense of community among our chapter members. Janet, a past Chapter Chair and Programs Chair, is a frequent hike participant and leader. Janet often contributes engaging trip reports for the newsletter, which has the effect of everyone wishing they had gone on the outing. Janet is a gracious hostess and has made sure the Executive Committee was well-fed. We have come to count on her healthy and delicious pot-luck dishes! Janet is there to lend a hand to any of us, helping us to meet newsletter deadlines, edit our writings, and offer to help whenever needed. Janet’s enthusiasm and love for ADK is evident in every conversation one has with her. David co-leads outings with Janet. He has assisted with regular postings of trip reports, managing the home page of the website and setting up the AV equipment during monthly meetings. David writes a Conservation Blog that often features ADK sponsored conservation initiatives. Janet and David, we thank you for being who you are and for all the ways you uplift, problem solve and help make our chapter a strong community!

Conservationist of the Year Award

The Adirondack Mountain Club Niagara Frontier Chapter, Conservation Committee presented their 2018 Conservationist of the Year award at the club’s annual June picnic at the Chestnut Ridge Park Commissioner’s cabin. This award recognized the members from various groups who have spent decades working towards a proper and complete clean-up of nuclear waste at the West Valley Demonstration Project in West Valley, NY. The recipients gratefully accepted the award in honor of all of the past and present coalition members for their dedicated advocacy and community activism.

In particular they recognized Carol Mongerson, who was the founder and leading member of the Coalition on West Valley Nuclear Wastes until she passed, Maria Maybee from the Seneca Nation of Indians and Kathy McGoldrick.

The recipients are as follows:
Ray Vaughan: West Valley Citizen Task Force member and past steering committee member of the Coalition on West Valley Nuclear Wastes
Joanne Hameister: West Valley Action Network and Coalition on West Valley Nuclear Wastes steering committee
Agnes Williams:  West Valley Action Network and Indigenous Women’s Initiatives
Diane D’Arrigo: West Valley Action Network & Nuclear Information & Resource Service
Barbara Warren: West Valley Action Network and Citizens’ Environmental Coalition

Congratulations to our Chapters Recent 46ers!

Two climbers were celebrated at the October 9, 2018 ADK General Meeting as new 46ers. Congratulations to Leslie Salathe and Patty Pikul!
Their 46th peak started with a backpack trip on Friday August 21st, and they summited Allen on Saturday August 22nd. The seven and a half miles covered on Saturday took roughly eight and a half hours. A good deal of the time was spent hiking up a very steep and slippery slide covered with the purple algae.

The climbers listed below were celebrated at the September 11, 2018 ADK General Meeting as new 46ers. Bravo!

Name  – Final Peak

  • Lin Pierce, Whiteface
  • Stephen Pierce, Whiteface
  • Marion Hanover, Redfield
  • Lauren Gundlach, Whiteface
  • Jason Gundlach, Whiteface

And for 2nd Round of 46!

  • Kate Hacker
  • Ken Redding

We want YOU on our 46er List!
Please submit any new entries or updates to David Kowalski (dfk2008@gmail.com).

Recently we heard from Kristen Taylor and added her information to the list. She completed a Winter round of 46 high peaks on Phelps (#8689W – 3/18/17) and a Regular round on Saddleback (#8689 – 9/24/14).

We also added information for Lynne Blanchard (#7957) and Jan Errick (#7958) who both finished on Haystack (7/16/13).

To view Our Chapter’s 46ers List, click here.


Carry on our Chapter tradition of carrying our ADK-NFC 46er Flag to the top of your 46th peak. Call Lynn Kenney (825-7329) to pick up the 46er Flag so it can be a part of your celebratory photo when you complete your final peak to become an Adirondack 46er.


I attended the Adirondack Mountain Club Board of Directors meeting held in Lake George on 4/7/18. This is a quarterly meeting that has representatives from each chapter along with the Executive Committee and many staff members. We review reports from staff members such as the Executive Director and Treasurer, and committee chairs such as the membership chair and Heart Lake Property chair, among many others. The meetings typically last 5-6 hours and a lot of information is discussed that pertains to how the club operates and how the resources of the club should be focused.

I’ll try to summarize the key points here, and if anyone has any questions or would like further information don’t hesitate to contact me at rlaing537@gmail.com

  • Membership has been steady for the last several years and currently sits at 17,100 members
  • Financial performance for 2017 showed steady revenue comparable to recent years. There were some challenges due to construction at the Heart Lake property but overall the club is on solid financial footing
  • The Heart Lake property construction will begin as soon as winter ends and the snow melts at the property. Planned this spring/summer is a new septic system, new washhouse near the HPIC, new decks for the HPIC and a concession stand near the HPIC. The existing washhouse was gutted over the winter and the hot water system was expanded and all new fixtures installed – that is something I’m looking forward to seeing.
  • The Fall Outing is scheduled for 10/26-28 and will be hosted by the Finger Lakes Chapter and Co-sponsored by ADK-NFC.
  • Neil Woodworth has been busy working on several fronts including the storage of rail cars near Tahawus (which are being removed), new UMP for the Boreas Ponds and updated plans for other areas, working with the local municipalities and the state on solutions to overcrowding in the High Peaks region.

As always, if anyone would like more information on any topic please don’t hesitate to contact me at rlaing537@gmail.com.


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.

Gerry Rising Pens New Essay for ADK Chapter Visit
At a monthly meeting in 2017, 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