Next GENERAL MEETING – Tuesday, March 13, 2018 (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: EDUCATION WORKSHOP – Learning the hard way, or living to tell the tale

Admit it! When you get a new issue of Adirondac, the first place you turn is the accident report. Reading about unplanned nights out, hypothermia, lost hikers and dramatic rescues makes for good reading, but it also helps us plan to avoid winding up in the accident report ourselves.

Join us to share adventures and misadventures you’ve had, and most importantly what you learned and how it has helped you prepare better. Member Jerry Sultz will get us started. He is a former chapter chair, and an active member of the Niagara Frontier Search and Rescue Team. We will meet in the room adjacent to the main meeting room. Questions? Contact education chair, Teresa Corrigan at TeresaCorrigan85@gmail.com

7:00: SOCIAL HALF-HOUR – Meet & Greet plus Great Refreshments!

7:30: MEETING – Brief Announcements & Committee Reports

7:45: PRESENTATION: TERRY BELKE – Photojournalist Producer of “2 The Outdoors” at WGRZ-TV

The Niagara Frontier Chapter is excited to welcome Terry Belke to our meeting on March 13. Terry is here to share his experiences in the outdoors that he has filmed while traveling throughout the Adirondacks, the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, and the Algonquin region of Canada. His goal is to inspire others to care for Mother Earth.

Come check out not only photos, but also videos of his travels, and feel inspired for Spring.

NOTE: ADK-NFC General 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 an Email to the Membership, a Facebook posting and a Notice on this Web Page.


The Niagara Frontier Chapter was treated to a beautiful photographic expedition of wintry Lake Erie on February 13. Dave McQuay began his presentation with an excellent explanation of the amazing process of ice volcano formation on the shoreline. Dave ended with an amazing collection of sunsets on the lake. It felt like our group was transported to Antarctica during his show. Not only was the beauty of Lake Erie shown to us, but Dave explained some of the benefits ice formation has to the ecology of the Great Lakes. The whitefish that is still harvested on the Canadian side actually needs the ice to reduce wave action, which in turn protects their eggs from being washed away during spawning in December. Let’s not forget the long-term benefit of ice reflecting the sun during the winter and keeping the overall temperatures cooler for the summer months to reduce algae bloom. Amazing how nature is a never-ending cycle!

Message From the Chair, Paul Gannon

There are moments of magic that live on in our memory, long after the actual event. We may replay them in our mind, whenever we want or need to. In my experience, they frequently involve an encounter with nature.

Recently, I enjoyed one such moment. I was visiting the Burchfield Center, in West Seneca, on a snowy February afternoon. As I walked further into the woods, I came closer to the junction of a side stream with Buffalo Creek. The running water masked the roar of traffic on nearby Union Road. A gentle snow was falling, and the soft flakes muffled all sound. As I turned to follow the side stream, I noticed a large, dark form emerging from the trees. I paused, and observed, not one, not two, but six deer slowly make their way single file across the path and into the woods on the other side, where they spread out and began grazing.

What made this moment more remarkable is that it took place, not in the deep woods of the Adirondacks, but in my own neighborhood. I am very fortunate that I live near a number of places that can provide such experiences. Some of them are not even official nature preserves. They are just little spots, in the woods or along creeks, which have escaped development. I have heard of such places being referred to as “vest pocket parks”. You may find them in every community.

I enjoy our club outings, where I spend the day exploring with my friends.
However, sometimes a brief encounter with the natural world alone is just what I need. I can visit one of my favorite “vest pocket parks” for a short while, without any preparation or planning. Sometimes I take a short stroll in my street shoes. Other times I just sit in the sun, close my eyes, and listen to the running water or the rustle of the leaves. Once, during a quick stop at Mill Road Park, I watched as a red fox emerged from the woods to take a drink from the creek. Wonderful!

I encourage you to seek out the “vest pocket parks” in your own neighborhood. Visit them often. Spend just a few minutes at a time as often as you are able. It will make a real difference in your life.

Conservation Corner, Lynn Rehfeld-Kenney, Chair

The Conservation Committee meeting will be held at the Julia Boyer Reinstein Library at 1030 Losson Road in Cheektowaga on Tuesday, March 20th at 7:00 pm. Call the library at (716) 892-8089 for directions. The meeting will start promptly at 7:00 pm and end at 8:45 pm.

I hope you enjoy the following article written by Art Klein, who has served as a Niagara Frontier Chapter Chair and as Conservation Chair. It provides insight into the ADK-NFC involvement with the Niagara Gorge. In the future we look forward to participating with the WNY Land Conservancy on a work outing to remove invasive plants from the Niagara gorge.

ADK-NFC and the Niagara Gorge Project — by Art Klein

At the January meeting, Dave Spiering from the Western New York Land Conservancy described the restoration of the Niagara Gorge. Few members know that the ADK-NFC has been highly involved with the restoration for over 3 decades. Many chapter members participated in gorge trail clean-ups during this time.

In the late 1980’s, the ADK-NFC granted a small fund to a graduate botanist, Pat Eckels, to help her complete a study of the gorge flora. The Chapter was but one of many helping hands but to the joy of all, the study of gorge flora was well done and completed.

In 2007, Larry Beahan convinced me of the importance of the Niagara Power Authority License Renewal and its possible impacts to recreation and the trails along the river. During the meetings and public hearings, Pat Eckels’s flora study and presence ensured that the gorge native flora was identified as a high priority in the restoration of the gorge. She is now a major consultant on the work underway.

I encourage ADK-NFC members to join the Gorge Renewal Project and to contact me or Larry Beahan for more information. A restored biome like the gorge is a significant gift to the future. Check out, Chapter Member and Nature Author, Gerry Rising’s tribute to Pat: click here

The Adirondack Park Agency released its proposal in February for the land classification for the Boreas Ponds Tract. It is similar to the proposal supported by ADK, The Nature Conservancy, and several other environmental groups. Follow this link to the article written by ADK’s executive director, Neil Woodworth, for further information.

The Outer Harbor Coalition, which has grown out of the WNY Environmental Alliance Group, is composed of many local environmental groups (including ADK-NFC) and WNY stake holders concerned about development in Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. Larry Beahan is our ADK-NFC representative. Margaret Wooster recently submitted comments for the group on Buffalo’s draft Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan to Albany. Overall the revitalization plan looks good but three areas of inconsistency with City policies were identified that need to be changed. The Buffalo Common Council is the lead agency to review proposed development projects, not the City Planning Board. Residential development is inconsistent with Buffalo’s newly adopted Green Code. There has never been any residential land use and the Green Code states new land uses in any district of the City should be consistent with the character of that district. Developing housing would come at great expense to the tax payer to upgrade infrastructure. This area would be prone to flooding, high winds and toxic sediment from former industrialized land use. The city needs to update its flood hazard and subsoil information for this area in order to make sound decisions on land use.

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 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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