A huge thank you to Joe Allen for joining us this November and for a great lecture on re-introduction of Wolves to Northwest America!

To learn more about Joe’s work, check out September’s Buffalo Spree – Click here.


Tuesday, December 11, 2018 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)

For our December meeting, we will be branching away from our usual schedule for our annual Holiday Gathering.  Please join us for an evening of general frivolity and fun!

Hope to see you all there!

Looking Back:
October’s speaker was a real treat! Jay Burney had a fascinating presentation on the fragile codependent ecosystem we have and how the restoration and protection of our backyard jewel “The Outer Harbor” is linked to sustaining migration. His photos and videos of hundreds of monarchs and his trip to the Caribbean where he helped release baby sea turtles were captivating!

Message From the Chair

In late September, I attended the wilderness first aid class sponsored by the Winter Mountaineering School. This brings up a subject that many people would rather not think about, which is the possibility of something going wrong while on an outing.

The two most likely scenarios that a hiker might face are spending an unplanned night out, and having to deal with an injury or illness. These are actually related. One of the things we learned in the class is that if one hiker has a medical problem, it affects the whole group. Everyone is exposed to the weather and environment while assisting their friend. If you are carrying the 10 Essentials, you are prepared for an unplanned night out and to assist a fellow hiker if required.

I was pleased that the instructors provided us with a spiral bound field guide to wilderness first aid, printed on water resistant paper, instead of a standard textbook. For most people, this reference is probably more valuable than a lot of first aid equipment that you might not remember how to use.

In any case, it is not practical to carry large amounts of first aid supplies in your pack.

In the class, we discussed how a number of items that a well-equipped hiker would have with them could be used to provide first aid. Items such as bandannas, safety pins, duct tape, foam pads, and trekking poles all have their uses. The ability to improvise is key.

I encourage everyone to give this issue serious consideration. Make it a habit to always carry the 10 Essentials on every outing. Take a wilderness first aid class. Unless you are an expert, carry a small first aid reference with you. Be open-minded about improvising as required. Knowing that you are prepared for emergencies will give you peace of mind and enable you to enjoy your outings without excess worry about what might happen.

Paul M. Gannon

Conservation Corner

Next Conservation Committee Meeting

Tuesday, November 20th from 7-9pm | All ADK members welcome
Gander Outdoors – Lodge Meeting Room, 880 Young St., Tonawanda 14150


Closing of Tonawanda Coke 
Tonawanda Coke began shutting down operations in October, leaving employees wondering when/if they will receive their final pay. The company also seems to have walked away from its responsibility clean-up the site, and to pay a $2 Million fine imposed by NYS DEC. Tonawanda Coke sponsored a job fair to assist the former employees. The Town of Tonawanda Supervisor seems to think that, once the site is cleaned, other companies will be willing to locate there.

Wind Power Update
At a public meeting in early October, Apex Clean Energy disclosed the locations of the wind turbines it intends to build in the towns of Somerset and Yates. The project has drawn public and official opposition, but many of landowners have signed leases to allow Apex to build turbines for the Lighthouse Wind project on their property. The company said in intends to erect 45 to 50 turbines, each less than 600 feet high.

Local Natural News Resource
Read Chuck Rosenburg’s Buffalo-Niagara Almanac blog at bnnatureblog.com featuring text and photos describing what is currently happening in the natural world in WNY. Chuck Rosenburg has studied plants, animals, and their habitats for more than 30 years in the Buffalo-Niagara Region.

RECYCLE! Batteries and Bulbs
We’re going to revive the practice of allowing members to bring in certain items for recycling if you’re unable to take these items directly to collection sites at stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s, I will collect those specific household items at our chapter meetings (no large quantities, please). Items accepted for recycle include non-leaking rechargeable batteries, such as from power tools, cell phones, & laptops (no AA, AAA, C, D, or 9 volt single use batteries, please). Other items for recycle include common indoor or outdoor compact fluorescent bulbs that are not broken (NO broken lights and NO fluorescent tubes will be accepted). We’ll also recycle clean PLASTIC shopping or grocery bags.

Upcoming NY State Meeting
The next state ADK Conservation Meeting will be in Albany on November 3. Our chapter representative, Lynn Rehfeld-Kenny, will attend and submit a report.

–Bob Van Hise, Chair

Attacks on the environment never stop. To learn the latest environmental news, join the Conservation Committee!

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


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

In 2017, Kristen Taylor completed a Winter round of 46 high peaks on Phelps (#8689W – 3/18/17). She completed a regular round on Saddleback on 9/24/14.

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

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.

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.


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