Next GENERAL MEETING – Tuesday, October 10, 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 – Common Sense First Aid

Join us to explore some common sense preventative measures as well as what to do when the unexpected happens. In our short time together, we will pack in basic necessities, tips to keep your first aid kit compact and light, yet complete for most injuries. We will also address the importance of being able to care for yourself on outings as well as what a trip leader should pack for the group.

You will walk out with a portable first aid kit for your day pack!

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

7:30pm: General Meeting and Presentation – Saving the Map Turtles of the Niagara Region – Presented by Dr. Ed Standora, Department of Biology, State University College at Buffalo

The Niagara Chapter of ADK is proud to have Dr. Ed Standora share his time with us discussing his conservation efforts in the Buffalo area and across the nation. Dr. Standora has been in the Biology Department at SUNY Buffalo State for 38 years. A SUNY
Chancellor’s Award winner and an Environmental Educator’s award recipient, he is one of the pioneers in the development of biotelemetry systems for tracking free-ranging animals. During his almost half a century of tracking, Dr. Standora has monitored the behavior of sharks off the coast of California, alligators, fish, and turtles in the Southeastern US, sea turtles off the coast of Central America, and estuarine turtles in New Jersey. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, the Earthwatch Research Institute, the New York State DEC and most recently the NY Power Authority. He and his graduate students are currently studying the behavior of a dwindling population of map turtles in the upper Niagara River. His talk will show the development and evolution of instrumentation to track and monitor animals during his long career and his recent efforts to help preserve local freshwater turtle populations.

Message From the Incoming Chair, Paul Gannon

For my first message as the new chapter chair, I would like to, once again, thank everyone for this show of faith. I will do my best to carry on the fine work of our previous chair, Janet Kowalski.

We had a great turnout for our September meeting. The annual ice cream social and vacation photo show is one of the highlights of the year. I always look forward to seeing what adventures our members have had. It amazes me how some people find time to do so much!

I want to encourage our members to take full advantage of everything that ADK has to offer. Our Loj facilities outside of Lake Placid are truly a jewel. I have made use of all the possibilities there, staying in the Loj in all seasons, renting a lean-to, tenting in the wilderness camp ground, paddling around Heart Lake, climbing Mt. Jo, and hiking to Johns Brook Lodge to spend a weekend. The newly renovated High Peaks Information Center and parking facilities provide a great base for your peak bagging trips.

Did you know that ADK publishes more than just our excellent trail guides? In fact, our club sells a complete library of outdoors and Adirondack themed titles. I have a number of them in my bookcase.

Finally, I encourage you to consider one of the many ADK Adventure trips. You will find them listed in the back of Adirondac and on the club website. I have been on three of them so far – a windjammer schooner cruise in Maine, a stay at Maho Bay on St. John in the US Virgin Islands, and hiking in the Canadian Rockies. Next June, I will take a float trip on the San Juan River in southern Utah.

I hope everyone enjoys what promises to be a beautiful WNY autumn. See you out there!

Paul M. Gannon

Conservation Corner, Lynn Rehfeld-Kenney, Chair

The Conservation Committee meeting will be held at Richard and Mary Schraven’s home on Tuesday, October 17th at 7:00pm. Call 716-564-2106 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 electric car. This will be a great follow up to the Conservation Conversation seminar we just presented on “Mitigating Climate Change”.

  • The big event has come and gone. Another successful Conservation Conversation public seminar provided great information on how to mitigate the effects of climate change. The effects of climate change were very evident when one of our speakers, who was going to present about ways to accelerate coral growth, could not get out of the Florida Keys to travel to Buffalo due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma. We were able to quickly recruit Jack Kanack, a meteorologist, who gave an excellent presentation about the effects of global warming on the weather. We learned that warmer ocean waters due to global warming will make it more likely to increase the size and frequency of hurricanes. He informed us that Buffalo is in a “sweet spot” in the USA and that we will not feel the full effects of global warming until the late 2030’s when there will not be enough snow for skiing. He spoke about NY states Solutions Project as a way that NY can help to mitigate global warming by decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels and expanding our production of wind, water and solar energy to 100% by the year 2050.
  • Dr. Zoe Hamstead’s researched focused on how the effects of natural disasters often have the greatest impact on people with lower socio economic status, such as lacking transportation to leave during a disaster or moving out of a flood prone area. She discussed plotting the effects of urban heat islands in NY City and her plans to do the same in Erie County. She gave examples of how to collaborate with residents, public institutions and government agencies to create “cool” neighborhoods. There was even someone in the audience from the Buffalo city planning board to gather information.
  • Leah Bernhardi, J.D. gave an excellent history on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change starting with the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the 2009 Copenhagen Accord and the 2015 Pairs Agreement. She spoke of her personal experiences at the Paris Agreement and the amount of hope and high energy that permeated the conference. 194 counties signed the agreement but unfortunately our US congress would not agree to sign it so President Obama accepted using an executive order. This has allowed President Trump to say he will not honor the United States commitment to the agreement unless changes are made to the USA position. She pointed out that the rest of the world is currently honoring the agreement. The US response has been that 377 US mayors have said they will honor that agreement. Mayor Byron Brown is one of those climate mayors. Governor Cuomo and the Governor of California have also agreed to honor it. Locally we must hold our mayor and governor to their commitment. One of our local state Senators, Tim Kennedy, attended the conference. To mitigate climate change she encouraged us to be informed and read everything, look for commonality with other groups to build bridges to work together, attend local government meetings and join the “Divestment Movement” to stop investing in fossil fuel companies in your stock portfolios.
  • 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.

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).


Thanks a million to Mike for his outstanding efforts to make THE NIAGARA EXPLORER a first class monthly newsletter. Mike set a high bar for quality, and had a keen and playful eye for fun graphics to match our stories. As you may know from his excellent presentation on Asian Carp in February 2017, Mike’s exciting career involves extensive travel and meetings at the federal level, which will not allow him to continue his newsletter role. We wish Mike all the best, and are grateful for his time with us.

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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