2017 April 01

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'60s Music
April Fools
Cole Hill State Forest
Delmar Laundry
Delmar, New York
Middleburgh Cliff
Public Lands Policy
Vromans Nose

April 2017
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Is Wilderness the Best Choice?

My hope is with the new president, we can have a more balanced policies to our public lands, and not be locking them all up as wilderness.

"People promoting more designated wilderness usually tell us we only have two alternatives, wilderness or unfettered development. Not true! We have an infinite number of alternatives between these extremes. Many laws and regulations protect federal lands, and actions affecting those lands must pass high standards of environmental protection and public review."

"Carefully crafted plans that we help develop assure these lands and the ecosystems they support will be sustained for present and future generations. Management emphasis can vary from leaving the land undeveloped to building roads and harvesting trees. Forest managers have access to a full toolbox of management options that wilderness denies them. They can enhance endangered species’ habitat and actively protect it. They can prescribe and ignite fires needed for fuels management. They can thin dense stands of trees, salvage dead trees and remove barriers to endangered fish. AND THEY CAN MANAGE FOR A VARIETY OF RECREATION EXPERIENCES."

Good evening! I hope people didn’t play too many tricks on you during April Fools Day. Light rain and 38 degrees in Delmar. There is a north-northwest breeze at 5 mph. The skies will clear tomorrow around 5 am.

Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with a low of 33 degrees at 5am. Typical for tonight. Nights on average in April do not get below freezing. Northwest wind 5 to 7 mph. In 2016, it got down to 37 degrees under mostly cloudy skies. The record low of 17 occurred back in 1964.

Waxing Crescent Moon tonight with 39% illuminated. The moon will set around 1:14 am. The First Quarter Moon is on Monday night with chance of rain then rain expected. The Full “Pink” Moon is on Tuesday, April 11th. The sun will rise at 6:35 am with the first light at 6:07 am, which is one minute and 43 seconds earlier than yesterday. Tonight will have 11 hours and 11 minutes of darkness, a decrease of 2 minutes and 52 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will be mostly sunny, with a high of 49 degrees at 5pm. Three degrees below normal. Northwest wind 8 to 14 mph. A year ago, we had mostly cloudy skies and a high of 53 degrees. The record high of 77 was set in 2010. 8 inches of snow fell back in 1924.

I’m thinking about heading out hiking somewhere early tomorrow. Maybe the preserve on Wolf Hill? I don’t know. I might also just go for a walk at Five Rivers. I don’t want to go too far, and I think I’d rather go somewhere I won’t need snowshoes or skis. I don’t know when I’ll be heading downtown tomorrow for work as part of the continuing budget saga, but I’m hoping at least I’ll have my morning free, so I can get out and enjoy it before putting on my suit and tie.

Went to the laundromat and to the grocery store to pick up some supplies. Only bought $20 in groceries, will probably need more supplies later in the week but then I’ll probably run to Walmart and wash the latest batch of salt off my truck. I think I will kill the lights and go to bed shortly, so to try catch up on sleep. No alarm tomorrow, but I do plan to get a fairly early start.

In four weeks on April 29 the sun will be setting at 7:54 pm, which is 31 minutes and 51 seconds later then tonight. In 2016 on that day, we had mostly cloudy skies and temperatures between 59 and 37 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 64 and 42 degrees. The record high of 88 degrees was set back in 1888.

Looking ahead, Earth Day is in 3 weeks, May Day is a month away and the Start of June is in 2 months.

First solar farm may come to Guilderland

While I've always thought roof top-solar pared to a household's or building's commercial load makes a lot of sense, I'm very cynical about utility-scale solar. Selling back excess power to grid is better then solar-controllers discarding it (as off grid houses do).

I think utility scale solar is mostly a nuisance to utility operators, putting mostly low-value power into the grid that is offset by running fossil power plants at a less efficient, lower speed. Even at peak times, utility solar has to be backed up by fossil-fired spinning reserve.

But my views are changing slightly on utility solar. Here's why. Solar farms have a practical lifespan of 20-30 years, and while they may be ugly, they are a light use of the land. Solar panels can crushed and hauled off to the landfill at end of their lifespan, with the aluminum frames, copper wire, and steel frames recovered as scrap. Once solar panels removed to the land, the parcels can be rededicated for purposes of agriculture or wildlife conservation.

In other words, utility solar conserves large parcels of lands for future generations, by only lightly developing the land. So it's not totally terrible idea. But a better investment is in roof-top solar, where solar can offset actual load on the grid, rather then feeding in low-value power into the grid.