2017 April 26

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Alfred E. Smith Building
Beebe Hill State Forest
Donald John Trump
Little Stony Point
McDonough State Forest
Public Lands Policy
Public Transit
Rensselearville State Forest
Thirteenth Lake

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

President Trump’s review of National Monument declarations makes a lot of sense. Prior presidents have designated a lot of our existing public lands as National Monuments with little to no public review or discussion on how public land should be used as part of such monuments.

The Bears Ear National Monument is particularly odious. The former president designated the national monument of 1.4 million acres only days before he left the White House — again with little public discussion on the uses of these lands. These public lands, previously open to a wide variety of uses and management strategies will be forever closed off to many uses.

1.4 million acres is a lot of land for a single person to decide should be forever locked up from most public use, with little public input. The entire Catskill Park — both public and private lands  — is only 700,000 acres, so the Bear Acres National Monument is twice the size of Catskill Park, defined by the whim of an executive who was leaving office with zero input of the public or it’s elected representatives.

Public lands belong to all Americans. The public should have a voice on how it’s governed, and no one man, no matter his or her power, should be able to force future wilderness status upon public lands without thoughtful review. While it’s true that National Monuments are not immediately declared wilderness, they are much like so-called “Primitive” Areas in the Adirondack Park, they will eventually be removed of all “non-compatible” features, and most future development of natural and recreational resources will be prevented.

It’s important that public lands belong the public hands, and that we the public should have a voice in the process of governing the lands. The public should have a voice both in natural resource development on their lands — a valuable source of funding to ensure the maintenance of these lands — and recreational use of the lands. Public lands should provide for the greatest good of the greatest number in the long run. This can’t be determined by the whim of one man in the White House as he’s packing his boxes on his final days.

It’s good that President Trump and his Interior Secretary Zinke has ordered a review of lands designated as National Monuments in the past twenty years, with an eye to modify their administration through an act of Congress. This is the lawful way to proceed. The public and it’s representatives should have a voice in administration of the land it owns, to make sure such public lands are administered for the benefit all Americans.

And going forward, the Antiquities Act should be curtailed to be a temporary, emergency-only power lasting only a few months that protects public lands against abuse until further administrative or congressional action occurs. It’s reasonable to give executive agencies the power to classify public lands and dictate their uses after careful consideration of public comments, but Congress should also have the explicit power to review and overturn their classifications, if the executive agency’s decisions are inconsistent with the public’s will.

Good evening! Partly cloudy and 68 degrees in City of Albany. There is a east breeze at 5 mph. The dew point is 57 degrees. The skies will clear around 8 pm.

The sun will set at 7:50 pm with dusk around 8:20 pm, which is one minute and 9 seconds later than yesterday. At sunset, look for mostly cloudy conditions and 65 degrees. The dew point will be 56 degrees. There will be a east-southeast breeze at 5 mph. I think it might be nice enough to go down to the park this evening. Or I may have a nice dinner and walk down to the library and sit on the bench with my laptop. I’ll have to think about it more. 

Traffic is moving fairly well downtown but there are some minor delays on Southern Boulevard. But ever since they tweaked the timing at the traffic light the commute has gotten better. 

Things continue to get more green downtown and in the suburbs, as we get closer to spring. Won’t be long before you will be swatting black flies in the Adirondacks. 

Tonight will have patchy fog after 3am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low of 53 degrees at 5am. 12 degrees above normal. Maximum dew point of 57 at 6pm. Southeast wind 3 to 5 mph. In 2016, it got down to 34 degrees with periods of fog. The record low of 26 occurred back in 1963.

Waxing Crescent Moon tonight with 6% illuminated. The moon will set around 9:49 pm. The First Quarter Moon is next Wednesday. The Full “Flower” Moon is on Wednesday, May 10th. The sun will rise at 5:54 am with the first light at 5:24 am, which is one minute and 27 seconds earlier than yesterday. Tonight will have 10 hours and 2 minutes of darkness, a decrease of 2 minutes and 35 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will have areas of fog before 8am. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high of 76 degrees at 3pm. 13 degrees above normal. Maximum dew point of 59 at 3pm. South wind 3 to 8 mph. Sounds like a nice day. A year ago, we had fog and a high of 58 degrees. The record high of 91 was set in 1962. There was a dusting of snow in 1946.

The weekend we still have to watch. Looks warm but how much sun? Saturday, a slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 79. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. Maximum dew point of 60 at 3pm. Sunday, a chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 68. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Maximum dew point of 44 at 7pm. Typical average high for the weekend is 64 degrees.

I might go camping this weekend, I have to think about it further. Friday they are doing some tree work at my place so I to avoid moving my car, I’ll probably drive in. I’m sure they are even going to reduce the shade in the yard. Actually I think they are removing a tree up front that continues to cause plumbing problems. I hate how my sinks drain slowly at times. 

In four weeks on May 24 the sun will be setting at 8:20 pm, which is 29 minutes and 42 seconds later then today. In 2016 on that day, we had rain and temperatures between 67 and 53 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 72 and 50 degrees. The record high of 92 degrees was set back in 1964.

Looking ahead, Pack Rat Day is in 3 weeks, Memorial Day Weekend is a month away, Flag Day is in 7 weeks, Summer is in 8 weeks and Inaugeration Day 2021 is in 195 weeks.

Map: Rensselaerville State Forest

Map: Rensselaerville State Forest

A well-kept secret in the western part of Rensselaerville. Minimal signage, best approached on Cheese Hill Road from County Route 358 or State Route 145 (Preston Hollow), or from Gulf Road off County Route 353. The area has several hilly, narrow seasonal roads--not for the faint of heart. The multi-use trails aren't blazed but are indicated by "Motor Vehicle Trail" signs. Recreation in this beautiful forest includes hunting, trapping, fishing, hiking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, mountain biking, nature observation, and birdwatching.