2017 October

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Delmar, New York
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Panama State Forest
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Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest
Watts Flats WMA

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

Map: Watts Wildlife Management Area

Map: Watts Wildlife Management Area

Watts Flats WMA is located approximately eight miles southwest of the city of Jamestown and three miles southeast of the village of Panama in Chautauqua County. The area is primarily made up of wetland habitat.

Current development and management objectives for the area are to provide habitat for a variety of resident and migratory species and to permit compatible wildlife related recreational use. A shallow water impoundment was created to attract waterfowl. An annual system of grassland mowing is done to keep open fields from reverting to brush and trees. These activities are carried out with monies derived mainly from hunting license fees and federal taxes on sporting arms and ammunition.

The primary management objective of this WMA is to maintain quality wetland habitat for waterfowl. Large numbers of waterfowl, shorebirds and wading birds have been documented on the area during breeding or migration.

Habitat management activities include wetland and grassland maintenance.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/83208.html

Map: Panama State Forest

Map: Panama State Forest

Panama State Forest (Chautauqua #4) spans 1,224 acres in the town of Harmony, located south of Panama in the southwestern portion of Chautauqua County. This forest offers numerous recreational opportunities and provides habitat to a variety of wildlife species.

Panama State Forest is a perfect setting for numerous outdoor recreational activities, including picnicking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, and birdwatching.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/42259.html

One of my hopes after the recent terror attacks using motor vehicles in London and New York, and the many other crashes involving drunk and elderly drivers is a rethinking of the automobile in our cities. Cars are noisy, smelly nuisances in the cities; they are dangerous when motorists are distracted, drunk, or have evil aims. They should be reined in.

How do we rein in the automobile in the city? One option is to prohibit private automobiles in the central city, replacing it with free public transportation and pedestrian or bicycle walkways. This works best when the layout is pretty compact and where you have tunnels or other protection from the weather in the cold weather. Sometimes prohibiting motor vehicles can lead to a decrease in traffic to businesses, this has to be weight against the decreased noise, air pollution and increased space for things like park benches, picnic tables and  the alike. One option would be to close streets down on certain days of the week, especially when lots of people are out and about, especially during protests, marches, concerts and major events like Friday nights when people are out drinking and socalizing.

Another option is protecting the pedestrian and bicycle space from the motor vehicle. Jersey barriers are excellent methods of keeping automobiles where they are supposed to be — in the street. Jersey Barriers will help keep road noise in the street, while making pedestrians feel safer. They keep children, dogs and pets out of the street and ensure people only cross at safe intersections. Jersey Barriers need not be ugly — they could be worked in with street planters and have decorative concerete on the pedestrian side. One concern with Jersey Barriers is storm water — steps would have be taken to ensure they aren’t blocking the flow of water into street drains. Done right though, Jersey Barriers could do a lot to improve city life. I guess they might also somewhat block the motorist view of buildings and parks, but that’s not a totally bad thing — if it encourages people to park and take a look around.

A lower cost hybrid option might be concrete planters or wooded guide rails like they use in some parks nowadays. They could also use stainless steel guardrails like they use on rural highways, but I would argue they would be rather ugly in cities and should be avoided. The key is keep errant and intentional acts from allowing vehicles to depart the roadway and invade the pedestrian space.

Safety improvements for the pedestrian in the city, should not be funded from multimodal funding but from regular road construction funding. Build less new roads, focus on making existing ones safer. It’s not the pedestrian or bicyclist that’s causing the problem, it’s the errant motorist who is leaving their designated spot with their 2 or more ton vehicle, posing a grave threat to public safety and well being.

Automobiles are great devices; driving is a lot of fun. But they really do not belong in congested downtowns, but instead should be parked in lots on the outskirts of cities. For too long we’ve been too permissive towards motoring, failing to consider alternative uses of our urban lands that aren’t so noisy, so polluting and dangerous. Simply said, private automobiles don’t belong in cities.

A Legal Case Against Storing Tank Cars In Adirondacks

"The federal government established the thirty-mile rail line during World War II to ship titanium ore from a mine in Tahawus. The corridor crossed thirteen miles of Forest Preserve as well as private land. Using its power of eminent domain, the government acquired an easement set to expire in 1962. The corridor then was supposed to revert to its original owners, including New York State. Instead, the General Services Administration used eminent domain to extend the easement for another hundred years, until 2062."

"In 1989, GSA sold the easement to NL Industries, the owner of the mine. Several years ago, NL sold it to Iowa Pacific. Woodworth said the easement specifies that if the line ceases to be operated as a railroad, the corridor must be returned to its original owners."

"When Iowa Pacific acquired the line, it hoped to transport waste rock from the mine, but so far the company has been unable to find customers. If it clogs the line with empty cars, Woodworth said, it will be impossible to use it for transportation. In essence, he contends, the line will cease to be a railroad—in violation of the easement."

"In fact, the corridor has not been an active railroad for many years. Woodworth said he’d like the state to initiate condemnation proceedings to reclaim its Forest Preserve lands. If the tracks were removed, he said, the corridor could be converted into a recreational trail."

“It could become one of the premier rail trails in the Northeast because of the beauty of the area,” he said."

Good evening! Trick or treat. I’m not doing any of that this year but I’m sure the kiddies are having fun tonight. Partly clear and 51 degrees in Delmar, NY. There is a west breeze at 8 mph. That breeze makes it feel a bit chilly out waiting for the bus this evening. Traffic is a bit goulish too tonight. I guess the gobblins are in line waiting to beg for candy. 

Tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low of 33 degrees at 5am. Three degrees below normal. Southwest wind 3 to 8 mph. In 2016, we had mostly clear skies with more clouds in the early hours of the next day. It got down to 25 degrees. The record low of 22 occurred back in 1964.

Tonight will have a Waxing Gibbous Moon with 88% illuminated. The moon will set tonight at 4:10 am. The Beaver Moon is on Friday night with scattered showers. The sun will rise at 7:29 am with the first light at 7:00 am, which is one minute and 15 seconds later than yesterday. Tonight will have 13 hours and 41 minutes of darkness, an increase of 2 minutes and 35 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will be scattered showers, mainly after 2pm. Increasing clouds, with a high of 49 degrees at 2pm. Five degrees below normal. South wind 3 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible. A year ago, we had partly cloudy skies. The high last year was 56 degrees. The record high of 78 was set in 1950. 3.9 inches of snow fell back in 1951.

Right now, a split verdict on the weekend. Saturday, partly sunny, with a high near 53. Sunday, a chance of rain and snow before 8am, then a chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 52. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Typical average high for the weekend is 53 degrees.

In four weeks on November 28 the sun will be setting at 4:23 pm (Standard Time), which is one hour, 24 minutes and 47 seconds earlier then today. In 2016 on that day, we had mostly sunny skies and temperatures between 45 and 20 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 43 and 28 degrees. The record high of 68 degrees was set back in 1990.

Looking ahead, Election Day 2017 is in 1 week, Average High is 40 is in 2 weeks, New Years Eve is in 1 months, Election Day 2018 is in 53 weeks and Election Day 2020 is in 157 weeks.

November 2 is the latest recorded 80 degree temperature in the year for Albany. The last time it was that warm in November was back in 1950. It was 82 degrees on that exceptionally warm day. The earliest 80 degree temperature recorded in Albany was on March 9, 2016 when it got up to 81 degrees. Throughout the winter season, we’ve had a number of 70 degree plus days recorded, but 80 degree weather is pretty rare.

Carbon Dioxide Levels Grew at Record Pace in 2016

"The amount of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere grew at record rate in 2016 to a level not seen for millions of years, potentially fuelling a 20-metre rise in sea levels and adding 3 degrees to temperatures, the United Nations said on Monday."

"Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main man-made greehouse gas, hit 403.3 parts per million (ppm), up from 400.0 in 2015, the U.N. World Meteorological Organization said in its annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. That growth rate was 50 percent faster than the average over the past decade, driving CO2 levels 45 percent above pre-industrial levels and further outside the range of 180-280 ppm seen in recent cycles of ice ages and warmer periods."