2022 was a banner year for the Upper Saranac Foundation (USF) team. We couldn’t have accomplished what we did without your support — your contributions are critical to our operations.
Reflecting back on some of what was achieved, here are just a few of our 2022 highlights:
- USF completed a Watershed Management Plan that will serve as a blueprint, defining a strategy to guide management. The plan outlines seven primary goals and 59 specific tasks. In a collaborative effort, USF and the Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) worked with dozens of residents, visitors, agency partners, and elected officials to create a vision, goals, and an action plan for the watershed. The plan includes a comprehensive review of the state of Upper Saranac Lake (USL) and its watershed, drawn from decades of monitoring and management activities; it defines the community’s priorities and presents recommendations for implementation. This grant-funded plan will help leverage future fundraising opportunities.
- USF created its own Aquatic Invasive Dive Team that reduced aquatic invasive species (AIS) management expenses and further increased harvesting efficiency. The team also expanded to other water bodies outside the watershed, enabling us to extend our knowledge of AIS management regionally and share similar accomplishments as has been achieved on USL.
- USF divers continued the reduction of AIS on USL, reaching record low levels — from 20 tons in 2004 to now just a rare plant in 2022. The team further extended harvesting and reduced AIS infestations in Follensby Clear Pond and Fish Creek Campground.
- USF helped subsidize watershed stewards that were stationed at both USL’s Back Bay launch and Fish Creek Campground. Preventing the spread of AIS, stewards performed boat inspections, watercraft decontamination, and increased awareness about the environmental hazards of AIS and how to prevent their spread. Watershed stewards inspected 2,959 boats, interacted with 5,454 visitors, and intercepted AIS on seven occasions.
- In 2022, USF applied for and received over $63,000 in grant funding for watershed protection that was dedicated to AIS removal and lake management projects.
- USF has made final preparations for the revitalization of the Bartlett Carry Dam, scheduled to begin in the spring of 2023. Planning has included hiring an engineer, complete testing of the current dam for the development of engineering plans, obtaining numerous permits, obtaining easements and upgrading access, and preparing a request for contractor proposals. USF pursued a variety of funding sources through grant applications and congressional spending and has now embarked on a $2 million fundraising campaign. These efforts will stabilize the dam that maintains water levels essential for preserving the lake as we know it.
USF appreciates the support we receive to continue our mission of preserving and protecting water quality. A special thanks to those who have donated to the restoration of the Bartlett Carry Dam in 2023. It’s still not too late. We are grateful for your support. To learn more about the Upper Saranac Foundation, click here.