Posts Tagged ‘DEC’

Monday, July 21, 2014

State Opens Trail To OK Slip Falls

OKSlip-600x719The state has opened a three-mile hiking trail to OK Slip Falls in the recently established Hudson Gorge Wilderness.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the opening of the trail today in news release in which he also touted funding for equestrian trails in the central Adirondacks and for the repair of the Lake Abanakee Dam in Indian Lake.

The state acquired OK Slip Falls—one of the tallest cascades in the Adirondack Park—from the Nature Conservancy in 2013. Since then, people have been hiking to the falls along informal trails or bushwhacking.

The official trail starts on the north side of Route 28, at the same trailhead for a pre-existing trail that leads to Ross, Whortleberry, and Big Bad Luck ponds. The parking area is on the south side of the highway, about 7.5 miles east of the hamlet of Indian Lake and 0.2 miles west of the trailhead.

» Continue Reading.



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Earthjustice Obtains Court Order To Block NYCO Drilling

vernal poolEarthjustice has obtained a court order blocking NYCO Minerals from test drilling in the Jay Mountain Wilderness Area until the judge has a chance to hear oral arguments in Earthjustice’s lawsuit against NYCO and two state agencies.

State Supreme Court Justice Thomas Buchanan on Monday granted Earthjustice’s request for a temporary restraining order–providing the plaintiffs post a $10,000 bond to cover NYCO’s damages if Earthjustice loses the suit. NYCO could have begun work as early as this week and argued in court that delays would hurt the company financially.

Earthjustice attorney Deborah Goldberg said the bond was posted Wednesday afternoon.

» Continue Reading.



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Is Rails With Trails A Practical Solution?

Adirondack Tourist Train (Susan Bibeau)Supporters of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad continue to push for keeping the tracks at the Lake Placid end of the rail line and for creating a “rails-with-trails” option for bikers, hikers, snowmobilers, and others who want to use the state-owned corridor.

The Adirondack Railway Preservation Society, which operates the railroad, said in a news release last week that a multi-use travel corridor best serves the public interest. “Rails and trails can exist and work successfully together,” it declared.

On Monday, a volunteer group called Trails with Rail Action Committee (TRAC) also voiced support for this idea. TRAC says it has been working with state officials “to identify recreational trails within the existing Remsen to Lake Placid travel corridor and looks forward to contributing to realizing the full economic potential of this important asset in the Adirondacks.”

» Continue Reading.



Monday, July 14, 2014

Bill Ingersoll:
Routing A National Trail Through The Adirondacks

ncnstrouteThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is currently accepting comments on a proposed route for the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST) through the Adirondacks, from Crown Point to Forestport. The plan can be downloaded from DEC’s website here.

The NCNST is a proposed long-distance hiking trail comparable to the Appalachian Trail, extending from the Adirondacks to North Dakota. Rather than following a continuous mountain path like its more famous cousin, the NCNST follows a variety of trail types, from the wild shores of Lake Superior to the canal towpaths of Ohio, for an anticipated total of 4600 miles. The trail was authorized by Congress in 1980, and its development is supervised by the National Park Service, although the trail itself remains owned by the underlying landowners—state parks, national forests, and more than a few willing private owners as well. Much of the trail has already been completed, but many more miles still remain on the drawing board. You can find an overview of the trail here, and learn about its stewardship here. » Continue Reading.



Friday, July 11, 2014

State Expects To Solicit Rail-Trail Ideas This Fall

Adirondack Tourist Train (Susan Bibeau)State officials hope to hold public meetings on the future of the Adirondack rail corridor this fall, the state’s environmental conservation commissioner told Adirondack Almanack.

Known as scoping sessions, the meetings will be held to solicit the public’s ideas for the 90-mile corridor between Old Forge and Lake Placid.

Following the meetings, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and state Department of Transportation will analyze the public comments and develop a draft management plan for the corridor. The departments will hold public hearings on the draft before issuing a final version of the plan.

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said he hopes the final plan will be adopted sometime in the second half of next year.

» Continue Reading.



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

State To Consider Removing Tracks East Of Tupper Lake

Adirondack Tourist Train (Susan Bibeau)After several years of public debate, the state has decided to consider tearing up the tracks and establishing a bike trail in at least part of a 90-mile rail corridor that cuts through the heart of the Adirondack wilderness.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Transportation announced today that they would reopen the management plan for the corridor and look at establishing a recreational trail in the 34 miles between the villages of Tupper Lake and Lake Placid. In addition, the state will examine the possibility of expanding rail service on the rest of the line between Tupper Lake and Old Forge.

“Our goal is to protect our natural resources, while also exploring ways to increase opportunities for people to enjoy outdoor recreation activities in the Adirondacks,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said in a news release. “We recognize that the future of the Remsen-to-Lake Placid Travel Corridor is important to local residents, communities, and the regional economy.”

» Continue Reading.



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Judge Reaffirms Order Against Hudson River Rafting

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA state judge has once again ordered Hudson River Rafting Company to stop offering whitewater trips until it replenishes a $50,000 performance bond required by an earlier court order.

At a hearing Tuesday afternoon, State Supreme Court Justice Richard Giardino said that Hudson River Rafting cannot offer raft trips on any part of a river where licensed guides are required, according to the office of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. In doing so, the judge reaffirmed an earlier order.

The attorney general has taken Hudson River Rafting and its owner, Patrick Cunningham, to court several times over the past few years. In 2012, Schneiderman tried to close Hudson River Rafting permanently over allegations that, among other things, the company sent clients on whitewater trips without licensed guides.

The suit was filed a few weeks after a woman drowned on one of Hudson River Rafting’s excursions. The guide later admitted he was drunk. He was sentenced to a year in jail after pleading guilty to criminally negligent homicide.

» Continue Reading.



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Dave Gibson On Essex Chain Plan:
Does It Comply? Does Anyone Care?

Essex Chain APA-map-with-labelsThe draft Unit Management Plan (UMP)  for the Essex Chain of Lakes is out and available for public comment until July 18th. To discerning readers, it will be clear that many of its recommendations and management actions, which the APA must deem to be in compliance with the State Land Master Plan, are just going ahead anyway. For example, primitive tent sites, parking lots and other facilities throughout are being completed this summer “prior to adoption of the Unit Management Plan.” These are not interim steps. These are final decisions as to number, design, and location.

I understand why the State appears to be rushing to complete this parking and camping by permit system on the Essex Chain and Upper Hudson River. These are vulnerable aquatic systems and nobody wants to establish an early pattern of recreational overuse which could degrade these ponds and their shorelines and rare ecological plant and fish communities. I conceptually support this UMP’s camping permit reservation system. It makes management and stewardship sense, as does the inclusion of the Student Conservation Association and the Adirondack Interpretive Center in managing such a camping reservation system. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, June 19, 2014

Comments Sought On Snowmobile Trails, New State Lands

Essex Chain CampsitesIncreased opportunities for outdoor recreation in the Adirondacks would be available under two proposed plans released today for public review and comment, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced. Comments will be accepted on the Essex Chain Lakes Management Complex Draft Unit Management Plan (Draft UMP) and a Draft Community Connector Multiple-Use Trail Plan (Draft Trail Plan) through July 18.

The Essex Chain Lakes Management Complex includes the 6,956-acre Essex Chain Primitive Area, the 2,788-acre Pine Lake Primitive Area and a portion of the 42,537-acre Blue Mountain Wild Forest. These lands are located in the Town of Indian Lake in Hamilton County, and towns of Newcomb and Minerva in Essex County. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

DEC Seeks Comments On Draft North Country Trail Plan

North Country Scenic Trail RouteAs part of a federal effort to expand the national trail system across the northern U.S., the  New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has released a revised draft Adirondack Park Trail Plan for the North Country National Scenic Trail (NST). The plan includes recommendations for the route of the National Scenic Trail through the Adirondack Park.

In March 1980, federal legislation authorized the establishment of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NST) as a component of the National Trails System. To date, Congress has authorized the establishment of eight National Scenic Trails – long distance, non-motorized trails that follow major geographic features or pass through scenic areas. National Scenic Trails are patterned after the renowned Appalachian National Scenic Trail, commonly known as the Appalachian Trail. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, June 12, 2014

DEC Seeks Comments On Adirondack Foothills Management

Adirondack Foothills UMPThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)  is preparing a unit management plan (UMP) which will include six state forests, 21 detached parcels of Forest Preserve and one Office of General Services (OGS) parcel located close to but outside the southwest boundary of the Adirondack Park in northern Oneida and Herkimer counties. The public is invited to submit comments for a draft Adirondack Foothills UMP that will guide management of these unique state lands well into the future.

The state forests included in the unit are Hogsback, Popple Pond, Punkeyville, and Woodhull in Oneida County and Black Creek and Hinckley in Herkimer County. These state forest lands total 7,252 acres. The Detached Forest Preserve Parcels total 2,025 acres and the OGS parcel is 25 acres in size. The Adirondack Foothills Management Unit lands are located in the Oneida County towns of Boonville and Forestport and Herkimer County towns of Norway, Russia and Salisbury. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Neil Woodworth: ADK Urges State to Comply With Laws

NYCO-Minerals-Wollastonite-Mine-Nancie-B-PhotoOn May 30, 2014 the Adirondack Mountain Club’s (ADK) Advocacy Office in Albany submitted comments in response to the Opportunity to Comment posted by both the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) on DEC’s proposed amendment to the Jay Mountain Wilderness Unit Management Plan (JMUMP) and to the Draft Temporary Revocable Permit (TRP) for NYCO Minerals, Inc. to conduct exploratory drilling on Lot 8 in the Jay Mountain Wilderness. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

DEC Deploys Backcountry Stewards, Assistant Rangers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFollowing a week of training, a group of 40 backcountry stewards and assistant forest rangers are now deployed on state lands and wildlife management areas across New York to protect the state’s natural resources and help visitors enjoy a safe and rewarding outdoor experience according to state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens.

The training was conducted through the Backcountry Stewardship Program, a long running partnership between DEC and the Student Conservation Association (SCA) that began more than a decade ago.  The majority of backcountry stewards and assistant forest rangers were in the field starting Memorial Day weekend and will serve through Labor Day, with some working through Columbus Day. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, June 5, 2014

If You Care, Leave It There: Don’t Disturb Wildlife

Nature of the day 1New Yorkers should keep their distance and not disturb newborn fawns or other young wildlife as many animals are in the peak season for giving birth, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) cautioned today.

It is not unusual to see a young bird crouched in the yard or a young rabbit in the flower garden, both apparently abandoned. Finding a fawn deer lying by itself is also fairly common. Many people assume that young wildlife found alone are helpless and need assistance for their survival, however, in nearly all cases this is a mistake and typically human interaction does more damage than good. Those that see a fawn or other newborn wildlife should enjoy their encounter but keep it brief, maintain some distance and do not attempt to touch the animal. » Continue Reading.


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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Dave Gibson: Decision Time for Wilderness Mining

Canopy of large, sugar maples growing on Lot 8, Jay Mountain Wilderness. Photo by Dan Plumley, Adirondack WildIn April, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and Adirondack Park Agency issued draft permits and unit management plan amendments respectively that would allow NYCO Minerals to conduct mineral exploration this summer on Lot 8 in the  Jay Mountain Wilderness.

The State would authorize such activity with only the most rudimentary information about what’s currently living and growing on Lot 8, no standards by which to judge the impacts of drilling on Wilderness character and resources, and no information about potential direct and indirect impacts of mineral testing beyond Lot 8. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

DEC Launches New Outdoor Recreation Mobile App

DEC Mobile AppThe NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has launched a new outdoor recreation tool – The New York Fish & Wildlife  App.

The app is a useful interactive tool that provides information about outdoor sporting and recreation in the palm of your hands. It features species profiles, rules and regulations, important permits and licensing details, and interactive GPS mapping capability that even allows you to store maps for use when out of cell service range.   » Continue Reading.



Thursday, May 22, 2014

DEC Adopts Black Bear Plan, Seeks Comments On New Rules

American black bear by Cephas @ Wikimedia CommonsThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has adopted a ten-year black bear management plan which outlines the principles and methods used to monitor and manage black bear populations in New York and is designed to provide strategic guidance for the DEC’s activities.  The plan includes several proposed changes to hunting rules, for which the DEC is seeking public comments. » Continue Reading.



Monday, May 19, 2014

DEC Plans To Adopt Ski Trails Near Tupper

Bog River skierA few years ago I spent several hours skiing some informal trails in the Forest Preserve along the Bog River in Tupper Lake. I liked the trails so much that I wrote an article describing the experience.

I got some heat for the article, because after it was published the state Department of Environmental Conservation removed the trails’ home-made markers and signs. I also wrote an article for the Adirondack Almanack that can be read here.

But there may be a happy ending to the story: DEC is proposing to adopt and maintain the trails.

» Continue Reading.



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Timothy Duffy Named DEC Law Enforcement Director

DEC LogoNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the appointment of Timothy A. Duffy to the position of director of the Division of Law Enforcement.  As the new director, Duffy will oversee more than 330 sworn members of DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement.

The division focuses on enforcing the Environmental Conservation Law although they are empowered to enforce all laws of the state. Their mission encompasses two broad enforcement areas: fish and wildlife and environmental quality. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, May 8, 2014

Deer Hunting: 2013-14 Whitetail Harvest Numbers

white_tailed_deer1Hunters killed approximately 243,550 deer during the 2013-14 hunting seasons, nearly equivalent to the statewide take last year, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

The deer take included approximately 128,850 antlerless deer (adult females and fawns) and about 114,700 adult bucks (1.5 years or older), both estimates being within 4 percent of the 2012 take.  Hunters in the Northern Zone walked out of the woods with roughly 32,300 deer, including 19,500 adult bucks. The Northern Zone take for the 2012-2013 season was 30,843; in 2000-2001 the Northern Zone take was 28,622 in the 2010-2011 season.  In the Southern Zone, excluding Long Island, hunters took 208,300 deer, including about 94,200 adult bucks. Comparisons of these harvest estimates with past seasons can be found online. » Continue Reading.



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