Posts Tagged ‘DEC’

Monday, September 15, 2014

ATV Damage in the Black River Wild Forest

ATV damage to the Gull Lake Trail, Black River Wild Forest.On August 29th, I visited the Gull Lake and Chub Pond trails in the Black River Wild Forest. I photographed all sorts of trail and wetland damage from All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) use on these trails. ATVs are not allowed on these trails, but the Black River Wild Forest area has a history of illegal ATV use, and I thought that the damage to these trails reflected more of the same.

I had received reports about ATV damage in this part of the Forest Preserve earlier this year. The previous week I had spent time in the Ferris Lake Wild Forest inventorying trail damage from ATVs and photographing ATV side-routes around various barrier gates put up by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). It appeared that the damage to the Chub Pond and Gull Lake trails was also caused by illegal trespass. The usual telltale signs of illegal trespass and recreational riding were evident. » Continue Reading.



Monday, September 15, 2014

2013-14 Freshwater Fishing Regs Extended Thru March

NYS Freshwater Fishing Guide 2013-2014The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that the current (2013-14) freshwater fishing regulations will extend through March 31, 2015.  New freshwater fishing regulations will take effect April 1, 2015 and a new regulations guide will be available from all license sale vendors at that time.

“This change was made based upon the change to the effective dates of our freshwater fishing licenses,” DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens said in a statement announcing the change. “In the past, fishing licenses, like our hunting licenses were effective October 1 thru September 30.  Fishing licenses are now effective 365 days from the date of purchase and it made sense to adjust the effective dates of our fishing regulations to coincide with the April 1 opener of the statewide trout season which is our traditional kickoff to the freshwater fishing season.”  » Continue Reading.



Thursday, September 11, 2014

State Acquires Former Finch, Pruyn Lands Near High Peaks

D08A9330The state has purchased a 5,770-acre tract abutting the High Peaks Wilderness from the Adirondack Nature Conservancy, the latest acquisition of former Finch, Pruyn lands for the Forest Preserve.

Known as Macintyre West, the tract includes 3,081-foot Mount Andrew and sixteen-acre Lake Andrew as well as Santanoni Brook, which flows into Henderson Lake, and Sucker Brook, which flows into Newcomb Lake.

“It’s an important part of the upper Hudson watershed,” said John Sheehan, spokesman for the Adirondack Council. “We think it’d be a fine addition to the High Peaks Wilderness.”

He expects the tract will be used by hikers, hunters, and anglers.

» Continue Reading.



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

State Argues NYCO Foes Thwarting Will Of Voters

plumley lot 8Environmental activists seeking to prevent NYCO Minerals from drilling in the Jay Mountain Wilderness are trying to thwart the will of the electorate, according to court papers filed by the state attorney general’s office.

Assistant Attorney General Susan Taylor argues that NYCO should be allowed to drill for wollastonite in the state-owned Forest Preserve despite a lawsuit filed by Adirondack Wild, Protect the Adirondacks, Sierra Club, and Atlantic States Legal Foundation.

In November 2013, voters approved an amendment to Article 14 of the state constitution to permit NYCO to acquire a 200-acre parcel known as Lot 8 in the Jay Mountain Wilderness in exchange for land of equal or greater value. Known as Proposition 5, the amendment authorized NYCO to conduct test bores to ensure that Lot 8 contains enough wollastonite—a mineral used in plastics and ceramics—to make the land swap worthwhile. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Adirondacks May Become A Conduit For Tar-Sands Oil

Rail accident in Lac Megantic, Quebec in 2013 (Wikimedia photo)Four environmental organizations are sponsoring a forum in Plattsburgh this week on the dangers of transporting Bakken crude oil on trains through the Champlain Valley, but trains may someday be moving another hazardous fuel through the region: oil from the Canadian tar sands.

Global Companies receives Bakken crude at the Port of Albany, much of which is transported on a rail line that runs along the shore of Lake Champlain. Bakken crude is a volatile fuel that caused massive explosions when a train derailed in Quebec last year, killing forty-seven people.

» Continue Reading.



Monday, August 25, 2014

Upper Saranac Lake Boat Launch Upgrades Planned

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that $475,000 in upgrades will be made to the Upper Saranac Lake Boat Launch.

The boat launch, located at the intersection of County Route 46 and Back Bay Road, is one of two public boat launches that provide access to Upper Saranac Lake.

The planned improvements include: » Continue Reading.



Monday, August 18, 2014

DEC To Remove Grace Peak Summit Sign

Grace.Lisa_GodfreyLess than two months after hikers placed a commemorative sign on top of Grace Peak, state officials have decided it must come down.

On June 21, a large group of hikers gathered on the summit to celebrate—with champagne and cake—the renaming of the 4,012-foot mountain from East Dix to Grace Peak in honor of the late Grace Hudowalski, the longtime historian of the Adirondack Forty-Sixers.

» Continue Reading.



Thursday, August 14, 2014

NYCO Arguments Postponed Till Late October

plumley lot 8Arguments in State Supreme Court over NYCO Minerals’ plan to drill for wollastonite on Lot 8 in the Jay Mountain Wilderness have been postponed until October 24.

In July, Earthjustice obtained a temporary restraining order to block the test drilling. At the time, Justice Thomas Buchanan scheduled arguments for August 22 on whether the ban should remain in effect for the duration of a lawsuit filed against NYCO, the Adirondack Park Agency, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation. » Continue Reading.



Monday, August 11, 2014

DEC To Reopen Essex Chain Draft Management Plan

The-Essex-Chain-Nancie-Battaglia-300x192The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will make revisions to the Essex Chain Draft Unit Management Plan (UMP), DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced on Friday.

“In response to public comments from local businesses, community representatives, individuals and a variety of stakeholders – including many who recommended that potential locations for a snowmobile trail should be addressed in the current Draft UMP – DEC has decided it will revise the Draft UMP to fully assess the options for locating a snowmobile trail and propose a preferred alternative,” a statement to the press said.

DEC expects to release the revised draft UMP for public comment this fall and complete the UMP in time for implementation in 2015. Until that plan is approved, DEC will continue to manage these recently acquired lands and resources under a stewardship plan to guide access and recreation. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

4th Sportsman Education Super Weekend Planned

_20140712_210633Cornell Cooperative Extension of Warren County, in partnership with DEC Sportsman Education volunteer instructors, will be organizing sportsmen education classes on Saturday, September 13th and Sunday, September 14th.

The following classes are being offered each day; Sportsman Education, Bow Hunter Education, or Trapper Education (you may choose ONE class per day, bow hunter students must have completed hunter education previous to registering for bow hunter education). Those who have completed online training MUST pre-register and must bring their printed certificate of completion with them to class.  They do not need to pick up the books. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lake George Village To Finally Tackle Wastewater Problem

lg, south basinSince the 1970s, scientists and officials have been aware that the Lake George Waste Water Treatment plant has been discharging unacceptably high levels of nitrates through ground water, into West Brook and ultimately, into Lake George.

“Nitrates are probably the single, biggest influence on the water quality in the West Brook watershed, and the treatment plant is the single largest source of nitrates,” says Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky.

According to Navitsky, excessive levels of nitrate stimulate the growth of weeds and algae and can endanger fish life, the quality of drinking water, recreation and even human health.  “Fortunately, we haven’t reached that level yet,” he said, adding that after Lake George Village completes the second phase of improvements to its waste water treatment plant, which it has committed itself to undertaking after being cited by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, we won’t. » Continue Reading.



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.



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