The Adirondacks would benefit from some of the priorities expressed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in his 2015 State of the State address on Wednesday. The proposals are expected to help protect water quality, combat invasive species, bolster APA and DEC staffing, increase the Environmental Protection Fund, expand broadband locally, and cut the risk of explosive oil trains moving through the region. The Adirondack Park is the largest park in the contiguous United States and contains most of the motor-free wilderness remaining in the Northeast. » Continue Reading.
Posts Tagged ‘Invasive Species’
By disposition, if not by design, Dave Wick is the local official least likely to become the center of a controversy. He directed Warren County’s Soil and Water Conservation program for almost twenty years and in 2012, he was recruited to succeed Mike White as the executive director of the Lake George Park Commission. Wick’s talent, a rare one, lies is combining practice with politics; engineering storm water controls, demonstrating the finer points of boat decontamination, while, at the same time, attracting and retaining the good will of elected officials and influential environmentalists. If he suffers from existential anxiety or self-doubt, cynicism or an ironic sense of humor, it’s not evident. The earnest, self-confident demeanor that he wears at public meetings, in conferences with officials and in interviews with the local press, never falters.
So it must have come as a surprise to Wick when, on November 14, he was summoned to the State Capitol and told that he was to submit his resignation, immediately. His inquisitor, Basil Seggos, must have been equally surprised when Wick replied, in so many words, that he’d rather not. » Continue Reading.
The two-volume publication focuses on the threats that face Lake George, including invasive species, rising salt levels, and declining water quality and clarity.
The FUND is calling for “an unprecedented commitment to reversing present trends and preventing Lake George from slipping into a state of irreversible decline.”
» Continue Reading.
Since the retreat of the glaciers, lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) have been the top native predator in Adirondack waters. These northern fish require true cold (less than 55°F) and move downward when surface waters warm in late spring and summer. Consequently, they are isolated to the largest and deepest Adirondack lakes – most of them deeper than 30 feet – where they stay in the dark chilly depths all summer and early fall. The species name namaycush is believed to be an Algonquin term for “dweller of the deep.”
This need for very cold, clean, high-oxygen water can bring to light otherwise invisible changes beneath the surface. Water quality in the Adirondack interior, where we don’t have much industry or farming, can be abstract. You usually can’t see it, touch it or even taste it. But lake trout make the health of our coldest lakes real and tangible. » Continue Reading.
It looks like Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) did not want a mandatory invasive species boat inspection and control program on Lake George. Governor Cuomo and the DEC tried to fire Dave Wick, the executive director of the Lake George Park Commission (LGPC), and on both accounts, Cuomo and the DEC seem to have lost.
On Tuesday evening, November 25th, news broke that the Cuomo Administration had backed down and agreed to suspend Wick without pay for two weeks and then let him return to his job. It apparently had nothing to do with a gas spill – the original pretense for Wick’s firing. » Continue Reading.
Local governments, lake and landowners associations, sportsmen and environmental protection organizations want to see Lake George’s program of mandatory inspections of trailered boats adopted throughout the Adirondack Park.
According to Fred Monroe, a Warren County Supervisor, and Eric Siy, the executive director of The Fund for Lake George, who convened a meeting of Adirondack Park stakeholders in Chestertown earlier this month, prevention is the only way to protect Adirondack lakes from invasive species and preserve an economy based on recreation.
“What were once the mainstays of the Adirondack economy, such as forestry and mining, are either gone or disappearing,” said Monroe. “What’s left is tourism, which is so clearly tied to the health of the waters. If we lose the waters, we have nothing.” » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has released its Draft Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) strategy to prevent the introduction and spread of AIS in New York State for public comment. Comments will be accepted through December 15.
Aquatic Invasive Species threaten the ecology of New York waters and can harm water-based recreational opportunities and economies critical to the Adirondack region. New York is particularly vulnerable to AIS due to its vast marine and fresh water resources, major commercial ports and the easy access that ocean-going vessels have to the Great Lakes via the State’s canal system. Managing an infestation is extremely costly, so prevention is the most cost-effective strategy. » Continue Reading.
Hilary Smith, former Director of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, has been awarded the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District’s 2014 Partnership Appreciation Award. Soil and Water Conservation District Manager Elizabeth Mangle and Educator Caitlin Stewart presented Smith with a framed certificate during a surprise going-away party on September 15th. “Her partnership with the District has protected Hamilton County’s lands and waters from invasive species that can harm the environment, public health, and economy,” Stewart told the Adirondack Almanack.
“For 13 years, Hilary assisted our staff members with invasive species initiatives including spread prevention, early detection and rapid response, and educational outreach,” Stewart said. “She hosted many APIPP volunteer survey workshops for aquatic invasive plants in Hamilton County. Fifth and sixth grade students learned about invasive species from her presentations at Conservation Field Day events.” » Continue Reading.
A new report—The Actual and Potential Economic Impact of Invasive Species on the Adirondack Park: A Preliminary Assessment—explores the economic impacts of invasive species on specific sectors of the Adirondack Park’s economy. This first-of-its-kind assessment for the Adirondacks analyzes actual and potential impacts of eight invasive species, summarizes expenditures across sectors, species and strategies, and recommends strategic investments in prevention and control.
The potential direct economic impact from eight species evaluated in the study is estimated to be $468 to $893 million, with the greatest projected impacts on property value, recreation, and tourism. The species highlighted include five that are known to be present in the Park (Eurasian watermilfoil, Asian clam, spiny waterflea, Japanese knotweed, spotted drosophila) and three that are in close proximity (hydrilla, emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle). » Continue Reading.
In a statement issued to the press, the Lake Champlain Basin Aquatic Invasive Species Rapid Response Task Force has said that “eradication of spiny water flea in Lake Champlain is not technically feasible” and urged instead that “spread prevention measures should be implemented as soon as possible” to keep the invasive from spreading to nearby water bodies.
Sampling has confirmed its presence at multiple lake stations in Champlain’s Main Lake region. In 2012, spiny water flea was discovered in both the Champlain Canal and Lake George. Spiny water fleas have been detected in the southern Adirondacks in Great Sacandaga Lake (2008), Peck Lake (2009), and Stewarts Bridge Reservoir and Sacandaga Lake (2010). This summer they were detected in Lakes Piseco and Pleasant (2014).
The Task Force’s Spread Prevention Recommendations were also issued, as follows: » Continue Reading.
Since 2003, I have been battling purple loosestrife, an invasive plant that may be gorgeous but overruns wetlands, and outcompetes native plants that wildlife and waterfowl depend on for food, shelter, and nesting grounds. After 11 years of manual management, populations along the Route 8 and Route 30 corridors in Hamilton County have decreased. This is good news for native plants that fill in areas where invasive purple loosestrife used to grow.
This August I focused on rights-of-way along Routes 8 and 30 in the Town of Lake Pleasant and the Village of Speculator. I snipped each flower with garden clippers before plants went to seed for reproduction. All plant material was bagged and allowed to liquefy in the sun before being delivered to a transfer station.
It is exciting to fight invasive plants for over a decade and see promising results like this. Manual management is tedious, but persistent efforts have helped stop the spread of purple loosestrife and remove these invaders from the environment. » Continue Reading.
Specimens were collected this August in the Main Lake segment of Lake Champlain as part of the Lake Champlain Long-term Biological Monitoring Program supported by the Lake Champlain Basin Program.
Sample analysis by the Lake Champlain Research Institute at SUNY Plattsburgh confirms multiple specimens from two different monitoring stations. Additional samples are being examined. » Continue Reading.
Legislation passed in June that bans the transport of aquatic invasive species (AIS) across New York has been sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign into law. Similar laws are on the books in a number of other states. This legislation will significantly improve New York’s focus and ability to control AIS.
Governor Cuomo has until September 6th to sign this legislation. He should sign it. » Continue Reading.
On July 31, the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) will host a Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) citizen science monitoring training at its Lake George Office with the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP), NYS Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and Cornell University.
Hemlock woolly adelgid is an invasive forest pest that is causing widespread mortality of hemlock trees in NY and the eastern U.S. Hemlocks are keystone species in streamside forests that play an important role in the ecology and hydrology of forest ecosystems. HWA has not been reported in the Adirondack Park, yet. Citizens are considered essential to help protect hemlocks by detecting early signs and symptoms of HWA. » Continue Reading.
First discovered in the region in Great Sacandaga Lake in 2008, spiny waterflea is also in Stewarts Bridge Reservoir, Peck Lake, Sacandaga Lake, Lake George, and the Glens Falls Feeder Canal. Recent surveys detected populations in Hamilton County in Lake Pleasant, which adjoins Sacandaga Lake, and nearby Piseco Lake. » Continue Reading.
Events are free, but pre-registration may be requested. The line-up of events in the Adirondack region includes an aquatic invasive plant interpretive paddle at Fish Creek Campground, a Japanese knotweed identification and mapping session in the Town of Bolton and a hemlock and balsam woolly adelgid symposium in Indian Lake.
There are also Ask-an-Expert sessions at the Farmers Markets in Old Forge, Paul Smiths and Plattsburgh. Experts will also be at the Visitor Centers in Paul Smiths and Lake George to help with invasive species identification in addition to regular boat launch stewards stationed across the region. » Continue Reading.
The Lake Champlain Research Institute (LCRI) has confirmed massive numbers of spiny water fleas in the Glens Falls Feeder Canal, at the junction basin where the feeder canal branches off the Hudson River at Glens Falls. The feeder canal flows toward the Champlain Canal which serves as a route for boats into Lake Champlain.
Dr. Tim Mihuc, Director of the LCRI, reports that recent sampling indicates that the numbers of spiny water flea this year have increased dramatically. “They are on their way into the lake, if not already there,” Dr. Mihuc said. Lake Champlain is considered a source for the spread of invasive species to other water-bodies in the Adirondacks, including nearby Lake George. » Continue Reading.
The growing season is underway and with it comes troublesome invasive plants. The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) is hosting a free training session that provides landowners with instruction on how to control unwanted infestations of invading plants, such as Japanese knotweed and garlic mustard.
Participants will learn how to identify common invasive terrestrial plants and how to apply effective management techniques on their own lands. The training will include presentations and in-field demonstrations. Landowners, landscapers, gardeners, resource managers and highway department staff are encouraged to attend. » Continue Reading.
“I bet it’s cow parsnip,” said Lenny.
“That’s the house number. Turn here,” I pointed.
I hopped out and gaped at the plant. It towered above my height of 5 feet 9 inches. The leaves were enormous. I walked up to take a closer look saw hairy stems blotched with purple.
“It’s giant hogweed,” frowned Lenny. » Continue Reading.
Legislation passed at the bitter end of the 2014 NYS Legislative Session included a historic bill that will help transition New York to a greater focus on the prevention and interdiction of aquatic invasive species (AIS). This bill was carried by Assembly member Barbara Lifton from Ithaca and Senator Thomas O’Mara from Chemung County. Both have communities engaged in trying to stop the spread of hydrilla (hydrilla verticillata) on Cayuga Lake and elsewhere. Adirondack legislators all supported this bill and Dan Stec was one of the Assembly co-sponsors.
This bill is important for the Adirondacks because we still have many lakes and ponds that are not yet infested with AIS. While the list of infested waters grows and the number of AIS increases, we now have an important new tool to try and stop the spread. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) finalized rules this month that prohibits the launching of boats with any visible plant or animal matter or standing water at DEC boat launches and fishing access sites. This is important but limited. This new legislation will allow the DEC to develop similar regulations for all public, private and commercial boat launches across the state. » Continue Reading.