This is a good time to review recently enacted laws and regulations about boating, particularly those related to boat operators and aquatic invasive species. » Continue Reading.
Posts Tagged ‘Invasive Species’
The Lake George Park Commission (LGPC) has established a “Frozen Boats” Program that allows local residents to have their boats certified as invasive-free with a Vessel Inspection Control Seal (VICS) in advance of the 2014 boating season.
Walt Lender, the LGA’s Executive Director, said in a statement issued to the press that “the LGPC’s efforts to create a comprehensive mandatory inspection program to protect the Lake is no small task – and seemingly minor details, such as tagging frozen boats, can help decrease congestion at the inspection stations early on in the season, which will be important to the success of the program this first year. When folks arrive at the Lake this summer we want them to understand that lake protection and recreation can go hand in hand. It’s like a first impression – you want to get it right.”
Having a boat with an intact inspection seal acquired through the Frozen Boats Program removes the need for that boat to visit one of the six regional inspection stations for a ‘clean, drained, and dry’ inspection prior to its first launch of the year into Lake George. This local program will provide inspection seals for trailered boats that have been demonstrated to be exposed to the winter elements sufficiently long to kill aquatic invasive species. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is seeking public comment on two new general permits related to wetlands in the Adirondack Park that would expedite APA approval for qualifying activities. One relates to the the management of invasive species within 100 feet of a wetland, the other to access and replacement of power poles in wetlands. Both General Permits will apply throughout the Adirondack Park and will be effective for three years unless revoked or modified by the Agency.
The APA will accept public comments until March 28, 2014. If there is significant concern with, or opposition to these General Permits, a public hearing may be required. Approval of a General Permit by the Agency is a SEQRA, Type 1 action. A negative declaration and Full Environmental Assessment Form has been prepared by the Agency and is on file at its offices in Ray Brook, New York. » Continue Reading.
Weather anomalies impact the lives of most creatures, including humans, and this year’s protracted winter season is slowly taking its toll on people that dislike the snow and cold, as well as on various members of our wildlife community. While all animals native to the Adirondacks have evolved the ability to survive the rigors of a harsh and prolonged winter, some of the recent arrivals to the region may not be faring as well in this unrelenting, sub-arctic weather siege.
Over the past decade or two, the climate in the Adirondacks has slowly warmed enough to allow numerous forms of life to creep northward and expand their geographic range into our lowlands and valleys. For example, several birds, like the tufted titmouse and wild turkey are appearing more, as are some mammals like the gray squirrel and in the very southern realm of the Park, the opossum. However, the greatest influx of new residents probably lie in the vast array of invertebrates that exist in every ecological setting throughout the Park. » Continue Reading.
The Watershed Stewardship Program at Paul Smith’s College has won a $500,000 federal grant to help protect lakes and rivers from invasive species. The grant, which was awarded from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, was announced last week. The program is directed by Dr. Eric Holmlund. The EPA has supported the program with two earlier grants.
As part of the program, the Watershed Stewardship Program is expected to expand its watercraft-inspection efforts for the 2015 season; as part of the work, seasonal inspectors are expected to perform 14,000 inspections at about 20 boat launches across the western Adirondacks to help prevent the spread of invasive species such as Eurasian watermilfoil, zebra mussels and spiny waterflea. The stewards hope to remove any invaders they find and educate boaters how they can help prevent the spread of invasives themselves. » Continue Reading.
May 15, 2014 will see the beginning of a new mandatory boat inspection and decontamination program on Lake George designed to significantly reduce the risk of new aquatic invasive species (AIS) infestations. Each year, around 15,000 motorboats use Lake George, about 10,000 resident boats and around 5,000 transitory boats are trailered in from areas near and far.
Lake George is one of the most famous lakes in the eastern U.S., known internationally for its high water quality, clarity, and scenic beauty. This new mandatory boat control program will generate a lot of interest and help to raise the profile of bold, serious efforts to prevent the spread of AIS. » Continue Reading.
The regulations will be filed with the Secretary of State and the program, which will apply to all trailered vessels, will begin May 15, 2014.
On our back porch, in a pocket of light from the window, was what looked to be an oversized rat wearing white face powder. As it gobbled down cat food, it flashed a demented crocodile grin. My mother shrieked.
This was my first encounter with an opossum.
This species, still described as “neotropical” by some sources, has been moving north since at least the 1950’s. In many parts of the northeast, opossums (frequently shortened to “possums”) are as familiar as squirrels. Yet this is no mere rodent. » Continue Reading.
On a frigid morning in late December, I teamed up with a good friend and hiked the Lake Durant campground in Indian Lake in search of aliens. We were not on the lookout for little green martians, but invasive insects.
I met Tom Colarusso of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in the campground parking lot. It was a windy day and the vehicle swayed a little as I dug around the back seat in search of my hat and gloves.
I was armed with a GPS system to document coordinates in case something suspicious was found, and tucked a pen and pad into my pocket for notes. Tom looped a pair of binoculars around his neck and then we were off. 2013 marked our fifth year of teaming up to survey Hamilton County’s forested areas for alien invaders like Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proposing new regulations to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species at DEC boat launches and fishing access sites. The proposed regulatory changes require boaters to remove all visible plants and animals from boats, trailers and associated equipment and to drain boats before launching at or leaving a DEC boat launch and waterway access.
Boats, trailers and the equipment can spread aquatic invasive species from waterbody to waterbody and significantly harm recreational and commercial use of a waterbody while having a detrimental effect on native fish, wildlife and plants. » Continue Reading.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner (DEC) has announced the proposal of new regulations that would prohibit hunting or trapping of free-ranging Eurasian boars in New York. The proposal is designed to ensure maximum effectiveness of DEC’s statewide eradication efforts. Public comments on the proposed regulations will be accepted until January 25, 2014.
Eurasian boars were brought to North America centuries ago and wild populations numbering in the millions now occur across much of the southern U.S. In recent years, wild boar populations have been appearing in more northern states too, often as a result of escapes from enclosed shooting facilities that offer “wild boar hunts.” » Continue Reading.
-William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The aroma of wood smoke lingers as you take your evening stroll. The sun has slipped behind the hills as the moon takes its watch at the other end of the valley. It’s the moment of twilight when solid figures are no longer discernible from shadows, and so you fail to notice the tiny hitchhiker lurking beside the path.
Upon your return, you reach down to untie your shoes and feel a painful pinch. After a blood-curdling “YOWCH!” you reach the light switch. Once your eyes adjust, you see the culprit – a spine-covered bur.
It’s no easy task getting to the roots of a burdock plant (anyone who’s ever tried to pull one out of the soil will know this pun is intended). Both burdocks (in the genus Arctium), and their look-alike cousins the cockleburs (in the genus Xanthium), belong to the aster family, a huge group that includes sunflowers and goldenrods. They are also both characterized by a tendency to prick fingers and ride through the laundry cycle on socks. » Continue Reading.
The terminology varies: wild boar, feral swine, feral pig, Sus scrofa. Appearance can, too: coats can be solid, belted or spotted; brown, black, or white. Adults can weigh from 100 to 400 pounds. A female can bear up to three litters of two to eight young each per year.
Of the feral pigs roaming New York, many are hardy ‘wild strain’ Eurasian stock used for sport hunting which have escaped from shooting preserves. Some are escaped domestic breeds, and others are crosses between these types. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that the department has recently used rotonone to eradicate non-native fish from Lower Sargent Pond in the Sargent Ponds Wild Forest in Hamilton County. The pond is expected to be stocked with fish next year in an effort to reestablish native brook that had existed before its population was depleted due to the presence of the non-native fish.
The eradication of non-native fish, followed by restocking with native brook trout is a key component of DEC’s Brook Trout Restoration Program. DEC is a partner in the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture (http://easternbrooktrout.org/
This summer marked the sixth that the Lake George Association (LGA) has coordinated a Lake Steward Program on Lake George to combat invasive species. 2013 saw the most extensive boat launch coverage since the program began, due to increased funding.
Since 2008, the LGA’s lake stewards have inspected over 32,000 boats at high traffic launches around the Lake, removed 490 aquatic invasive species (AIS) samples from boats, and spoke with more than 75,000 boaters about invasive species spread prevention. » Continue Reading.
Many invasive species stories follow a similar narrative. When the non-native species first shows up, people either don’t notice it, or they don’t take the threat seriously. Suddenly, the invader explodes across the landscape, and conservationists spring into action. but so often, it’s too late.
That’s why invasive species success stories are so few and far between.
The Adirondacks is different. Here, over a huge landscape, the Conservancy and partners have excelled at a coordinated approach that’s making a difference: early detection and rapid response. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking comments on new regulations (6 NYCRR Part 575) entitled “Prohibited and Regulated Invasive Species”. These regulations, once implemented, are expected to help control invasive species by reducing the introduction of new invasives and limiting the spread of existing invasives.
The proposed regulations include a list of prohibited species which shall be unlawful to knowingly possess with the intent to sell, import, purchase, transport or introduce; a list of regulated species which shall be legal to possess, sell, purchase, propagate and transport but may not be knowingly introduced into a free-living state; and require a permit for research, education and other approved activities involving prohibited species and release of regulated species. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency is seeking public comment for recently proposed Agency guidance for the use of the aquatic herbicides Renovate and Renovate OTF to manage the aquatic invasive plant Eurasian watermilfoil. The comment period will run through November 7, 2013.
Renovate and Renovate OTF are aquatic herbicides used in the management of Eurasian watermilfoil. They are approved for use in New York State and primarily target dicot classified plants such as Eurasian watermilfoil. » Continue Reading.
The invasive plant sometimes called dog-strangling vine doesn’t harm pets, but it lives up to its name as a strangler, choking out native wildflowers as well as Christmas tree plantations and fields of prime alfalfa. In Northern New York, in Jefferson County, a nearly 1,000-acre tract on an island lies blanketed under this perennial Eurasian vine.
Dog-strangling vine grows in almost any soil type, has a prodigious root system, and is particularly good at making and dispersing seeds. It is so toxic that no North American bird, mammal or insect will eat it, and it bounces back from the most powerful herbicides. No wonder biologists and agronomists have been losing sleep over it. » Continue Reading.
Over the last decade, I have monitored many lakes in Hamilton County for aquatic invasive plants. I feel a sense of stewardship to these lakes because paddling, camping, swimming, fishing, and skiing are important aspects to my lifestyle that allow me to distress, reconnect, and stay healthy. Invasive plant infestations can crowd out native aquatic plants that fish rely on for food and shelter; make boating and paddling unenjoyable; and be costly to manage. I survey lakes because I find it enjoyable and my efforts protect water quality.
This year my co-worker Lenny and I checked Spy Lake for invaders on two glorious September afternoons. We were on the lookout for plants like Eurasian watermilfoil, water chestnut, fanwort, and curlyleaf pondweed. The inventory was in accordance with the survey instructions of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program’s Aquatic Invasive Species Project. » Continue Reading.