Almanack Contributor NYS DEC

NYS DEC

Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Watchable Wildlife – 2020 I Bird NY Challenges

DEC recently kicked off the 2020 “I BIRD NY” challenges for beginner and experienced birders. The I BIRD NY program was launched in 2017 to build on the State’s efforts to increase access to New York’s vast natural resources and promote low-cost opportunities to explore the great outdoors and connect with nature.

Birdwatching is one of the fastest growing outdoor recreational activities in the U.S. Backyard birding, or watching birds around the home, is the most common way people engage in birding. New York State is home to a wide range of habitats that support more than 450 different bird species throughout the year. There are also 59 designated Bird Conservation Areas to safeguard and enhance bird populations and habitats on State lands and waters across New York. Check the map to find the bird conservation areas in your region. The State’s I Bird NY program provides resources for New Yorkers who want to get outdoors and engage in birding all year long. People from all economic backgrounds experience the joy of birdwatching. While binoculars can help, you can enjoy birds without any special equipment.


Saturday, July 4, 2020

DEC to open camping reservations on Monday, 7/6

News update from NYS DEC:

DEC IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE OPENING OF RESERVATIONS FOR THE 2020 SEASON. RESERVATIONS FOR DATES ON OR AFTER JULY 10 WILL BEGIN AT 8AM ON MONDAY, JULY 6. DUE TO EXPECTED VOLUME, WE ENCOURAGE CUSTOMERS TO BOOK RESERVATIONS ONLINE.

WALK-IN CAMPING IS NOT PERMITTED AT THIS TIME.

As part of the COVID-19 guidelines, and for the courtesy of other visitors and our staff, face masks must be worn when outside your campsite area at any place where social distancing cannot be maintained. All patrons shall practice social distancing.

Only registered campers will be allowed in campground areas, no day visitors will be permitted.

In order to assist with enhanced cleaning, Check-in time is now 2pm and Check-out time is 10am.

There may be limited shower and/or restroom facilities and they may periodically be closed to allow for enhanced cleaning.

Use of facility amenities such as, but not limited to playgrounds, pavilions and day use areas may be restricted or prohibited at certain locations.

Retail sales such as firewood and ice as well as other services such as boat rentals may be restricted or prohibited at certain locations.

To achieve density reduction in our facilities, day use sales and bather capacity number will be reduced.


Friday, July 3, 2020

Learn About our State Reptile, the Snapping Turtle

This time of year many people are seeing snapping turtles digging in their yards or swimming in home ponds. Snapping turtles and other turtles make their nests in easily dug soil, so they may lay their eggs in backyards and gardens. If the nest can be allowed to remain, hatchlings will emerge in August or September but sometimes overwintering until spring. If the area where the nest has been laid must be disturbed, contact your regional wildlife office for guidance.

Snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) are often described as aggressive, but a better term is defensive. They try to avoid confrontation and are more likely to defend themselves on dry land. When they are on land, try to give them some extra space, and they will move on. In fact, if you see one on land it is usually a female who is looking to lay eggs. Snappers spend most of their lives in the water, where they will generally swim away from people when encountered and are usually docile.

Unfortunately, like many turtle species, snapping turtles face serious threats—being struck while crossing roads or collection for the food and pet trade. It is illegal to collect or relocate a snapping turtle without a permit, and they can only be hunted in season with a valid hunting license.

Learn more about snapping turtles in the April 2017 Conservationist (PDF).

Photo by Marcelo del Puerto.


Friday, July 3, 2020

Outdoor Conditions (7/2): Increased bear activity

This bulletin provides only the most recent notices. Check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for more detailed information on access, outdoor recreation infrastructure, and conditions.

Emergency Situations: If you get lost or injured; keep calm and stay put. If you have cell service, call 911 or the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch, 518-891-0235.

DEC Campgrounds
Updated: All DEC Campgrounds and Day Use Areas in the Adirondacks are open except for the Hinkley Reservoir Day Use Area. All Campgrounds and Day Use Areas have restrictions and rules to protect visitors and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To maintain social distancing and reduce the density of facilities and protect visitors, DEC is currently not accepting additional reservations or walk-in camping for the 2020 season – only existing reservations will be honored at DEC campgrounds. Only reservations for the 2021 season may be made now.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

DEC issues fire danger warning for July 4th weekend

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today urged New Yorkers to practice the utmost safety during the upcoming holiday weekend. Dry weather throughout the month of June has increased the risk of fires.

There are currently three active wildfires in the state: one in St. Lawrence County; one in Herkimer County; and one in Tompkins County. Collectively, these fires are burning nearly 11 acres of land, and in some cases are 18 inches deep, requiring a pump operation with large volumes of water. Two other fires in St. Lawrence County over the weekend burned another 11 acres of land.

The majority of the state remains at a moderate risk for fires, meaning that any outdoor fire can spread quickly, especially if the wind picks up. Campfires are among the top five causes of wildfires. Fireworks are in the top 12. According to the National Safety Council, each year in the U.S. fireworks are responsible for more than 18,000 fires.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Rangers fight backcountry fires in Old Forge, St. Lawrence Co.

Recent DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Webb
Herkimer County
Wildland Fire:
 On June 24 at 1:40 p.m., Herkimer County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch requesting assistance with a backcountry wildfire on Panther Mountain. Four Forest Rangers responded to assist the Old Forge Fire Department with a one-acre smoldering wildfire in the cliffs and rocks at the Panther Mountain overlook, burning in deep spruce duff 0.6 miles from a private road. Volunteer firefighters and Rangers knocked down the fire, preventing its spread. Over the following three days, seven Rangers utilized a State Police Aviation helicopter with water bucket drops, hand tools, and set up a half-mile water hose pumping operation up 600 vertical feet in elevation to continually douse several areas of the fire with water. The fire is now in patrol status.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 28, 2020

Discover Wildflowers Right Outside Your Door

You can find wildflowers just about anywhere! Look for wildflowers at your local park, in your backyard, in fields and forests, and along roadsides. Not only are they nice to look at, but can be food for wildlife, including pollinators.

Learn more in the Conservationist for Kids pollinator issue (PDF). Wildlife may eat the leaves, flowers, seeds or stems.

Below are some species of native wildflowers:

» Continue Reading.


Friday, June 26, 2020

Outdoor Conditions: Fire towers reopen; campground update

This bulletin provides only the most recent notices. Check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for more detailed information on access, outdoor recreation infrastructure, and conditions.

Emergency Situations: If you get lost or injured; keep calm and stay put. If you have cell service, call 911 or the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch, 518-891-0235.

DEC Campgrounds
Updated: Many DEC Campgrounds and Day Use Areas in the Adirondacks are open this weekend and most others are scheduled to open July 1. Check the current status
of DEC Campgrounds and Day Use Areas.

To maintain social distancing and reduce the density of facilities and protect visitors, DEC is currently not accepting additional reservations or walk-in camping for the 2020 season – only existing reservations will be honored at DEC campgrounds. Only reservations for the 2021 season may be made now.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, June 26, 2020

What’s in a name: Joe Pye weed

Purple weed named Joe Pye June 22-28 is National Pollinator Week! To celebrate, we’re highlighting Joe Pye weeds (Eutrochium spp.), native essentials for any pollinator garden. There are several Joe Pye weed species. All have tall leafy stems with flat or rounded heads of small but bountiful shadowy pink flowers. Joe Pye weeds are an attractive garden choice not just because of their popularity with bees and butterflies, but also because of their hardiness. These tough perennial flowers can withstand a wide range of conditions including high summer temperatures and a lack of water. In ideal conditions, they do prefer slightly moist soils, and in the wild, you can often find them growing in wetlands. The flowers bloom in late summer when many other flowers begin to wane.

Have you ever wondered who Joe Pye was? According to legend, Joe Pye was a Native American herbalist who used a local plant to cure a variety of illnesses including typhoid fever. For years, it was unknown if Joe Pye was a real person or a botanical myth until research confirmed the plant’s name originated from the nickname of Joseph Shauquethqueat, a Mohican chief who lived in Massachusetts and New York in the 18th and early 19th centuries (Pearce, Richard B and Pringle, James S. (2017). Joe Pye, Joe Pye’s Law, and Joe-Pye-Weed: The History and Eponymy of the Common Name Joe-Pye-Weed for Eutrochium Species (Asteraceae), The Great Lakes Botanist, 56(3-4):177-200.). 

Celebrate National Pollinator Week by adding some native plants to your backyard or container garden. We’ve got you covered for some ideas to start with – check out our website for a list of native suggestions (PDF).

Photo by Danielle Brigida, Flickr


Thursday, June 25, 2020

Salmon stocking update

Five waters in the Adirondacks (DEC’s Region 5) will be stocked with landlocked Atlantic salmon in the coming weeks. Ranging 2-6 pounds, the broodstock fish (used for spawning purposes) are from a hatchery operated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in Vermont.

Over 2,500 of these salmon will be stocked into Lake George, Schroon Lake, Moose Pond (Town of St. Armand), Taylor Pond (Town of Black Brook) and Lake Colby. Anglers are reminded that established fishing regulations for landlocked salmon apply to these waters

DEC photo


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Rangers respond to dog in distress

forest ranger logoRecent DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Keene
Essex County
Pet Distress Reminder:
 On June 21 at 2:45 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker advising that they were coming down Giant Mountain when their 75-pound Golden Retriever collapsed about one mile from Chapel Pond parking lot. The hiking party had started their trip at approximately 7 a.m. up the Ridge Trail and neglected to bring enough water for their dog. About halfway up the trail, the dog began to struggle and the group turned around to head back down. The dog collapsed from heat exhaustion just above the junction for the Ridge Trail and Giants Nubble. An Assistant Forest Ranger working in the area was notified and quickly found the distressed dog. The dog was carried to the Washbowl waterhole and placed in the water. After cooling the dog and giving it time to rest and rehydrate, the dog was able to make it back down the trail without further assistance.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

DEC Issues Fire Danger Warning

fire

Rangers fight wildfires over Memorial Day Weekend
DEC photo

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos urged New Yorkers to practice the utmost safety when burning wood and brush outdoors during recent dry conditions. Although the State’s prohibition on residential brush burning ended in May, fire danger still exists.

DEC updates the fire danger map and forecast during fire season on its website and on the NY Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife App (also available on DEC’s website). The majority of the state remains at moderate risk, which means outdoor fires can burn briskly and spread rapidly on windy days. Precipitation in eastern New York and western New England over the last 30 days ranged from 0.50 to 3.50 inches, which is 15 to 90 percent below normal.

Debris burning and campfires are among the top five causes of wildfires. While fireworks are not a significant cause of wildfires, they are a potential hazard. In most cases, fireworks are also illegal. Campfires with family are great fun, when done safely.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Fish for Free June 27-28

A Free Fishing Weekend is coming up June 27 – 28. The event is the second of six free fishing days offered in New York State every year. New York residents and non-residents are permitted to fish for free without a fishing license. Free fishing day participants are reminded that although the requirement for a fishing license is waived during free fishing days, all other fishing regulations remain in effect.

DEC encourages all anglers, new and experienced, to recreate locally and seek out fishing opportunities close to home. DEC’s Places to Fish webpages are a reliable source for those ready to plan their next fishing trip. For beginning anglers interested in getting started, the I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Fishing provides information on everything from rigging up a fishing rod, to identifying your catch, and understanding fishing regulations.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 21, 2020

Weigh in on DEC’s trout plan by June 25

The DEC is looking for the public’s input on itsWoman angler with brown trout Draft Fisheries Management Plan for Inland Trout Streams in New York State (Plan). The purpose of the Plan is to guide the efforts and resources of  DEC toward managing New York’s trout stream fisheries according to their ecological and recreational potential.

The Plan was written to communicate what outcomes the DEC will strive to achieve while managing for a diversity of fishing experiences and providing anglers with the means to find those experiences. Plan objectives and strategies address the management of both wild and stocked trout, habitat enhancement and protection, public access, and outreach.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 20, 2020

DEC studies fisher populations

Fisher provided by DECDEC staff, in partnership with researchers from SUNY ESF, are conducting a study to better understand what drives changes in fisher populations in the Central Adirondacks specifically, and more widely across the Northern Zone.

With the help of a number of trappers, fishers are live-captured during the winter and adult females fitted with GPS collars to locate and monitor dens and kit production. The combination of real-time GPS location data, as well as trail cameras deployed at maternal den sites, help estimate kit production and survival.

Ultimately, DEC will use data on the reproductive potential of Northern Zone fisher populations and gain a better understanding of population dynamics.

For more information on fishers and their management in New York, visit DEC’s website.



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