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.


Friday, November 26, 2021

Observing Birds as Citizen/Community Science

bird feederYou may have heard about the songbird illness affecting fledgling birds in many Eastern states this spring and summer. Several of these Eastern states issued restrictions on bird baths and feeders in an attempt to curb the spread of illness. By early September, all states have lifted their do not feed recommendations due to decreasing reports of bird illness. Please note: DEC did not issue a special summer notice as the agency recommends removing feeders annually between April 1st and November 29th to prevent unwanted black bear activity. To view up to date information and recommendations, visit Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds. 

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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

New York Coyote Parasite Survey

coyoteGraduate students at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) are asking for public assistance in the collection of samples as part of a study for an emerging zoonotic parasite. Samples for this study consist of gastrointestinal tracts from coyotes harvested within DEC Regions 3-7, which can be shipped to SUNY ESF where they will be screened for the parasite Echinococcus spp.

The parasite is a tapeworm that typically infects wild canids (foxes, coyotes) but can infect domestic animals as well as humans. The goal of this study is to identify the distribution of the parasite throughout the sampling range, so that areas of high parasite levels and infection risk can be found.

More information on the project can be found at the NY Echinococcus Project webpage or by emailing Corinne Conlon.

Photo by Gregory VanSplunder.


Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Stuff the Turkey, Not the Trash

adirondack tukey

Regardless of how you’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving this year, you can still keep wasted food out of the picture by reaching for your favorite tips and tricks to avoid throwing out good ingredients and your holiday meal favorites! Check out some of our tips below.
Ways to waste less food this Thanksgiving:

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Friday, November 19, 2021

Explore Low Elevation Trails During Shoulder Season

moose pond trailIt’s that time of year where the weather shifts from sunshine to rain to snow every few days. During this transition season – often referred to as shoulder seasons – explore recreation in lower elevations where trails are drier and conditions are less severe. Check out these great low elevation Adirondack Day Hikes:

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Friday, November 19, 2021

Outdoor Conditions (11/19): Five Pond Wilderness update

outdoor conditions logoThe following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

Moose River Plains Complex: The entrance gates to Moose River Plains will be closed the day after Big Game Hunting Season in the Northern Zone (December 13). The gates will re-open to snowmobile traffic when there is adequate snow pack.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Rangers assist hypothermic hunter in Fine

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Village of Lake Placid
Franklin County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Nov. 12 at 12:55 p.m., Central Dispatch received a call from Franklin County 911 regarding a distressed hiker. At 1:24 p.m., the hiker was with Caretaker Bastian at the Lake Colden interior outpost. Forest Rangers Evans and Bode helped the hiker down to Marcy Dam at 3:45 p.m. At 5:44 p.m., the hiker was turned over to Lake Placid Ambulance and taken to the hospital for further treatment.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2021

DEC opens comment on Draft Unit Management Plan for Tug Hill East

tug hill east map

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that the agency will accept public comments on the draft Unit Management Plan (UMP) for Tug Hill East through Dec. 15, 2021. The draft UMP covers 22,886 acres of land in seven State Forests, one unique area, and 13 detached Forest Preserve parcels in the Lewis County towns of Lewis, Martinsburg, Osceola, Turin, and West Turin, the Oneida County town of Ava, and the Oswego County town of Redfield.

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Saturday, November 13, 2021

DEC Announces Completion of Grasse River Habitat Restoration

East elliptio mussel East elliptio mussel provided by DEC

A significant Grasse River restoration project to help address a legacy of contamination and improve habitat in the region has been completed. This habitat restoration milestone is the result of a landmark DEC agreement (PDF) with Arconic in July 2020, and DEC’s ongoing collaboration with the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, New York State Museum, and other partners committed to the Grasse River’s ecological renewal. This work was completed in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-led cleanup of the Grasse River, a federal National Priorities List site.

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Friday, November 12, 2021

Outdoor conditions (11/12): Flowed Lands lean-to closed for rehab

outdoor conditions logoThe following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

High Peaks Wilderness: The Flowed Lands lean-to (on the west side of Flowed Lands) will be unavailable until further notice. The closure is expected to last several months. Lean2Rescue is rehabilitating the lean-to. To date they have deconstructed the existing lean-to and installed a new foundation and base. The structure will be reassembled this winter. The Calamity and Griffin lean-tos north and south of this location are available.

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Thursday, November 11, 2021

Rangers catch man who defaced Catskills lean-to

lean-to graffiti
Graffiti Arrest:
 On Nov. 2, DEC Central Dispatch received a call about a social media post showing graffiti on a lean-to on State lands at Hunter Mountain. Rangers Fox and Dawson began an investigation with DEC’s Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation (BECI). On Nov. 4, Lt. Pachan and Ranger Dawson received information that the suspect was currently at the John Robb lean-to attempting to clean up the graffiti. Rangers Fox and Dawson responded to the scene and notified BECI investigators. Rangers learned that the subject drove up the mountain on Hunter ski resort roads and got stuck in a snowbank at the top of the Kaatskill Flyer chairlift. Ski resort staff and Ranger Dawson freed the vehicle from the snowbank, and the Officers escorted the subject down to the ski lodge where they met responding BECI investigators. The 39-year-old Brooklyn man was arrested and transported to the New York State Police (NYSP) barracks in Hunter. He was charged with a Class A misdemeanor for making graffiti and violations for defacing rock and natural materials on state land and defacing a DEC structure. The suspect is due back in court on Dec. 15.

lean-to cleanup

John Robb lean-to graffiti cleaned up by Rangers


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Deceased hunter found outside of Tupper Lake

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Piercefield
St. Lawrence County
Wilderness Search:
 On Nov. 2 at 8:36 p.m., a woman called Ray Brook Dispatch to report her husband overdue from hunting on the western side of Tupper Lake in the Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest. Forest Rangers, Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs), NYSP, and volunteers were part of the search team. On Nov. 3, Rangers used Type 1 and Type 2 searches, while ECOs searched the shoreline and water, and NYSP K-9 units searched the ground. On Nov. 4, with a Ranger acting as crew chief, 178 search, fire, rescue, and police personnel continued the search, including eight NYSP drones and a NYSP helicopter. Around 12 p.m., a search crew found the hunter’s body. He had been dragging a deer he shot while hunting. At 2:39 p.m. the subject’s body was recovered, flown out, and turned over to the coroner.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2021

November is Native American Heritage Month

Native storytelling

November is Native American Heritage Month. Visit DEC’s Native American Heritage Month page to learn more about the agency’s cooperation with Indigenous people on natural, cultural, and subsistence resources.

Edutopia’s Lessons Learned in Teaching Native American History by a non-native middle school teacher, chronicles some important lessons she has learned from teaching Native history for many years. She suggests to be humble: we can always, and should always, continue to listen and learn from the many Native voices speaking, writing, and sharing their history. Use tools, such as a Native lands map to find information on local Indigenous people and research their past and current struggles and achievements. Native-Land also has a great section on Land Acknowledgments, including reasons to move beyond these acknowledgements and how to ensure they are just a first step. Land Acknowledgments are also discussed by Native academics in “The Conversation”.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Species Spotlight: the River Otter

otterThe North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) is a member of the weasel family. They are 3-4 feet long including their tails. They have a streamlined body, short legs with fully webbed feet, a muscular tail, and dense, short, glossy fur—all of which aid them in being excellent swimmers. They also have closeable nostrils and ears for swimming and foraging underwater.

Historically, river otter could be found throughout New York, but they declined due to unregulated harvest, habitat destruction, and water pollution. In the early 1990s, the river otter was only found in the eastern half of New York State. The New York River Otter Project helped bring river otter back to western New York, with the help of volunteers and DEC staff. From 1995 through 2000, 279 river otter were captured in eastern New York and released at 16 different sites across the western part of the state.

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Friday, November 5, 2021

Outdoor conditions (11/5): Water turned off at Otter Creek Horse Trails

outdoor conditions logoThe following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information web pages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

Otter Creek Horse Trails: The Otter Creek Horse Trail assembly area water is off. The facility remains open for day use and overnight camping.

Siamese Pond Wilderness: A bridge closure on the Botheration Pond Trail will prevent users from completing the Botheration Loop. The bridge has been roped off, please do not attempt to use it.

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Thursday, November 4, 2021

I FISH NY Guide to Freshwater Fishing – New Video Release

fish videoWe recently added a new video to the I FISH NY Guide to Freshwater Fishing video series to DEC’s YouTube channel. Featuring fish commonly found in local freshwater ponds and lakes, new anglers can learn how to correctly identify their catch.

Interested in providing feedback or sharing ideas for future videos? Let us know! Email [email protected].

DEC’s YouTube channel has its own playlist dedicated to fishing content.

Videos included are:

How to Start Fishing: Family Fishing Basics

Basic Fishing Knots

Bobber & Worm Rig

How to Cast a Spin Casting Rod



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