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, January 15, 2021

Public hearings on Debar coming up Jan. 19

debar pond lodgeDebar Mountain Complex Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) and Draft UMP Public Comment Opportunities: DEC and APA will be conducting two virtual public hearings on Tuesday, January 19, 2021. Due to restrictions related to COVID-19, these hearings will not be held in person. To participate, please select one of the hyperlinks below at the scheduled time:

  • From 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m: https://tinyurl.com/DeBarAfternoon
    • To receive a call back, provide your phone number when you join the event, or call the number 1-518-549-0500 and enter the access code: 179 267 0779
  • From 6 p.m. – 9 p.m: https://tinyurl.com/DeBarEvening
    • To receive a call back, provide your phone number when you join the event, or call the number 1-518-549-0500 and enter the access code: 179 337 3417

Friday, January 15, 2021

Outdoor Conditions (1/15): Dress for success

The 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:

  • Colden Caretaker Report 01/13/21: Eleven inches of snow has accumulated at the Colden Caretaker cabin. Sixteen inches of snow has accumulated on summits. Snowshoes are needed, including to get to Avalanche Lake. The Marcy Dam truck trail is skiable with some thin sections. Snowpack on the Van Hoevenberg trail to Adirondack Loj is very thin but is skiable. Both Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 14, 2021

DEC launches ice fishing survey on Lake Champlain

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced an ice fishing creel survey, conducted on the waters of Lake Champlain until March 2021. The survey is part of a two-year effort to gather data from both ice and open water anglers to server as a foundation to help DEC Fisheries to better understand their expectations. The survey’s will also benefit management actions on Lake Champlain.

The DEC will survey 4 access points: The Plattsburgh Boat Launch on Cumberland Bay; Willsboro Bay Boat Launch; Bulwagga Bay Campground; and South Bay Boat Launch. As anglers finish off a day of fishing, they will be asked to participate by providing information about that day and allowing for creel agents to collect biological data about their catches, including target species, the number caught, and the size. Participation is voluntary and gives those who choose to engage a chance to help Lake Champlain make more informed management decisions.

Follow this link to access the Lake Champlain Ice Fishing Creel Survey


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Start 2021 off on the right foot with recycling

A few simple changes can have a positive impact for your local recycling program. By learning the “ins and outs” of your local program, you can recycle right this year and help clear up confusion about items that cause contamination in recycling streams across NY.

Before you throw an item in the trash, take a second to search some alternative ways to use or manage it. Can it be reused? Can it be donated? Does your recycling program accept it?

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Hiker gets lost on Erebus Mountain

forest ranger reportsLatest NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Dresden
Washington County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Jan. 9 at 5:16 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a 28-year-old hiker from Ballston Spa who became disoriented and lost the trail while hiking Erebus Mountain. Three Forest Rangers responded to assist. Ranger Hess entered the Lake George Wild Forest at the end of Shelving Rock Road while Rangers Donegan and St. Claire entered by boat from the Green Island Maintenance Center. At 9:30 p.m., Rangers located the lost hiker and proceeded to warm her and assess her injuries. The hiker was safely escorted down to the boat for transport back to the maintenance center and given a courtesy ride back to her vehicle at the trailhead. Rangers were cleared of the scene and back in service at 10:55 p.m.


Friday, January 8, 2021

DEC Recreation Highlight: Foxy Brown X-Ski Trail

The Foxy Brown X-Ski Trail is a 5.6-mile trail located within the Jessup River Wild Forest. After traveling along the Piseco Airport runway, the trail routes users primarily through a northern hardwood forest. To complete the loop, users must cross the runway, so be sure to check for oncoming aircraft before traveling back to the trailhead and parking area.

In 2019, DEC entered into a Volunteer Stewardship Agreement with Piseco Lake Association (PLA) allowing PLA to maintain the trail. During the 2020 field season, DEC Lands & Forest staff and PLA volunteers made the following improvements:

  • Construction of a 150’ ski bridge
  • Replacement-in-kind by the PLA board of a 25’ ski bridge
  • Repairs to an existing bridge
  • Brushing and blowdown removal on the 6.2-mile trail
  • Installation of new signage and trail markers, including mileage markers every quarter-mile
  • Removal of foot snags and large rocks from the trail tread

Friday, January 8, 2021

Outdoor Conditions (1/7): Latest Adirondack snow depth numbers

The 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: Colden Caretaker Report 01/06/21: 11.5 inches of snow has accumulated at the Colden Caretaker cabin. An estimated two feet of snow has accumulated on summits. Snowshoes are needed, including to get to Avalanche Lake. Skiing is minimal, with marginal conditions on the Truck Trail and in the Avalanche camp area. Both Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen.

Moose River Plains Complex: The entrance gates to the Moose River Plains on Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road are now open to snowmobile traffic only. Conditions remain poor due to minimal snow accumulation. The roads remain closed to public motor vehicles for the winter season.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 7, 2021

DEC seeks public input on Three Lakes Tract management planning

The Three Lakes Tract is an area of commercially managed forestland, composed of northern hardwood forest, Hitchcock, Grass, and Moose Ponds. It shares around 4.1 miles of boundaries with the State Forest Preserve lands (the Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness and Independence River wild Forest) as well as 2.5 miles with the Big Moose Tract Conservation Easement.

Until January 13, The NYS DEC will be seeking public input on the development of a draft Recreation Management Plan (RMP) for the Three Lakes Tract Conservation Easement. The conservation easement is privately owned and extends over 3,350 acres in the town of Webb, in Herkimer County.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Reduce food waste with this 30 day challenge

We look at January 1st as a new chapter, a time to start fresh. However, if you find the idea of drafting up a new list of New Year’s resolutions a bit too abstract, our 30-day wasted food challenge might be a fit, focusing on doing small tasks each day in order to build habits that will stick.

Forty percent of all food produced in the US goes uneaten. Wasted food is a major contributor to multiple environmental and social problems that we face today – and most of this waste is happening right under our noses! ReFED estimates US households alone waste 76 billion pounds of food annually, costing each household an average of $1,800 per year!

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Man falls 30-feet on Giant Mountain trail

Recent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Keene Valley
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Dec. 28 at 9:58 a.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 51-year-old male from Forest Mills had sustained injuries from a 30-foot fall on the Giant Mt. Ridge Trail. While Forest Rangers Lewis, Mecus, Praczkaljo, and Evans responded to the trailhead, Lt. Burns conducted a phone interview with the reporting party and determined the incident a medical emergency response. Rangers requested Essex County Emergency Service to deploy a Critical Care Technician to assist with medical care. Icy trail conditions warranted an additional five Forest Rangers, two members of the DEC trail crew, and eight members of the Keene Valley Backcountry Rescue Group to assist with a steep-angle technical rescue. At 12:30 p.m., the hiker was stabilized and packaged into a litter for a two-mile carryout to a waiting ambulance. At 3:15 p.m., the injured hiker was out of the woods, turned over to Keene Valley Rescue, and transported to a local hospital for further medical treatment. All personnel were clear of the scene at 3:30 p.m.

Keene Valley Rescue, DEC photo


Monday, January 4, 2021

DEC: Winter has officially arrived in the backcountry

The early snow and cold weather are providing good conditions for winter outdoor recreation in the Adirondacks, Catskills, and other backcountry areas. Visitors should be prepared with proper clothing and equipment for snow, ice, and cold to ensure a safe and enjoyable winter experience.

Snow depths range greatly in the central and northeastern Adirondacks, with the deepest snows in the higher elevations like the High Peaks region and other mountains over 3,000 feet. Snow depths are thinner in the southeastern and northwestern Adirondacks. Much of the Catskill Mountains are covered in snow, with icy trail conditions.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 24, 2020

Outdoor conditions (12/24): First Day Hikes

The 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.

DEC Reminds Hikers to Secure Vehicles and Stow Valuables: A series of vehicle break-ins occurred last weekend at trailhead parking areas along Route 73 in the High Peaks region. DEC and State Police are investigating. Trailhead parking lots are not monitored, and parking is at the user’s own risk. Remember to lock vehicles before leaving trailheads. To minimize risk, do not leave valuable items in your vehicle. If you must bring them, store them out of sight to avoid attracting attention. If hikers experience a break-in, report the incident to State Police by calling 518-873-2750.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Rangers help out during Winter Storm Gail

In anticipation of Winter Storm Gail, Forest Rangers, along with other DEC staff, were deployed to various staging areas across the state to assist with the State’s response. Forest Rangers were assigned to Dutchess County and Oneonta on Dec. 16, and to the High Peaks rest area, Warrensburg, Saratoga, Northville, and Lowville on Dec. 17. Resources were moved as needed due to the changing track of the storm, including providing coverage to the Capital Region and I-81 corridor north of Binghamton. Following the closure of the highway, two crews patrolled and performed welfare checks on stranded motorists and helped shovel out tractor trailers and other vehicles.

Forest Rangers help during winter storm Gail

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Greening the Holidays with Less Food Waste

Every year, a large amount of food goes to waste during the holiday season. According to the EPA, food waste accounts for about 24 percent of the municipal solid waste across the country. Without mindful planning, this number can only get worse.

Food is an important part of holiday celebrations, so that means we buy more, cook more and, on average, waste more during this time of year. The spoiled produce, expired products, and uneaten leftovers contribute to this waste which, most often, ends up in landfills. Food waste makes landfills the third largest human-related methane emission source in the country. The process of growing, processing and transporting food, and eventual hauling of the food waste also consumes a large amount of energy and generates emissions, polluting the air.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 19, 2020

Holiday recycling tips

Recycling Bin “Do’s” and “Don’ts” – Holiday Edition

NYS DEC provides some important recycling tips so you can have a waste-free seasonal celebration! Check out all the following tips and information, as well as events offered this season in order to help spread information and reduce waste this season.

Holiday Recycling Tips
  • Cardboard Boxes: Do recycle! Flatten boxes to save space and remove loose tape.
  • Holiday Cards: Do not include cards with glittery, metallic, or foil elements. Do include all others.
  • Wrapping Paper: Do not include metallic, glittery, or foil-lined papers. Do include other wrapping papers by folding into flat sheets before recycling.

» Continue Reading.