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.


Sunday, July 26, 2020

DEC Announces Agreement to Protect Grasse River Habitat

Grasse RiverArconic to Provide More Than $2.25 Million to Protect and Restore Habitat, Including Critically Important Freshwater Mussels
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced a landmark agreement (PDF) between DEC and Arconic, Inc. Under the agreement, Arconic will provide more than $2.25 million to protect and restore critical habitat at the Grasse River Federal Superfund site in Massena. Arconic is required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean up contamination in the Grasse River, but was not being held to New York State’s stringent standards for habitat protection, driving DEC to reach this agreement and help save critically important freshwater mussels and other natural resources.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 25, 2020

Home Composting 101

Vermicomposting uses worms to decompose waste courtesy Wikimedia user ChristopheFinotThe summer weather isn’t the only thing heating up, so is your compost pile. Unlike our garbage or recycling, composting allows us to directly manage our own wasted food and turn those food scraps into compost. Composting takes some care; add your greens, browns, water and air. Learn more about home composting whether you’re a beginner or a bit more experienced.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, July 24, 2020

Outdoor Conditions (7/24): Pack it in, pack it out

Included here are notices reported in the past week. 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.

Trash in the Backcountry: DEC is receiving increased reports of visitors leaving trash behind after trips to State lands, waters, and facilities in the Adirondacks. Outdoor adventurers are reminded to follow the principles of Leave No Trace, and keep New York’s environment clean by properly disposing of waste.

Travel: Check 511NY for road closures and travel conditions. If you plan on hiking in the High Peaks, use 511NY to check the status of parking lots along the busy Route 73 corridor. Have back-up plans in place and, if the parking lot at your desired destination is full, move on to your back-up plan. Status of parking lots is being updated throughout the day on weekend days by patrolling DEC Forest Rangers and Forest ranger assistants.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 23, 2020

DEC Offers New Online Bowhunter Education Course

ECOs Nicols and Brassard with the buck and crossbowStarting July 15, the NYS DEC began offering its new online bowhunter education certification course, DEC commissioner Basil Seggos announced. “DEC began offering online hunter education courses this spring, and the response has been fantastic. I encourage all experienced and aspiring bowhunters to take advantage of this opportunity and sign up to take the bowhunter education course online.” Seggos went on to say.

If you wish to bow hunt deer or bear in New York State, a bowhunter education course along with a mandatory hunter education course are both required before the purchase of a hunting license. All of the DEC’s in person bowhunter education courses have been cancelled this year as a result of the State’s ongoing COVID-19 response. This new online course allows for new bowhunters to complete their required certifications in time for the fall hunting season. More than 30,000 people have completed the DEC’s new online hunter education course since its April 15 announcement.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Rangers come to aid of hikers stuck on Trap Dike

Recent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
On July 18 at 11:30 a.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for two hikers stuck on the Trap Dike. The hikers exited the Trap Dike too soon and became stranded on the south side. The pair was advised to stay put and not try to go back due to the steepness of the terrain. Two Forest Rangers responded to assist. The Lake Colden caretaker saw the hikers but could not establish voice contact. Forest Rangers and the New York State Police (NYSP) Aviation unit performed a hoist rescue to bring the hikers safely to the base of the Trap Dike so they could hike out. The Lake Colden caretaker then paddled the stranded hikers and Forest Ranger Robbi Mecus to the end of Avalanche Lake where they started the hike back and were out of the woods by 8:02 p.m.Town of North Elba.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

DEC Releases Final Plans to Improve Saranac River’s Imperial Mills Dam

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Acting Regional Director Joe Zalewski today announced the release of final plans to improve the Imperial Mills Dam, including installing a fish ladder to provide for passage of landlocked Atlantic salmon and modifying the dam to bring it into compliance with dam safety regulations. The Imperial Mills Dam, also known as the Main Mill Dam, is located on the Saranac River approximately 3.2 miles upstream from Lake Champlain, in the city of Plattsburgh, Clinton County.

 

» Continue Reading.


Friday, July 17, 2020

Asian Giant Hornet – Fact vs. Fiction

When the Asian Giant Hornet was discovered in Washington State Dec.19, it gave rise to a series of eye popping headlines and news stories.

The DEC has released a breakdown of the facts on this species in order to clear up any misinformation or anxiety in the general public. In North America, the Asian Giant Hornet has only been spotted in a small area in Washington state and British Columbia. There have been no AGH found anywhere else in the continent, east coast included.

New York has some common look-alikes, including the European Horney which is half an inch to an inch and a half in length, while the AGH is one to two inches in length.

The Asian Giant Hornet also does not attack humans unless you attempt to handle them, you are within 10 or so feet of their nest, or you are approaching a beehive that they are currently attacking. Their sting is more painful then the usual hornet due to their enormous size, but human deaths caused by AGH strings are extremely rare – about 12 per year worldwide. To put it in perspective, there are about 60 deaths a year in the U.S. alone from bee and hornet stings. However, the AGH will attack and destroy honeybee hives.

To find more information on these hornets, visit the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets website. If you think you have found an Asian Giant Hornet, review the ID materials on the AGM website, or email photos and location information to [email protected].


Friday, July 17, 2020

Outdoor Conditions (7/17): Prospect Mountain trail closed

Recent Notices

Included here are notices reported in the past week. 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.

Lake George Wild Forest: Prospect Mountain Trail is now closed due to construction on the summit. The summit area, above the parking lot, has been closed to the public and signs at the trail informed hikers the summit area was not open. However, many hikers entered the construction zone, so DEC has closed the trail. The summit of the mountain and the trail will remain closed until late August while 500 feet of mortared stone border wall that is crumbling along summit lookout areas is removed and replaced with individual cut stone blocks. Due to the grades, the moving of the stone blocks is difficult and dangerous, especially with heavy equipment. The road and the path from the parking lot are blocked.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 16, 2020

DEC acquires 662 acres in St. Lawrence, Oneida and Lewis counties

cranberry lakeNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the acquisition of several parcels totaling 662 acres in St. Lawrence, Oneida, and Lewis counties to enhance public access to a variety of recreational opportunities, including hiking, fishing, snowmobiling, and hunting, as well as to protect critical wetlands and forests in the region.

The acquisition was made possible through cumulative investments of $666,800 from the state Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Ranger report: Injuries; lost hikers; in the dark without a headlamp

Recent DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On July 12 at 10:50 a.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call reporting an injured hiker on Upper Wolfjaw in the Eastern High Peaks. The caller stated he saw a 25-year-old man from Queensbury hiking solo with a knee injury from a fall on wet tree roots. Forest Rangers Kevin Burns, Tom Gliddi, Robbi Mecus, and Scott van Laer and two Assistant Forest Rangers responded. At 3:10 p.m., Ranger Mecus located the injured man just below the summit of Upper Wolfjaw, assessed the injury, and determined a hoist mission was necessary. NYSP Aviation found a break in the cloud cover at 3:50 p.m., and responded to their location for assistance. The hiker was hoisted into the helicopter at 4:10 p.m. by Ranger Burns and transported to a local hospital for further medical treatment.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Proposed Rule Change for waterfowl hunting

duck decoys

Due to a slow, but steady decline in mallards across the northeastern United States, the mallard daily bag limit remains two birds (one hen) per day. Please see the Declining Mallards in the Atlantic Flyway (PDF) brochure for more information.

The Canada goose season length in the Northeast, West Central, East Central, Hudson Valley, and Lake Champlain zones remains 30 days with a limit of two per day. Please see the Status and Management of Atlantic Population Canada Geese (PDF) brochure for more information.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 11, 2020

Wildlife Spotlight: the Gray Treefrog

The last species of Anuran (frog) to breed in New York, from late May into July, is the gray treefrog (Dryophytes versicolor). The species overwinters in forests, where they spend most of their lives. They make their way to wetlands, where males call to attract mates. Females then deposit fertilized eggs on vegetation in the wetland. After breeding they will return to their forested haunts, and can be heard calling periodically throughout the summer.

Patterning and coloration are variable, but they are generally covered in ragged dark blotches over a gray to light green background. Gray treefrogs have a light spot bordered by a dark edge beneath the eye and bright yellow coloration on the inside surface of their thighs. Adults are 1.5-2 inches, and have toe pads that act as a suction cup for climbing.

Their call is an unmistakable, powerful trill that varies in length between individuals. To some, this call may be reminiscent of a raccoon, minus the random chatter. The call is so powerful, that to the human ear the pulse of their trill can be felt reverberating through the bones of the inner ear! Check out this video of a gray treefrog calling.

Photo by William Hoffman.


Friday, July 10, 2020

Outdoor Conditions (7/10): Beat the heat, avoid bears

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.

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. DEC is accepting new reservations for dates on or after July 10, 2020. To maintain social distancing and reduce the density of facilities and protect visitors, DEC is not currently accepting walk-in camping.

Backcountry Camping
Permits are available for groups of fewer than 10 people who plan to stay more than three nights at a primitive campsite. DEC has temporarily stopped issuing permits for backcountry camping for groups of 10 or more. Use of lean-tos should be restricted to members of a single household at a time to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 9, 2020

DEC adds 241 acres to Catskill Forest Preserve

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced the acquisition of 241 acres in the Catskills, including 208 acres adjoining existing Forest Preserve lands in the Bluestone Wild Forest that will preserve critical open space and expand recreational opportunities to support the local economy. The purchases of the two properties were made possible through a partnership with the Open Space Institute (OSI) and $758,000 from New York’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 9, 2020

Upcoming exams for Falconry, Wildlife Rehabilitation, and more

The DEC has announced that exams for those looking to become wildlife rehabilitators, practice falconry, or use leashed tracking dogs to locate wounded or injured big game animals will be held on Aug. 14 with a registration deadline of July 24.

In region 5, the exams will be held at DEC offices in Ray Brook  and Warrensburg, with two exam times offered: 10 am – noon and 2-4 p.m.

DEC Regional Offices and their locations can be found at the DEC website, as well as exam registration forms.

» Continue Reading.



Take advantage of a special offer for Almanack readers:

Subscribe to the Adirondack Explorer’s app for only $8!

Get a year’s worth of magazine content, the annual Outings guide and multimedia content.

Use the code EXPLORE at checkout