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.


Thursday, May 19, 2022

Tracking Timberdoodles

woodcockThe American woodcock, or Timberdoodle, is a migratory upland bird, whose numbers have been declining for several decades. Since 2018, DEC has been a partner in the Eastern Woodcock Migration Research Cooperative, led by the University of Maine. The goal of the larger collaborative is to understand the woodcock’s migration ecology. During this study, 40 woodcock have been marked in New York and over 500 for the project overall. This year, DEC is expanding its efforts by partnering with SUNY Brockport and the University of Maine to better understand woodcock’s habitat usage during the spring breeding and summer brood rearing seasons. As part of the expanded effort, DEC biologists and technicians will be out trying to capture woodcock in early May. The information from this study will help guide habitat management on state and private lands in New York to benefit woodcock and other species that rely on early successional forest habitats. Check out a video about this interesting research.

Photo by M. Noome


Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Missing 3-year old boy found by logger in Lewis County, rangers assist in search and rescue efforts

forest ranger reportTown of Watson
Lewis County
Missing Child Found:
 On May 11 at 10:18 a.m., Ranger Hanno overheard radio traffic about a missing three-year-old boy with two dogs, possibly in the woods behind a property in the town of Watson. Upon arrival, Rangers and sheriff’s deputies confirmed the child was not in the residence or outbuildings on the property.

The family regularly walks the trails behind the home, so crews began searching that area. Searching also took place across the street, where the child was last seen on a resident’s camera at 9:47 a.m., and a diaper was found further north of the home. At 1:45 p.m., a logger found the child approximately 1.29 miles from the family’s home, drove the child out to the road, and alerted a Ranger and deputy the child had been found.

The child was evaluated by Lewis County Search and Rescue and released to his parents. Resources were clear at 3 p.m.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 14, 2022

Give crossing turtles a brake

turtleEach May and June, Motorists Should be on the Alert for Turtles Crossing the Road  

Our native turtles are on the move in May and June seeking sandy areas or loose soil to lay their eggs. In New York, thousands of turtles are killed each year when they are struck by vehicles as they migrate to their nesting areas.

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Friday, May 13, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (5/13): Tips for hiking with dogs, being prepared for sudden inclement weather while hiking

outdoor conditions logoRecent Notices

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.

NEW THIS WEEK:

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Snow Conditions, 05/12: There is persistent packed snow on trails above 4,000 feet, especially on north aspects. Trails are very muddy above 3,000 feet. There is high fire danger at the moment. Temperatures may reach hazardous highs this weekend, and thunderstorms are forecast. Please avoid all trails above 2,500 feet while DEC’s muddy trails advisory is in effect.
  • The gate on Corey’s Road is now open.
  • The gate at Clear Pond, on the Elk Lake Conservation Easement, is now open for the season. The public is allowed to drive to the Elk Lake parking lot and trailhead to park for access to the Slide Brook Trail (to the Dix Mtns) and the Elk Lake Marcy Trail. Parking is limited to the capacity of the parking lot. No parking is permitted along the Elk Lake Road or in any other pull-offs. If the parking lot is full, hikers must park at the Upper Elk Lake Road parking lot on the west side of the Elk Lake Road approximately 2.3 miles south of the Elk Lake parking lot and trailhead. Please respect the parking rules to help ensure this access is maintained and there are no impacts to fire and rescue access.

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Thursday, May 12, 2022

Spring Beauties of the Forest Floor

trout lillies in springHave you spotted some of the first wildflowers in the forest? Late April into early May is when the famously fleeting flowers we call the spring ephemerals bloom – but only for a brief period of time! Known for bringing the first signs of the season to the forest floor, this group of perennials has only a short window of time to grow, flower, be pollinated, and produce seeds before the towering trees above them leaf out and steal their access to sunlight.

Beyond being beautiful, spring ephemerals are a source of nectar and pollen for many pollinators in a time when food is scarce. In return, pollinators help the plants reproduce and some (like ants) also spread their seeds, inadvertently helping to plant the next generation.

Just a few of the species you may spot include bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), trout lily (Erythronium americanum), red trillium (Trillium erectum), and spring beauty (Claytonia virginica). Many of these flowers are protected species, meaning it is illegal to pick or trample them. If you notice any in your yard, enjoy their brief beauty with only your eyes and camera.

Pictured: A mixed patch of spring ephemerals including trout lily (yellow flower) and spring beauty (pink flower).


Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Rangers respond to brush fire in Forestport, wilderness rescue in North Elba

forest ranger report

Town of Forestport
Oneida County
Brush Fire:
 On May 1 at 5:45 p.m., Forest Ranger Lieutenant Hoag and Ranger McCartney responded to a brush fire near Round Lake Road in the town of Forestport. The fire burned an estimated nine acres of private land. By 8:20 p.m., the fire was put into patrol status and declared out on May 4.

New York’s annual statewide brush burning ban is in effect through May 14. Since 2009, DEC has enforced the ban to prevent wildfires and protect communities during heightened conditions for wildfires each spring. Backyard fire pits and campfires less than three feet in height and four feet in length, width, or diameter are allowed.

Small cooking fires are allowed, but only charcoal or dry, clean, untreated, or unpainted wood can be burned. People should never leave these or any fires unattended and must extinguish them. Burning garbage or leaves is prohibited year-round. For more information about fire safety and prevention, go to DEC’s FIREWISE New York webpage.

Brush fire in Forestport. DEC photo.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, May 9, 2022

DEC Shares Safety Tips on Spring Recreation in the Adirondacks

Mud Season Muddy Trail Adirondacks (Adirondack Mountain CLub Photo)The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reminds visitors to recreate responsibly in the Adirondacks this spring to help protect State lands for future generations. Spring is an excellent time to get outdoors and enjoy warming temperatures, but it can also pose many risks to outdoor enthusiasts, wildlife, and natural resources. DEC encourages visitors to public lands to recreate responsibly to protect themselves and the resource.

Practice the Seven Principles of Leave No TraceTM: Leave No Trace™ principles provide a framework for safe and sustainable recreation. Based on outdoor ethics rather than rules, the principles provide guidelines that can be tailored to a variety of outdoor activities and an individual’s specific experience. Before heading out to visit State lands, DEC encourages outdoor adventurers to review and familiarize themselves with these principles to help be prepared, stay safe, and minimize damage to shared lands and waterways.

Follow the Muddy Trail Advisory: Hikers are advised to avoid hiking on high elevation trails above 2,500 feet until further notice. Despite recent warm weather, high elevation trails are still covered in slowly melting ice and snow. These steep trails feature thin soils that become a mix of ice and mud as winter conditions melt and frost leaves the ground. Sliding boots destroy trail tread, damage surrounding vegetation, and erode thin soils, increasing the likelihood of washouts; rotten snow and monorails are a safety hazard even with proper equipment; and high elevation and alpine vegetation are extremely fragile during this time.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, May 6, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (5/6): Blowdown on hiking trails to be cleared as staff increases

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.

NEW THIS WEEK:

High Peaks Wilderness: Snow Conditions, 05/05: Snow depths remain significant at high elevations, with areas reaching 2-3 feet in depth. Snowshoes are required to be worn wherever snow accumulations are greater than 8 inches. Crampons and microspikes are still essential – many trails are still icy above 3,000 feet. Be prepared to encounter mud at lower elevations. Check summit weather forecasts for more accurate predictions at higher elevations. A mid-April snowstorm caused significant blowdown, making navigation more challenging. Carry a paper map and compass or GPS and know how to use them. Please avoid all trails above 2,500 feet while DEC’s muddy trails advisory is in effect.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 5, 2022

A chance to give input on inclusivity, accessibility in outdoors

accessibilityTwo Virtual Public Forums on Inclusivity, Accessibility, and Sustainability in the Outdoors Scheduled for May

DEC, in collaboration with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA), will be hosting a two-part webinar series on integrating inclusivity, accessibility, and sustainability in providing access to state lands.

In each session, Janet Zeller, a national expert on accessibility of outdoor recreation for people with disabilities, will give a presentation, followed by a discussion facilitated by the DEC/APA Accessibility Advisory Committee. The committee consists of representatives of people with disabilities who are focused on improving the accessibility of outdoor recreation across New York State.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Rangers conduct wilderness rescue in North Elba, respond to brush fire in Lake Luzerne

forest ranger report

 

Recent NYS Forest Ranger actions:

North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On April 30 at 10 p.m., Essex County 911 requested Forest Ranger assistance for a hiker suffering from an unstable knee injury on Algonquin Peak. Ranger Evans made contact with the 25-year-old from Vermont and instructed her partner to make a brace so the pair could continue moving downhill.

When Rangers Evans and Lewis reached the hiker at 1:30 a.m., they re-splinted the knee and helped the hikers out of the woods. At 6 a.m., the subject went to Glens Falls Hospital for further treatment.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, May 2, 2022

I Love My Park Day set for May 7

The 11th Annual I Love My Park Day will be held on Saturday, May 7. I Love My Park Day is hosted by Parks & Trails New York in partnership with DEC and New York State Parks will host events at 145 state parks, historic sites, and public lands across the state.

Volunteers will celebrate New York’s public lands by cleaning up debris, planting trees and gardens, restoring trails and wildlife habitats, removing invasive species, and working on various site improvement projects.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 1, 2022

ECOs crack down on fishing violations

Recent actions from Adirondack-region Environmental Conservation Officers

fishing violationFishing Violations – Warren County

On the morning of April 15, Lieutenant Higgins and ECO Brassard patrolled a small trout pond in Queensbury and discovered several anglers catching freshly stocked trout without incident. However, some anglers also possessed out-of-season chain pickerel. In addition, two fishermen had failed to buy a fishing license, resulting in tickets to the offenders.

Later that afternoon, ECO Lapoint patrolled stocked streams in Lake George and located two anglers, one of whom exceeded the limit of trout he could legally catch and the other who did not have a valid fishing license. ECO Lapoint issued tickets to both anglers and educated the pair about daily limits and how purchasing a fishing license supports fish stocking in New York State.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 30, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (4/30): Use caution with monorails/very cold water temps

outdoor conditions logo

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: Snow Conditions, 04/27: Snowshoes are still required for most high elevation trails where snow remains deeper than 8 inches. Crampons and microspikes are still essential – many trails are still icy, especially above 3,000 feet. Trails are extremely muddy at lower elevations. Remaining ice on high elevation lakes is completely unstable and will not hold weight. Expect high water in drainages. Check summit weather forecasts for more accurate predictions at higher elevations. Recent heavy, wet snowfall has caused significant blowdown, making navigation more challenging. Carry a paper map and compass or GPS and know how to navigate. Please avoid all trails above 2,500 feet while DEC’s muddy trails advisory is in effect.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, April 29, 2022

Fishing season kicks off statewide May 1 for most coolwater sportfish

This year (and every year after) May 1st will mark the official statewide season opener for most of the coolwater sportfish species in New York. This includes walleye, northern pike, chain pickerel, and tiger muskellunge. (Muskellunge season opens on June 1).

These sportfish species provide fun, yet challenging, fishing opportunities across the state.

If you’re targeting members of the Pike Family- northern pike, chain pickerel and tiger muskellunge, you should consider using a steel-leader tied to the end of your line. This will prevent the sharp teeth of these species from slicing your line and ultimately save you some frustration.

Knowing what the habitats are for sportfish will give you a better understanding of where you should fish for them. For example, chain pickerel are generally found year-round in shallow, weedy areas, whereas northern pike move from shallow water flats after spawning in the early spring to deeper, cooler water sections of lakes and rivers as temperatures rise through late spring and summer.

To learn more about fishing for these species in New York visit our website or see the links below.
How to Fish for Walleye
Walleye Fishing in New York
Pike, Pickerel and Tiger Musky Fishing in New York

Photo at top: A fisherman shows off his catch. DEC photo. 


Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Rangers conduct search and rescue training in Saratoga County

forest ranger report

Recent NYS DEC forest ranger actions:

Town of Corinth
Saratoga County
Search and Rescue Training:
 On April 22, Forest Ranger Baker took part in search and rescue training organized by Lower Adirondack Search and Rescue (LASAR).

Rangers often work with LASAR members during large search missions. Members of Hudson Mohawk Search and Rescue were also in attendance.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry.

Visit DEC’s Hike Smart NYAdirondack Backcountry Information, and Catskill Backcountry Information webpages for more information.

Forest rangers take part in search and rescue training in the Town of Corinth in Saratoga County. NYS DEC photo.

If a person needs a Forest Ranger, whether it’s for a search and rescue, to report a wildfire, or to report illegal activity on state lands and easements, they should call 833-NYS-RANGERS. If a person needs urgent assistance, they can call 911. To contact a Forest Ranger for information about a specific location, the DEC website has phone numbers for every Ranger listed by region.

 



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