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.


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

DEC beaches begin to close for summer

Rogers Rock Campground provided by DEC

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the closure of beaches to swimming at DEC-managed campgrounds and day use areas in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks. For public safety, beaches remain open to visitors but swimming is prohibited unless a lifeguard is present. Beaches are closed to swimming each year as many lifeguards return to school.

Please refer to the schedule below for swimming closures at these DEC campgrounds and day use areas:

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Man dies in Dix Mountain Wilderness

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Elizabethtown
Essex County
Campground Enforcement:
 On Aug. 9 at 4:15 a.m., DEC’s Central Dispatch received a call from the caretaker at Lincoln Pond Campground requesting Forest Ranger assistance to help address multiple, ongoing violations. Forest Ranger Lt. Dubay was notified, and Forest Rangers Quinn and Booth responded. Upon their investigation, Rangers issued 16 tickets for underage drinking.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, August 16, 2021

Wildlife Management Areas open to the public through August

Perch River WMA
Annual Open House Lifts Restricted Access at Perch River, Upper and Lower Lakes, and Wilson Hill WMAs

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the annual opening to the public of otherwise restricted Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties from Monday, Aug. 16, to Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021. During the 16-day open house, Upper and Lower Lakes and Wilson Hill WMAs in St. Lawrence County, including the posted refuge or wetland restricted areas, will be open to visitors each day from sunrise to sunset. Perch River WMA in Jefferson County will also be open to visitors with one exception-Perch Lake will be open daily from noon to dusk.

In addition, this 16-day window is now fixed for subsequent years and will apply to future WMA open houses. Establishing these fixed dates will make planning trips to the areas easier for visitors interested in observing DEC’s efforts to manage and improve these important habitats. Portions of these WMAs are marked as refuge or wetland restricted areas to allow waterfowl and other listed species to breed and raise young without human interference.

Perch River WMA encompasses nearly 8,000 acres in the towns of Brownville, Orleans, and Pamelia. Perch River WMA can be accessed from State Route 12, and Allen, Buckminster, Vaadi, and Perch Lake roads. The Perch Lake proper (accessed by Perch Lake Road) will be open from noon until sunset each day. Fishing will be allowed, but motorized boats are not permitted.

Upper and Lower Lakes WMA is located about two miles west of the village of Canton along State Route 68 in St. Lawrence County. This WMA, the largest in the region, is an 8,770-acre upland/wetland complex between the Grasse and Oswegatchie rivers.

Wilson Hill WMA in northern St. Lawrence County is approximately six miles west of the village of Massena off State Route 37. Situated along the St. Lawrence River, the 4,000-acre area consists of several large pools of open water marsh bordered by a combination of dense cattails, brushy wetlands, forest, and upland meadow. Fishing is not allowed in Nichols Pool.

DEC may be conducting habitat and wildlife management projects on the WMAs throughout the 16-day period. Visitors are advised to avoid any operating machinery and pay attention to temporary signage. For additional information, bird lists, and maps, contact DEC’s Regional Wildlife Office at 315-785-2263 or visit the Western Adirondacks/ Upper Mohawk Valley/ Eastern Lake Ontario WMAs webpage.

Photo: Perch River WMA in Jefferson County/DEC Photo


Saturday, August 14, 2021

Watch for Giant Hogweed, Wild Parsnips

hogweedGiant hogweed plants are now blooming across many parts of the state, making it a prime time to spot this harmful invasive. Giant hogweed is a large plant from Eurasia with sap that can cause painful burns and scarring.

Adult giant hogweed plants tend to be 7-14 feet tall with umbrella-shaped clusters of white flowers up to 2.5 feet wide. The stem is green with purple splotches and coarse white hairs, and leaves are large (up to 5 feet across), incised, and deeply lobed. You can find more identification tips, including a table of lookalikes, on our website.

If you think you have found giant hogweed, do not touch it. From a safe distance, take photos of the plant’s stem, leaves, flower, seeds, and the whole plant. Then report your sighting to DEC by emailing photos and location information to [email protected] or calling (845) 256-3111. DEC staff will confirm if it is giant hogweed and discuss plans for management if it is a site not yet being managed by DEC.

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Friday, August 13, 2021

Outdoor Conditions: Route 73 Shuttle to start

outdoor conditions logoHiking Information

Be prepared, bring the right gear, and wear the right clothes and shoes to ensure a safe and enjoyable hike. Review Hike Smart NY’s list of 10 essentials and bring those items on every hike. Prepare for your hike by doing the following:

Pilot Route 73 Hiker Shuttle: A pilot Route 73 Hiker Shuttle system will launch on Saturday, August 21. The pilot will help provide safe, sustainable visitation along the busy Route 73 corridor and in the Adirondack High Peaks region. The free shuttle system will operate 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays through Monday, October 11. Users can park at Marcy Field and ride to the Rooster Comb, Giant Mountain/Ridge Trail, and Roaring Brook Falls trailheads. Parking is still available at the trailheads themselves. All riders will be required to wear a mask. Stewards will be stationed at all drop off and pick-up locations to assist with navigating the shuttle system and educate hikers on responsible recreation, including preparedness, hiking safety, and Leave No Trace™ principles. Pets are not permitted.

View a map of the route (PDF), the shuttle schedule (PDF), and browse a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions (PDF). » Continue Reading.


Friday, August 13, 2021

I FISH NY Guide to Freshwater Fishing Series Now Available

screen shotWhether you’re a first time angler or it’s been awhile and you could use a refresher, we’re here to help. Check out three new videos we recently posted on DEC’s YouTube channel. Adding to our debut video (Family Fishing Basics), this series provides the basic information you’ll need to get started in the sport of fishing.

Interested in more fishing content? Let us know! Email [email protected].

How to cast to a spin casting (push-button) rod
Basic Fishing Knots
Bobber & Worm Rig


Thursday, August 12, 2021

Road Trip to Adventure: Everton Falls Preserve

evertonLooking for a scenic, family-friendly Adirondack adventure by foot or canoe? Check out The Nature Conservancy’s Everton Falls Preserve that protects a 1.5-mile stretch of the East Branch of the St. Regis River.

From the parking area, there is a short trail through northern hardwood and conifer forests where you can enjoy a picnic lunch at the shoreline along the river. If you are looking to spend time padding, there is a boat access site across from the Everton Falls Preserve parking lot, which provides nine miles of flat-water paddling. For a weekend trip, book reservations at Meacham Lake Campground & Day Use Area and for other local amenities, visit the towns of Saint Regis Falls, Paul Smiths, or Saranac Lake.

Editor’s note: Read more about the recreational opportunities that can be found at the Everton Falls Preserve in this article in the Adirondack Explorer.

Photo by Tom French for Adirondack Explorer.


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

How to Report a Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB)

harmful algal bloom, aka HABDEC’s harmful algal bloom (HABs) notification season has begun. HABs notifications will be updated through the fall using an online reporting and notification system dubbed NYHABS. The system includes an interactive map that shows reports of freshwater HABs, as well as a public reporting system. Instructions on how to use NYHABS are on DEC’s HABs notification page.

Know it:  If you see a HAB, please use the reporting form to submit a report to NYHABS.

Avoid it:  Because waterbodies may have HABs that have not been reported to DEC, we recommend avoiding contact with floating mats, scums and discolored water.

Report it: If you, your family, or pet have been in contact with a HAB, please rinse with clean water and report any symptoms to your local health department.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, August 9, 2021

Report Your Turkey Sightings This August

wild turkeysWhile you are exploring the forests and fields around your home or driving through the state’s beautiful landscapes this summer, be sure to keep an eye out for wild turkeys.

DEC uses reported observations of wild turkeys to track changes in abundance and productivity (number of poults produced per adult hen) over time and in different parts of the state. It also helps forecast hunting prospects for the coming fall season and for subsequent spring seasons. Submit your observations online. To see results from previous summer surveys, please visit DEC’s website.

Photo courtesy of G. Ellmers


Friday, August 6, 2021

Recreation Highlight: Outdoor Accessibility Day at John Dillon Park

john dillon

Join DEC this Sunday for Outdoor Accessibility Day (OAD) at John Dillon Park, located at 2150 Tupper Road, Long Lake, NY. We are looking forward to a day full of activities and opportunities to learn about accessibility in the outdoors.

Experience boat rides, fishing clinics, nature walks, campfire cooking, and more. Visitors are encouraged to explore the trails and pack a lunch to enjoy in one of the many picnic areas around the park.

Register for Outdoor Accessibility Day at John Dillon Park. For more information, call John Dillon Park at (518) 524-6226.


Friday, August 6, 2021

Outdoor conditions (8/6): Keene paving project on Route 73

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.

Climbing Access: As of Tuesday, August 3, 2021, all routes on Potash Mountain are open. There are no longer any active climbing restrictions in the East/Central Adirondacks.

Sable Highlands: The campsite at Saranac River PUA and the two campsites on Mullins Road are closed for rehabilitation through August 13. Campsites 1 and 2 at the Barnes Pond PUA will remain open.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Rangers conduct back-to-back rescues on Colden’s trap dike, Van Ho trail

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of North Hudson
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On July 27 at 2:15 p.m., Forest Rangers Quinn and Sabo responded to the Lillian Brook trail near Elk Lake in the Dix Mountain Wilderness Area for a report of a 64-year-old hiker from Southampton with a dislocated shoulder. According to the caller, he received a GPS text message from his parents’ Garmin InReach Emergency Beacon requesting assistance. He stated that his parents were descending South Dix when his father slipped and grabbed a tree to stop his fall resulting in the injury. He also indicated that his parents were continuing to hike out to the trailhead. At 3:30 p.m. Rangers Quinn and Sabo, along with DEC Wildlife Technician Geyer, located the couple approximately two miles from the Elk Lake trailhead. Rangers stabilized the injury and gave the couple an ATV ride to the trailhead. They said they would seek medical attention on their own. All units were clear at 4:30 p.m.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, July 30, 2021

Outdoor conditions (7/30): Route 73 roadwork

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.

Essex County: The New York State Department of Transportation has advised that a portion of State Route 73 in the Town of Keene, Essex County, will be reduced to a single lane with alternating flows of traffic controlled by flaggers on weekdays between the hours of 6 a.m. and 5 p.m., beginning Tuesday, July 27, to facilitate a paving project. The lane reduction will start approximately two miles north of the intersection with U.S. Route 9 and continue to the northern intersection with Airport Road. Work is scheduled to be completed by the end of August, weather permitting.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 29, 2021

DEC Deploys Second Ranger to Assist in Western Wildfires

wildfireNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced Tuesday that a second DEC Forest Ranger has been deployed to Montana to assist in fighting western wildfires. Monday, New York State welcomed home Forest Ranger Timothy Carpenter at the end of his two-week assignment fighting the Bootleg Fire raging in Oregon.

Ranger Carpenter, from Steuben County, began his assignment July 10, when he joined more than 2,000 federal, state, and local fire agencies battling the Bootleg Fire in Oregon. The Bootleg Fire started on July 6 and has burned more than 400,000 acres. It is now approximately 53 percent contained. Sustained winds and low humidity make this a difficult fire to get under control. The fire has already destroyed more than 200 buildings, forcing the evacuation of about 2,000 people.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Rangers locate overdue Marcy hiker, who suffered knee injury

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Search:
 On July 22 at 11 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a pair of hikers reporting that a member of their party was overdue from hiking Mount Marcy in the High Peaks Wilderness Area. Forest Ranger LaPierre responded to the Adirondak Loj parking lot to interview the reporting party. At 1:36 a.m., Ranger LaPierre located the 33-year-old subject from New York City up the trail from Marcy Dam. The subject had suffered a knee injury, was unable to walk, and likely dehydrated. The Ranger splinted the injury and provided the hiker with warmth, food, and water. She escorted the hiker back to the outpost and set him up in a sleeping bag so he could rest while the Ranger continued back to the Loj. Ranger LaPierre then drove a UTV in to pick up the subject, and at 4:45 a.m., the hiker was reunited with his party and taken for further medical care.

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