Almanack Contributor NYS DEC

Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.


Thursday, March 30, 2023

Mark Your Calendars: Ozone Season is Almost Here

air smog over Lake Champlain

April showers bring May flowers, but that’s not all April brings. April 1 to September 30 marks the ozone forecast season in the Northeast. During this time, New Yorkers should pay extra attention to the daily Air Quality Index (AQI) forecast, as an air quality health advisory is more likely to occur during these months.

Ground-level ozone is air pollution formed by a chemical reaction between volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the presence of sunlight. Ozone levels tend to be higher on hot, sunny, windless days, making it much more prevalent in the summer. High levels of ozone make the air unhealthy to breathe and can cause several health problems.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Rangers assist NYSP with Ausable Chasm murder investigation

forest ranger reportTown of Chesterfield
Essex County
Evidence Search and Recovery:
 On March 20 at 9:45 a.m., New York State Police (NYSP) requested Forest Ranger assistance in an evidence search connected to a homicide investigation at Ausable Chasm. When Rangers arrived, they were asked to recover the body of a homicide victim thrown more than 100 feet down the chasm. Rangers rappelled down, found the victim, packaged the body, and used a technical rope system to return the victim back above the cliff.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Observing the Annual Spring Burn Ban through May 14

A pile of burning brush

The NYS DEC is once again enforcing the annual burn ban from March 16 through May 14. During this time, NYS is especially vulnerable to wildfires, with nearly half of all serious wildfires happening in the spring. As the snow melts to reveal fall’s dry leaves and downed branches, warm temperatures, and low humidity increase the risk of fires spreading. The annual burn ban temporarily prohibits burning residential brush to reduce the risk of wildfires across the state.

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Friday, March 24, 2023

Outdoor Conditions (3/24): Spring conditions, variable weather this weekend

outdoor conditions logoThe following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry webpages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information

NEW THIS WEEK

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Snow Report (03/23): The following report describes conditions as of Thursday, 03/23. Changing weather may affect conditions. There is 50.4 inches (4.2 feet) of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin and as much as 7 feet at higher elevations. There is considerable unconsolidated snow, especially off trail in wind deposited areas. Snowshoes or skis are required to be worn throughout the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness, beginning immediately at trailheads. Snowshoes are recommended everywhere in the High Peaks region for safe and efficient travel. Bring microspikes and crampons for traction on ice. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen but use caution in areas of moving water such as inlets, outlets, and streams. Be prepared to turn around if conditions prove too difficult to complete your hike.

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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Lake Champlain Management Cooperative Announces Further Stocking Reduction for Lake Trout

dec logoOn March 15, the Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative – a working group of fisheries professionals from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service –  announced the decision to further reduce the number of stocked lake trout released annually. This decision was prompted by the continued increase in natural reproduction and the documentation of multiple age classes of wild fish.

A stocking program was established in the 1950s to restore lake trout in Lake Champlain following the loss of native populations due to water quality and habitat changes. Although the lake was stocked with 82,000 fin clipped fish annually, there is little evidence of successful natural reproduction during the first 60 years of this program.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Rangers locate missing snowmobilers in Inlet, Westport

forest ranger reportTown of Inlet
Hamilton County
Wilderness Search:
On March 17 at 1:25 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance in the search for a missing snowmobiler last seen the previous night in the Moose River Plains. Ten Forest Rangers started clearing trails from Cedar River Flow toward Inlet, and from Long Lake and Newcomb toward Indian Lake.

After clearing these trails, Rangers moved on to the Seventh Lake Mountain Trail, working with Inlet and Webb Police. Approximately two and a half miles from the Seventh Lake boat launch, Ranger Miller found footprints and spots in the snow where the subject had sat down.

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Monday, March 20, 2023

DEC announces same-day reservations for all NYS campgrounds

meacham lake campground

On March 16, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced changes to reservations at DEC campgrounds for the upcoming season, including new same-day reservations to help add flexibility and ease to last-minute bookings.

DEC is excited to make some changes and updates to this year’s reservation window for DEC campgrounds,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “While many campers book weeks or months in advance, there continues to be a high demand for last-minute bookings. Adding same-day reservations will allow our customers to check availability and book a reservation on their way to a campground. An additional 17 hours to book a camping stay will ensure sites are available before arriving and prevent anyone from arriving to a full campground.”

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Friday, March 17, 2023

Outdoor Conditions (3/17): High Peaks hikers should prepare to break trail, especially in the Colden area

outdoor conditions logoThe following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry webpages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information

NEW THIS WEEK

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Snow Report (03/16): The following report describes conditions as of Thursday, 03/16. Changing weather may affect conditions. There is 56.7 inches (4.7 feet) of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin and as much as 7 feet at higher elevations. There is considerable unconsolidated snow, especially off trail in wind deposited areas. Snowshoes or skis are required to be worn throughout the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness, beginning immediately at trailheads. Snowshoes are recommended everywhere in the High Peaks region for safe and efficient travel. Many trails, especially in the Colden area, are not broken out – be prepared to break trail and account for the additional time and energy that will require. Bring microspikes and crampons for traction on ice. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen but use caution in areas of moving water such as inlets, outlets, and streams. Be prepared to turn around if conditions prove too difficult to complete your hike.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Rangers assist injured cross-country skier in Lake Placid

forest ranger reportVillage of Lake Placid
Essex County
Skier Rescue:
 On March 7 at 11:05 a.m., Forest Ranger Evans heard about a cross country skier who hit a tree near the Penny Glades in Lake Placid. Fifteen minutes later, Ranger Evans reached the 67-year-old from Lake Placid, helped him to his home, and performed a medical evaluation. After noticing a large contusion on the subject’s hip and a laceration and swelling on his face, Ranger Evans called for an ambulance. Lake Placid Ambulance took the subject to the hospital at 11:47 a.m.

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Friday, March 10, 2023

Outdoor Conditions (3/10): Clear, calm weather predicted for Adirondacks this weekend

outdoor conditions logoThe following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry webpages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

NEW THIS WEEK

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Snow Report (03/09): The following report describes conditions as of Thursday, 03/09. Changing weather may affect conditions. There is 46.5 inches (3.9 feet) of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin and likely deeper accumulations at higher elevations. Snowshoes are required to be worn in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness when snow accumulations reach 8 inches. Microspikes and crampons are needed for traction on ice. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen but use caution in areas of moving water such as inlets, outlets, and streams.

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Thursday, March 9, 2023

DEC hiring for summer, job fairs set for March 16

dec logoOn March 6, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the availability of employment opportunities for the summer recreational season. Individuals looking for seasonal summer employment and who enjoy the outdoors are encouraged to learn more about opportunities to work at DEC facilities at upcoming on-site job fairs on Thursday, March 16, 2023.

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Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Missing person searches lead to recovery of two bodies in Lewis, Essex counties

forest ranger reportTown of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Feb. 27 at 3:15 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance with a lost hiker in the vicinity of Mount Marcy, the 51-year-old from New Jersey lost the trail due to snow cover. Coordinates placed the hiker near the Hopkins Junction. Rangers Evans and O’Connor made phone contact with the hiker and guided him back towards the Van Hoevenberg trail. Ranger Evans reached the hiker near Marcy Dam. The subject was approaching hypothermic conditions. Ranger Evans brought the subject back to his vehicle and no further medical care was required. Resources were clear at 8 p.m.

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Monday, March 6, 2023

Falconry, Wildlife Rehabilitator, and Leashed Tracking Dog Handler Exams Set for April 14

Falcon

Examinations for individuals seeking a license to practice the sport of falconry, become a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator, or use leashed tracking dogs to find wounded or injured big game animals are scheduled for Friday, April 14, 2023. The registration deadline for these free exams is Wednesday, April 12, 2023. To provide broad access to these examinations, DEC is offering them exclusively online.

Free study guides, the link to the registration website, and directions on how to register are provided on each of the individual license webpages. An email acknowledgment of registration will be sent to applicants along with an additional one-time link to access the website on the day of the exam.

For questions or assistance, please contact the Special Licenses Unit by mail at NYS DEC Special Licenses Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4752; by phone at 518-402-8985; or email us.

Photo at top courtesy of USFWS, provided by the NYS DEC.


Saturday, March 4, 2023

DEC: Be Coyote Conscious

Being cautious of coyotes graphic.

Have you heard or seen coyotes around recently? New York is currently in the midst of coyote breeding season, which generally runs from January-March. During this time of year, coyotes are especially active as they mate and begin to set up dens for pups that will arrive this spring. They also tend to be more territorial, which can increase the risk of conflicts with people and pets.

To minimize this risk, DEC recommends that everyone follow the tips outlined below.

  • Never feed coyotes.
  • Feed pets indoors.
  • Appreciate coyotes from a distance. If you see a coyote, be aggressive in your behavior: stand tall and hold your arms up or out to look as large as possible. If a coyote lingers for too long, make loud noises, wave your arms, and throw sticks and stones.
  • Do not allow pets to run free. Small dogs and cats are especially vulnerable.

If a coyote is exhibiting bold behaviors and shows little or no fear of people, contact your Regional Wildlife Office or, in emergency situations, the local police department. Visit the DEC website for more information on coyotes and preventing conflicts with coyotes.

Photo at top: NYS DEC photo.


Friday, March 3, 2023

Outdoor Conditions (3/3): Long Lake ice conditions variable, unreliable; use caution

outdoor conditions logoThe following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry webpages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

NEW THIS WEEK

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Snow Report (03/02): The following report describes conditions as of Thursday, 03/02. Changing weather may affect conditions. There is 45.3 inches (3.8 feet) of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin and likely deeper accumulations at higher elevations. Snowshoes are required to be worn in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness when snow accumulations reach 8 inches. Microspikes and crampons are needed for traction on ice. Avalanche Pass ski trail is in good condition. The trail to Indian Falls is skiable with some sections affected by drainages. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen but use caution in areas of moving water such as inlets, outlets, and streams–they are not as frozen over as you may expect.

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