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.


Saturday, May 29, 2021

Muskellunge Fishing Season starts today

muskellunge The DEC has announced the opening of 2021 muskellunge fishing season, a fish also known as the muskie or musky. The season officially opens today in inland waters, and June 19 for the Great Lakes, including Lake Erie, Upper Niagara River, Lower Niagara River, and Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

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Friday, May 28, 2021

Prospect Mountain Opening Weekend

prospect mountainProspect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway will open for the 2021 season this Saturday, May 29. Drive and hike up Prospect Mountain to enjoy spectacular 360 degree views of Lake George, Vermont’s Green Mountains, New Hampshire’s White Mountains, and the Adirondack High Peaks. The final parking lot is located 155 feet below the summit. A quarter-mile trail provides access from the parking lot to the summit. Three additional scenic overlooks – the Narrows, Lake George, and the Eagle’s Eye – provide views along the 5.5-mile highway.

Please note the shuttle to the summit of Prospect Mountain is not available at this time. Until shuttles become available, admission fees will not be charged to access the highway. The accessible parking at the summit is currently under construction. Limited accessible parking spots will continue to be available during construction, but temporary closures of some areas may occur. Call (518) 668-5198 for current accessibility information.

Adirondack Almanack file photo


Friday, May 28, 2021

Outdoor conditions (5/28): Recreation openings for Memorial Day

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.

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: A beaver dam is partially obstructing Spider Creek’s passage under Route 30 between Follensby Clear Pond and Upper Saranac Lake.

Hinckley Reservoir Day Use Area: The Hinckley Reservoir Day Use Area, located in Herkimer County, will open for public recreation beginning Saturday, May 29. The area will be closed to swimming, although the beach remains open to visitors. Recreation opportunities at Hinckley include picnicking, paddling, and use of the beach. Swimming is not allowed because lifeguards are not currently available. For public safety, swimming is only permitted only when a lifeguard is on duty.

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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Campers urged to ‘buy local’ when it comes to firewood

firewood check pointState’s Firewood Regulations Limit Firewood Movement to Protect New York Forests

With the start of the 2021 camping season underway, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid have encouraged campers to use local firewood and follow New York State firewood regulations to help prevent the spread of invasive species. Untreated firewood – firewood that has not met the state’s heat treatment standard – can contain invasive pests that kill trees. To protect New York’s forests, untreated firewood should not be moved more than 50 miles from its source of origin.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Rangers assist lost, injured hikers separated from groups

forest ranger reportsTown of Wilmington
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On May 17 at 2:47 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch was contacted regarding a 21-year-old woman from Buffalo with an ankle injury on Whiteface Mountain. Forest Rangers Praczkajlo and Evans responded to assist. Once on scene, Ranger Praczkajlo hiked in to the injured party and walked her out to the trailhead by 3:37 p.m. The woman declined medical treatment, stating she would seek medical attention on her own.

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Monday, May 24, 2021

$450,000 in Grants Available for Private Forest Landowners

Young beech trees retain their leaves throughout the winter monthsNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced that $450,000 is now available in the first round of the State’s new ‘Regenerate NY’ Forestry Cost Share Grant Program. The grant program is designed to assist private landowners growing the next generation of forests, which are crucial for mitigating climate change, providing wildlife habitat, protecting air and water quality, and supplying an important renewable resource.

“Nearly 75 percent of New York’s 18.7 million acres of forestland is privately owned,” said Seggos. “Each year, New York’s private forests remove CO2 from the atmosphere at a rate equal to the emissions from two million gasoline-powered automobiles, underscoring the importance of partnering with landowners to sustain our forests and fight against climate change. The Regenerate NY grant program supports the renewal of our forests and will help New York State meet our ambitious carbon-reduction goals, and I encourage interested landowners to take advantage of this new program.”

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Friday, May 21, 2021

Outdoor Conditions (5/21): Warm weather, cold water

outdoor conditions logoThe following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information web pages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

Terry Mountain State Forest: The Redd Road gate is now open.

Lake George Wild Forest:

  • Jabe Pond in Hague is now open.
  • Lily Pond in Horicon is now open.

William C. Whitney Wilderness: The road to Lake Lila is now open.

Speculator Tree Farm: Elm Lake Road, Long Level Road, and the second half of Fly Creek Road are open.

Perkins Clearing Tract: Perkins Clearing, Jessup River Road are open. Old Military Road is not open yet.

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Friday, May 21, 2021

DEC Announces Start of 2021 Camping Season

frontier town state campgroundNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced that DEC’s 56 campgrounds and Day Use areas will be open to the public on May 21. Reservations for the 2021 camping season are at an all-time high as more New Yorkers and visitors from out of state prepare to head outdoors to take advantage of recreational opportunities in the Adirondack and Catskill forest preserves.

In addition and in preparation for the upcoming camping season, DEC announced improvements at campgrounds across the state to help improve the visitor experience. While two DEC campgrounds opened earlier this spring-Wilmington Notch in Essex County on May 7, and Fish Creek in Franklin County on April 2-most DEC campgrounds open on May 21, the weekend prior to the Memorial Day Holiday.

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Thursday, May 20, 2021

Threats to the Long-Lived Bald Eagle

Eagle Facts

The bald eagle is a long-lived bird, with a lifespan in the wild of more than 30 years. Bald eagles mate for life, returning to nest in the general area (within 250 miles) from which they fledged. Once a pair selects a nesting territory, they use it for the rest of their lives. However, bald eagles face threats to their long lifespan and nesting territories due to a wide range of human impacts including habitat loss and plastic pollution. Plastics can find their way into eagle nests in the form of nest building materials, can be ingested through scavenging or through their prey, or cause entanglement leading to injury or death.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Rangers join firefighters in Indian Lake, Town of Horicon

forest ranger reportsTown of Indian Lake
Hamilton County
Wildland Fire:
 On May 14 at 11:52 a.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch was contacted by Hamilton County 911 requesting Forest Ranger assistance for a wildfire off of Starbuck Road in the town of Indian Lake. Forest Rangers Lomnitzer, Temple, Miller, and Scott responded to assist. Over the course of several hours, Forest Rangers worked with the responding volunteer fire departments to suppress and control the fire. After approximately seven acres burned, the fire was placed in patrol status later in the evening. The fire was patrolled and monitored for several days before being declared out. The cause of the fire was traced back to an illegal debris burn by a nearby homeowner. The individual was issued several tickets for illegal burning and related charges.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

DEC & Akwesasne Task Force Stewardship Agreement

woodRecently, a project took place at Brasher State Forest in Saint Lawrence County as part of a more than 30-year-old partnership between DEC and the Akwesasne Mohawk community.

In February and March, volunteer crews from the Akwesasne Task Force on the Environment from the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Land Resources program conducted improvement cuttings to protect black ash trees under a volunteer stewardship agreement.

This project involved thinning a patch of forest to reduce competition among trees, which will eventually help the trees that remain grow to be bigger, stronger, and healthier. The crew left several black ash crop trees to increase growth and promote seed production.

Black ash is a culturally important tree species that is primarily used by the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe to make baskets, which are created both for utilitarian purposes and as art. This species has become scarce in Akwesasne territory in recent years, and special projects such as this one have been undertaken by the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe to protect this resource.
The trees selected for removal were sold through a timber sale contract and then removed by the volunteers. The firewood will be processed and donated to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe reservation.


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

DEC and Partners Continue Efforts to Control Invasive Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in Lake George

hemlock woolly adelgid

Biological Control Release Underway Bolsters Second Round of Treatment to Limit Spread of Invasive, Tree-Killing Pest

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and partners announced that additional efforts to limit the spread of the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) on Forest Preserve lands in Washington County are underway. DEC forestry staff are treating 29 acres of infested hemlock stands near Shelving Rock and additional infested hemlocks near Paradise Bay. DEC is partnering with the New York State Hemlock Initiative and Cornell University to release Leucopis silver flies, a biological control for HWA, near Paradise Bay. These efforts are part of an ongoing, multi-year initiative to control the HWA infestation along the shores of Lake George that was discovered last August. Additional partners in these treatment efforts include the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) and Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC).

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Sunday, May 16, 2021

When it comes to baby animals, ‘if you care, leave them there’

fawnNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos reminds New Yorkers to appreciate wildlife from a safe distance and resist the urge to touch or pick up newborn fawns and other young wildlife. Human contact with wildlife can carry unintended consequences detrimental to the animals people intend to help.

“At this time of year, New Yorkers may encounter young or newborn wild animals in their yards and mistakenly think they need help to survive,” Seggos said. “While a baby rabbit or a recently fledged bird might appear abandoned, a parent is likely nearby, trying to remain out of view. Please do not touch a wild baby animal; instead, enjoy encounters with wildlife from a distance. Remember-if you care, leave it there.”

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Friday, May 14, 2021

Give Turtles a Brake

turtleOur 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 them are killed each year when they are struck by vehicles as they migrate to their nesting areas. If you are traveling to the Adirondacks for an adventure, be especially mindful of turtles near water crossings, roadside water access points, swamps and marshes, and sandy soil areas.

What you can do to help:

  • If you see one on the road, please give turtles ‘a brake’. Slow down to avoid hitting it with your car.
  • If you can safely stop your vehicle, please consider moving the turtle to the shoulder on the side of the road in the direction it was facing.
  • Picking it up by its tail may frighten or injure it. Most can be picked up by the sides of the shell.
  • Use caution when moving snapping turtles; either pick her up at the rear of the shell near the tail using two hands or slide a car mat under her to drag her across the road.
  • Please do not take them home. All native turtles are protected by law and cannot be kept without a permit. All 11 species of land turtles that are native to New York are declining. Even losing one mature female can have a negative impact on a local population.

Photo of painted turtle by Jennifer Doyle-Ashline, provided by DEC


Friday, May 14, 2021

Outdoor conditions (5/14): Low fire danger, wet trails

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.

Speculator Tree Farm: Elm Lake Road, Long Level Road and the second half of Fly Creek Road are open.

Perkins Clearing Tract: Perkins Clearing, Jessup River Road are open. Old Military Road is not open yet.

Essex Chain Wilderness: All roads are now open.

West Canada Lakes Wilderness: Cedar River Flow Road is open to the Wakely Dam

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