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.


Friday, February 10, 2023

Outdoor Conditions (2/10): Loon Lake Mountains Saddle Trail closed due to logging operations

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 (02/09): The following report describes conditions as of Thursday, 02/09. Changing weather may affect conditions. There is 28 inches (2.3 feet) of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin and 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 – always exercise caution on or near ice.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 9, 2023

BearWise: A glimpse at early lives of bear cubs

bear cubs

If bears had birthday parties, they’d all be in January and February. That’s when winter dens across the country turn into nurseries as most pregnant bears give birth to cubs weighing in at less than a pound that would easily fit into your hands. Human moms would probably envy a mother bear’s ability to give birth to one, two, or three or more tiny cubs while half-asleep.

Even though cubs are born with their eyes closed, unable to hear or smell and weak and uncoordinated, they instinctively find their mom’s nipples and start nursing. Soon the den will be filled with mom’s snores and the happy sounds of cubs humming and purring while they snuggle up to mom and their siblings and fill their tummies with a steady diet of rich, warm milk. Bear’s milk has a fat content around 33%, so nursing cubs have no problem gaining weight.

Over the next several weeks, cubs will keep eating, sleeping and growing and eventually start cautiously exploring their winter quarters. As winter slowly gives way to spring, their eyes will open, their teeth will come in and the fine hair they’re born with will be replaced by fur coats.

To find out how many cubs are usually born, what a very large litter could mean, and more fascinating facts, keep reading at BearWise.org!

Story courtesy of BearWise. Editor’s Note: Text and photo above were published in the NYS DEC’s Feb. 1 Wildlife, Fish, and Marine Life Newsletter.

Photo at top by Emily Carroll of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.


Monday, February 6, 2023

Take Part in the DEC Informational Kiosk Survey

Kaaterskill Falls trail restoration press event.

Interested parties are welcome to provide feedback for a chance to win a gift card to a sporting goods store. The NYS DEC is gathering the public’s opinion on their informational kiosksKiosks are small, open wooden structures that provide cover for educational/informational signs. These kiosks are located at various state properties such as state forests, wilderness areas, conservation easements, wildlife management areas (WMAs), boat launches, and more.

Take the survey to let the DEC know what you think and be entered to win a $50 sporting goods store gift card and a free subscription to the Conservationist magazine. Winners will be announced each month from January 2023 through January 2024. A grand prize winner will be announced in January 2024 and will receive a $200 sporting goods store gift card and a free magazine subscription. By providing input, you can help the DEC to help improve your outdoor experience. For prize rules and regulations, please visit DEC’s website.

 

Photo at top: Kaaterskill Falls trail restoration press event. DEC photo.


Sunday, February 5, 2023

Recreation Highlight: Winter on the Adirondack Rail Trail

Portion of the Adirondack Rail Trail

This past fall, ground was broken on the future Adirondack Rail Trail, a 34-mile multi-use recreation trail that will stretch from Tupper Lake to Lake Placid, connecting communities of the North Country and providing a world-class outdoor destination to locals and visitors alike. In December, construction on the Lake Placid to Saranac Lake segment of trail paused for the season, allowing for interim winter recreation until construction resumes in the spring. This provides an exceptional winter recreation opportunity for snowmobilers, cross-country skiers, snowshoers, birders and other winter users, and a glimpse at what the rail trail will offer year-round once it is fully completed in 2025.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, February 3, 2023

Outdoor Conditions (2/3): Northern NY under windchill warning through Sat., windchill temps -30°F to -45°F

outdoor conditions logo

Special Weather Warning: (02/02) – A wind chill warning for northern New York is in effect from 1 a.m. Friday until 1 p.m. Saturday. Dangerously cold wind chills are expected, with wind chill temperatures reaching as low as -30°F to -45°F at base elevations. The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.

Conditions will be even more severe at higher elevations. Higher elevations will see stronger winds in the 30-40 mile per hour range and wind chill temperatures dipping into the -60°Fs. For reference, these conditions are more severe than what is forecast for the South Pole of Antarctica – please take these conditions seriously.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 1, 2023

DEC: Consequences of Feeding Deer in Winter

Deer in winter

Now that white-tailed deer hunting seasons have ended throughout most of New York State, it may be tempting to begin feeding deer to “help” them through the winter. However, feeding deer during the winter or other times of the year is unnecessary, prohibited in New York, and can have very negative consequences for deer, your neighbors, and surrounding wildlife habitat.

During the winter, deer mainly rely on woody vegetation (known as woody browse) for their nutritional needs. The digestive enzymes in a deer’s stomach change in the winter to better digest this browse. If deer are provided with unnatural food sources such as corn or hay after this change in diet has occurred, it can result in deer becoming ill or even dying. Deer will eat the unnatural food source, but can develop acidosis (grain overload disease) or enterotoxemia (Clostridium overgrowth) disease because they can’t digest the food properly. Both diseases can result in the rapid illness and death of deer even though their stomachs are full.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Rangers respond to snowmobile accidents in Herkimer County

forest ranger reportTown of Wilmington
Essex County
Avalanche Safety Training:
 On Jan. 27, Forest Ranger Mecus participated in a three-day avalanche safety course conducted by the National Ski Patrol at Whiteface Ski Center. Ranger Mecus was among 17 students from across the Northeast. The course focused on basic avalanche science, understanding the snowpack and how it relates to avalanche danger, and essential techniques for reaching subjects in the event of an avalanche.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, January 30, 2023

DEC: Free Lifeguard Qualifying Procedures to Begin Feb. 4

dec logoOn January 24, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that its free lifeguard qualifying procedures begin Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023.

Individuals 15 and older interested in lifeguarding positions at DEC facilities this summer are eligible to register. Candidates who qualify will be considered for employment. The qualifying procedure consists of two parts: a Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) skills component; and a water skills evaluation. Candidates may attend the qualifying location most convenient to them and the results will be forwarded to their preferred work location.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 29, 2023

Keep Standing Dead Trees or “Deadwood”

A dead tree or "snag"

Some of the most important trees in your woodlot are the ones that are no longer alive. Large, standing dead or dying trees—called snags—are an important component of healthy forests and a critical habitat feature for wildlife. They provide places for many birds and mammals to forage, den, nest, perch, and roost. Snags are particularly important for cavity nesting birds like woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees; for bats that roost within cavities, crevices, and flaky bark; and for countless species that rely on the abundant insects, fungi, and lichens as a food source.

As long as they aren’t in a hazardous location such as near a road or building, consider leaving snags for wildlife. In woodlands where snags are sparse or absent, it’s possible to create a few by topping, girdling, or simply leaving several mature trees as legacy trees that may become snags in the future. Biologists recommend having at least three large snags (>12” diameter) per acre to benefit wildlife. These stately spires also add structural complexity, provide an element of visual interest, store carbon, reflect a forest stand’s past, and will enrich soils in the future.

Photo at top: A dead tree or “snag.” Photo by Katherine Yard. Photo courtesy of the NYS DEC.


Friday, January 27, 2023

Outdoor Conditions (1/27): Microspikes & crampons needed for traction on ice

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 (01/26): The following report describes conditions as of Thursday, 01/26. Changing weather may affect conditions. There is 25.6in (over 2 feet) of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin and deeper accumulations at higher elevations. Snowshoes are required to be worn in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness. Microspikes and crampons are needed for traction on ice. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen – always exercise caution on or near ice. Ski trails are skiable.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Be a ‘Snow Birder’ This Winter

Barred owl

While the chilliest months of the year may seem like the hardest time to venture outdoors, it can be a great time to go birding. Layer up and head out to your backyard, local park, or other public space and observe some of the bird species that you may not normally see during warmer months. Winter raptors (PDF)—including snowy owls (PDF)short-eared owls, barn owls, and hawks—migrate south from the Canadian tundra and can be observed near open bodies of water and large grasslands. Some species of woodpeckers may be easier to hear or see in their winter homes. Black-capped chickadees remain in northern climates due to their ability to survive the ultra-cold weather. Winter is also the best time to observe bald eagles!

Use a website like eBird to see what species have been detected near you. The free Merlin Bird ID app can help you identify unfamiliar birds and add even more new species to your lists.
If you do brave the cold and snow, properly preparing for winter conditions is essential for a more enjoyable and safe experience. Check out our YouTube video on layering for winter, and read up on some of our winter hiking safety tips that can be used for any outdoor trip.

Check out the New York State Birding Trail to find locations across the state to go birding.

Photo of barred owl by Fred McCagg. Photo courtesy of the NYS DEC.


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Free Freshwater Fishing Weekend set for Feb. 18-19

dec logoOn January 19, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos reminded anglers to be safe when venturing onto the ice this season, especially given recent variations in weather conditions.

“New York State has been experiencing wide-ranging temperatures and weather conditions, from freezing to fairly mild,” Commissioner Seggos said. “Given these unpredictable fluctuations in weather, it is critical that winter recreationists exercise extreme caution when doing anything on the ice, including fishing, to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.”

Ice anglers should check the thickness of ice before leaving the shore. Four inches of solid clear ice is usually safe for anglers accessing ice on foot. However, ice thickness can vary between waterbodies and even within the same waterbody, increasing the need to ensure thickness. Anglers should be particularly cautious of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice from forming. Checking the ice can easily be done with an auger or spud bar at various spots. In addition, fishing with a family member or friend is also encouraged for safety. Local bait and tackle shops are a great source for finding out where there is safe ice and what anglers are catching.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 22, 2023

DEC’s Annual Tree and Shrub Seedling Sale is Now Open

dec logoMore Than 50 Species Available from Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Saratoga Tree Nursery

On January 5, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the start of the Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Saratoga Tree Nursery annual spring seedling sale, which is open to the public and runs until May 12. Each year, the nursery offers low-cost, New York-grown tree and shrub species for sale to encourage plantings that help conserve the state’s natural resources and foster the next generation of forests.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 21, 2023

ADK Park: Environmental Conservation Police News

Patrolling the Winter Games – Essex County
Thirty-five ECOs are helping protect public safety during the FISU World University Games, an 11-day competition and celebration of international university sports and culture. The Officers reported to the Olympic Center the weekend before the games started and continue to provide security at the venue, both on foot and utilizing drones. Thousands of student athletes from more than 50 countries are competing in 12 different sports.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 21, 2023

Wearing sustainability

used clothes

Sustainable clothing includes items which are produced in an environmentally friendly and socially responsible way from start to finish – from design, to materials/production, to store, to the consumer.

Looking to green your wardrobe this New Year? Here are some benefits of dressing to impress in a green way:

» Continue Reading.



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