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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Rangers assist with hoist rescue in Keene, wildland fire caused by lightning strike near Lower Saranac Lake

forest ranger report

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations, and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured, or distressed people from across New York State. In 2021, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 426 search and rescue missions, extinguished wildfires, participated in prescribed fires that served to rejuvenate hundreds of acres of land, and worked on cases that resulted in thousands of tickets or arrests.

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Aug. 25 at 11:15 a.m., Forest Ranger Lewis responded to a call for a hiker with a torn left quadricep and sprained right ankle near the Little Haystack Mountain summit.

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Saturday, August 27, 2022

DEC Announces 2022 Deer Management Assistance Program for Valcour Island, Clinton County

dec logoOn Tuesday, August 23, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) for Valcour Island will continue in 2022. The program, launched in the fall of 2020, offers opportunities to take antlerless deer on Valcour Island with antlerless deer tags.

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Friday, August 26, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (8/26): Hikers are reminded to hydrate, prepare for busy trails/warm temps

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

New This Week

Upcoming Road Closure: As you plan upcoming trips, please note that State Route 86 in Ray Brook in the Town of North Elba, Essex County, will be closed just west of the intersection of McKenzie Pond Road (County Route 33) from Sunday, Sept. 11, at 6 p.m. until Friday, Sept. 16, at 4 p.m., to facilitate the replacement of large culvert over the Little Ray Brook. During the closure, a detour will be posted for motorists to use McKenzie Pond Route (County Route 33), which becomes Pine Street and River Road in the Village of Saranac Lake, and Route 86.

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Thursday, August 25, 2022

Tips for shopping green when getting groceries

green grocery

Keep the environment in mind when making product selections.When it comes to groceries, we are all looking to save time and money. But don’t forget about our environment. There are simple steps you can take to shop green when selecting products:

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Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Watercraft Inspection Steward Program Going Strong

boat stewards

If you’ve visited a boat launch this summer, you may have met some of our friendly watercraft inspection stewards who monitor incoming and outgoing boats for signs of hitchhiking invasive species. Stewards educate over 500,000 water recreationists every year on “Clean, Drain, Dry” practices. This year, Stewards have intercepted more than 6,611 invasive species from leaving or entering NYS waterbodies!

Watercraft inspection stewards also collect data about potential travel vectors for aquatic invasive species (AIS). This data helps our AIS team determine which waterbodies are the most vulnerable so they can increase surveying and outreach efforts.

Check out our interactive map to find a watercraft inspection steward located near you.

Boating in the Adirondacks? Please see our watercraft inspection steward webpage to learn about the new law requiring ADK boaters to self-certify that their watercraft has been cleaned, drained, and dried.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Rangers assist woman with dislocated hip on Ampersand Mt., respond to dehydrated, injured hikers

forest ranger report

Town of Fine
St. Lawrence County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Aug. 19 at 6:30 p.m., two hikers called for assistance on the Cranberry Lake 50, reporting that one of the pair was suffering from a knee injury and dehydration.

Forest Ranger Benzel responded by boat and picked up the 59-year-old from North Tonawanda.

Ranger Benzel brought the subjects back to the High Falls trailhead. The subject advised he would seek medical attention on his own. Resources were clear at 8:20 p.m.


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Tuesday, August 23, 2022

DEC Announces Temporary Closure of Fourth Lake Public Boat Launch Sept. 12

fourth lake

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is notifying the public that the Fourth Lake Boat Launch in the town of Inlet will be temporarily closed starting Monday, Sept. 12. The closure will allow DEC to make repairs and improvements to the launch. The public boat launch will re-open in spring 2023.

Rehabilitation work at launch site will include new pavement, painted parking spots, fencing, and a new boarding dock, as well as tree work and general landscaping. Work will begin at the time of closure and continue through the fall. Due to weather conditions and construction schedules, some work will not be completed until the spring.

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Monday, August 22, 2022

DEC Issues Campfire Safety Reminder, Entire State Classified as a High Fire Risk

campfire courtesy DECOn August 19, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos urged New Yorkers to practice the utmost safety when building campfires, and consider going without a campfire unless absolutely necessary.

“If you’re enjoying the backcountry these last few weeks of summer, please think about whether you really need that campfire.” Commissioner Seggos said. “It’s been a hot and dry summer, leading to a drought watch and high fire danger. If you build a campfire, keep an eye on it to make sure the wind doesn’t spread it unexpectedly and when you’re finished, make sure the fire is completely out and cold to the touch.”

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Friday, August 19, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (8/19): Temperamental weekend weather, scattered thunderstorms

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


High Peaks Wilderness: Due to heat and low rainfall across the High Peaks, hikers and backpackers should not assume all water sources are available for obtaining drinking water from.

Siamese Ponds Wilderness: The 35ft bridge over the Botheration Pond outlet on the Botheration Pond Loop Trail has been replaced with a brand new bridge.

Pharaoh Lake Wilderness: A bridge on the Pharaoh Lake Trail from the Pharaoh Lake Road trailhead is out. Hikers should be prepared for an open water crossing.

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Thursday, August 18, 2022

ADK Park: Environmental Conservation Police News

Sunbaked Rattlesnake – Warren County
On Aug. 7, ECO Krug responded to Turtle Island in Lake George to remove an unwanted guest from a campsite. Using the appropriate tools, Officer Krug removed a rattlesnake sunning itself near the shoreline. Turtle Island is a popular spot for rattlesnakes from nearby Tongue Mountain. ECOs respond to similar calls to the island several times a year. Based on its painted tail, Officer Krug determined the rattlesnake had been picked up in the past. He turned the snake over to a research assistant working with a professor at Skidmore College studying the local rattlesnake population. The students collect data from the snake and then release it further away from potential human contact.

Officer Krug with rattlesnake. DEC photo.

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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Recreation Highlight: Lyon Mountain Fire Tower

lyon mountain

With a rich history of mining, Lyon Mountain is a towering peak in the Chazy Highlands Wild Forest in Clinton County. The mining started in the 1860s and continued until 1967. It produced some of the purest iron ore in the world, and some of that ore was even used to build the Golden Gate Bridge.

At 3,830 feet, Lyon Mountain has a large open summit scattered with beautiful spruce trees. There are splendid views of Chazy Lake and the Adirondack High Peaks. On very clear days, you can also enjoy views of the Green Mountains in Vermont and Montreal in Quebec, Canada. In addition, this mountain has a fire tower that can be climbed for an even more expansive view.

A new trail was built by the Adirondack Mountain Club approximately 10 years ago. It is a pleasant trail with three bridges and a series of switchbacks that gradually takes you to the summit. This 6.8-mile round trip hike makes for a terrific day out in nature. The parking area is one-mile up a seasonal dirt road off Chazy Lake Road. There is a DEC sign for Chazy Highlands at the beginning of the dirt road. The trail starts opposite of the parking area. Also, check out the Lyon Mountain Mining and Railroad Museum. It is open on Wednesdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 2914 Standish Road, Lyon Mountain.

View from Lyon Mountain. Adirondack Explorer file photo

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

DEC Announces Completion of New York’s First-Ever Pollinator Distribution Survey


New York Natural Heritage Program (NYNHP) recently completed the multi-year Empire State Native Pollinator Survey. The pollinator survey documents the conservation status of 451 species. This included a wide array of native insect pollinators, including four groups of bees, two groups of flies, two groups of beetles, and two groups of moths. This inventory of the state’s native pollinators was recommended in the New York’s Pollinator Protection Plan (PDF).

Some highlights of the survey:

  • NYNHP conducted hundreds of field surveys all over New York and compiled data from museum collections and observations from community/citizen scientists—this totaled over 230,000 insect records!
  • Hundreds of volunteers provided tens of thousands of insect specimens and photographs.
  • The project added 16 bee and fly species to the known pollinators in New York State, but 79 species that were once recorded could not be found.
  • NYNHP determined that 38% of New York’s native pollinators are at risk of extirpation (becoming regionally extinct). In the worst-case scenario, as much as 60% of native insect pollinators may be at risk.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Woman injured by horse, a biker suffers concussion on Lewis County trails

forest ranger reportTown of Watson
Lewis County
Mountain Bike Accident:
 On Aug. 8 at 3:30 p.m., Forest Ranger Evans responded to a call for a mountain biker who suffered a concussion on the Otter Creek Horse Trail approximately one-half mile from the trailhead. When Ranger Evans reached the 54-year-old from Pennsylvania, the subject was complaining of injuries to his knees and elbows and had no memory of what happened.

The subject’s party indicated that he had hit a maple syrup line causing his ejection from the bike. Ranger Evans provided first aid and did a spinal assessment. Ranger Hanno, ECO Jarecki, and Martinsburg Fire helped transport the subject to a Lewis County Search and Rescue ambulance. Resources were clear at 5 p.m.


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Sunday, August 14, 2022

DEC to Open Wildlife Management Areas from Aug. 16 to 31

dec logoOn Monday, August 8, 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 Tuesday, Aug. 16, to Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. 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 sunset.

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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Remember to Use Local Firewood When Camping


Many people like to take firewood from their homes before traveling to a campsite. Invasive pests like the emerald ash borer or Asian long-horned beetle often hitch a ride to new areas in untreated wood. As a result, transport of untreated wood across the state has caused outbreaks of these damaging pests.

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