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.


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

DEC Releases Final Plans to Improve Saranac River’s Imperial Mills Dam

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Acting Regional Director Joe Zalewski today announced the release of final plans to improve the Imperial Mills Dam, including installing a fish ladder to provide for passage of landlocked Atlantic salmon and modifying the dam to bring it into compliance with dam safety regulations. The Imperial Mills Dam, also known as the Main Mill Dam, is located on the Saranac River approximately 3.2 miles upstream from Lake Champlain, in the city of Plattsburgh, Clinton County.

 

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Friday, July 17, 2020

Asian Giant Hornet – Fact vs. Fiction

When the Asian Giant Hornet was discovered in Washington State Dec.19, it gave rise to a series of eye popping headlines and news stories.

The DEC has released a breakdown of the facts on this species in order to clear up any misinformation or anxiety in the general public. In North America, the Asian Giant Hornet has only been spotted in a small area in Washington state and British Columbia. There have been no AGH found anywhere else in the continent, east coast included.

New York has some common look-alikes, including the European Horney which is half an inch to an inch and a half in length, while the AGH is one to two inches in length.

The Asian Giant Hornet also does not attack humans unless you attempt to handle them, you are within 10 or so feet of their nest, or you are approaching a beehive that they are currently attacking. Their sting is more painful then the usual hornet due to their enormous size, but human deaths caused by AGH strings are extremely rare – about 12 per year worldwide. To put it in perspective, there are about 60 deaths a year in the U.S. alone from bee and hornet stings. However, the AGH will attack and destroy honeybee hives.

To find more information on these hornets, visit the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets website. If you think you have found an Asian Giant Hornet, review the ID materials on the AGM website, or email photos and location information to [email protected].


Friday, July 17, 2020

Outdoor Conditions (7/17): Prospect Mountain trail closed

Recent Notices

Included here are notices reported in the past week. 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.

Lake George Wild Forest: Prospect Mountain Trail is now closed due to construction on the summit. The summit area, above the parking lot, has been closed to the public and signs at the trail informed hikers the summit area was not open. However, many hikers entered the construction zone, so DEC has closed the trail. The summit of the mountain and the trail will remain closed until late August while 500 feet of mortared stone border wall that is crumbling along summit lookout areas is removed and replaced with individual cut stone blocks. Due to the grades, the moving of the stone blocks is difficult and dangerous, especially with heavy equipment. The road and the path from the parking lot are blocked.

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Thursday, July 16, 2020

DEC acquires 662 acres in St. Lawrence, Oneida and Lewis counties

cranberry lakeNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the acquisition of several parcels totaling 662 acres in St. Lawrence, Oneida, and Lewis counties to enhance public access to a variety of recreational opportunities, including hiking, fishing, snowmobiling, and hunting, as well as to protect critical wetlands and forests in the region.

The acquisition was made possible through cumulative investments of $666,800 from the state Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Ranger report: Injuries; lost hikers; in the dark without a headlamp

Recent DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On July 12 at 10:50 a.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call reporting an injured hiker on Upper Wolfjaw in the Eastern High Peaks. The caller stated he saw a 25-year-old man from Queensbury hiking solo with a knee injury from a fall on wet tree roots. Forest Rangers Kevin Burns, Tom Gliddi, Robbi Mecus, and Scott van Laer and two Assistant Forest Rangers responded. At 3:10 p.m., Ranger Mecus located the injured man just below the summit of Upper Wolfjaw, assessed the injury, and determined a hoist mission was necessary. NYSP Aviation found a break in the cloud cover at 3:50 p.m., and responded to their location for assistance. The hiker was hoisted into the helicopter at 4:10 p.m. by Ranger Burns and transported to a local hospital for further medical treatment.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Proposed Rule Change for waterfowl hunting

duck decoys

Due to a slow, but steady decline in mallards across the northeastern United States, the mallard daily bag limit remains two birds (one hen) per day. Please see the Declining Mallards in the Atlantic Flyway (PDF) brochure for more information.

The Canada goose season length in the Northeast, West Central, East Central, Hudson Valley, and Lake Champlain zones remains 30 days with a limit of two per day. Please see the Status and Management of Atlantic Population Canada Geese (PDF) brochure for more information.

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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Wildlife Spotlight: the Gray Treefrog

The last species of Anuran (frog) to breed in New York, from late May into July, is the gray treefrog (Dryophytes versicolor). The species overwinters in forests, where they spend most of their lives. They make their way to wetlands, where males call to attract mates. Females then deposit fertilized eggs on vegetation in the wetland. After breeding they will return to their forested haunts, and can be heard calling periodically throughout the summer.

Patterning and coloration are variable, but they are generally covered in ragged dark blotches over a gray to light green background. Gray treefrogs have a light spot bordered by a dark edge beneath the eye and bright yellow coloration on the inside surface of their thighs. Adults are 1.5-2 inches, and have toe pads that act as a suction cup for climbing.

Their call is an unmistakable, powerful trill that varies in length between individuals. To some, this call may be reminiscent of a raccoon, minus the random chatter. The call is so powerful, that to the human ear the pulse of their trill can be felt reverberating through the bones of the inner ear! Check out this video of a gray treefrog calling.

Photo by William Hoffman.


Friday, July 10, 2020

Outdoor Conditions (7/10): Beat the heat, avoid bears

This bulletin provides only the most recent notices. Check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for more detailed information on access, outdoor recreation infrastructure, and conditions.

DEC Campgrounds
Updated: All DEC Campgrounds and Day Use Areas in the Adirondacks are open except for the Hinkley Reservoir Day Use Area. All Campgrounds and Day Use Areas have restrictions and rules to protect visitors and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. DEC is accepting new reservations for dates on or after July 10, 2020. To maintain social distancing and reduce the density of facilities and protect visitors, DEC is not currently accepting walk-in camping.

Backcountry Camping
Permits are available for groups of fewer than 10 people who plan to stay more than three nights at a primitive campsite. DEC has temporarily stopped issuing permits for backcountry camping for groups of 10 or more. Use of lean-tos should be restricted to members of a single household at a time to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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Thursday, July 9, 2020

DEC adds 241 acres to Catskill Forest Preserve

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced the acquisition of 241 acres in the Catskills, including 208 acres adjoining existing Forest Preserve lands in the Bluestone Wild Forest that will preserve critical open space and expand recreational opportunities to support the local economy. The purchases of the two properties were made possible through a partnership with the Open Space Institute (OSI) and $758,000 from New York’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Upcoming exams for Falconry, Wildlife Rehabilitation, and more

The DEC has announced that exams for those looking to become wildlife rehabilitators, practice falconry, or use leashed tracking dogs to locate wounded or injured big game animals will be held on Aug. 14 with a registration deadline of July 24.

In region 5, the exams will be held at DEC offices in Ray Brook  and Warrensburg, with two exam times offered: 10 am – noon and 2-4 p.m.

DEC Regional Offices and their locations can be found at the DEC website, as well as exam registration forms.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Rangers educate river guides; assist lost and injured hikers

Recent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Hudson River
Indian Lake
Hamilton County

On Sunday, July 5, two Forest Rangers from Region 5 Zone D, Hamilton County, conducted outreach and education for New York State-licensed rafting guides on the Indian/Hudson River. On this day, 182 customers hired licensed guides to raft them down the Indian and Hudson River Gorge. Rangers inspected 40 licensed guides, educating and assisting them with any violations observed.

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On June 30 at 7:48 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker reporting that her hiking partner was overdue coming off Lower Wolfjaw Mountain. The hiker had last seen her friend at a junction labeled for Lower Wolfjaw on their descent at approximately 4:45 p.m., when the caller took both of their gear and proceeded ahead to make things easier for her slower companion. Forest Ranger Rob Praczkajlo headed to the security house at the Ausable Club and proceeded to drive down the lake road to the start of the Wedge Brook trail for Upper and Lower Wolfjaw. At 10:05 p.m., Ranger Praczkajlo advised that he was with the 45-year-old hiker from Gloversville. The woman had hiked down the trail and followed Wedge Brook, off trail, down to the Ausable River. A group of hikers found her at the river and assisted her back to the trail where they were met by Ranger Praczkajlo who then escorted her down to the lake road and gave her a courtesy ride to join her friend at the gate house.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Watchable Wildlife – 2020 I Bird NY Challenges

DEC recently kicked off the 2020 “I BIRD NY” challenges for beginner and experienced birders. The I BIRD NY program was launched in 2017 to build on the State’s efforts to increase access to New York’s vast natural resources and promote low-cost opportunities to explore the great outdoors and connect with nature.

Birdwatching is one of the fastest growing outdoor recreational activities in the U.S. Backyard birding, or watching birds around the home, is the most common way people engage in birding. New York State is home to a wide range of habitats that support more than 450 different bird species throughout the year. There are also 59 designated Bird Conservation Areas to safeguard and enhance bird populations and habitats on State lands and waters across New York. Check the map to find the bird conservation areas in your region. The State’s I Bird NY program provides resources for New Yorkers who want to get outdoors and engage in birding all year long. People from all economic backgrounds experience the joy of birdwatching. While binoculars can help, you can enjoy birds without any special equipment.


Saturday, July 4, 2020

DEC to open camping reservations on Monday, 7/6

News update from NYS DEC:

DEC IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE OPENING OF RESERVATIONS FOR THE 2020 SEASON. RESERVATIONS FOR DATES ON OR AFTER JULY 10 WILL BEGIN AT 8AM ON MONDAY, JULY 6. DUE TO EXPECTED VOLUME, WE ENCOURAGE CUSTOMERS TO BOOK RESERVATIONS ONLINE.

WALK-IN CAMPING IS NOT PERMITTED AT THIS TIME.

As part of the COVID-19 guidelines, and for the courtesy of other visitors and our staff, face masks must be worn when outside your campsite area at any place where social distancing cannot be maintained. All patrons shall practice social distancing.

Only registered campers will be allowed in campground areas, no day visitors will be permitted.

In order to assist with enhanced cleaning, Check-in time is now 2pm and Check-out time is 10am.

There may be limited shower and/or restroom facilities and they may periodically be closed to allow for enhanced cleaning.

Use of facility amenities such as, but not limited to playgrounds, pavilions and day use areas may be restricted or prohibited at certain locations.

Retail sales such as firewood and ice as well as other services such as boat rentals may be restricted or prohibited at certain locations.

To achieve density reduction in our facilities, day use sales and bather capacity number will be reduced.


Friday, July 3, 2020

Learn About our State Reptile, the Snapping Turtle

This time of year many people are seeing snapping turtles digging in their yards or swimming in home ponds. Snapping turtles and other turtles make their nests in easily dug soil, so they may lay their eggs in backyards and gardens. If the nest can be allowed to remain, hatchlings will emerge in August or September but sometimes overwintering until spring. If the area where the nest has been laid must be disturbed, contact your regional wildlife office for guidance.

Snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) are often described as aggressive, but a better term is defensive. They try to avoid confrontation and are more likely to defend themselves on dry land. When they are on land, try to give them some extra space, and they will move on. In fact, if you see one on land it is usually a female who is looking to lay eggs. Snappers spend most of their lives in the water, where they will generally swim away from people when encountered and are usually docile.

Unfortunately, like many turtle species, snapping turtles face serious threats—being struck while crossing roads or collection for the food and pet trade. It is illegal to collect or relocate a snapping turtle without a permit, and they can only be hunted in season with a valid hunting license.

Learn more about snapping turtles in the April 2017 Conservationist (PDF).

Photo by Marcelo del Puerto.


Friday, July 3, 2020

Outdoor Conditions (7/2): Increased bear activity

This bulletin provides only the most recent notices. Check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for more detailed information on access, outdoor recreation infrastructure, and conditions.

Emergency Situations: If you get lost or injured; keep calm and stay put. If you have cell service, call 911 or the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch, 518-891-0235.

DEC Campgrounds
Updated: All DEC Campgrounds and Day Use Areas in the Adirondacks are open except for the Hinkley Reservoir Day Use Area. All Campgrounds and Day Use Areas have restrictions and rules to protect visitors and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To maintain social distancing and reduce the density of facilities and protect visitors, DEC is currently not accepting additional reservations or walk-in camping for the 2020 season – only existing reservations will be honored at DEC campgrounds. Only reservations for the 2021 season may be made now.

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