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.


Friday, June 10, 2022

ADK Park: Recent Environmental Conservation Police News

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Division of Law Enforcement enforces the 71 chapters of New York State’s Environmental Conservation Law (ECL), protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York. In 1880, the first eight Game Protectors proudly began serving to protect the natural resources and people of New York State.

In 2021, 282 Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) and Investigators across the state responded to 26,207 calls and worked on cases that resulted in 11,562 tickets or arrests for violations ranging from deer poaching to solid waste dumping, illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.

Sacandaga Training – Fulton County
On May 26, ECOs participated in a multi-agency training exercise on the Great Sacandaga Lake in Fulton County. Training participants included more than 90 first responders staged at the Hudson River Black River Regulating District. New York State Police and law enforcement from Fulton, Saratoga, Montgomery, and Hamilton counties participated in the training, including dive teams, fire, EMS, emergency management, district attorneys, and the Fulton County Coroner.

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Friday, June 10, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (6/10): Recent heavy rain, variable trail conditions

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.

NEW THIS WEEK:

Muddy Trails Advisory: DEC has lifted the Muddy Trails Advisory for trails above 2,500 feet in elevation. Some trails may still be muddy, especially at higher elevations. Please help reduce trail widening and erosion by walking through mud instead of around it.

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: The access road to Saint Germain and Meadow Ponds has been repaired and is open.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2022

DEC Seeks Public Comment on Plan for Three Lakes Tract Conservation Easement in Herkimer County

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking public comment on a draft recreation management plan (RMP) for the Three Lakes Tract Conservation Easement in the town of Webb, Herkimer County. The 3,350-acre Three Lakes Tract (TLT) is comprised of commercially managed forestland and is named for three waterbodies located on the property-Hitchcock, Grass, and Moose ponds. The RMP will address public recreational access and facilities consistent with the conservation easement.

The public comment period is open until July 1, 2022.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Rangers conduct wilderness rescues, locate body of missing 72-year-old

forest ranger reportTowns of Fine and Newcomb
Essex County
Assistant Forest Ranger Training/Ranger Recruits Swearing-In:
 From May 20-24, Assistant Forest Rangers (AFRs) attended training at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) Newcomb campus. They received training in Leave No TraceTM principles, state land use rules and regulations, wildfire suppression, and trail maintenance.

They were also certified in Wildland Advanced First Aid. AFRs are assigned to work in the Adirondacks, Catskills, and high use areas in Western New York.

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Monday, June 6, 2022

New York Invasive Species Awareness Week is June 6 -12

The mission of the New York Invasive Species Awareness Week (NYISAW) is to promote knowledge and understanding of invasive species and the harm they can cause. We want to empower YOU to stop the spread of invasive species!

Organizations across all of New York State are offering a variety of engaging events, such as interpretive hikes, volunteer days, webinars, movie screenings, and fun family activities!

By participating in NYISAW, you can help protect your community’s natural spaces, learn about new invasive species, meet your neighbors, get outdoors, and even win prizes!

Find events near you!

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Friday, June 3, 2022

DEC mourns Forest Ranger Captain Christopher Kostoss

Christopher Kostoss

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is mourning the loss of Forest Ranger Captain Christopher Kostoss, who local authorities determined died by suicide on Tuesday. Captain Kostoss, 49, was a 23-year veteran of DEC’s Division of Forest Protection, most recently responsible for overseeing Rangers on patrol in the Adirondack High Peaks.

Captain Kostoss was passionate about protecting public safety and deeply committed to the cause of conservation. He was also a tireless advocate for mental health awareness, particularly among his fellow rangers. His death is a painful reminder of the critical need to promote wellness and destigmatize issues surrounding mental health that prevent individuals from seeking treatment.

If you or someone you know is in need of mental health assistance, please know help is available. The New York State Office of Mental Health has resources on its website (https://omh.ny.gov/omhweb/bootstrap/crisis.html) or you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

The collective heartfelt thoughts of DEC’s close-knit family are with Captain Kostoss’ mother, two daughters, immediate family members and all who loved him. My sincere gratitude to members of the New York State Police and the Lake Placid Police Department for their strong support and professionalism throughout this tragedy.

DEC Forest Ranger Captain Christopher Kostoss. Photo provided by Cayte Bosler


Friday, June 3, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (6/3): Independence River Trail (Otter Creek Horse Trails) in need of repair

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.

NEW THIS WEEK:

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: The lock between Middle and Lower Saranac Lakes is now open for public use.

Boreas Ponds Tract: Gulf Brook Road is now open to public motor vehicle traffic as far as the Fly Pond Parking Area.

Independence River Wild Forest (Stillwater Reservoir, Big Moose & Three Lakes Conservation Easement Tracts): The Independence River Trail (Otter Creek Horse Trails) has caved in near two culverts. These areas are marked with flagging, but riders are advised to avoid the Independence River Trail until the trail is fixed.

Pigeon Lake Wilderness: West Mountain and Shallow Lake trails are impassable at Beaver Brook due to beaver activity. Maintenance is scheduled for this summer.

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Thursday, June 2, 2022

New Visitor Interpretive Center Opens in Lake George Battlefield Park

On Wednesday, May 25, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the opening of the new Lake George Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) at 75 Fort George Road in Lake George. The new facility will enhance the visitor experience at DEC’s Lake George Battlefield Park and also serve as the new headquarters for the Lake George Park Commission.

“DEC and our partners at the Lake George Battlefield Park Alliance are dedicated to preserving the beauty and history of Lake George through interpretive work and public education,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “The VIC will provide park visitors with a welcoming and inclusive space that guides them on a historical journey through artifacts and interpretive displays. Bringing DEC, the Lake George Battlefield Park Alliance, and the Lake George Park Commission under one roof demonstrates the close partnerships working together to improve visitor education, recreation, and conservation in this environmentally unique and historic region of New York.”

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Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Theromoform plastics, what are they and why are we talking about them?

PET plasticThat clear plastic packaging for your berries, salad greens, cosmetics, toys, and clamshell to-go containers, is called thermoform plastic and its name comes from the way that it’s made.

Thermoforming is a molding technique that results in a variety of highly usable plastic products. While thermoforming can apply to a variety of different plastics, we most often come across it in the form of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which is labeled as #1 plastic. This is the tricky part:

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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (5/28): 10 Hiking Essentials

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.

NEW THIS WEEK:

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: The lock between Middle and Lower Saranac Lakes will be open for public use during the holiday weekend. It will close again on Tuesday, May 31, for additional work. Canoes and kayaks can carry around the locks. DEC will continue to provide updates as they are available.

Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway is now open for the 2022 season. Shuttles to the summit are available. Call (518) 668-5198 for current accessibility information.

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

Moose River Plains Complex:

  • Both entrance gates (Cedar River Entrance and Limekiln Lake Entrance) to Moose River Plains Camping Area are now open for the season. Roads are passable, but road shoulders may be soft in areas.
  • Rock Dam Road remains closed until further notice.
  • Indian Lake Road is gated shut at the Otter Brook Bridge until further notice.

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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Statewide boat inspections to start Memorial Day Weekend

Boat stewards serve on the frontlines to prevent the spread of invasive species in Adirondack waterways. Photo provided by Adirondack Watershed Institute.New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today reminded everyone to clean, drain, and dry boats and trailers, and disinfect fishing gear before recreating in New York’s waters to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Starting Friday, May 27, watercraft inspection stewards, AKA boat stewards, will be stationed at more than 225 boat launches throughout the state to educate and assist the public in cleaning their equipment. Identified by their blue vests, boat stewards can provide a refresher on how to inspect boats and gear and offer information about AIS in New York.

“New York’s abundant lakes, ponds, and streams are vital to the state’s ecology and economy, which is why DEC and our partners are helping protect against the impacts of aquatic invasive species,” said Commissioner Seggos. “Recreating responsibly in New York waters is a critical component for preventing the spread of invasive pests and our dedicated boat stewards will be working hard to protect New York’s waters for the benefit and enjoyment of all. I’m asking New Yorkers to follow their useful instructions to help prevent aquatic invaders.”

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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

‘Monster’ catfish breaks state record

record catfishCatfish Marks First New York State Record Fish Established in 2022

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that the State record for channel catfish was broken on May 8, 2022. Using cut bait while bottom fishing, Bailey Williams of Watertown reeled in a 35-pound, 12-ounce channel catfish from the Black River in Jefferson County. Bailey’s record-breaking catch surpassed the previous state record catfish, caught from Lake Ontario in 2017, by 9 ounces.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Injured hikers in Bolton, Keene; hiker death on Scarface

forest ranger reportTown of Fort Ann
Washington County
Wilderness Rescue:
On May 18 at 12:47 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance after two hikers called for help advising they were dehydrated and lacked energy as they were summiting Buck Mountain. Forest Ranger St. Claire responded and reached the pair, who were in good condition, by 3:17 p.m. Ranger St. Claire walked the hikers down and out of the woods to safety by approximately 5 p.m.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

State finalizes laws to decrease e-waste, foam packaging

fpolystyrene foam ban

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner has announced the finalization of two regulations that will help reduce waste going to landfills. The adoption of requirements to reduce electronic waste (e-waste) and enacting the Expanded Polystyrene Foam Container and Loose Fill Packaging Ban will promote recycling and help prevent foam litter from affecting communities.

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Monday, May 23, 2022

State, local partners announce outdoor rec initiatives in Adirondacks, Catskills

adirondacks hiker shuttleNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos joined state and local community leaders to announce initiatives planned for the 2022 outdoor recreation season to protect public safety and promote sustainable recreation in the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserve. Many of these actions, bolstered by $8 million from the State Environmental Protection Fund specifically for Adirondack and Catskill visitor safety and wilderness protection in the recently enacted 2022-23 State Budget, support a comprehensive strategy to improve safety, sustainability, and equitable access of those enjoying the outdoors during the upcoming warm weather months.

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