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.


Sunday, April 26, 2020

DEC seeks nominations for Environmental Excellence Awards

Environmental AwardDEC is extending the application due date for the 2020 New York State Environmental Excellence Awards until Friday, May 15th, 2020.

This award program recognizes projects that demonstrate significant and measurable environmental, economic and social benefits. Businesses, not-for-profits, schools, and state and local agencies are eligible to apply.

These projects should be up and running for at least one year and can include programs that impact greenhouse gas emissions, food waste reduction, energy efficiency programs, education and training programs, manufacturing process improvements, water conservation, urban forestry, and agricultural practices to name a few. Nominate your organization’s program or a program you are aware of that advances sustainable environmental practices.

More information and how to submit here: https://www.dec.ny.gov/public/945.html


Friday, April 24, 2020

Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (4/23): Recreate responsibly

This weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks sent out from the NYS DEC.

For the safety of all visitors and to reduce the community spread of COVID-19, DEC and State Parks are undertaking steps to reduce public density:

  • Closing all playgrounds;
  • Limiting access to athletic courts and sporting fields
  • Canceling all public programs and events at state parks, lands, forests and facilities until further notice;
  • Closing all indoor visitor facilities, such as nature centers, environmental education centers, visitor centers, and historic houses to the public until further notice;
  • State Parks has closed all State Parks golf courses;
  • DEC is closing access to DEC-controlled fire towers to the public. Trails and the summits to the towers remain open, but the towers themselves present a potential risk with multiple people climbing the stairs, in close quarters, unable to appropriately socially distance, and using the same handrails; and
  • Limiting parking. If the parking lot is full, visit a different location to recreate responsibly. For visitor safety and the safety of others, do not park on roadsides and only park in designated parking areas.
  • New Yorkers are required to wear masks in public when appropriate social distancing cannot be maintained.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 23, 2020

DEC installs docks at state boat launches; Lake Flower remains closed

The DEC and State Park’s staff work every spring to install docks at all sites before the opening day of fishing season.
Docks are being installed at boat launches statewide, and schedules for installations are dependent on water levels, weather, and ice conditions. Sites are still available for public use regardless of dock installations, but boaters are encouraged to call their regional fisheries office or the state park to check the status of a boat launch.

Restrooms will remain closed at these facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and boat launches at DEC campgrounds will remain closed as well.

Saranac Lake’s Lake Flower boat launch will remain closed due to ongoing construction.

This season the DEC wants to make sure that when boating or fishing, you follow the COVID-19 public health crises recommendations. Please avoid busy waters, congested parking lots and fishing spots, avoid contact and maintain 6 feet of social distance.


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Rangers issue tickets to climbers; search and rescue on Hadley Mt.

forest ranger logoRecent Forest Ranger Actions

Town of Keeseville
Essex County
Protecting Peregrines:
 On April 11, Forest Ranger Sarah Bode cited two rock climbers for Failure to Obey a DEC sign. The tickets were written to a 31-year-old man from Bernardsville, New Jersey, and a 32-year-old woman from New York City for climbing closed routes on Poke O Moonshine. DEC wildlife staff closes certain cliffs and climbing routes to allow peregrine falcons to breed, select a nesting site, and encourage the birds to return to their nesting sites. Once nesting has begun, DEC wildlife staff work with Forest Rangers and other DEC programs in notifying the climbing community and public of these closures and may open climbing routes that can be used without disturbing the nesting falcons and their young. After the young falcons have fledged, climbing routes are opened. The rock climbing community has been cooperative with DEC’s efforts and climbers have volunteered to be observers, monitoring falcons and nesting activity. DEC last issued tickets to climbers for climbing on the closed routes in the early 2000s, and Forest Rangers continue to patrol and enforce these routes.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, April 20, 2020

7th annual Invasive Species Awareness Week planned for June

invasive species awareness weekNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Agriculture and Markets have announced  that the seventh annual Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) will be held June 7-13.

ISAW is an annual statewide campaign with the purpose of building an awareness of the threat invasive species pose to New York States ecosystem. This year, considering the COVID-19 public health crises, organizations taking part in ISAW are encouraged to plan and incorporate virtual experiences and events that adhere to social distancing guidelines. This would allow New Yorkers to participate in ISAW from the safety of their homes.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, April 20, 2020

DEC shares tips for a memorable Earth Day

Happy Anniversary, Earth Day … and DEC!

This April 22 marks Earth Day’s 50th anniversary and ours too. There are a number of ways to celebrate Earth Day even with physical distancing guidelines in effect.

Start by looking at our curated list, Caregiver Resources While at Home: Surviving at Home with Youth. This page has DEC-created lesson plans, DEC YouTube links, Tips to Help Caregivers Transition to Remote Learning, Professional Development Opportunities for Educators, loads of online resources from places around the state and the world (NY Botanical Garden, National Wildlife Federation, American Museum of Natural History, the Wild Center, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and WXXI, Greater Rochester’s PBS channel). There are two databases of community science projects and what community science is, along with a long list of live animal cams to visit and Zoos and Centers offering Facebook content weekly or daily.

On the international level, Earthy Day Network has provided resources that allow you to take action while social distancing. For example, they have created the Earth Challenge 2020, a community science app for iPhone and Android that allows users to track plastic pollution and local air quality. By taking photos in your neighborhood, you provide important information on pollution issues in your area. Another feature is “Create Your Own Act of Green”. In this section, you can report family or class activities you do to help the Earth. Your local actions are combined with hundreds of efforts by others around the world which add up to big impacts on the Earth. Visit the Earth Day Network’s Take Action page for details on these actions and more to help the planet this Earth Day.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 19, 2020

American Woodcock: The Harbingers of Spring

The arrival of American Woodcock back to New York is a telltale sign that spring is here to stay. Despite their diminutive size, woodcock are one of the earliest ground-nesting birds in the state. Just this week, DEC Biologist Jeremy Hurst found this female nesting in the snow on his property near Albany. If you’re curious where NY’s woodcock come from – DEC is currently part of a large cooperative research project to track both Fall and Spring migration of woodcock throughout their eastern range using tiny GPS transmitters. For weekly updates on their migration, please visit the Eastern Woodcock Migration Research Cooperative’s website.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 18, 2020

Signs of Spring: Emerging Life in Woodland Pools 

A gelatinous mass of frog eggs with black dots are nascent tadpoles. In the mid and lower Hudson estuary watershed, egg masses of wood frog, spotted salamander, and Jefferson-blue spotted salamander complex are developing under water, still weeks away from hatching into frog tadpoles or salamander larvae. Further north in the estuary watershed, where the breeding season gets a later start, male wood frogs may still be calling from woodland pools to lure females for breeding. Their distinct call resembles the sound of quacking ducks.

 


Friday, April 17, 2020

Today is International Bat Appreciation Day

bat hanging upside down in caveInternational Bat Day is a great time to appreciate New York’s nine bat species. When spring temperatures become warm enough, bats will leave their hibernation sites and may be seen flying in search of insects. Unfortunately, many species of bats, including little brown bats, have faced severe population declines due to white-nose syndrome.

Some bat facts:

  • They are insect-eating machines, eating thousands of mosquitoes and other flying insects in a single night!
  • Bats use echolocation (rapid pulses of sound that bounce off an object) to detect and catch insects.
  • They are the only mammal that can fly.
  • Bats are more closely related to primates than to mice.

To view bats, check out your local park or forested area, especially near water and along trails. Even your own backyard can be a great place to view bats if you have trees near your home!
Learn more about bats in Bats of New York State (PDF). Bats generally do not come close to people. However, if you do encounter a bat on the ground, do not touch or pick it up as they can carry rabies.

Photo by Al Hicks/provided


Thursday, April 16, 2020

Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (4/16): Closures abound

This weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks sent out from the NYS DEC.

DEC Boat Launches

Use of all DEC, Canal Corp., and State Parks-owned boat launches is temporarily suspended for recreational boaters to limit the community spread of COVID-19.

For the safety of all visitors and to reduce the community spread of COVID-19, DEC and State Parks are undertaking steps to reduce public density:

  • Closing all playgrounds;
  • Limiting access to athletic courts and sporting fields;
  • Canceling all public programs and events at state parks, lands, forests and facilities until further notice;
  • Closing all indoor visitor facilities, such as nature centers, environmental education centers, visitor centers, and historic houses to the public until further notice;
  • State Parks has closed all State Parks golf courses;
  • DEC is closing access to DEC-controlled fire towers to the public. Trails and the summits to the towers remain open, but the towers themselves present a potential risk with multiple people climbing the stairs, in close quarters, unable to appropriately socially distance, and using the same handrails; and
  • Limiting parking. If the parking lot is full, visit a different location to recreate responsibly. For visitor safety and the safety of others, do not park on roadsides and only park in designated parking areas.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Spring Turkey Season starts May 1

wild turkey - femaleNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announces the start of spring turkey hunting season on May 1. This applies to all Upstate New York, north of the Bronx-Westchester county line.

Remember this season to follow the DEC’s safety tips in order to prevent injury and the spread of COVID – 19. The DEC’s annual youth turkey hunting weekend, for junior hunters aged 12 to 15, will take place as well this season on April 25-26.

During the 2019 spring season, Turkey hunters took around 17,000 birds. Spring harvest success is measured relative to two years prior, as hunters focus primarily on “gobblers” (2-year-old birds). The 2019 breeding season started off slow due to inclement weather, but conditions in summer of 2018, as well as good over winter survival due to abundant food in the fall has contributed to a population gain that may offset the slow start to 2019’s breeding season.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Search and Rescue: Washington Co. teen lost on Black Mountain trail

forest ranger logoRecent Forest Ranger Actions

From the Department of Environmental Conservation:

Town of Dresden
Washington County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On April 11 at 7:35 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker reporting his brother was overdue returning from Black Mountain. The caller stated that they last saw the 15-year-old male from Hudson Falls on the summit of Black Mountain at 5:30 p.m., when he proceeded down the trail alone. The teen was reported as having only his cell phone and the clothes he was wearing. Forest Rangers Evan Donegan and Mark St. Claire responded to the location, and at 8:15 p.m., Dispatch established text contact with the hiker and advised him to call 911. Washington County 911 got coordinates from his call, which placed him by a stream off the trail but near a road. Ranger St. Claire proceeded down the road from the trailhead where he was able to see the hiker’s cell phone light. Ranger St. Claire located the hiker, escorted him out of the woods, and gave him a ride back to the trailhead where he was met by his family. All Rangers were cleared from the scene at 9:26 p.m.


Tuesday, April 14, 2020

DEC Suspends overnight camping at Otter Creek Horse Trails

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that all overnight camping at the Otter Creek Horse Trail facility will be suspended, effective immediately. Facilities will still be open during the day to use, but water and restrooms will not be available. Parking will be available in the overflow area and in camping loop area #1.

Otter Creek Horse Trails are a 65-mile-long series of horse trails located on the Independence River Wild Forest Unity of the ADK Forest preserve, and the Otter Creek State Forests on the western border of the ADK Park in Lewis County. To read more about the Otter Creek Horse Trails, visit this link.


Thursday, April 9, 2020

Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (4/9): Rock Climbing Route Closures

This weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks sent out from the NYS DEC.

DEC has closed certain rock climbing routes in the Adirondacks to protect nesting peregrine falcons. Status of rock climbing routes:

  • Chapel Pond Area
    • Upper Washbowl Cliffs – CLOSED
    • Lower Washbowl Cliffs – CLOSED
    • Spider’s Web – OPEN
  • Wilmington Notch Area
    • Moss Cliffs – OPEN
    • Notch Mountain – CLOSED
  • Poke-O-Moonshine – The climbing routes between and including Opposition and Womb With View are OPEN, all other routes are CLOSED.
  • Crane Mountain – All climbing routes are OPEN, except the Amphitheater section of the Black Arches Wall is CLOSED including Torcher, Eatin Tripe and Lichen It, Hang Time, and Black Arch Arete
  • Shelving Rock – All routes on the Main Wall are CLOSED which includes routes #11 Lunar Manscape through #37 Princess Bride. All other routes on Shelving Rock are OPEN.
  • Potash Mountain – All routes are CLOSED.
  • Sleeping Beauty Mountain – All routes are CLOSED.

Once peregrine nest sites are determined, climbing routes that will not disturb nesting will be reopened. We anticipate reopening by the beginning of May although in some years it has taken longer to confirm nesting. Routes that remain closed will reopen after the young have fledged. Thank you for your cooperation. For more information please contact the Bureau of Wildlife at (518) 623-1240.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 8, 2020

No Chronic Wasting Disease detected in 2019 hunting season

whitetail deer provided by decThe Department of Environmental Conservation tested 2,658 harvested deer across New York State for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the animals harvested by hunters in the 2019 season. No evidence of CWD was found. “Preventing the introduction of CWD into New York is a high priority for DEC to ensure the health of our deer herd and to protect the recreational and viewing opportunities deer provide,” State DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a press release.

» Continue Reading.