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, March 26, 2021

Outdoor conditions (3/26): Flood watch in effect

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.

Northern Adirondacks: There is a flood watch in effect for the northern regions of the Adirondacks this weekend. Heavy rainfall combined with continued snowmelt is expected to swell rivers and waterways. Use extreme caution when driving or walking near waterways and at water crossings. Do not attempt to drive through flooded roads or flooded waterways.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

DEC begins ‘mud season’ seasonal road closures

Adirondack Mud SeasonClosures due to Spring Thaw 
Effective Monday, March 22, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 6 began closing all mud gates to snowmobile trails and seasonal access roads on Forest Preserve, State Forest, and Conservation Easement lands, due to spring thaw and muddy conditions. Gate closures are expected to be completed by Friday, March 26.

Motor vehicle use during the spring mud season damages roads, resulting in road opening delays. DEC will reopen the roads once they become dry enough to safely handle motor vehicle traffic and any necessary maintenance is completed.

Region 6 is comprised of Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Herkimer, and Oneida counties.


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Lost hikers, illegal brush fire and more

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Fort Ann
Washington County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Mar. 20 at 8:11 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for Forest Ranger assistance from Warren County 911 for a report of three 19-year-old hikers from Saratoga Springs lost on Buck Mountain in the Lake George Wild Forest. The reporting party stated the hikers had no light source and were cold. Forest Rangers St. Claire and Donegan responded to the trailhead and hiked into the woods, locating the lost group at 9:44 p.m. The hikers were in good condition and able to hike out on their own. All parties involved were cleared of the incident at 10:15 p.m.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Pack up that birdseed, as bears are coming out of hibernation

black bearPublic Encouraged to Remove Birdfeeders, Feed Pets Indoors
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reminds New Yorkers to avoid conflicts with bears by taking down bird feeders and securing garbage.

DEC has already received a few reports of bear sightings across the state. As bears emerge from their dens, they use their sensitive noses to find food. Human-related food sources such as bird feeders, pet food, and garbage can attract bears and lead to potential conflicts. Feeding bears either intentionally, which is illegal, or unintentionally through careless property management, has consequences for entire communities, as well as the bears themselves.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, March 19, 2021

Good news for Lake Champlain trout

lake champlain fishIn light of increased wild production, the Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative (NY, VT, USFWS) is reducing lake trout stocking by 33 percent (~27,060 fish). This decision is based on data that indicates increased catches ofild lake trout in annual standardized nettings used to monitor the contribution of wild vs. stocked fish to the lake trout population. Biologists and researchers deem the stocking reduction an essential management action that must be taken to ensure a healthy balance between salmonine (trout and salmon) sport fish and prey so a quality fishery can be maintained. The stocking reduction will be achieved initially by eliminating lake trout stocked by DEC.

The observations of increasing wild lake trout production in Lake Champlain is exciting news and a testament to the progress that has been made toward the restoration of a self sustaining lake trout population over the past 60 years.


Friday, March 19, 2021

Outdoor Conditions (3/19): Seasonal roads closed for mud season

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.

Moose River Plains Complex: Gates on the Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road are closed for mud season.

Lake Desolation State Forest and Conservation Easement: Snowmobile trails in the Lake Desolation area are closed. Trails in northwestern Saratoga County are managed by the Saratoga Snowmobile Association.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Injured hiker calls for help when separated from group

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Mar. 13 at 6:41 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a 27-year-old subject from Rochester suffering from a sore knee while hiking to Mount Marcy in the High Peaks Wilderness. The hiker did not have a headlamp or flashlight and reported that his four friends hiked out ahead of him. Just before 10 p.m., at Marcy Dam, Forest Ranger Sabo made contact with the hiker and two friends who had turned back to help him. Ranger Sabo and the hikers arrived back at the Loj parking lot at 11:16 p.m. and reunited the hikers with their group.


Monday, March 15, 2021

Brush-burning ban in place March 16-May 14

Camp FireNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the annual statewide ban prohibiting residential brush burning will begin March 16, and run through May 14. With spring approaching, DEC is reminding residents that conditions for wildfires are heightened in springtime when most wildfires occur.

Even though some areas of the state remain blanketed in snow, warming temperatures can quickly cause wildfire conditions to arise. DEC will post a Fire Danger Map rating for the 2021 fire season on DEC’s website once there is a moderate risk anywhere in the state.

Open burning of debris is the largest single cause of spring wildfires in New York State. When temperatures are warmer and the past fall’s debris and leaves dry out, wildfires can start and spread easily and be further fueled by winds and a lack of green vegetation. In 2020, DEC Forest Rangers extinguished 192 wildfires that burned a total of more than 1,122 acres. In addition, local fire departments, many of which are volunteer, all too often have to leave their jobs and families to respond to wildfires caused by illegal debris fires.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, March 13, 2021

Eagle Banded 26 Years Ago Spotted In Lewis County

eaglesThis is an outstanding opportunity to see three American bald eagles devouring their lunch, but even more fantastic of an opportunity to be able to learn there’s more to the story.

Bill Straite of Oneida County sent us this photo a while ago. No doubt, it’s a great one! DEC wildlife biologists noticed right away the center eagle was banded, and contacted the federal bird banding laboratory to learn more about it.

The eagle was banded in June 1995 – 26 years ago – in Parishville, NY, St. Lawrence County.

Photo courtesy of Bill Straite.


Friday, March 12, 2021

Recreation Highlight: Becoming an Outdoorswoman Program

BOWThis Women’s History Month, we are celebrating women past and present who are advancing the work of DEC. If you are interested in growing your legacy in the outdoors, consider DEC’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) and Beyond BOW programs.

These programs teach participants the outdoor skills they need to become comfortable, confident, influential members of the outdoor community. DEC experts provide information, encouragement, and hands-on instruction in outdoor skills such as fishing, shooting, archery, hunting, trapping, outdoor photography, map and compass, survival, camping, canoeing, and outdoor cooking.

BOW workshops are designed primarily for women who have little or no experience with outdoor activities but are open to anyone ages 18 and over. Past participants have ranged in age from late teens to mid-80s!

View the photo gallery from past BOW workshops on DEC’s Flickr page.


Friday, March 12, 2021

Outdoor conditions (3/12): Be prepared for icy trails

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.

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Colden Caretaker Report 03/11/21: Approximately 3 feet of snow has accumulated at the Colden Caretaker cabin and 5 or more feet of snow remains on summits. Snowshoes are needed on all trails, starting at parking lots. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen. Ski trails are skiable.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Lake Champlain ice rescue

forest ranger reportsTown of Plattsburgh
Clinton County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Mar. 1 at 3 p.m., Forest Ranger assistance was requested by DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) LaCroix and the Cumberland Head Fire Department for two anglers stranded on a floating ice sheet on Lake Champlain. Fire department personnel accessed the men from Plattsburgh with an inflatable rescue craft and brought one of the subjects safely to shore. When Forest Rangers arrived on the scene, two fire department personnel and the second angler and his gear were still on the ice sheet. ECOs and Rangers launched the airboat and Ranger Bronson was able to retrieve all parties and gear from the ice and bring them back to shore.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, March 5, 2021

Recreation Highlight: Snowmobiling in the Adirondacks

Snowmobiling is a fun and adrenaline-filled way to experience the Adirondacks during the winter. Some trails even allow riders to experience the wilderness of Adirondack Forest Preserve lands.

Snowmobiling on Forest Preserve lands gives riders the opportunity to enjoy a wild forest character while navigating a system of seasonal motor vehicle roads and designated trails. These trails typically wind through hilly or mountainous terrain within a natural setting, connecting small communities and area attractions. These trails generally are narrower than trails on private lands. Snowmobiling is not permitted on all Forest Preserve lands, so be sure to stick to designated snowmobile trails.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, March 5, 2021

Outdoor conditions (3/5): winter weather continues

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.

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Colden Caretaker Report 03/04/21: Approximately 2 feet 9 inches of snow has accumulated at the Colden Caretaker cabin and 5 or more feet of snow remains on summits. Snowshoes are needed on all trails, starting at parking lots. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen. The trail from Marcy Dam to Lake Colden is skiable.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 4, 2021

ECOs nab fishermen’s illegal catch

Recent DEC Environmental Conservation Officer actions:

lake troutSomething Fishy – Essex County
On Feb. 18, ECO LaPoint received a report of ice fishermen on Schroon Lake, Essex County, who were catching lake trout shorter than the legal length of 18 inches. ECO LaPoint contacted Acting Lieutenant Nicols, who located the suspects’ vehicle with information provided by the complainant. From the shore, the two Officers observed the ice anglers until the fishermen returned to their vehicle. When asked to see the fish caught, one angler pulled out the legally caught fish while trying to hide the undersized fish. ECOs discovered nine undersized lake trout, the largest measuring 17 inches. One of the men was also fishing without a license. ECO LaPoint issued both subjects tickets for undersized and over-the-limit lake trout and one for fishing without a license. After advising the men of the limit of two lake trout per angler and the legal minimum length of 18 inches, the ECOs allowed the licensed fisherman to keep his legal-length catch and the undersized trout were donated to DEC Bureau of Wildlife staff to use as bait for a fisher and pine marten live trapping study.

» Continue Reading.



Wait, before you go,

sign up for news updates from the Adirondack Almanack!