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.


Monday, April 19, 2021

Outdoor conditions: Seasonal road updates

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.

McKenzie Mountain Wilderness: Moose Pond Road is now open.

Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest: Moose Pond Club Road is temporarily closed for repairs. No parking is allowed by the gate, as administrative access for repairs will need to remain open. Visitors can park across the Boreas River Bridge on old Rt 28N, and access the road on foot from there.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 18, 2021

DEC Lowers Water Level at Lower Bog River Dam

Railroad crossing over Bog River. Photo by Phil BrownMeasures Being Taken to Assess St. Lawrence County Dam Leak
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 6 announced lower than usual water levels may be observed at the lower Bog River (Lower Lows) dam on the downstream side of Hitchens Pond in the town of Piercefield, St. Lawrence County. DEC is lowering the water to assess a leak in the dam.

The lower Bog River (Lower Lows) dam has a leak through a concrete training wall above the auxiliary spillway. The water level is lowered using the two wooden sluice gates located to the left of the auxiliary spillway. The water level will be lowered at least as low as the auxiliary spillway crest.

The gate on the lower dam road is currently closed for mud season. DEC anticipates that after the water is lowered, recreational users will be able to paddle canoes and kayaks from the dam up through Hitchens Pond, although the channel will be narrower and more obstructions will be visible.

Railroad crossing over Bog River. Photo by Phil Brown/Almanack archive


Thursday, April 15, 2021

ECOs catch intentional deer strike and other recent news

ECOS birthday greetingsA Special Birthday Wish – St. Lawrence County Outreach
ECOs Ryan and Canary recently joined members of the New York State Police and St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office to grant a special birthday request from a four-year-old battling an illness. The birthday girl requested a birthday parade from local law enforcement agencies. Her mom said that while treatment is going well, the parade could help boost her daughter’s spirits. ECOs didn’t think twice about joining their law enforcement partners to grant this birthday wish. Police, fire, and rescue vehicles drove past the girl’s home with lights flashing as she and her family stood outside waving and enjoying the show. On their second loop around, ECOs Ryan and Canary stopped by to drop off some presents, say hello, and share their wishes for a speedy recovery.


ECOs Ryan and Canary meet with the birthday girl

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Rangers locate lost hiker at OK Slip Falls

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Indian Lake
Hamilton County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On April 9 at 2:30 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from New York State Police B Command advising of a lost hiker in the OK Slip Falls area. The hiker stated she became disoriented while hiking out and was standing near a river. Forest Rangers Scott and Miller responded. Ranger Scott tried to call the woman, but due to limited cell service, texted her with instructions. Not knowing if the subject received the instructions, Rangers Scott and Miller searched the trail and found the 56-year-old woman from North Creek heading back in the correct direction. She had received the text message, but could not send a reply. The Rangers and hiker proceeded back to trailhead.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

DEC Announces New Opportunity for Young Hunters

small game hunters provided by DECBudget Includes Legislation Lowering the Age for Deer Hunting with a Firearm and Crossbow in Participating Upstate Counties

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced a new opportunity for young hunters. The State Fiscal Year 2021-22 Budget signed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo includes legislation that now allows youths ages 12 and 13 to hunt deer with a firearm or crossbow under the supervision of an experienced adult hunter in upstate counties that opt-in to participate.

For nearly two decades, youth aged 12 and 13 in New York have been safely hunting deer and bear with archery equipment and small game with firearms. Until now, New York was the only state that didn’t allow 12- and 13-year-olds to hunt big game with a firearm. Environmental Conservation Law 11-0935 is a temporary measure that will pilot lowering the age through 2023, including the following provisions:

» Continue Reading.


Monday, April 12, 2021

Partners work on Pen-Rearing Projects for Atlantic Salmon

salmon courtesy Concordia UniversityFollowing Success of Net Pen Programs for Other Species, DEC Anticipates Increased Survival of Stocked Smolts

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the deployment of two new pen-rearing projects for Atlantic salmon to begin this spring. To improve post-stocking survival and imprinting to the stocked water, experimental Atlantic salmon pen-rearing projects will be conducted in the Saranac River estuary in Lake Champlain and in the Salmon River in Lake Ontario. DEC is partnering with the Lake Champlain Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Plattsburgh Boat Basin on the Saranac River project and partnering with the Tug Hill/Black River Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Salmon River Lighthouse and Marina on the Salmon River project.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 10, 2021

DEC Proposes Updates to Wildlife Management Area Regulations

DEC is proposing amendments to the regulations governing Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in order to protect natural resources, promote public safety, and help ensure the multiple uses of New York’s WMAs remain compatible as public demand for outdoor recreation increases. Proposed changes would update and clarify existing regulations—defining the allowable activities and uses of WMAs. Some changes would help bring consistency with existing rules for state forests, campgrounds, and other DEC lands, while others continue the prioritization of hunting, fishing, trapping, and wildlife viewing opportunities on WMAs.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, April 9, 2021

Outdoor conditions: plan ahead

outdoor conditions logoPlanning ahead is an essential part of any backcountry trip in the Adirondacks. Research a variety of hikes – or other trips – and pick one that is appropriate for the physical abilities and experience of every person in your group. Estimate how long the hike will take and make a realistic timeline. Using reliable sources, research the route. Double check your route on a map and bring a paper map with you. Research trailhead parking. Share your plans with a reliable friend or family member who will notice if you do not return on time.

Early Season Muddy Trails Advisory: DEC has released an early season muddy trails advisory urging hikers to postpone hikes on trails above 2,500 feet until high elevation trails have dried and hardened. As snow and ice continue to melt at high elevations, steep trails can pose a danger due to thick ice and deep, rotten snow. Thin soils are susceptible to erosion and sensitive alpine vegetation can be easily damaged.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 8, 2021

Winter Fish Kills 

winter fish killsNew Yorkers may be seeing more dead fish in the water this spring than in past years. The winter of 2020-2021 created optimal conditions for winterkills, which usually occur in shallow waterbodies with aquatic plant growth.

Winterkill occurs when snow that accumulates on the ice reduces the amount of light penetrating through the water, inhibiting the photosynthesis cycle in plants and reducing the amount of oxygen (a byproduct of the cycle) available to fish and other organisms. The problem is exacerbated when fish die, as the decomposition process also consumes any available oxygen in the pond.

To report a fish kill contact your Regional DEC Fisheries Office.


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Be on the Lookout for Amphibians Crossing the Road

wood frogWith the arrival of spring temperatures, amphibians have begun their annual migrations to woodland pools to breed. Often, they must cross roads to reach these pools. In New York, this migration usually occurs on rainy nights in late March and early April, when the night air temperature is above 40F. When these conditions exist there can be explosive, “big night” migrations, with hundreds of amphibians on the move. Volunteers can help document these locations and help amphibians like wood frogs, spotted salamanders, American toads, or spring peepers safely cross the road. Drivers on New York roads are encouraged to proceed with caution or avoid travel on the first warm, rainy evenings of the season. Amphibians come out after nightfall and are slow-moving; mortality can be high even on low-traffic roads.

Photo of wood frog by Laura Heady.


Saturday, April 3, 2021

$650,000 in grant funding available for dam repairs

Floating islands going over Higley Dam, c. 1943Funding Available to Local Government and Non-Profit Owners of ‘High Hazard’ Dams for Pre-Construction Activities
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced $650,000 in grant funding is now available to assist eligible dam owners with infrastructure repair costs. Funding is provided through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) High Hazard Potential Dam (HHPD) grant program. Of the dozens of states that applied to this federal program, New York was one of two states that received the maximum amount of funding. DEC is now accepting applications for grants to assist with technical, planning, design, and other pre-construction activities associated with the rehabilitation of eligible dams classified as High Hazard dams.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, April 2, 2021

Mud season advisory: Stay off high-elevation trails

mudNYS DEC has released an early season muddy trails advisory urging hikers to postpone hikes on trails above 2,500 feet until high elevation trails have dried and hardened. As snow and ice continue to melt at high elevations, steep trails can pose a danger due to thick ice and deep, rotten snow. Thin soils are susceptible to erosion and sensitive alpine vegetation can be easily damaged.

Despite recent warm weather, high elevation trails are still covered in slowly melting ice and snow. The remaining compacted ice and snow on trails is rotten, slippery, and will not reliably support weight. These conditions, known as “monorails,” are difficult to hike and the adjacent rotten snow is particularly prone to postholing.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, April 2, 2021

Outdoor conditions (4/2): AMR permit system

outdoor conditions logoDEC and the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR) have launched a no-cost pilot reservation system to address public safety at a heavily traveled stretch on Route 73 in the town of Keene in the Adirondack High Peaks.

The Adirondack Mountain Reserve is a privately owned 7,000-acre land parcel located in the Town of Keene Valley that allows for limited public access through a conservation easement agreement with DEC.

The pilot reservation system does not apply to other areas in the Adirondack Park. The reservation system, operated by AMR, will facilitate safer public access to trailheads through the AMR gate and for Noonmark and Round mountains and improve visitors’ trip planning and preparation by ensuring they have guaranteed parking upon arrival. In recent years pedestrian traffic, illegal parking, and roadside stopping along Route 73 have created a dangerous environment for hikers and motorists alike.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 1, 2021

DEC Announces Online Falconry, Wildlife Rehabilitator, and Leashed Tracking Dog Exams

Online Exams Scheduled for Friday, April 30

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that examinations for individuals seeking a license to practice the sport of falconry, become a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator, or use leashed tracking dogs to find wounded or injured big game animals are scheduled for Friday, April 30. To ensure access to the examinations, and prevent the spread of COVID-19, DEC is offering exams online this year instead of in-person. The exams will be available from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on April 30. Registrants will have two hours to take each exam.

To register for any of these exams, click on the exam registration link and follow the directions provided. An email will be sent acknowledging registration.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Rangers conduct two overnight Search & Rescues

Recent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
On Mar. 25 at 5:14 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker reporting he was concerned that his 18-year-old friend was lost after the pair were separated on the trail for Mount Marcy in the High Peaks Wilderness Area. After speaking with the caller, Forest Ranger Praczkajlo advised that he and Forest Ranger O’Connor were responding to assist. Once on scene, Ranger Praczkajlo notified Dispatch that he and Ranger O’Connor made contact with the reporting party at Marcy Dam. Ranger Praczkajlo continued up the trail to locate the lost hiker while Ranger O’Connor began to escort the friend out of the woods. Lt. Burns advised that Ranger Lewis would respond to the Garden parking lot and begin to hike up the Mount Marcy trail from Johns Brook Valley.

» Continue Reading.



Wait, before you go,

sign up for news updates from the Adirondack Almanack!