Almanack Contributor NYS DEC


Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Green tips for back-to-school supplies

school suppliesChildren are enjoying the activities of summer riding their bikes, swinging on the playgrounds, swimming, and creating art and games with sidewalk chalk. Meanwhile, we are starting to see the store aisles filled with backpacks, lunch boxes, pens, notebooks, and other supplies. A lot of green is spent when it comes to back to school shopping. But instead of spending green – there are lots of ways to save green. When it comes to school supplies, an important concept to keep in mind is “precycling,” — that is thinking through future purchases to reduce, delay, or eliminate creating waste.

» Continue Reading.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Outdoor Conditions (8/26): Wet, muddy trails; hiker shuttle now running

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.

Tropical Storm Fred: Trail systems within the Adirondacks have received varying amounts of rain due to Tropical Storm Fred and trail conditions may be impacted. Expect high water and muddy trails for the upcoming weekend. Weekend forecasts predict thunderstorms, which could produce heavy rain, compounding poor trail conditions.

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

State agencies work to address lead ammunition

lead ammunitionLead and Non-lead Hunting Ammunition: Interagency Working Group Convenes to Address a Complex Problem

In New York, as in many other states, there has been a growing awareness and understanding of the potential negative impacts of lead hunting ammunition. Lead fragments left behind after a big game animal is harvested can remain in the meat, carcass, and within the gut pile exposing scavenging wildlife and people to lead via consumption.

DEC has been encouraging deer hunters to try non-lead ammunition for several years, but as most hunters know, ammunition of any kind is hard to come by right now. While the current ammunition shortage won’t last forever, it does illustrate the complexity of this issue and the challenge we face in trying to minimize the risks to wildlife and people from lead bullet fragments. Wildlife and human health risks, cost, availability and demand for non-lead alternatives, and the needs, interests, and concerns of hunters, conservationists, and people who eat game all need to be taken into consideration.

This issue has been gaining a lot of attention nationally and internationally, with some jurisdictions restricting use of lead ammunition for big game and others setting up educational campaigns or incentive programs to increase understanding of the issue and promote a transition from lead to non-lead ammunition. To tackle this issue, DEC recently initiated a working group that brings together a variety of interest groups to conduct a comprehensive examination of the risks posed by lead hunting ammunition to wildlife and people in New York. The working group includes representatives from DEC, the New York State Department of Health, Cornell University’s Wildlife Health Program, and organized hunting and conservation groups. The group seeks first to thoroughly understand the issue and identify and engage key interest groups to understand their concerns. Then, after the comprehensive review and by December 31, 2021, DEC and the working group will develop recommendations to minimize the risks posed by lead in the environment from hunting ammunition and communicate this information to key interest groups and the public.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Rangers respond to lost, injured, dehydrated hikers aged 21-71

forest ranger reportsTown of Wilmington
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Aug. 18 at 7:26 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from a woman reporting her 58-year-old husband had fallen, striking his head on the Flume Trail in the Wilmington Wild Forest. Forest Ranger O’Connor responded with Wilmington EMS. The hiker from Ohio was carried out to an ATV with the assistance of EMS and New York State Police and driven to the trailhead. At 8:42, the hiker was transferred to a waiting ambulance for further medical treatment.

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

2021-22 New York State Hunting and Trapping Licenses on Sale Now

deerHunting and trapping licenses and Deer Management Permits (DMPs) for the 2021-2022 seasons are on sale now. In addition, DEC announced new opportunities for hunters this year, including expanded hunting seasons and allowing youth ages 12 and 13 to hunt deer with a firearm or crossbow in upstate counties that have passed a local low and ‘opted in’ to participate.

Licenses and permits can be purchased online, at any one of DEC’s license-issuing agents (leaves DEC’s website), or by telephone at 866-933-2257. New hunting and trapping licenses are valid from Sept. 1, 2021, through Aug. 31, 2022; annual fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from date of purchase.

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Monday, August 23, 2021

Caring for Your Trees After a Caterpillar Outbreak 

gypsy mothsDo you have trees in your yard that were defoliated during the caterpillar outbreak this year? (Read more about it here)

Most healthy trees can withstand a couple years of leaf loss from caterpillar damage. Long-term damage depends on the type of tree as well as how much defoliation took place:

  • Hardwoods – A healthy leaf-bearing tree should have grown new leaves by now, though leaves may be smaller than usual. If your tree lost all its leaves and does not grow any new ones by summer’s end, watch it in the spring. If it still does not leaf out next spring, it has died.
  • Conifers – If your needle-bearing trees lost more than 50 percent of their needles, there’s a good chance they probably won’t recover. Keep an eye on them in the coming seasons, and if you have concerns or think the tree could endanger a house if it were to fall, contact an arborist.

» Continue Reading.

Friday, August 20, 2021

ECOs assist with Old Forge house explosion

ecos old forgeOn July 30, ECO Gates responded to a house explosion in the town of Webb. The blast sent debris flying more than 200 yards into First Lake on the Fulton Chain, impacting an estimated 20 homes in the surrounding area.

Herkimer County soon declared a State of Emergency. ECO Gates, accompanied by ECO Jakaub and DEC Spill Responder Reichinger, deployed a boat to help assess the damage and look for debris in the lake.

Some fuel entered the lake, causing a sheen, and the ECOs assisted Reichinger to deploy a boom designed to pick up the oil. The following day, the Officers joined DEC Spill Responder Furlong to coordinate the use of a harbor boom from Eggan Environmental Services. The ECOs assisted Old Forge Fire Department and Eggan Environmental Services with deployment of the harbor boom using a patrol boat.

The boom will contain the spill and allow crews to remove the fuel from the surface so it would not enter the greater lake

Photo: ECO Noyes deploys boom/DEC

Friday, August 20, 2021

Outdoor conditions (8/20): Wet trails; some road closures

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.

Tropical Storm Fred: Trail systems within the Adirondacks have received varying amounts of rain due to Tropical Storm Fred and trail conditions may be impacted. Expect high water and muddy trails for the upcoming weekend. Weekend forecasts predict thunderstorms, which could produce heavy rain, compounding poor trail conditions.

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Recreation Highlight: Hiking the Cranberry Lake 50

cranberry lake 50 patchHike Smart NY on the Cranberry 50 Trail. The Cranberry Lake 50 Trail provides a challenging 50-mile loop around Cranberry Lake in the town of Clifton, St. Lawrence County. The diverse terrain encountered throughout this long trail hike makes it very rewarding to complete, but it is important not to underestimate the difficulty of this experience. DEC wants you to enjoy your time outdoors and stay safe doing it, so consider the following advice before taking on this challenge.

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

DEC beaches begin to close for summer

Rogers Rock Campground provided by DEC

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the closure of beaches to swimming at DEC-managed campgrounds and day use areas in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks. For public safety, beaches remain open to visitors but swimming is prohibited unless a lifeguard is present. Beaches are closed to swimming each year as many lifeguards return to school.

Please refer to the schedule below for swimming closures at these DEC campgrounds and day use areas:

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Man dies in Dix Mountain Wilderness

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Elizabethtown
Essex County
Campground Enforcement:
 On Aug. 9 at 4:15 a.m., DEC’s Central Dispatch received a call from the caretaker at Lincoln Pond Campground requesting Forest Ranger assistance to help address multiple, ongoing violations. Forest Ranger Lt. Dubay was notified, and Forest Rangers Quinn and Booth responded. Upon their investigation, Rangers issued 16 tickets for underage drinking.

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Monday, August 16, 2021

Wildlife Management Areas open to the public through August

Perch River WMA
Annual Open House Lifts Restricted Access at Perch River, Upper and Lower Lakes, and Wilson Hill WMAs

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the annual opening to the public of otherwise restricted Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties from Monday, Aug. 16, to Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021. During the 16-day open house, Upper and Lower Lakes and Wilson Hill WMAs in St. Lawrence County, including the posted refuge or wetland restricted areas, will be open to visitors each day from sunrise to sunset. Perch River WMA in Jefferson County will also be open to visitors with one exception-Perch Lake will be open daily from noon to dusk.

In addition, this 16-day window is now fixed for subsequent years and will apply to future WMA open houses. Establishing these fixed dates will make planning trips to the areas easier for visitors interested in observing DEC’s efforts to manage and improve these important habitats. Portions of these WMAs are marked as refuge or wetland restricted areas to allow waterfowl and other listed species to breed and raise young without human interference.

Perch River WMA encompasses nearly 8,000 acres in the towns of Brownville, Orleans, and Pamelia. Perch River WMA can be accessed from State Route 12, and Allen, Buckminster, Vaadi, and Perch Lake roads. The Perch Lake proper (accessed by Perch Lake Road) will be open from noon until sunset each day. Fishing will be allowed, but motorized boats are not permitted.

Upper and Lower Lakes WMA is located about two miles west of the village of Canton along State Route 68 in St. Lawrence County. This WMA, the largest in the region, is an 8,770-acre upland/wetland complex between the Grasse and Oswegatchie rivers.

Wilson Hill WMA in northern St. Lawrence County is approximately six miles west of the village of Massena off State Route 37. Situated along the St. Lawrence River, the 4,000-acre area consists of several large pools of open water marsh bordered by a combination of dense cattails, brushy wetlands, forest, and upland meadow. Fishing is not allowed in Nichols Pool.

DEC may be conducting habitat and wildlife management projects on the WMAs throughout the 16-day period. Visitors are advised to avoid any operating machinery and pay attention to temporary signage. For additional information, bird lists, and maps, contact DEC’s Regional Wildlife Office at 315-785-2263 or visit the Western Adirondacks/ Upper Mohawk Valley/ Eastern Lake Ontario WMAs webpage.

Photo: Perch River WMA in Jefferson County/DEC Photo

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Watch for Giant Hogweed, Wild Parsnips

hogweedGiant hogweed plants are now blooming across many parts of the state, making it a prime time to spot this harmful invasive. Giant hogweed is a large plant from Eurasia with sap that can cause painful burns and scarring.

Adult giant hogweed plants tend to be 7-14 feet tall with umbrella-shaped clusters of white flowers up to 2.5 feet wide. The stem is green with purple splotches and coarse white hairs, and leaves are large (up to 5 feet across), incised, and deeply lobed. You can find more identification tips, including a table of lookalikes, on our website.

If you think you have found giant hogweed, do not touch it. From a safe distance, take photos of the plant’s stem, leaves, flower, seeds, and the whole plant. Then report your sighting to DEC by emailing photos and location information to or calling (845) 256-3111. DEC staff will confirm if it is giant hogweed and discuss plans for management if it is a site not yet being managed by DEC.

» Continue Reading.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Outdoor Conditions: Route 73 Shuttle to start

outdoor conditions logoHiking Information

Be prepared, bring the right gear, and wear the right clothes and shoes to ensure a safe and enjoyable hike. Review Hike Smart NY’s list of 10 essentials and bring those items on every hike. Prepare for your hike by doing the following:

Pilot Route 73 Hiker Shuttle: A pilot Route 73 Hiker Shuttle system will launch on Saturday, August 21. The pilot will help provide safe, sustainable visitation along the busy Route 73 corridor and in the Adirondack High Peaks region. The free shuttle system will operate 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays through Monday, October 11. Users can park at Marcy Field and ride to the Rooster Comb, Giant Mountain/Ridge Trail, and Roaring Brook Falls trailheads. Parking is still available at the trailheads themselves. All riders will be required to wear a mask. Stewards will be stationed at all drop off and pick-up locations to assist with navigating the shuttle system and educate hikers on responsible recreation, including preparedness, hiking safety, and Leave No Trace™ principles. Pets are not permitted.

View a map of the route (PDF), the shuttle schedule (PDF), and browse a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions (PDF). » Continue Reading.

Friday, August 13, 2021

I FISH NY Guide to Freshwater Fishing Series Now Available

screen shotWhether you’re a first time angler or it’s been awhile and you could use a refresher, we’re here to help. Check out three new videos we recently posted on DEC’s YouTube channel. Adding to our debut video (Family Fishing Basics), this series provides the basic information you’ll need to get started in the sport of fishing.

Interested in more fishing content? Let us know! Email

How to cast to a spin casting (push-button) rod
Basic Fishing Knots
Bobber & Worm Rig

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