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, August 2, 2020

DEC Seeks Swimming Pool Owners for Citizen Science Survey of Invasive Beetle

The early discovery of Asian Long Horned Beetle infestations saves money and trees.

State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos is encouraging the citizens of New York, especially those that own swimming pools, to engage in the DEC’s Annual Asian Long horned beetle Swimming Pool Survey.

Asian long horned beetles (ALB) emerge as adults during the late summer and become the most active outside of their host trees. The goal of this survey is to pinpoint the locations of these infestations before they cause detrimental damage to our state’s forests and trees.

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Saturday, August 1, 2020

DEC releases anti-litter PSA

In response to increased litter left behind by visitors to New York’s natural areas, the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today released a new PSA to remind outdoor adventurers to follow the principles of Leave No Trace. The PSA features images of trash in the Catskills and the Adirondacks with a reminder that litter is not only unsightly, but can be deadly to New York’s wildlife.


Friday, July 31, 2020

Outdoor Conditions (7/31): Take care on the Trap Dike

Recent Notices

Included here are notices reported in the past week. 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: The Trap Dike route up Mount Colden is not a trail, it is rock climbing route. DEC Forest Rangers have had to rescue numerous people in recent weeks that have become stuck on the climb.

Madawaska Pond/Quebec Brook Primitive Area: Only four-wheel drive pickups and SUVs or other high clearance vehicles should use the Madawaska Pond Road due to a significant washout. Pickups and SUVs should use caution when crossing the washout.

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Thursday, July 30, 2020

How to Identify Giant Hogweed

Giant Hogweed is an invasive plant which blooms across many parts of New York State, and summer is the ideal time to spot this harmful invasive. Giant Hogweed is a large flowering plant from Eurasia with sap that can cause painful burns and scarring. Adult Giant Hogweed plants are 7 to 14 feet tall with umbrella shaped clusters of white flowers up to 2.5 feet wide. Its stem is green with purple splotches, and coarse white hairs. Its leaves are large and can be up to 5 feet across. They are incised and deeply lobed. Visit the DEC’s site for more identification tips, including a table of lookalikes by clicking here.

If you suspect that you have found a Giant Hogweed plant, be sure not to touch it. From a safe distance take photos of the plant’s stem, leaves, flowers, seeds, and then the whole plant. Report your siting to the DEC by emailing photos (or calling DEC staff at (845) 256-3111) and reporting location information here:  [email protected]. DEC staff will help you confirm if you have found Giant Hogweed, and work with the landowners of confirmed sites to provide information on the plant, and how to control its spread.Ss


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Second trap dike rescue in week’s time

forest ranger logoRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On July 24 at 12:45 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch was contacted about two 19-year-old hikers from Rye, New York, and Louisville, Kentucky, who were trapped on the Western slope of the Trap Dike. Forest Rangers Burns, DiCintio, Mecus, and Praczkajlo responded with the help of the New York State Police Aviation Unit for a hoist rescue operation. Ranger Burns and Climbing Specialist Crofoot flew from Lake Clear to Lake Placid and picked up Forest Rangers Mecus and Praczjaklo at 2:30 p.m. From there, the officers flew and lowered the rescue team to the Trap Dike to the hikers’ location high up on the slide. At 3:30 p.m., contact was made, and using a series of technical rope systems, the hikers were lowered to safety. At approximately 6:30 p.m., the rescue team was at the base of the Trap Dike along with the hikers who were then able to walk out on their own.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Tips for reducing your plastic waste

As the Plastic Free July challenge winds down, DEC has an update on how their participants are faring with their own personal goals. Here are some of the creative things they have been doing:

Kayla’s Goal: Reduce plastic meal packaging, beverage jugs, and toiletries

“One of my goals during Plastic Free July was finding and using sunscreen that doesn’t come in a plastic tube or bottle. After a lot of research I found the choices were limited, so I decided to contact sunscreen companies to start a conversation about their packaging. I personalized and tailored each correspondence, making sure to research the company beforehand to include persuasive facts about their sustainability practices and sunscreen usage facts in general. I contacted…

  • Four major sunscreen brands and another major skin care brand that offers sunscreen and focuses on sustainability. Within a few hours, I received general replies from three of these companies. A few days later I received a similar reply from the fourth company.
  • A smaller sunscreen company with sustainability in mind. They informed me of positive strides they’ve made with their sunscreen containers, such as incorporating post-consumer recycled content, and challenges they faced in moving away from plastic packaging. I now plan to delve into this further as it may be part of the reason why plastic packaging is so prevalent for sunscreen. They were also open to future suggestions about this topic.
  • A small business that offers plastic free options. They don’t sell sunscreen yet but informed me of their interest in reducing their plastic use potentially through offering a refill option.

Prior to this experience, I had never directly contacted a company about environmental issues and found it to be inspiring, especially when I heard back, and would encourage others to do the same. I always thought, ‘they’ll never listen to me’, but my experience showed me companies are willing to listen and share thoughts and experiences to start a conversation in an effort to make positive changes for the future of our environment.”

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Sunday, July 26, 2020

DEC Announces Agreement to Protect Grasse River Habitat

Grasse RiverArconic to Provide More Than $2.25 Million to Protect and Restore Habitat, Including Critically Important Freshwater Mussels
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced a landmark agreement (PDF) between DEC and Arconic, Inc. Under the agreement, Arconic will provide more than $2.25 million to protect and restore critical habitat at the Grasse River Federal Superfund site in Massena. Arconic is required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean up contamination in the Grasse River, but was not being held to New York State’s stringent standards for habitat protection, driving DEC to reach this agreement and help save critically important freshwater mussels and other natural resources.

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Saturday, July 25, 2020

Home Composting 101

Vermicomposting uses worms to decompose waste courtesy Wikimedia user ChristopheFinotThe summer weather isn’t the only thing heating up, so is your compost pile. Unlike our garbage or recycling, composting allows us to directly manage our own wasted food and turn those food scraps into compost. Composting takes some care; add your greens, browns, water and air. Learn more about home composting whether you’re a beginner or a bit more experienced.

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Friday, July 24, 2020

Outdoor Conditions (7/24): Pack it in, pack it out

Included here are notices reported in the past week. 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.

Trash in the Backcountry: DEC is receiving increased reports of visitors leaving trash behind after trips to State lands, waters, and facilities in the Adirondacks. Outdoor adventurers are reminded to follow the principles of Leave No Trace, and keep New York’s environment clean by properly disposing of waste.

Travel: Check 511NY for road closures and travel conditions. If you plan on hiking in the High Peaks, use 511NY to check the status of parking lots along the busy Route 73 corridor. Have back-up plans in place and, if the parking lot at your desired destination is full, move on to your back-up plan. Status of parking lots is being updated throughout the day on weekend days by patrolling DEC Forest Rangers and Forest ranger assistants.

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Thursday, July 23, 2020

DEC Offers New Online Bowhunter Education Course

ECOs Nicols and Brassard with the buck and crossbowStarting July 15, the NYS DEC began offering its new online bowhunter education certification course, DEC commissioner Basil Seggos announced. “DEC began offering online hunter education courses this spring, and the response has been fantastic. I encourage all experienced and aspiring bowhunters to take advantage of this opportunity and sign up to take the bowhunter education course online.” Seggos went on to say.

If you wish to bow hunt deer or bear in New York State, a bowhunter education course along with a mandatory hunter education course are both required before the purchase of a hunting license. All of the DEC’s in person bowhunter education courses have been cancelled this year as a result of the State’s ongoing COVID-19 response. This new online course allows for new bowhunters to complete their required certifications in time for the fall hunting season. More than 30,000 people have completed the DEC’s new online hunter education course since its April 15 announcement.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Rangers come to aid of hikers stuck on Trap Dike

Recent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
On July 18 at 11:30 a.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for two hikers stuck on the Trap Dike. The hikers exited the Trap Dike too soon and became stranded on the south side. The pair was advised to stay put and not try to go back due to the steepness of the terrain. Two Forest Rangers responded to assist. The Lake Colden caretaker saw the hikers but could not establish voice contact. Forest Rangers and the New York State Police (NYSP) Aviation unit performed a hoist rescue to bring the hikers safely to the base of the Trap Dike so they could hike out. The Lake Colden caretaker then paddled the stranded hikers and Forest Ranger Robbi Mecus to the end of Avalanche Lake where they started the hike back and were out of the woods by 8:02 p.m.Town of North Elba.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

DEC Releases Final Plans to Improve Saranac River’s Imperial Mills Dam

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Acting Regional Director Joe Zalewski today announced the release of final plans to improve the Imperial Mills Dam, including installing a fish ladder to provide for passage of landlocked Atlantic salmon and modifying the dam to bring it into compliance with dam safety regulations. The Imperial Mills Dam, also known as the Main Mill Dam, is located on the Saranac River approximately 3.2 miles upstream from Lake Champlain, in the city of Plattsburgh, Clinton County.

 

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Friday, July 17, 2020

Asian Giant Hornet – Fact vs. Fiction

When the Asian Giant Hornet was discovered in Washington State Dec.19, it gave rise to a series of eye popping headlines and news stories.

The DEC has released a breakdown of the facts on this species in order to clear up any misinformation or anxiety in the general public. In North America, the Asian Giant Hornet has only been spotted in a small area in Washington state and British Columbia. There have been no AGH found anywhere else in the continent, east coast included.

New York has some common look-alikes, including the European Horney which is half an inch to an inch and a half in length, while the AGH is one to two inches in length.

The Asian Giant Hornet also does not attack humans unless you attempt to handle them, you are within 10 or so feet of their nest, or you are approaching a beehive that they are currently attacking. Their sting is more painful then the usual hornet due to their enormous size, but human deaths caused by AGH strings are extremely rare – about 12 per year worldwide. To put it in perspective, there are about 60 deaths a year in the U.S. alone from bee and hornet stings. However, the AGH will attack and destroy honeybee hives.

To find more information on these hornets, visit the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets website. If you think you have found an Asian Giant Hornet, review the ID materials on the AGM website, or email photos and location information to [email protected].


Friday, July 17, 2020

Outdoor Conditions (7/17): Prospect Mountain trail closed

Recent Notices

Included here are notices reported in the past week. 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.

Lake George Wild Forest: Prospect Mountain Trail is now closed due to construction on the summit. The summit area, above the parking lot, has been closed to the public and signs at the trail informed hikers the summit area was not open. However, many hikers entered the construction zone, so DEC has closed the trail. The summit of the mountain and the trail will remain closed until late August while 500 feet of mortared stone border wall that is crumbling along summit lookout areas is removed and replaced with individual cut stone blocks. Due to the grades, the moving of the stone blocks is difficult and dangerous, especially with heavy equipment. The road and the path from the parking lot are blocked.

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Thursday, July 16, 2020

DEC acquires 662 acres in St. Lawrence, Oneida and Lewis counties

cranberry lakeNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the acquisition of several parcels totaling 662 acres in St. Lawrence, Oneida, and Lewis counties to enhance public access to a variety of recreational opportunities, including hiking, fishing, snowmobiling, and hunting, as well as to protect critical wetlands and forests in the region.

The acquisition was made possible through cumulative investments of $666,800 from the state Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

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