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.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

DEC: Hunting for Sustainable Fall Meals

Fall is here and that means hunting and trapping seasons are opening for deerturkey, and other game. Whether you are in the field or your kitchen, here are some tips to hunt, cook, and eat in a sustainable way:

  • Learn a variety of recipes to make the most of your game harvests. From jerky to meatballs to crockpot stews options abound.
  • Make compostable items part of your menu, this includes vegetables like carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, and more. They will provide a nice compliment to your meal and result in little or no waste.
  • Learn about venison donation programs in your area. If you have too much meat, there are ways to share with those in need so they too can have a healthy meal. » Continue Reading.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (10/15): Main Haul Road to be closed this winter due to logging, East Side Trail to serve as alternative trail

outdoor conditions logoThe following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information


Watson’s East Triangle (Croghan and Oswegatchie Conservation Easement Tracts):

  • The northern portion of the Main Haul Road (Croghan Tract) will be closed to snowmobiles this winter due to logging. The East Side Trail will serve as an alternative trail – please follow directional signage.
  • The Steam Sleigh Snowmobile Trail will not be groomed this year (Watson’s East Triangle Wild Forest). The Casey Rumble Trail (Oswegatchie Conservation Easement) will be groomed to serve as an alternative.

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Rangers assist lost hikers near Dippikill Pond, stranded subject who fell into Austin Falls

forest ranger reportTown of Benson
Hamilton County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 28 at 6 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance with two hikers who became separated from each other on the Northville Placid Trail. Rangers Miller, Nally, and Thompson responded to the area and started checking trail registers before searching three different sections of the first 18 miles of the trail.

Ranger Thompson located the 35-year-old from Arizona asleep at the primitive campsite where the hikers originally planned to meet. The hikers unknowingly passed each other at one point. Rangers ensured the hikers met up the following day.

» Continue Reading.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Fall bird migration is underway

birdingFall migration is an exciting time for birding. With migrants on the move your favorite birding site can change within a few days, with different species traveling in and out. Every spring and fall, thousands of raptors migrate, and birders may see or hear eagles, kestrels, Sharp-shinned Hawks, Ospreys, Broad-winged Hawks, and Peregrine Falcons among others. The NYS Birding Trail highlights several hawk watches including Bear Mountain Hawk Watch at Bear Mountain State Park, Hook Mountain Hawk Watch, and Mount Peter Hawkwatch Trailway, all within the Hudson Valley segment of the trail.

It’s also important for everyone to turn off the lights for birds at night. DEC launched the ‘Lights Out’ initiative aimed at keeping non-essential outdoor lighting from affecting the ability of birds to migrate successfully. Many species of shorebirds and songbirds rely on constellations to help them navigate to and from their summer breeding grounds through the State. Excessive outdoor lighting, especially in adverse weather conditions, can cause these migrating birds to become disoriented, a phenomenon known as fatal light attraction.

While you observe all the birds migrating this fall, finish your 2022 I Bird NY Challenge offered for beginners in English (PDF) and Spanish (PDF), as well as experienced in both English (PDF) and Spanish (PDF).

Don’t forget to sign up for our Words of a Feather newsletter, a monthly e-newsletter for birding news, updates on the NYS Birding Trail, and upcoming birding events near you.

Friday, October 7, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (10/7): Advance parking reservations required through Oct. 31 at Adirondack Mountain Reserve

outdoor conditions logo

The following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information


Reminder – Parking Reservations Required at Adirondack Mountain Reserve: Advance parking reservations are required through October 31 for single-day and overnight access to the parking lot, trailheads, and trails located on the privately owned, 7,000-acre AMR property in the town of Keene in the High Peaks region. To reserve a spot, visit AMR’s website. Walk-ins are not permitted and day-of reservations are not available. Visitors without a reservation should seek alternate hikes. Hiker shuttles do not drop off at AMR.

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Search ongoing for man who fell into Ausable River; plus two Cascade incidents and another Allen rescue

forest ranger reportTown of Newcomb
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
On Sept. 27 at 8 p.m., two hikers called 911 requesting a helicopter ride down from Allen Mountain. Forest Rangers Martin and Quinn, and Assistant Forest Ranger (AFR) Jackson advised that Rangers would hike up to help the pair. The 19- and 35-year-old hikers did not have headlamps, a map, a compass, or adequate food and water.

Rangers reached the hikers from Utica at 10:40 p.m., and found the pair hypothermic and dehydrated. It was raining with temperatures in the 40s. Rangers provided warm clothing and food, and helped the hikers down to the trailhead. Resources were clear at 12:45 a.m.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

DEC Recreation Highlight: Sharing Trails with Hunters & Trappers


Hunting and trapping seasons are beginning to open throughout New York State. These activities are enjoyed by many as forms of recreation and a means of providing for their families. These activities can also benefit forest ecosystems by helping maintain healthy animal populations while reducing nuisance wildlife issues and, in some cases, decreasing the transmission of wildlife diseases. Whether you are a hunter, trapper, or just enjoy getting outdoors in the fall, learning how to share public lands with other users will help keep you and fellow visitors safe.

» Continue Reading.

Sunday, October 2, 2022

DEC Announces Start of Several Hunting Seasons Across New York State

On Tuesday, September 27, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the beginning of several hunting seasons in New York, including bowhunting for bear and deer in the Northern and Southern zones and the start of small game hunting seasons statewide.

“This is an exciting time of year for hunters who now have an opportunity to head afield and experience the tremendous hunting opportunities here in New York for both big and small game,” Commissioner Seggos said. “In addition, the late summer weather, fall foliage, and extended hunting hours combine to create outstanding conditions for new and experienced hunters who enjoy the sport.”

» Continue Reading.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

DEC Finds New Exotic Pest Affecting Elm Trees in St. Lawrence County

On September 26, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that the elm zigzag sawfly (Aproceros leucopoda) was detected for the first time in New York State at three locations in St. Lawrence County, including Wilson Hill Wildlife Management Area, Brasher State Forest, and Lost Nation State Forest. This exotic pest feeds exclusively on elm trees and can cause severe defoliation, branch dieback, and crown thinning. Although the sawfly has not yet been shown to cause tree mortality, repeated defoliation by established sawfly populations would put added stress on native elm trees already heavily impacted by Dutch elm disease.

» Continue Reading.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (9/30): Timber harvesting finished at Flatrock Mountain Conservation Easement, entire property reopened for public recreation

outdoor conditions logoThe following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information


Bog River Complex: The Student Conservation Association (SCA) recently completed several improvements to primitive campsites located on Tupper Lake, part of Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest. Improvements to 11 campsites included new campsite numbers on the shoreline, replacement of privies, rebuilt fire rings, and staining of two lean-to’s.

Independence River Wild Forest: Water will be shut off at the Otter Creek Assembly Area the week after Columbus Day weekend.

Black River Wild Forest: Timber harvesting has been completed on the Flatrock Mountain Conservation Easement. The entire property has been re-opened for public recreation.
Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Tract – Barnes Pond Public Use Area: The gate has been opened for hunting season. Use of high clearance vehicles is recommended.

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Lost hikers stuck in swamp conditions in Oneida County; unprepared Allen Mountain hikers

forest ranger report

Town of Lake Pleasant
Hamilton County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 23 at 11:15 a.m., Forest Ranger Lieutenant Kerr and Rangers Temple and Thompson responded to an emergency beacon activation in the West Canada Lake Wilderness area. When Ranger Temple reached the Moose River Plains trailhead, a hiker came out of the woods and reported that a hiker in their group had hurt her knee and was slowly making her way back to the trailhead.

The friend was retrieving the injured hiker’s backpack to make the trip easier. Ranger Temple hiked in, found the injured hiker, and determined the 62-year-old from Staten Island had a swollen, but stable, knee. Ranger Temple bandaged the knee for compression purposes and helped the hiker to the trailhead by 2:30 p.m. The subject said she would seek medical treatment on her own.


» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

DEC: New fall foliage shuttle begins this weekend, October 1 & 2

fall foliage courtesy roostOctober Shuttle Promotes Public Safety by Providing Free, Convenient Access from North Hudson to Popular Adirondack High Peaks Trailheads

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reminds visitors to the Adirondacks of the new fall foliage shuttle program starting in October from Frontier Town Gateway in North Hudson to popular trailheads in the High Peaks region. To accommodate visitors seeking fall foliage hikes and views, no-cost shuttles will run the first two weekends in October from the Frontier Town Gateway to the Giant Mountain, Roaring Brook Falls, and Rooster Comb trailheads, as well as the Marcy Field Parking Area.

First announced in July, the new program is a partnership between DEC, Essex County, the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST), the towns of Keene and North Hudson, and the private owner of Frontier Town Gateway. The shuttle offers hikers the opportunity to experience fall foliage from its best vantage point – on the trail – without the hassle of driving to and parking at busy trailheads.

» Continue Reading.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Lake Placid joins state’s 100+ Climate Smart Communities

Village of Lake Placid plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Locally-Driven Actions Continue to Support Nation-Leading Directives in New York’s Climate Act

The newest New York State communities to achieve certification in the Climate Smart Communities Certification (CSC) program were announced earlier this week at a Climate Week event in White Plains.

By taking meaningful actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change, eleven local governments successfully met the criteria to be recognized as leaders and become certified in the 2022 third-quarter round of the CSC Certification program. Congratulations to New York’s newest certified Climate Smart Communities:

» Continue Reading.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (9/23): No overnight camping permitted at trailheads, roadside locations lacking camping disc designations

outdoor conditions logoThe following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information

New This Week

Upcoming Road Closure: As you plan upcoming trips, please note that State Route 86 in Ray Brook in the Town of North Elba, Essex County, will be closed just west of the intersection of McKenzie Pond Road (County Route 33) through Friday, Sept. 23, to facilitate the replacement of a large culvert over the Little Ray Brook. During the closure, a detour will be posted for motorists to use McKenzie Pond Route (County Route 33), which becomes Pine Street and River Road in the Village of Saranac Lake, and Route 86.

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Rangers locate body of missing subject in Duane, assist with possible spine injury on Otter Creek horse trails

forest ranger reportTown of Watson
Lewis County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 14 at 1 p.m., Forest Rangers responded to the Otter Creek horse trails in the Independence Wild Forest after receiving reports of a subject who was thrown from her horse, suffering a possible spine injury.

Martinsburg Fire Department arrived on scene and secured the 32-year-old from Clarence Center to a back board.

Ranger Evans arrived with a six-wheeler and customized litter carrier to transport the patient to a waiting Lewis County Search and Rescue ambulance. Resources were clear by 1:45 p.m.

» Continue Reading.

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