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.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Forest Ranger-led crew find body of missing 33-year-old on Jan. 8 in Saratoga County

forest ranger report

Recent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Johnsburg
Warren County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Jan. 5 at 6:25 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Warren County requesting Forest Ranger assistance to locate a 30-year-old stranded off trail on Crane Mountain. Forest Ranger Perryman responded to the coordinates provided and reached the hiker within the hour. The hiker was in good condition, but had lost the trail with only a phone for light. Ranger Perryman provided the hiker with a headlamp and assisted her back to the trailhead. Resources were clear at 7:42 p.m.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

DEC Launches 2nd Year of Lake Champlain Ice Fishing Creel Surveys

ice fishingIce fishing creel surveys will be conducted for a second year on the New York waters of Lake Champlain starting January through March, 2022.

This ice fishing survey is part of a larger, two-year effort to survey both ice and open water anglers. Data gathered during these surveys will serve as a baseline to help DEC Fisheries biologists better understand angler use and expectations, while also informing management actions on Lake Champlain.

The 2022 ice fishing survey will take place at four access points: Plattsburgh Boat Launch on Cumberland Bay; Willsboro Bay Boat Launch; Bulwagga Bay Campground; and South Bay Boat Launch. Anglers coming off the ice will be asked to participate by providing information about their day of fishing and allowing DEC creel clerks the opportunity to collect biological data on their catch. Collected data will include target species, number caught, and size. Voluntary participation in the survey gives anglers the opportunity to contribute to future Lake Champlain management decisions.

Participation in the program is voluntary but encouraged, as the data collected will help DEC develop Lake Champlain management practices that benefit anglers and the fishery. As an incentive to participate, anglers will be entered into a drawing for several ice fishing gear prizes, including a jet sled, jigging rod, rechargeable aerator, and an insulated bait bucket.

A copy of the Lake Champlain Ice Fishing Creel Survey plan can be found on DEC’s website. A report summary of the 2021 survey results will be made available in January 2022. The 2022 survey results will be made available later in 2022.

Anglers are reminded to always follow best practices for ice safety.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Find and Report Invasive Tree of Heaven

tree of heaven

Have you seen tree of heaven plants in your neighborhood? This fast-growing invasive tree is easy to identify and found all over NY, particularly in urban areas. Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) is the preferred host plant of the spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect being found in more and more parts of NY that could have severe impacts on our state’s agriculture and forests. Finding and reporting tree of heaven to NY iMapInvasives can help supplement state efforts to prevent negative impacts from these two species.

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Friday, January 7, 2022

Outdoor conditions (1/7): Gulf Brook Rd bridge work complete

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.

Boreas Ponds Tract: Work on three bridges along Gulf Brook Road is complete. Due to weather conditions, the road is closed for the winter season to motor vehicles but skiing and snowshoeing is allowed. The road will be open to public motor vehicles as far as the Fly Pond Parking Area after the spring mud season, generally in late May.

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Thursday, January 6, 2022

Virtual hike challenge helps look out for invasive insect

Hemlock with HWA egg masses_Connecticut Agricultural Experiment StationCalling all hikers, xc skiiers, and snowshoers in the Saint Lawrence/Eastern Lake Ontario (SLELO) Region! Our friends at SLELO PRISM invite you to take a hike to protect the region’s hemlocks (and win cool prizes) this winter through their Virtual Hike Challenge. The challenge is running now through March 1st, and you can participate any time you get outside. All you need to do is take a hike, check a hemlock for signs of invasive hemlock woolly adelgid, and take a photo. Share a photo of your experience on Facebook with the hashtag #VirtualHikeChallenge for a chance to win prizes!

You can find more information about the challenge, including featured trails, on the SLELO PRISM website. Brush up on hemlock ID, and take a quiz to test your knowledge on the New York State Hemlock Initiative website. Happy trails!

Photo: White woolly egg masses of invasive HWA on a hemlock branch

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Drunk teens at Marcy Dam call for rangers on New Year’s Eve

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Forestport
Oneida County
Wilderness Search:
 On Dec. 27 at 2:41 p.m., Forest Ranger McCartney overheard a radio call for a search for a 14-year-old who had run away from her parents and into the woods. Rangers McCartney and Bills responded to help the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department. At 3:57 p.m., Ranger McCartney found the subject and walked her out of the woods to a waiting ambulance for further medical assistance. New York State Park Police and New York State Police (NYSP) assisted in this response.

» Continue Reading.

Monday, January 3, 2022

DEC Announces 2022 Exam Dates for Licensed Guides Program

paul smiths

Exams to be Held Online
The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that examinations are scheduled for individuals seeking to become licensed guides in New York State. The exams being offered are for guiding in the following categories: camping; fishing; hiking; hunting; whitewater; rock climbing; ice climbing; and certified skilled with boats and canoes.

A guide is a person at least 18 years of age who offers services for hire, part or all of which include directing, instructing, or aiding another individual in fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, whitewater rafting/canoeing/kayaking, or rock and ice climbing.

DEC’s Special Licenses Unit administers licensing of outdoor guides. Applicants need not be a resident of New York State to receive a guide’s license.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

DEC and Partners Host Annual First Day Hikes


Kick off the New Year with one of Region 5’s six First Day Hikes, taking place on Jan. 1. Start your year by connecting with nature and enjoying safe, responsible winter recreation in the Adirondacks. The walks and hikes are family-friendly and range from 1.5 to 5 miles round trip.

Come prepared with warm layered clothing, water, snacks, sunglasses, hats, gloves, and insulated, waterproof footwear. Depending on conditions, snowshoes and other traction devices may also be necessary. Contact the trip leader or host for more information on required gear.

Advance registration is required for some hikes. Region 5 include:

  • Guided Hike Up Prospect Mountain with DEC
  • Guided Hike on Heron Marsh Trail at Paul Smith’s Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC)
  • Self-Guided Hike Up Cheney Mountain
  • Self-Guided Hike on Little Ausable Trail
  • Guided Hike Up Goodnow Mountain with SUNY ESF
  • Guided Hike up Thomas Mountain with Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club

For more information and to register, visit DEC’s First Day Hikes webpage. Hikes may be canceled if snowfall or other weather events create hazardous travel or outdoor recreation conditions. Registered participants will be notified if a hike is canceled.

For a complete list of First Day Hikes statewide, view the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation press release.

Photo: View from Goodnow Mountain. Almanack file photo

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Hiker on Hurricane gets caught in the dark

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Dec. 14 at 4:45 p.m., Essex County 911 received a call from a hiker requesting assistance on the Hurricane Trail in Keene. The 40-year-old from Broadalbin became turned around on the trail and was concerned about the impending darkness. The hiker didn’t have a light source or enough charge on his cell phone for a light, was not appropriately dressed in layers for the weather, and did not have micro spikes, a map, or a compass. At 6:39 p.m., Forest Ranger Curcio located the hiker approximately one mile and a half up the trail, and walked him to his vehicle.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Outdoor conditions (12/17): Stillwater fire tower reopens Dec. 20

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.

Big Moose Conservation Easement (Independence River Wild Forest): The Stillwater Mountain trail and fire tower will reopen for public use on December 20.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

75th Anniversary of DEC Summer Camps Program

Campground Ambassadors

DEC Announces Summer Environmental Education Camp Registration Opens March 6, 2022

Online registration for DEC’s 2022 Summer Camps program will open Sunday, March 6, 2022, at 1 p.m. To celebrate 75 years, DEC’s Summer Camps program will host a series of events and share mementos, including retro logos incorporated into camper shirts, special recognition certificates, and a camp celebration each Saturday during the season. Past campers, families, sponsors, and staff will also have an opportunity to take a literal stroll down memory lane at their favorite camps.

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Sunday, December 12, 2021

Reduce Waste this Holiday Season

holiday lightsThis year, lighten your holiday celebrations by reducing waste and recycling right!
Here are some holiday waste reduction tips:

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Friday, December 10, 2021

Outdoor conditions (12/10): Coreys Road gate will stay open

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.

William C. Whitney Wilderness: The Lake Lila Road has been closed for the winter.

Lake George Wild Forest: Palmer Pond access road is closed starting at the snowplow turnaround due to a failing culvert. Winter parking is allowed before the snowplow turnaround on the right side of the road facing downhill (east side). Please do not park in the snowplow turnaround or block driveways.

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Siamese Pond Trail Improvement Society Repairs Path to Thirteenth Lake

13th lake workThe Siamese Pond Trail Improvement Society and community volunteers repaired the accessible trail and picnic area at Thirteenth Lake in the Siamese Ponds Wilderness this fall. The trail was severely eroded during the 2019 Halloween storm. DEC purchased the necessary materials while volunteers supplied wheelbarrows, rakes, and a bucket loader.

The .1-mile hardened path from the Thirteenth Lake trailhead to the shore of Thirteenth Lake provides access to an accessible hand launch and four accessible tent sites.

DEC thanks the Siamese Pond Trail Improvement Society for their continued commitment to trail work and community improvement and the local volunteers who helped complete this project.

DEC photo

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Rangers aid injured hiker on Hadley Mt trail

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Hadley
Saratoga County
Wilderness Search:
 On Dec. 4 at 1:30 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call requesting Forest Ranger assistance for a 36-year-old from Glenmont in medical distress approximately one-half mile into the Hadley Mountain Fire Tower trail. Forest Rangers Kabrehl and Perryman responded and located the subject, who had suffered a head injury. Rangers helped the subject out of the woods and met an ambulance at the trailhead. The hiker declined further medical care and resources were clear by 4:30 p.m.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hike Smart NYAdirondack Backcountry Information and Catskill Backcountry Information webpages for more information.

If a person needs a Forest Ranger, whether it’s for a search and rescue, to report a wildfire, or to report illegal activity on state lands and easements, they should call 833-NYS-RANGERS. If a person needs urgent assistance, they can call 911. To contact a Forest Ranger for information about a specific location, the DEC website has phone numbers for every Ranger listed by region.

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