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.


Saturday, April 20, 2024

New Yorkers Asked To Keep ‘Lights Out’ to Protect Migrating Birds

Gray catbird

On April 11, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Office of General Services (OGS) reminded New Yorkers to take action to protect migrating birds as they navigate night skies by participating in the ‘Lights Out’ initiative. Joining national and international efforts, State buildings participating in Lights Out will keep non-essential outdoor lighting from affecting the ability of birds to migrate successfully throughout New York.

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Friday, April 19, 2024

Parking reservations required May 1 to Oct. 31 for Route 73 corridor trails

Gates to the Adirondack Mountain Reserve.

On April 16, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR) announced the parking reservation system to promote safe access to trails in the Route 73 corridor will resume May 1, following a successful season in 2023. Since the launch of the parking reservation system in 2021, more than 52,500 users have registered at AMR’s website to make parking reservations.

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Friday, April 19, 2024

Outdoor Conditions (4/19): Recreationists can help limit spread of invasive species

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

NEW THIS WEEK

  • Snow Report (4/17): The following report describes conditions as of Wednesday, 4/17. Changing weather may affect conditions. There is less than 10cm (4in) of snow at the Lake Colden Stake. Conditions are wildly variable ranging from mud, ice, and multiple feet of rotten snow in the area around the lake. Avi Pass can be accessed without snowshoes. Snow levels vary at higher elevations and snowshoes are required where snow depths exceed 8 inches. Like last week, there will be a possibly dangerous increase in stream levels with the rainfall/snow melt combo.

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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Volunteer firefighters receive wildland fire training at Paul Smith’s College VIC

forest ranger reports graphicTown of Brighton
Franklin County
Training: On April 13 and 14, Forest Ranger Lieutenant Dicintio and Rangers O’Connor and Praczkajlo taught wildland fire courses to 17 volunteer firefighters at the Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center. The volunteer firefighters often work side-by-side with Forest Rangers during wildland fires.

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.

Wildland fire course

Wildland fire course. NYS DEC photo.


Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Dedication ceremony held for fallen ECO Stephen Lawrence Raymond in Warren County

ECOs and family attend a dedication ceremony

Remembering ECO Raymond – Warren County
On March 14, family, friends, and colleagues remembered ECO Stephen Lawrence Raymond with the dedication of a shadow box displayed in the lobby of the DEC sub-office in Warrensburg.

ECO Raymond passed away on April 17, 2017, from illnesses related to his assignment at the World Trade Center following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Raymond became an ECO in 1981 and served 26 years prior to retiring in 2007. ECO Raymond, from Thurman, was the first Environmental Conservation Police Officer in New York to be diagnosed with illnesses related to his work at the World Trade Center site.

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Friday, April 12, 2024

Outdoor Conditions (4/12): Heavy rainfall, warm temps may cause flooding, use caution at stream crossings

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

NEW THIS WEEK

  • Potential for Flooding: Heavy rainfall and warm temperatures are forecast for the second half of the week. Rain combined with snowmelt will result in challenging and possibly dangerous stream crossings.
  • Snow Report (4/10): The following report describes conditions as of Wednesday, 4/10. Changing weather may affect conditions. There is 45cm (18in) of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin. Snow levels vary at higher elevations and snowshoes are required where snow depths exceed 8 inches.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Rangers called to only one rescue on April 8; injured Mount Saint Regis hiker air lifted

forest ranger reports graphicTown of Cambridge
Washington County
Wildland Fire: On April 1 at 3:30 p.m., Washington County 911 requested Forest Ranger assistance with a wildland fire on Kenyon Road. The agricultural brush burn escaped containment and spread to an adjacent structure. The Easton Fire Department was already scene when Rangers Carabetta and St. Claire arrived and helped get the one-acre fire under control. The subject who started the fire was issued a ticket for leaving a fire unattended.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Outdoor Conditions (4/3): Heavy snow, strong winds to impact much of ADKs, April 3-5

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

NEW THIS WEEK

  • Winter Storm Warning 4/3-4/5: Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 6 to 15 inches, locally 18 to 24 inches. Winds gusting as high as 50 mph prior to heavy snow Wednesday evening. It is strongly recommended to refrain from entering the backcountry throughout the duration of the storm and stay at low elevations to view the eclipse. Please see “Conditions” in “Know Before You Go” below for more details.
  • Snow Report (4/3): The following report describes conditions as of Wednesday, 4/3. Changing weather may affect conditions. There is 34cm (13in) of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin. Snow levels vary at higher elevations and snowshoes are required where snow depths exceed 8 inches. The conditions are muddy, and drainages are open.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Two fisherman fall through ice in Indian Lake

Ice Rescue Indian Lake – Hamilton County
On March 13, ECO Pierce observed a portable ice shanty near a marina on Indian Lake in Hamilton County. Officer Pierce walked down to the shoreline and noticed open water and melting ice in the distance due to the 55-degree temperatures in the area. The ECO called out to the shanty after confirming the poor ice quality and two subjects exited. ECO Pierce advised the pair there was no safe way for them to make it back to shore.

The anglers, confident they could simply retrace the route they took earlier in the day (when it was 20 degrees), attempted to demonstrate a way back to shore when one of them fell through. The fallen angler’s partner pulled him back up to more stable ice, uninjured, and ECO Pierce advised both subjects to return to the shanty for warmth and to gather their gear while he contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch requesting assistance from Forest Rangers and Indian Lake Fire and EMS.

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Sunday, March 31, 2024

Spring Trout Fishing Season Begins April 1

Trout Power volunteer holds a brook trout.

On March 22, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos reminded New Yorkers of the April 1 start of the trout fishing season, a spring tradition bolstered by DEC’s extensive stocking program and New York’s world-renowned wild trout fisheries. DEC’s spring trout stocking, which began in March and runs through early June, will include more than 1.9 million trout being stocked in waters statewide, enhancing the diversity of excellent fishing opportunities available to anglers in New York State.

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Friday, March 29, 2024

Outdoor Conditions (3/29): Region 5 DEC Campgrounds Remain Closed for Camping

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

NEW THIS WEEK

  • Snow Report (3/27): The following report describes conditions as of Wednesday, 3/27. Changing weather may affect conditions. There is 55cm (22in) of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin. Snow levels vary at higher elevations. The lakes are still in as of Tuesday the 26. Snowshoes are required at Avalanche Camps, and wherever else snow depths exceed 8 inches.
  • Campgrounds Remain Closed for Camping: Region 5 DEC Campgrounds are currently closed for all camping and overnight use. This means there are no restrooms, potable water, or other facilities at this time, including on April 8. Additionally, there is tree cutting and other hazardous work going on at many of the campgrounds, so Fish Creek and others are likely to be gated for the safety of the public.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Boot prints lead 15 rangers to lost Mt. Marcy hiker whose clothes froze to his body

forest ranger reports graphicTown of North Elba
Essex County 
Wilderness Rescue: On March 22 at 9:45 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a woman reporting her 33-year-old son from New York City was overdue from hiking Mount Marcy and Gray and Skylight mountains. At 10:28 p.m., Forest Ranger Mecus located the subject’s vehicle at Adirondak Loj. Rangers Adams and Duchene attempted to retrace the subject’s itinerary, going up and over Mount Marcy and down to Four Corners. At 4:25 a.m., Ranger Mecus completed searching the trail and campsites to Lake Colden Outpost, before heading up to climb to Four Corners with Colden Caretaker Raudonis.

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Friday, March 22, 2024

Outdoor Conditions (3/22): Hikers should prepare for variable weather, seek low elevation trails

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

NEW THIS WEEK

  • Snow Report (3/20): The following report describes conditions as of Wednesday, 3/20. Changing weather may affect conditions. There is 62cm (24in) of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin, with more snow coming down. Snowshoes are required to hike peaks, at Lake Colden and to get to Avalanche Lake, and wherever else snow depths exceed 8 inches. The pass ski trail still has a decent base, although drainages are likely open.
  • Road Closures at Multiple Conservation Easement Tracts: Mud season has arrived and mud locks throughout Kushaqua, Santa Clara, and Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Tracts are on. In instances where an open gate is encountered, that does not indicate that the road is open to public motorized use. To protect the integrity of the road system, all roads are closed to motorized use for mud season regardless of gate status.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Injured Catamount Mt. hiker air rescued; $3,800 hunting tent stolen

forest ranger reports graphicTown of Arietta
Hamilton County
Law Enforcement: On Nov. 8, at 1 p.m., Forest Ranger Caswell received a call from a hunter who reported his hunting wall tent had been stolen on Powley Road site 13 in Arietta. Ranger Caswell went to the campsite and interviewed the subject who first discovered the tent was missing. The tent’s owner posted a picture on social media, hoping the $3,800 tent would be returned. On Nov. 13, Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) received a call from someone who advised they possessed the tent in question.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Reminder: Statewide burn ban in effect through May 14

A pile of burning brush

On March 14, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos reminded New Yorkers of the start of the annual statewide ban prohibiting residential brush burning. Since 2009, DEC enforces the annual brush burning ban from March 16 through May 14 to prevent wildfires and protect communities during heightened conditions for wildfires.

“Last month, DEC encouraged everyone to be extra vigilant when burning brush because of the risk for wildfires caused by early dry conditions, but starting this Saturday, March 16, it will be illegal to burn brush for the next two months,” Commissioner Seggos said. “Due to the drier and warmer winter, New York State is at a greater risk for wildfires this spring. This ban is essential to protecting communities and natural resources, as well as the Rangers and other firefighters called to extinguish the wildfires.”

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