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.


Saturday, March 13, 2021

Eagle Banded 26 Years Ago Spotted In Lewis County

eaglesThis is an outstanding opportunity to see three American bald eagles devouring their lunch, but even more fantastic of an opportunity to be able to learn there’s more to the story.

Bill Straite of Oneida County sent us this photo a while ago. No doubt, it’s a great one! DEC wildlife biologists noticed right away the center eagle was banded, and contacted the federal bird banding laboratory to learn more about it.

The eagle was banded in June 1995 – 26 years ago – in Parishville, NY, St. Lawrence County.

Photo courtesy of Bill Straite.


Friday, March 12, 2021

Recreation Highlight: Becoming an Outdoorswoman Program

BOWThis Women’s History Month, we are celebrating women past and present who are advancing the work of DEC. If you are interested in growing your legacy in the outdoors, consider DEC’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) and Beyond BOW programs.

These programs teach participants the outdoor skills they need to become comfortable, confident, influential members of the outdoor community. DEC experts provide information, encouragement, and hands-on instruction in outdoor skills such as fishing, shooting, archery, hunting, trapping, outdoor photography, map and compass, survival, camping, canoeing, and outdoor cooking.

BOW workshops are designed primarily for women who have little or no experience with outdoor activities but are open to anyone ages 18 and over. Past participants have ranged in age from late teens to mid-80s!

View the photo gallery from past BOW workshops on DEC’s Flickr page.


Friday, March 12, 2021

Outdoor conditions (3/12): Be prepared for icy trails

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.

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Colden Caretaker Report 03/11/21: Approximately 3 feet of snow has accumulated at the Colden Caretaker cabin and 5 or more feet of snow remains on summits. Snowshoes are needed on all trails, starting at parking lots. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen. Ski trails are skiable.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Lake Champlain ice rescue

forest ranger reportsTown of Plattsburgh
Clinton County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Mar. 1 at 3 p.m., Forest Ranger assistance was requested by DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) LaCroix and the Cumberland Head Fire Department for two anglers stranded on a floating ice sheet on Lake Champlain. Fire department personnel accessed the men from Plattsburgh with an inflatable rescue craft and brought one of the subjects safely to shore. When Forest Rangers arrived on the scene, two fire department personnel and the second angler and his gear were still on the ice sheet. ECOs and Rangers launched the airboat and Ranger Bronson was able to retrieve all parties and gear from the ice and bring them back to shore.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, March 5, 2021

Recreation Highlight: Snowmobiling in the Adirondacks

Snowmobiling is a fun and adrenaline-filled way to experience the Adirondacks during the winter. Some trails even allow riders to experience the wilderness of Adirondack Forest Preserve lands.

Snowmobiling on Forest Preserve lands gives riders the opportunity to enjoy a wild forest character while navigating a system of seasonal motor vehicle roads and designated trails. These trails typically wind through hilly or mountainous terrain within a natural setting, connecting small communities and area attractions. These trails generally are narrower than trails on private lands. Snowmobiling is not permitted on all Forest Preserve lands, so be sure to stick to designated snowmobile trails.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, March 5, 2021

Outdoor conditions (3/5): winter weather continues

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.

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Colden Caretaker Report 03/04/21: Approximately 2 feet 9 inches of snow has accumulated at the Colden Caretaker cabin and 5 or more feet of snow remains on summits. Snowshoes are needed on all trails, starting at parking lots. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen. The trail from Marcy Dam to Lake Colden is skiable.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 4, 2021

ECOs nab fishermen’s illegal catch

Recent DEC Environmental Conservation Officer actions:

lake troutSomething Fishy – Essex County
On Feb. 18, ECO LaPoint received a report of ice fishermen on Schroon Lake, Essex County, who were catching lake trout shorter than the legal length of 18 inches. ECO LaPoint contacted Acting Lieutenant Nicols, who located the suspects’ vehicle with information provided by the complainant. From the shore, the two Officers observed the ice anglers until the fishermen returned to their vehicle. When asked to see the fish caught, one angler pulled out the legally caught fish while trying to hide the undersized fish. ECOs discovered nine undersized lake trout, the largest measuring 17 inches. One of the men was also fishing without a license. ECO LaPoint issued both subjects tickets for undersized and over-the-limit lake trout and one for fishing without a license. After advising the men of the limit of two lake trout per angler and the legal minimum length of 18 inches, the ECOs allowed the licensed fisherman to keep his legal-length catch and the undersized trout were donated to DEC Bureau of Wildlife staff to use as bait for a fisher and pine marten live trapping study.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Bears already?

black bearIt’s not too early for New York homeowners to think about bear-proofing their properties. While most of our bears are still in their dens, some may be out searching for food. These bears will seek easy meals from bird feeders or unsecured garbage.

In most years, we see bears leaving their dens beginning around mid-March. Folks who feed birds in bear country should begin emptying feeders and cleaning up dropped seed before then, or anytime you observe bear signs. It’s also a good time to make sure garbage cans are secured and stored in a sturdy building.

Photo of black bear by Pete Patrick.


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Snowmobiler dies following Lake George crash through the ice

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Lake George
Warren County
Ice Rescue:
 On Feb. 25 at 4 p.m., Forest Ranger Donegan was notified of a snowmobile accident on Lake George with the snowmobiler still in the water. Ranger Donegan responded to the scene adjacent to a local marina while Forest Rangers Kabrehl, Perryman, and Lt. Kallen responded to a launch site with Airboat 54. Ranger Donegan donned a cold-water rescue suit, went into the water to look for the man, but could not immediately find him. A diver with the North Queensbury Fire Department then located the 35-year-old man from the Bronx, and together with Ranger Donegan and members of the Bay Ridge and Lake George fire departments, removed him from the water. Ranger Donegan and a Sheriff’s Deputy immediately began life-saving measures. The individual was turned over to the local EMS and transported to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Rangers stayed on scene with the airboat to assist the Warren County Sheriff’s Office with the investigation.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, February 26, 2021

Recreation Highlight: Prepare for Variable Weather


fifth lake skiingThe Adirondacks are set to see the warmest temperatures of 2021 so far this weekend. With temperatures creeping into the lower 40s at base elevations and rain expected in some areas, conditions for hikers, backcountry skiers, and other winter recreationists will change significantly.

Variable weather such as is forecast for this weekend can create dynamic conditions for outdoor recreation. Warm days and below freezing temperatures at night create a freeze/thaw cycle that can lead to increased instability in the snowpack and may increase the risk of avalanches.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, February 26, 2021

Outdoor Conditions (2/26): ADK info center now reopen


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.

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Colden Caretaker Report 02/24/21: Approximately 2 feet 9 inches of snow has accumulated at the Colden Caretaker cabin and 5 or more feet of snow remains on summits. Snowshoes are needed on all trails, starting at parking lots. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen. The trail from Marcy Dam to Lake Colden is skiable.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 25, 2021

Now Hiring Boat Stewards for 2021 Season


boat stewardsNew York State’s Watercraft Inspection Steward Programs are now recruiting boat stewards for the 2021 season. If you like working outdoors, interacting with the public, and want to help protect New York’s waters from aquatic invasive species, please check out the SLELO PRISM (St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management) website for a list of positions across the state.

Photo: Boat stewards assist the public with checking their watercraft for aquatic invasive species. They also provide education and at some locations, free boat washes. (Photo by Adirondack Watershed Institute, Paul Smith’s College)


Thursday, February 25, 2021

Prevent the spread of invasives: upcoming webinars

Hemlock woolly adelgidUpcoming Learning Opportunities

Each of the following presentations will take place online.

Take Action Against Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Part 2) (Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program) – Wednesday, March 3 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Participants will learn how to adopt a trailhead, carry out self-guided HWA field surveys, and collect environmental data using iMapInvasives, a free, easy-to-use, mobile mapping tool. Register in advance onlinePart 1 of this webinar will occur on 2/25 from 3-4:30 pm.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Search and rescue for overdue snowshoe hikers


forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
On Feb. 16 at 5:37 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch was notified of three overdue snowshoe hikers who left from the Garden parking area to hike Johns Brook Valley and had not returned. The hikers from Albany, NY, and Topeka, KS, did not have lights, overnight gear, or appropriate clothing for anticipated zero-degree temperatures. Forest Ranger Lewis responded to the location and confirmed the subjects’ vehicle was still at the trailhead. When interviewing family members, Ranger Lewis learned that one of the individuals has asthma and did not have her inhaler. Ranger Lewis retrieved the subject’s inhaler before responding to Johns Brook Lodge. Forest Rangers O’Connor and Martin also responded to the location with snowmobiles to extricate the unprepared snowshoers. On Feb. 17 at 1:20 a.m., Rangers and the three hikers were out of the woods and back at the trailhead.

ECOs Conduct Multi-Day Snowmobile Detail – Fulton County
On Feb.12, Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) Manns, Hilliard, Shaw, Toth, and Pasciak began a series of multi-day snowmobile details to ensure riders are complying with state regulations. The Officers started off conducting a snowmobile checkpoint on the trail system in the town of Broadalbin and shifted to trails in the village of Mayfield that evening after receiving complaints from landowners about snowmobilers going off trails and into fields, threatening crops in at least one case. ECOs received assistance from Troopers from the New York State Police’s Mayfield Station. The following day, ECOs Pasciak and Klein conducted a snowmobile patrol and checkpoints in the town of Caroga. The two-day detail resulted in six tickets issued for unregistered snowmobiles and modified exhaust systems, and one warning for attempting to ride on a closed trail section. For more information about snowmobile safety recommendations go to NYS Parks website.


Monday, February 22, 2021

The Iconic Monarch Butterfly 

monarch caterpillarMany are familiar with the monarch butterfly, but did you know these important pollinators are in trouble? Over the past 20 years, the number of monarchs in North America has declined by over 90 percent! Loss of breeding and overwintering habitat, increased pesticide use, and climate change are some of the risks monarchs face. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced that listing the monarch as an endangered or threatened species was “warranted but precluded,” meaning there are other species in greater trouble that need to be listed first.

Every fall, millions of monarchs across the northeast begin a journey to their wintering grounds in Mexico—a migration of up to 3,000 miles! However, don’t expect to see the same butterflies return to your backyard next year. You’re more likely to see their great-grandchildren or great-great-grandchildren. Every year, there are four generations of monarchs. When the fall migrants leave the wintering areas and head north in the spring, they will stop and breed as soon as they reach areas with milkweed—the only plant the monarch caterpillar eats—long before reaching the Northeast. The next two generations will continue to move north as the monarchs settle into their summer range. The fourth generation becomes the new fall migrants, starting the cycle over again. » Continue Reading.



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