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.


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Rangers take part in ice climbing training exercises

ice climbRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Region 5 Ice Training: On Jan. 29, Feb. 1 and 4, Forest Rangers participated in three sessions of steep/vertical ice training in the Adirondacks. The training focused on climbing steep ice, mixed snow/ice, and rock-covered terrain to prepare Rangers for difficult and dangerous rescues on mountain slides and ice-filled gullies where wintertime accidents are frequent.

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.

Ranger Sabo navigates steep ice-covered terrain while being belayed. DEC photo


Friday, February 5, 2021

Outdoor conditions (2/5): Hike with a buddy

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 02/03/21: Approximately 2.5 feet of snow has accumulated at the Colden Caretaker cabin and 3 feet of snow has accumulated on summits. Snowshoes are needed on all trails, starting at parking lots. All ski trails are skiable. Both Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen.
  • Unstable Snowpack: There have been several reports of unstable snowpack on open slopes. Practice safe travel when crossing exposed areas.

Taylor Pond Wild Forest: The Wilmington Trail, Catamount and Taylor Pond snowmobile gates are open with good snow coverage at this time.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Rangers respond to Speculator snowmobile crash

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Village of Speculator (Lake Pleasant)
Hamilton County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Jan. 30 at 2:35 p.m., Forest Ranger Lt. Kallen received a call from Hamilton County 911 reporting a snowmobile accident in the area of Hatchery Brook Road. Coordinates placed the snowmobiler approximately five miles into the trail system from the nearest road. The 41-year-old woman from Wallington, New Jersey, reportedly lost control of the snowmobile and crashed into trees off the side of the trail, dislocating her shoulder. Forest Ranger Lt. Kallen, along with Forest Rangers Thompson and Kerr, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Deputies, Speculator Volunteer Ambulance Corps, and medics from Greater Amsterdam Volunteer Ambulance Corps, responded to assist. Once on scene, medics were able to safely provide first aid to the woman. She was then packaged up and evacuated to a waiting ambulance for transport to a local hospital for further medical treatment. Forest Rangers and Hamilton County Deputies remained on scene to conduct the accident investigation and remove the snowmobile.

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.


Monday, February 1, 2021

School Seedlings program and tree prunings

seedlingsLooking to meet Next Generation Science Standards in creative and engaging ways? Whether you’re a teacher or a club leader, DEC’s School Seedling Program from the Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Saratoga Tree Nursery is here to help! New York schools and youth organizations can apply to receive 30-50 free tree or shrub seedlings to plant with their students, offering young people an up-close opportunity to participate in conservation while learning about trees and their ecosystem functions! Each school or organization may receive one order per year. Apply online by March 31st. If you need assistance, contact the Saratoga Tree Nursery.

Looking for some tree planting inspiration? Arbor Day is just around the corner on 4/30 and a socially distanced planting event is a great way to celebrate the many benefits trees provide us with!

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 30, 2021

Bald Eagle Viewing in Winter

Bald eagleWinter is a great time to view bald eagles in New York State. Viewing from a safe distance and at planned observation sites can offer an exhilarating and memorable experience. Wintering eagles begin arriving in December and concentrations peak in January and February. Most are heading back to their nests by mid-March.

The Hudson River, the Upper Delaware River watershed, and sections of the St. Lawrence River are great places to view bald eagles in the winter. DEC maintains two well-marked viewing areas in the Mongaup Valley on the Rio and Mongaup Falls reservoirs.

The following tips will help you to have the best possible experience:

» Continue Reading.


Friday, January 29, 2021

DEC Recreation Highlight: Seven Things to Do This Winter

Paul Smiths College Visitor Interpretive Center Cross-Country Ski TrailsWhether you’re a snow sport enthusiast or new to winter recreation, there is something for everyone to enjoy outdoors this season. Don’t let the cold and snow keep you indoors until spring. Bundle up, prepare for the weather and conditions, and try one of these fun winter activities:

Seven Things to Do This Winter

  1. Fat Tire Biking
  2. Cross-Country Skiing
  3. Winter Tracking
  4. Winter Hiking
  5. Ice Fishing
  6. Snowshoeing
  7. Snowmobiling

Photo: Paul Smiths College Visitor Interpretive Center Cross-Country Ski Trails/DEC


Friday, January 29, 2021

Outdoor Conditions (1/29): Plan ahead in winter weather

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:

  • Weekend Weather Warning: High winds and extreme low temperatures are forecast for summits in the High Peaks this weekend. Friday morning winds are anticipated to reach gusts of 48 mph and temperatures with wind chill dropping to -52 Fahrenheit. Exposure to these elements is dangerous and travel at elevation or above tree line is not recommended. Extreme cold temperatures will continue through the weekend. Check the National Weather Service Northern Adirondacks and Southern Adirondacks Mountain Point Forecasts for selected summits.
  • Unstable Snowpack: There have been several reports of unstable snowpack on open slopes. Practice safe travel when crossing exposed areas.
  • Colden Caretaker Report 01/27/21: 2.5 feet of snow has accumulated at the Colden Caretaker cabin. Over 3 feet of snow has accumulated on summits. Snowshoes are needed on all trails, starting at parking lots. Skiing is in, including the ski trail, South Meadows Road and the trail to the Flowed Lands. Both Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 28, 2021

DEC’s tips for avoiding coyote conflicts

Eastern coyote radio-collared by researchers at DEC and SUNY ESFThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued guidance to help prevent conflicts between people and coyotes.

“Coyotes may become more territorial during the breeding and pup-rearing seasons, which in New York run from January through March, increasing the risk for potential conflicts with people and pets,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “While coyotes are an important part of New York’s ecosystem, New Yorkers are encouraged to be aware of the increased risks for conflicts and follow DEC’s guidance to prevent coyote encounters.”

The Eastern coyote is found in many habitats, from rural farmland and forests to populated suburban and urban areas across New York State. Coyotes are well adapted to suburban and even urban environments and tend to avoid conflicts with people. However, conflicts with people and pets may occur, particularly during the spring denning and pupping period. If coyotes learn to associate food, such as garbage or pet food, with peoples’ homes, these animals may lose their natural fear of humans and increase the potential for close encounters or conflicts.

To reduce or prevent conflicts with coyotes, New Yorkers are encouraged to take the following steps:

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 28, 2021

Pre-cycle: Think before you buy

garbage canCan I Pre-Cycle That?

PREvent waste before you reCYCLE. One of the main ways we can prevent waste while working toward wellness goals is through precycling, which includes thinking about purchases and choosing options that generate less waste. Precycling your way through your 2021 health goals is as easy as following these tips:

Reduce

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Rangers, ECOs help out with COVID vaccinations

Rangers assist with vaccinesNew York State has begun the process of opening up COVID-19 vaccination centers over many parts of the state. ECOs, Forest Rangers, and other DEC experts are on the front lines assisting federal, state, local and non-government entities build and support vaccination sites at multiple locations, filling various key positions in the incident command structure up to the highest level of incident commander and working closely with other DEC staff and partners in this important mission.

SUNY Albany
New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Center:
 On Jan. 9, two Forest Rangers were deployed to assist the State’s efforts to stand up a mass vaccination site at the SUNY Albany Campus. Forest Rangers fill critical roles in the Incident Command System (ICS) structure that are crucial in the success of the mission, including serving as Operation and Planning Section Chiefs. On Jan. 15, the mass vaccination site was established, capable of handling more than 1,000 patients a day. At this site and others across the state, Rangers are joined by other DEC staff from more than a dozen divisions, as well as representatives from multiple state agencies.

Operation Back Road – Statewide
DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement released the results of “Operation Back Road,” a recent statewide detail targeting illegal hunting from roads. During the 2020 hunting season, ECOs used technology, local intelligence, and 147 robotic decoy deer over 300 hours to catch poachers hunting from vehicles or along roadways, putting communities in danger. During the detail, ECOs apprehended 19 suspects for shooting at the decoys from roadways and issued tickets for 37 misdemeanors, 29 additional violations of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL), and seven charges outside the ECL. Officers conducted the Operation Back Road detail during the last two weeks of the Northern Zone and last three weeks of the Southern Zone hunting seasons. During the 2020 fall hunting season, ECOs statewide issued more than 244 tickets for road hunting-related offenses.

Forest Ranger Gullen at the SUNY Albany Mass Vaccination Site/DEC photo

 


Tuesday, January 26, 2021

DEC gives update on fight against hemlock wooly adelgid

Hemlock with HWA egg masses_Connecticut Agricultural Experiment StationThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and partners issued an update about ongoing efforts to limit the spread of the invasive pest Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (HWA) on Forest Preserve lands in Washington County as part of an ongoing, multi-year initiative. DEC confirmed the HWA infestation in August 2020, and began treatment in October on affected hemlock trees in the Glen Island Campground on the shores of Lake George.

Treatment began Oct. 6, 2020 along the shorelines of Lake George and was conducted over a four-week period by DEC staff. DEC prioritized the infestation at Paradise Bay due to the site’s size and levels of infestation. Crews treated 2,374 trees with insecticide on 138 acres of Paradise Bay and injected insecticides directly into the trunks of 80 trees close to sensitive areas. In addition, the New York State Hemlock Initiative released 620 Laricobius beetles, a biological control for HWA, in the treatment area to feed on HWA.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, January 25, 2021

DEC Encourages New York Anglers to Try Ice Fishing

ice fishingNew Yorkers to get outside this winter and safely enjoy ice fishing this season. There must be at least four inches of solid clear ice for anglers who wish to access the ice on foot. The thickness of ice can vary on waterbodies, and even within the same waterbody. If you wish to walk on ice, be cautious of areas moving water and areas around boat docks and houses where bubblers could potentially be installed to prevent the formation of ice.

Testing the ice  can be done with an auger or spud bar at various spots, and for extra safety, make sure you aren’t alone. Local bait and tackle shops are a good resource to find safe ice and learn where other ice-anglers are going.

Gov. Andrew Guomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting initiative has designated a free fishing weekend on February 13-14. A fishing license is not required during the designated weekend, making it a great opportunity to get out on the ice and give ice fishing a try. Beginners may want to check out some resources available on the DEC’s ice fishing webpage.


Friday, January 22, 2021

Recreation Highlight: Winter Tracking

tracksNow is a great time to search for winter tracks (PDF) or other animal signs visible in the snow. It can be fun to be a detective and figure out what animals have been walking through your yard or across a trail. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Snow conditions can make a difference in a track’s appearance—wet snow captures a print better than powdery snow.
  • Members in the dog family (coyote, fox, or dogs) will usually leave claw prints above the toes, while the cat family (bobcat, housecat) will not. You should see four toes on both front and back feet for both families.
  • Rodents, such as squirrels, chipmunks, mice, muskrats, and voles, usually have four toes on the front feet and five on the back. Claws may or may not be seen.
  • Bring a notebook, camera, or field guide with you.
  • Sometimes an animal’s droppings, or scat, can help you identify it—a rabbit’s looks like small balls of sawdust.

Find out more in the Become a Winter Wildlife Detective (PDF) issue of Conservationist for Kids.

In case you missed it, check out the recent Winter Wildlife Tracks and Scat Identification Video on DEC’s Facebook page.

Photo by Sandy Van Vranken.


Friday, January 22, 2021

Outdoor Conditions (1/22): Wind chill warning, unstable snow pack for high peaks

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:

  • Weekend Weather Warning: There is an extreme wind chill warning for Friday night into much of Saturday at elevation. Additional snowfall is also forecast. Check the National Weather Service Northern Adirondacks and Southern Adirondacks Mountain Point Forecasts for selected summits.
  • Unstable Snowpack: There have been several reports of unstable snowpack on open slopes. Practice safe travel when crossing exposed areas.
  • Colden Caretaker Report 01/20/21: Two feet three inches of snow have accumulated at the Colden Caretaker cabin. Three to four feet of snow have accumulated on summits. Snowshoes are needed on all trails, starting at parking lots. Skiing is in, including the ski trail, South Meadows Road and the trail to the Flowed Lands. Both Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 21, 2021

DEC annual tree and shrub seedling sale now open

DEC’s Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Saratoga Tree Nursery has announced its annual spring seedling sale, which is open to the public and runs until May 12. Each year, the tree nursery offers for sale dozens of low-cost, New York-grown tree and shrub species to help implement large-scale conservation plantings across the state.

The tree nursery has more than 50 conifer and hardwood species available in bundles of 25 or more, plus several mixed-species packets for those looking for a variety. For more information, including how to order, visit the Spring Seedling Sale webpage on DEC’s website. Some species sell out early; DEC encourages the public to place orders by phone for the most up-to-date availability information.

In addition, applications are now being accepted for the tree nursery’s School Seedling Program. From now until March 31, schools and youth education organizations across New York State may apply to receive up to 50 free tree or shrub seedlings to plant with students.



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