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, March 20, 2024

DEC Celebrates Clean Water Investments, $1 Million for Town of Peru  

Students at the Lake Champlain Youth Water Summit learning how to study water quality. Photo by Zachary Matson

On March 18, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos joined representatives from the town of Peru and other local officials along the shores of Lake Champlain to announce the finalization of the Lake Champlain Watershed Implementation Plan. The plan creates a detailed path forward to build upon progress to reduce phosphorus that impairs Lake Champlain and contributes to harmful algal blooms (HABs). The Lake Champlain Watershed Implementation Plan will support and guide investments like the recent $1 million to the town of Peru, Clinton County, for wastewater improvements that will reduce pollutants and significantly improve water quality.

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Friday, March 15, 2024

Outdoor Conditions (3/15): Seek low elevation peaks, less populated trails

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

  • Snow Report (3/14): The following report describes conditions as of Thursday, 3/14. Changing weather may affect conditions. There is 55cm (22in) of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin. Snow levels vary at higher elevations. Spring conditions have resulted in no more crossing of the lakes.
  • Terry Mountain State Forest Road Closure: The Mud Pond Road is now closed for mud season.
  • Lake George Wild Forest Road Closures: The gates to Dacy Clearing Road and Jabe Pond Road are now closed for mud season, along with the Town of Fort Ann mud gate on Shelving Rock Road making the Shelving Rock Area inaccessible from Shelving Rock Road.

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Thursday, March 14, 2024

DEC Issues Public Safety Information Ahead of Solar Eclipse

total solar eclipse

Rare Celestial Event on April 8 Expected to Attract Thousands of Visitors to New York State

On March 11, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos provided valuable tips to help the public prepare to recreate safely and responsibly as New Yorkers count down the days to the highly anticipated total solar eclipse, which occurs exactly four weeks from today. While DEC law enforcement and operations staff will be prepared for visitors, eclipse watchers are encouraged to find Adirondack destinations outside the backcountry or opt for visiting one of the many designated viewing locations across the state.

Monday, April 8, 2024, the roughly 100-mile-wide path of totality across Upstate New York will begin near Jamestown, Chautauqua County, at approximately 3:16 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and exit near Plattsburgh, Clinton County, at approximately 3:29 p.m. Cities and towns within the path of totality also include Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Rochester, Syracuse, Watertown, Old Forge, and Lake Placid.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Rangers assist unprepared Whiteface Mt. hikers, Dix Mt. hikers in blizzard conditions

forest ranger reports graphicTown of Wilmington
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue: On March 9 at 4:20 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiking party reporting an individual with an ankle injury near the summit of Whiteface Mountain. When Rangers reached the three hikers from Quebec, they found that although the injury was not serious, the hikers were ill-prepared for conditions. Only one of the three had traction for their boots and all were wearing leggings without additional pants layers. In addition, the hikers didn’t have headlamps or navigational tools and were out of water. Rangers helped the trio back to the trailhead through the pouring rain before providing a courtesy ride to their vehicle. Rangers educated the hikers about preparedness and checking the weather before their next adventure. Resources were clear at 6:55 p.m.

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Friday, March 8, 2024

Outdoor Conditions (3/8): Mud season has arrived, prepare accordingly

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

  • Snow Report (3/6): The following report describes conditions as of Wednesday, 3/6. Changing weather may affect conditions. There is 45cm (18in) of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin. Snow levels vary at higher elevations. If you are looking to ski the pass, gear will likely have to be carried most of the way to Avalanche Camps. Conditions are boney. Snowshoes are still required on the peaks and to Avalanche Lake. The rain and warm temperatures have caused water crossings to start to deteriorate, so use caution as some may be impassable.
  • Moose River Plains Gate Closures: The gates on both sides of the Moose River Plains Complex have been closed.

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Thursday, March 7, 2024

DEC Issues Spring Conditions Advisory for Adirondacks

Mud Season Muddy Trail Adirondacks (Adirondack Mountain CLub Photo)

Hikers Advised to Avoid High Elevation Trails Due to Unstable Spring Conditions

On March 6, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) urged outdoor recreationists to postpone high elevation activities due to unstable spring conditions. With one of the warmest winters on record, current conditions are typically encountered in late-March to mid-April. Recreationists are advised to prepare for thinner snowpack on trails, deteriorating and variable depth snow alongside and off-trail, poor quality ice, slippery trails, and high-water crossings. As snow and ice continue to melt at high elevations, steep trails can pose a serious danger to hikers.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Thirty rangers conduct overnight Saddleback & Basin Mt. rescues

forest ranger reports graphicTowns of Hamilton, Middletown, Russia, Seward, and Stamford
Delaware, Herkimer, Madison, and Schoharie Counties
Wildfires:

On Feb. 26, Forest Rangers responded to fires caused by debris burning in Delaware and Madison counties, including one a fire in town of Hamilton that was more than 20 acres. On Feb. 27, Rangers responded to fires in Delaware and Schoharie counties, both caused by debris burning with wind carrying fire to grassy and wooded areas.

On Feb. 29, Rangers responded to a small fire in Herkimer County. To date, the winter season has not provided typical snow cover across much of New York State, leaving dormant vegetation from last year’s growing season exposed and susceptible to the daily fluctuations of spring weather. To help prevent fires, DEC is advocating extra vigilance before the statewide burn ban goes into effect on March 16.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

DEC Region 6 Closes Seasonal Access Roads/Gates Due to Spring Thaw

nys dec logo

Closures effective in Herkimer, Jefferson, Oneida, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties

Effective immediately, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 6 is closing all mud gates to snowmobile trails and seasonal access roads on Forest Preserve, State Forest, and Conservation Easement lands due to spring thaw and muddy conditions. Gate closures are expected to be completed by Friday, March 8.

Motor vehicle use during the spring mud season damages roads, resulting in road opening delays. DEC will reopen the roads once they are dry enough to safely handle motor vehicle traffic and necessary maintenance is completed.

Photo at top: NYS DEC website photo.


Saturday, March 2, 2024

Public info sessions set for managing pond-dwelling Adirondack brook trout

Trout Power volunteer holds a brook trout.

On Friday, March 1, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced that the NYS DEC will hold two public information sessions in March to discuss a new draft Adirondack Brook Trout Pond Management Plan currently under development by DEC. The plan, once adopted following public review and input, will guide the State’s actions for the next 15 years for managing pond-dwelling Adirondack brook trout.

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Friday, March 1, 2024

Outdoor Conditions (3/1): It’s Still Winter at High Elevations

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 (2/28): The following report describes conditions as of Wednesday, 2/28. Changing weather may affect conditions. There is 65cm (26in) of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin. Snow levels vary at higher elevations. Snowshoes are now required at Avalanche Camp. The lakes are in, but slushy.
  • Corey’s Road Gate Closure: The Corey’s Road gate to access the Seward Range is now closed and will likely remain closed for the foreseeable future until the road dries out.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Injured Pitchoff Mt. ice climber rescued via toboggan, rope system

forest ranger reports graphicTown of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue: On Feb. 20 at 1:20 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call to assist an ice climber who fell while climbing Pitchoff Mountain, injuring his hip. The 73-year-old from Massachusetts was on the Jackrabbit Ski Trail off Old Mountain Road. Using a rope system, seven Forest Rangers lowered the patient and stabilized him in a rescue toboggan. Rangers attached the toboggan to a snowmobile and rode the patient to a Lake Placid ambulance waiting at the trailhead. Resources were clear at 4:10 p.m. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO AND PHOTOS

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Friday, February 23, 2024

Outdoor Conditions (2/23): Make your location known, sign into trail register before hiking

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 (2/21): The following report describes conditions as of Wednesday, 2/21. Changing weather may affect conditions. There is 84cm (33in) of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin. There is 8in at Marcy Dam. Snow levels vary at higher elevations. The Avalanche Pass ski trail is in good shape.

LAST WEEK

  • Snow Report (2/14): The following report describes conditions as of Wednesday, 2/14. Changing weather may affect conditions. There is 67cm (26in) of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin. Snow levels vary at higher elevations. Conditions now require snowshoes to be worn at Avalanche Pass. The lakes are still in.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Snowmobiler, sled launched 73′ after hitting pressure crack on Indian Lake

forest ranger reports graphicTown of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue: On Feb. 13 at 12:20 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call regarding a hiker who slipped on the ice near the summit of Mount Jo and potentially dislocated his shoulder. At 1:20 p.m., Forest Rangers Duchene and O’Connor reached the 75-year-old from East Syracuse and determined the patient’s shoulder was dislocated.

Attempts to pop the shoulder back in were unsuccessful, but the shoulder was in a better position to be stabilized. Rangers put a sling around his shoulder and arm and at 2 p.m., Rangers Lewis and Praczkajlo also arrived to help walk the subject down the mountain. They reached the trailhead at 4:45 p.m.

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Friday, February 16, 2024

Outdoor Conditions (2/16): ADK Rail Trail gates closed between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake

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 (2/14): The following report describes conditions as of Wednesday, 2/14. Changing weather may affect conditions. There is 67cm (26in) of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin. Snow levels vary at higher elevations. Conditions now require snowshoes to be worn at Avalanche Pass. The lakes are still in.
  • Adirondack Rail Trail Closure to Snowmobiles: The gates are closed between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake on the Adirondack Rail Trail which is currently closed to snowmobiling due to a lack of snowpack. Like many trails in the Forest Preserve, current trail conditions are variable, consisting of snow, ice, and bare pavement/stone dust. Be cautious of frozen ruts and uneven terrain along the trail.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Snowmobile and hiking bridge reset in Wells; car stuck on Powley Rd

forest ranger reports graphicTown of Wells
Hamilton County
Trail Maintenance: On Feb. 7, with approval and support from DEC’s Division of Lands and Forests, Forest Rangers Hamm, Nally, and Thompson joined members of the Algonquin Sno-Blazers snowmobile club to reset a snowmobile and hiking bridge displaced during early season rain and snow melt. Rangers and club members used old telephone poles and a high-strength come-along ratchet puller to slide the bridge back across the creek to allow a safe crossing for snowmobiles, snowshoers, and skiers. The Algonquin Sno-Blazers club was established in 1970. Members volunteer to maintain more than 55 miles of trails in Hamilton County.

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