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.


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

DEC seeks reports of moose sightings

Photo Credit: Gary Lee

DEC is asking the public to report moose sightings as part of ongoing efforts to monitor moose distribution in New York. Most of New York’s moose live in the Adirondacks, but we also have moose in portions of eastern New York along the border with Vermont and Massachusetts. Occasionally, moose are seen in southeastern New York and the Catskills — these are generally single animals that have dispersed from other areas in New York, Connecticut or Massachusetts. In 2019, the public reported 447 moose observations to DEC.

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Saturday, June 13, 2020

Environmental Conservation Officers rescue Sacandaga boaters


ECOs and local law enforcement on a long dock helping bring a boat to the launchECOs Assist Boaters on Great Sacandaga Lake – Fulton County
On June 6, ECOs Shane Manns and Paul Pasciak were patrolling near the Broadalbin boat launch when a wind storm came through the area.

Dozens of vessels began to crowd the launch due to the large waves and windy conditions. ECOs Manns and Pasciak immediately began assisting boaters, safely pulling them to shore and retrieving vessels.

ECO Pasciak rescued a woman who fell overboard from a vessel near the docks and both ECOs rescued an individual who fell off of a personal watercraft and was having difficulty getting to the dock. Dozens of vessels and people safely reached the shore with assistance from the two ECOs. Photo: ECOs Pasciak and Manns assisting boaters during wind storm on Great Sacandaga Lake

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Friday, June 12, 2020

Outdoor Conditions (6/12): DEC Campgrounds still closed

This bulletin provides only the most recent notices. Check the Adirondack Backcountry Information web pages for more detailed information on access, outdoor recreation infrastructure, and conditions.

Early Season Camping: DEC is actively working to safely reopen DEC campgrounds this summer. All DEC campgrounds and pavilions are currently closed to overnight visitation through June 18 and DEC is canceling and refunding reservations through June 18. We ask for your patience as refunds are processed. Additional updates will be available soon as reopening planning and preparation continues.

(Editor’s note: While DEC-managed campgrounds remain closed, New York State Park campsites, cabins and cottages are currently open only to those with existing reservations. New reservations for all available sites – including tents, trailers, RVs, cabins, yurts and cottages — are open for camping stays beginning on June 22. Reservations are expected to fill quickly. Reservations can be made in advance by calling toll free 1-800-456-CAMP or visiting this website.)

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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Unprepared hikers get lost outside of Marcy Dam

forest ranger logoRecent forest ranger actions

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Search:
 On June 2 at 9:14 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from three lost hikers from Rochester in the High Peaks Wilderness Area. The hikers lost the trail about a mile from Marcy Dam. The hikers were immediately directed to call 911 to obtain their coordinates. The group had planned to hike Mt. Marcy, Skylight, and Gray, but were unprepared for the snow/alpine conditions and ran out of time before completing Gray. They became lost in the dark with only one source of light and one of the trio wearing shorts and tennis shoes. DEC’s Ray Brook Trail Crew, staying at the Marcy Dam interior outpost, responded to the coordinates obtained by Essex County 911, while Forest Ranger Andrew Lewis headed to the Adirondak Loj. Trail crew members Neilson Snye and Peter Price reached the lost hikers at 10:14 p.m., and brought the group to the Marcy Dam outpost at 11:03 p.m., where crew member Gary Valentine assisted in warming them. Ranger Lewis met the party at Marcy Dam at 11:48 p.m., and transported the hikers via UTV to their vehicles.

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Friday, June 5, 2020

Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (6/5): DEC Campgrounds remain closed

This bulletin provides only the most recent notices. Check the Adirondack Backcountry Information web pages for more detailed information on access, outdoor recreation infrastructure, and conditions.

Camping

Early Season Camping: DEC is actively working to safely reopen DEC campgrounds this summer. All DEC campgrounds and pavilions are currently closed to overnight visitation through June 18 and DEC is cancelling and refunding reservations through June 18. We ask for your patience as refunds are processed. Additional updates will be available soon as reopening planning and preparation continues.

(Editor’s note: While DEC-managed campgrounds remain closed, New York State Park campsites, cabins and cottages are currently open only to those with existing reservations. New reservations for all available sites – including tents, trailers, RVs, cabins, yurts and cottages — will be accepted at 9 a.m. June 8, for camping stays beginning on June 22. Reservations are expected to fill quickly. Reservations can be made in advance by calling toll free 1-800-456-CAMP or visiting this website.)

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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Ranger Report: Five backcountry injuries and a tubing trip gone wrong

forest ranger logoRecent Forest Ranger Actions

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On May 27 at 10:45 a.m., DEC’s Central Office Dispatch received a call requesting assistance for an injured hiker in the High Peaks. The 26-year-old woman from Waterville had suffered an ankle injury near the Phelps Junction trail, approximately one mile from Marcy Dam. Forest Rangers James Giglinto, Kevin Burns, and Tom Gliddi responded to assist, but a Ray Brook trail crew at Marcy Dam advised they were closer to the hiker and would proceed to her location. The woman rolled her ankle after stepping from a rock into mud while her hiking group descended the Phelps summit. She attempted to continue until she lost sensation in two of her toes and called for help. Once the trail crew reached the woman, she was stabilized and assisted to Marcy Dam. The hiker reached Marcy Dam at 12:30 p.m., and Ranger Giglinto transported her out to South Meadow Road via UTV. The hiking group transported her to a local hospital for additional medical care.

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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Get To Know New York’s Natives: Red Trillium

red trillium flowers in a forestOne of the most beloved signs of spring across the state is the red trillium wildflower (Trillium erectum). With its three deep-red petals and three whorled leaf-like structures, trillium is easily recognized by even the most beginner plant enthusiasts.

This trillium species is native to the eastern and northeastern US. In New York State, you can find it in every region. As a shade-tolerant species, trillium thrives in damp, semi-shady forests, though it emerges early in the spring to take advantage of full sun before the trees above it leaf out. Across the state, you may be able to spot this flower sometime in March through June. The flowers wither after about 2-3 weeks of blooming, leaving behind berry-like fruit that is eaten by birds and mammals.

This trillium species is listed as “exploitably vulnerable” on New York’s list of protected plants. Because of its protected status, remember that if you are lucky to spot a trillium while out in the woods, you should enjoy its brief beauty using only your eyes and your camera.


Friday, May 29, 2020

Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (5/29): Campgrounds update

Information courtesy of the NYS DEC
DEC campgrounds and pavilions are closed to overnight visitation through June 7. (Note: this does not mean that campgrounds will be opening on that date.) DEC has suspended all new camping reservations for the 2020 season until further notice. We are assessing campground status on a daily basis. Visitors who wish to cancel an existing reservation may do so and receive a full refund or can transfer the reservation to the 2021 season. Thank you for your patience as we work to protect the safety of our visitors and staff.

Water-access campsites at DEC campgrounds remain closed to overnight visitation until DEC’s campgrounds reopen. This includes, but is not limited to:

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Friday, May 29, 2020

DEC: Avoid the high-elevation trails


Adirondack High Peaks Trail Mud SeasonDEC Issues Late Season Muddy Trails Advisory 
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) urged hikers to be cautious and postpone hikes on trails above 2,500 feet until high elevation trails have dried and hardened. North-facing trails have retained snow and ice late into the season this year. As snow and ice continue to melt at high elevations, steep trails pose a danger to hikers, thin soils are susceptible to erosion, and sensitive alpine vegetation is easily damaged.

Despite recent warm weather, high-elevation backcountry trails are still covered in slowly melting ice and snow. These steep trails feature thin soils that become a mix of ice and mud as winter conditions melt and frost leaves the ground. The remaining compacted ice and snow on trails is rotten, slippery, and will not reliably support weight.

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Rangers have busy Memorial Day weekend


Recent Forest Ranger Actions

forest ranger logoTown of Waverly
Franklin County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On May 18 at 5:43 p.m., Franklin County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from two hikers lost on Azure Mountain in the Debar Mountain Wild Forest. The 18-year-old female and 19-year-old male from Massena went off trail on the way up the mountain and failed to find the trail again on the way back down. Forest Ranger Scott Sabo responded to the trailhead off Blue Mountain Road. Coordinates obtained through 911 placed the hikers about 0.6 miles north of the trailhead and 0.5 miles from Blue Mountain Road. At 7:12 p.m., Ranger Sabo located the lost hikers and escorted them back to the trailhead to their vehicle.

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Rangers urge caution as wildfires flare across the region


NYS DEC rangers have been called out to help fight forest fires that have started over the past few weeks. Here is a recent report from the DEC:

fireTown of Brasher
St. Lawrence County
Wildland Fire:
 On May 18 at 2:56 p.m., Region 6 Forest Rangers overheard a call by St. Lawrence County 911 about a five- to six-acre fire off Murray Road in the town of Brasher. Forest Rangers assisted 10 area fire departments using ATV firefighting apparatus and hand tools. A Ranger drone mapped the fire at 14 acres as the fire spread through dry vegetation in swamps and wooded areas. Low humidity and high temperatures, before the leaf growth, helped to spread this fire caused by the landowner burning brush.

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Saturday, May 23, 2020

Happy World Turtle Day

May 23 is World Turtle Day

sea turtle swimmingAmerican Tortoise Rescue (ATR), a nonprofit organization for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle, created World Turtle Day to celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world. These gentle animals have been around for 200 million years, yet they are rapidly disappearing due to smuggling, the exotic food industry, habitat destruction, global warming, and the pet trade. The four species of sea turtles that can be found in New York waters are either threatened or endangered.

Here are a few ways you can help sea turtles:

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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Expect a busy Memorial Day Weekend


 

Adirondack Outdoor Conditions Report from NYS DEC for May 21:

Memorial Day Weekend

Expect large numbers of vehicles at trailheads and boat launches, and large numbers of people on trails. Recreate close to home with members of your household. Practice social distancing and wear a mask when you are close to others. Be prepared with three or four solid backup plans. Park only in parking lots and not along roadsides. If the parking lot is full at your desired location, move on to your backup plans until you find a less busy location. If all parking lots are full, head home and come back another day. There will be increased law enforcement presence along the Route 73 corridor this weekend. Parking will be strictly enforced.

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Thursday, May 21, 2020

DEC Island Campgrounds remain closed


Water-access campsites at DEC campgrounds remain closed to overnight camping until DEC’s campgrounds reopen. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Saranac Lake Islands Campground;
  • Indian Lake Campground;
  • Lake George Islands Campground
  • Tioga Point Campground;
  • Forked Lake Campground; and
  • Alger Island Campground.

Boaters and other day users should continue to social distance on the water and on shore and avoid crowded sites. Boaters and day use visitors should use mainland bathroom facilities before going out on the water, as outhouse facilities at DEC day use sites and campsites are not currently maintained or sanitized.

Primitive tent sites outside of DEC campgrounds remain available for those who are recreating locally but are limited to a maximum of three nights with nine people or less from the same household. Additional information about camping can be found at: https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/camping.html


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Injured hiker on Poke-O-Moonshine and other recent rescues


forest ranger logoThe following are forest ranger highlights provided by the state Department of Environmental Conservation on May 19.

Town of Chesterfield
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On May 17 at 10:10 a.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a group of hikers on Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain. The caller said a 16-year-old female in the group fell, hurt her ankle, and could not continue down the mountain. Forest Ranger Lt. Brian Dubay and Forest Rangers Sarah Bode, Marie Arnold, Robbi Mecus, and Jared Booth responded. At 2:20 p.m., Rangers placed the hiker from Chazy in a UTV and started down the mountain. At 2:45 p.m., the group was back to the trailhead and the hiker advised she would seek medical attention on her own for the ankle injury.

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