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.


Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Say ‘No’ to Mulch Volcanoes

mulch around treesHave you seen a mulch volcano recently? We bet you have! Mulch volcanoes are created when mulch gets piled high against a tree. This traps moisture against the trunk and can lead to decay, pest damage, or even tree death.

Proper mulching is easy, and it doesn’t just lead to healthier trees, it also leads to more money in your pocket because you’ll be buying less mulch. You’ll also save money on future tree care costs by preventing pest damage and rot.

Follow these tips to keep your new tree healthy when mulching:

  • use mulch to cover the ground as far out as the tree’s branches reach,
  • keep the mulch depth to just 2-4 inches, and
  • don’t let it touch the trunk of the tree.

For more information on proper tree planting and care, visit DEC’s website. For everything you’ve ever wondered about mulch – and more! – visit the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County website.

Photo of correct mulching is courtesy of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County


Friday, July 2, 2021

Shuttle Drivers & Front Country Stewards Wanted

keene shuttleDEC, Essex County, and the Town of Keene are working together to implement a shuttle pilot system this summer that will explore how shuttles may help manage sustainable visitation along the Route 73 corridor and in the High Peaks.

Some important details remain, including hiring necessary and properly certified shuttle operators and trail stewards, as well as finalizing route information, but we are continuing to collaborate and reach out to our partners to help make the shuttle successful. Qualified individuals interested in the hiring opportunities available can contact the Town of Keene, and additional information will be made available as the shuttle system details are finalized.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, July 2, 2021

Outdoor conditions (7/2): Beware aggressive raccoons


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.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 1, 2021

DEC update on Gypsy Moth Caterpillar Outbreak

gypsy moth pupaThis spring, DEC has been receiving reports of larger-than-usual gypsy moth populations and leaf damage in several parts of New York State. Gypsy moths are non-native but are naturalized, meaning they will always be around in our forests.

Their populations spike in numbers roughly every 10 to 15 years, but these outbreaks are usually ended by natural causes such as disease and predators. Because of this, DEC and its partners typically do not manage it. At this time, DEC does not provide funding for treating gypsy moths on private property.

The caterpillars you are seeing now will begin to disappear around mid-July when they pupate and become moths. Spraying insecticides is not effective at this late stage of caterpillar development.

This time of year, you may choose to use or make a trap on your trees to catch caterpillars while they are still crawling, though this will not erase the population. Please monitor your traps regularly for unintended wildlife that may pass through. In winter, you can help DEC predict next year’s population numbers by conducting egg sampling surveys.

In spring, you may scrape egg masses to prevent some hatching, though that will also not erase the population. The spikes in gypsy moth numbers are an unfortunate but cyclical part of NY’s forests.

Pictured here: Gypsy moth caterpillars going into the pupa stage. Photo by Diane Parmeter Wills of Peru.


Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Moffitt Beach Campground suffers storm damage


forest ranger reportsThe following are recent forest ranger highlights provided by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Town of Lake Pleasant
Hamilton County
Storm Damage Response:
 On June 21, Forest Rangers Nally, Thompson, and Kerr responded to a call for Forest Ranger assistance from the caretaker at Moffitt Beach State Campground. The caretaker reported several impassable roadways, downed trees and phone lines, and power outages in the area.

Rangers helped clear storm damage in and around the campground and assisted local fire departments, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, and highway officials with localized storm impacts.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

On the Hunt for Invasive Species


Adult Asian longhorned beetle in a poolNew #OnesToWatch Map Helps Protect our Lands and Waters

Making sure the lands and waters you love to hunt and fish stay healthy is one of the best ways we can support wildlife. Invasive species are plants and animals that not only harm our forests and waterways, they can harm New York’s fish and wildlife. Hunters, anglers, and wildlife watchers like you can be a first line of defense, and there’s an easy way for you to know what to look for: DEC’s #OnesToWatch interactive map!

The #OnesToWatch map makes sure you know what invasive species we are looking for in your area, how you can identify them, and makes it easier for you to quickly report them to us. Click on your region of the map to see the species DEC is tracking in your neck of the woods. Then follow the link for each species to find more detailed information, including info on how to easily report sightings. Your reports can help protect the places you know and love for generations to come!

For more information on DEC’s #OnesToWatch campaign and the successes we’ve had as a result of people like you getting involved, visit our find and report page.

Photo: Adult Asian longhorned beetle in a pool/DEC photo


Sunday, June 27, 2021

NYS Announces First-Ever Loyalty/Reward Program for Campgrounds

alger island campground dec photoReservations Now Open for 2022 Camping Season

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid and Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the first-ever Camper Loyalty/Reward Program for overnight stays at state campgrounds across New York. The introduction of the new Loyalty program coincides with the opening of the nine-month online reservation window for the 2022 Camping Season.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 26, 2021

DEC releases final management plan for Hinckley Reservoir

hinckley day use areaThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the finalization of the Unit Management Plan (UMP) for the Hinckley Reservoir Day Use Area. The DEC intends to transform the Hinckley Reservoir Day Use Area into a public campground, available for use in the southwestern Adirondacks.

The campground will be located on the southern shore of the Hinckley Reservoir in Herkimer County, and will include a beach, woods, a pavilion, a spacious lawn, a picnic area and a volleyball court. The UMP will call for the construction of 150 campsites, a boat launch, and miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as access and loop roads, and a comfort station.

“Hinckley Reservoir Day Use Area is already a popular spot providing access to outdoor recreation for many visitors,” said Randall C. Young, Region 6 Regional Director. “Enhancing the facilities at this location will increase opportunities for recreation at Hinckley and expand the number of people who can enjoy this beautiful location.”

Read more about the plans to enhance recreation at Hinckley Reservoir Day Use Area on DEC’s website.


Friday, June 25, 2021

Outdoor Conditions: Hiker Information Stations

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.

New:

Pharaoh Lake Wilderness: A bridge on the Pharaoh Lake Trail from the Pharaoh Lake Road trailhead was damaged by a fallen tree. The railing was damaged, but the bridge remains in usable condition. Please use caution. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 24, 2021

DEC releases final deer management plan

deer planThe “Management Plan for White-tailed Deer in New York State, 2021-2030” is the product of public input, expert review, and sound science that will improve the management of white-tailed deer across New York State. This second-edition deer plan, available on DEC’s website, outlines strategies to manage deer populations across a range of abundance levels and diverse deer-related impacts in rural, urban, and suburban areas.

The plan enhances DEC programs that provide relief to landowners and the public experiencing deer damage and conflicts, seeks to protect New York’s deer from the devastating potential of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) particularly – in light of the recent announcement about a confirmed detection in bordering Warren County, Pennsylvania – and enhances the state’s deer hunting traditions. In addition, the plan provides information about how DEC determines population objectives, sets harvest quotas, calculates annual deer harvest, and describes the effectiveness of various management strategies for reducing impacts from overabundant deer.

Draft Regulations Proposed to Implement Key Plan Provisions

To begin the implementation of portions of the management plan, DEC proposed rule changes that will improve deer management, simplify big game hunting, expand hunting opportunity, and increase hunter safety. To view the proposed regulations and provide comment, visit the Fish and Wildlife Proposed Regulations webpage. DEC will accept written public comments through August 8, 2021.


Saturday, June 19, 2021

DEC, Essex County announce pilot shuttle program for Keene

keene shuttleDEC Commissioner Basil Seggos, Essex County Board of Supervisors Chair Shaun Gillilland, and Keene Town Supervisor Joe Pete Wilson have issued the following joint statement:

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Essex County, and the Town of Keene are working together to implement a shuttle pilot system this summer that will explore how shuttles may help manage sustainable visitation along the Route 73 corridor and in the High Peaks. Using the recently completed Volpe study to help guide our planning efforts, we are closely collaborating to develop an effective, safe, and enjoyable system that benefits High Peaks communities and visitors. Some important details remain, including hiring necessary and properly certified shuttle operators and trail stewards, as well as finalizing route information, but we are continuing to collaborate and reach out to our partners to help make the shuttle successful. Qualified individuals interested in the hiring opportunities available can contact the Town of Keene, and additional information will be made available as the shuttle system details are finalized.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, June 18, 2021

Recreation Highlight: Saratoga Sand Plains Archery Range


archeryThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced the opening of the Saratoga Sand Plains Archery Range in the town of Wilton, Saratoga County. The public archery range is the first of its kind in New York State and will provide a unique recreational opportunity for both novice and expert bow hunters and archers.

The 50-yard archery range has 16 targets, eight adult lanes ranging from 15 to 50 yards, four youth lanes ranging from five to 20 yards, and four lanes accessed by an elevated platform ranging up to 40 yards.

The range was designed to be suitable for families with children and seniors, with an access path extending from the gravel parking lot to the range.
The archery range is close to several schools that participate in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) and is a convenient location for the Saratoga County 4H Shooting Sports Program and DEC’s bowhunter education classes.

The archery range is open and maintained year-round for public use. For rules and regulations, see the DEC webpage.


Friday, June 18, 2021

Outdoor Conditions (6/18): New parking for Upper Works

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: Visitor parking at the Upper Works trailhead will transition to a new lot starting today, June 18. The new lot is adjacent to MacNaughton cottage approximately one tenth of a mile before the old lot on Upper Works Road. The lot is located on land owned by the Open Space Institute. Parking at the old lot will no longer be permitted.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Rangers tend to hurt ankle, bug bite reaction


forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Towns of Keene and North Hudson
Essex County
Technical Rope Technician Training:
 From June 6 to 11, 17 Forest Rangers from across the state attended a 40-hour technical rope technician training. Led by instructor-level Forest Rangers, the training is the Division of Forest Protection’s highest level of technical rope training. Forest Rangers conduct dozens of technical rescues a year. This training provides Rangers with the skills required to safely lead these rescue operations. Technicians also serve as instructors to other Rangers statewide. Forest Rangers are accredited members of the Mountain Rescue Association.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Report Dead or Dying Eastern Larch Trees (Tamaracks) to DEC

tamarackDEC has been receiving reports of dead and quickly-dying eastern larch/tamarack trees (Larix laricina) in the Adirondack region. Upon inspection, the trees have been found to be infested with the eastern larch beetle (Dendroctonus simplex LeConte) an insect native to NY that very rarely attacks healthy trees in the northeast.

DEC is seeking additional reports of dead or dying eastern larch trees in the Adirondacks so that we can better determine if this is a local infestation or a larger outbreak. If you have seen any in this region, please report it by sending photos and location information to DEC at foresthealth@dec.ny.gov, or by calling your local DEC office and speaking with a forester. You can find tamarack photos and identification tips on the Wild Adirondacks website.

Photo by Melissa Hart from the Paul Smith’s College VIC



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