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.


Monday, April 26, 2021

DEC announces initiatives to boost recycling, prevent food waste

  • compostDEC Announces Additional $500,000 for Statewide Effort to Improve Food Scrap Recycling and Prevent Food Waste
  • $2 Million Total to Bolster New Regulations to Reduce Landfilling of Food Scraps and Connect Hungry New Yorkers with Edible Food
  • DEC Accepting Public Comments on Proposed Food Waste Regulations until April 27
  • The New York State Center for Sustainable Materials Management Launches Recycling Website on Earth Day

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Friday, April 23, 2021

Outdoor conditions (4/23): Spring snow

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: On Wednesday, April 21, 5 to 6 inches of snow accumulated at low elevations in the region. Hikers should expect over a foot of new snow accumulation on top of the 2 to 3 feet of existing snow pack at higher elevations. Be prepared for winter conditions and expect poor trail conditions this weekend.

McKenzie Mountain Wilderness: Moose Pond Road is now open.

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Thursday, April 22, 2021

DEC Releases New York State Hunting Safety Statistics for 2020

New York State Hunting Back TagIncident Rate Increases Slightly; Hunting Remains Safe Activity

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released the hunting-related shooting incident (HRSI) and tree stand or other elevated incident reports for New York’s 2020 hunting seasons. The reports are consistent with the low incident rates observed in the state over the past two decades.

DEC documented 22 hunting-related incidents in 2020, including three fatalities. While up slightly from the record-low 12 incidents documented in 2019, the number of incidents in the 2020 season continues the downward trend in HRSIs observed over the past 20 years. Nine of the 22 HRSIs that occurred last year were two-party firearm incidents, and 13 were self-inflicted. The three fatalities recorded in 2020 were self-inflicted and involved experienced hunters. All of these incidents could have been prevented if hunting safety rules had been followed.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Rangers respond to domestic violence call; locate lost and injured hikers

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Dannemora
Clinton County
Law Enforcement Action:
On April 16 at 12 p.m., Forest Ranger Booth overheard New York State Police emergency radio traffic advising of a domestic situation involving a loaded firearm. Ranger Booth responded to the location, and once on scene, quickly sized up the situation. From a position of cover, the Ranger encouraged the male subject, who had access to a loaded firearm, to calmly come outside. After complying with Ranger Booth’s request, the unarmed subject was taken into custody and turned over to the State Police.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

DEC Extends Gate Closure Season at Mossy Point and Roger’s Rock Boat Launches

Lake George Boat Launch photo by Ed BurkePilot Program to Run April 15 to Dec. 15
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will begin closing the gates at the Mossy Point and Rogers Rock boat launches on Lake George on April 15, as part of an ongoing pilot program to increase protections from aquatic invasive species, DEC Regional Director Joseph Zalewski announced today. The overnight closure will continue through Dec. 15.

“Lake George is one of the most beautiful and heavily recreated lakes in the Northeast. We believe the Commission’s mandatory boat inspection program provides a great balance in protecting Lake George from invasive species without impacting boating activities on the lake,” said Dave Wick, Executive Director of the Lake George Park Commission. “The state and local partnership that created this invasive species prevention initiative has been tremendously successful over its seven years of existence, and it continues to have strong public support.”

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Monday, April 19, 2021

Pledge to Reduce Pollution this Earth Day

smogEvery year on April 22, New Yorkers everywhere celebrate Earth Day to raise awareness about the importance of environmental protection. Since its inception in 1970, there have been many positive actions taken as a result, including improved air quality.

The first Earth Day encouraged Congress to pass the landmark Clean Air Act the same year, which over decades has led to enormous reductions in all categories of air pollutants. Vehicles in the US today are almost 99 percent cleaner than those from the 1970s, with reduced carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and particulate emissions. Vehicle fuels are also much cleaner after the elimination of lead in gasoline and reductions of sulfur levels in fuel, resulting in clearer skies and healthier children.

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Monday, April 19, 2021

Outdoor conditions: Seasonal road updates

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.

McKenzie Mountain Wilderness: Moose Pond Road is now open.

Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest: Moose Pond Club Road is temporarily closed for repairs. No parking is allowed by the gate, as administrative access for repairs will need to remain open. Visitors can park across the Boreas River Bridge on old Rt 28N, and access the road on foot from there.

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Sunday, April 18, 2021

DEC Lowers Water Level at Lower Bog River Dam

Railroad crossing over Bog River. Photo by Phil BrownMeasures Being Taken to Assess St. Lawrence County Dam Leak
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 6 announced lower than usual water levels may be observed at the lower Bog River (Lower Lows) dam on the downstream side of Hitchens Pond in the town of Piercefield, St. Lawrence County. DEC is lowering the water to assess a leak in the dam.

The lower Bog River (Lower Lows) dam has a leak through a concrete training wall above the auxiliary spillway. The water level is lowered using the two wooden sluice gates located to the left of the auxiliary spillway. The water level will be lowered at least as low as the auxiliary spillway crest.

The gate on the lower dam road is currently closed for mud season. DEC anticipates that after the water is lowered, recreational users will be able to paddle canoes and kayaks from the dam up through Hitchens Pond, although the channel will be narrower and more obstructions will be visible.

Railroad crossing over Bog River. Photo by Phil Brown/Almanack archive


Thursday, April 15, 2021

ECOs catch intentional deer strike and other recent news

ECOS birthday greetingsA Special Birthday Wish – St. Lawrence County Outreach
ECOs Ryan and Canary recently joined members of the New York State Police and St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office to grant a special birthday request from a four-year-old battling an illness. The birthday girl requested a birthday parade from local law enforcement agencies. Her mom said that while treatment is going well, the parade could help boost her daughter’s spirits. ECOs didn’t think twice about joining their law enforcement partners to grant this birthday wish. Police, fire, and rescue vehicles drove past the girl’s home with lights flashing as she and her family stood outside waving and enjoying the show. On their second loop around, ECOs Ryan and Canary stopped by to drop off some presents, say hello, and share their wishes for a speedy recovery.


ECOs Ryan and Canary meet with the birthday girl

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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Rangers locate lost hiker at OK Slip Falls

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Indian Lake
Hamilton County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On April 9 at 2:30 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from New York State Police B Command advising of a lost hiker in the OK Slip Falls area. The hiker stated she became disoriented while hiking out and was standing near a river. Forest Rangers Scott and Miller responded. Ranger Scott tried to call the woman, but due to limited cell service, texted her with instructions. Not knowing if the subject received the instructions, Rangers Scott and Miller searched the trail and found the 56-year-old woman from North Creek heading back in the correct direction. She had received the text message, but could not send a reply. The Rangers and hiker proceeded back to trailhead.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

DEC Announces New Opportunity for Young Hunters

small game hunters provided by DECBudget Includes Legislation Lowering the Age for Deer Hunting with a Firearm and Crossbow in Participating Upstate Counties

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced a new opportunity for young hunters. The State Fiscal Year 2021-22 Budget signed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo includes legislation that now allows youths ages 12 and 13 to hunt deer with a firearm or crossbow under the supervision of an experienced adult hunter in upstate counties that opt-in to participate.

For nearly two decades, youth aged 12 and 13 in New York have been safely hunting deer and bear with archery equipment and small game with firearms. Until now, New York was the only state that didn’t allow 12- and 13-year-olds to hunt big game with a firearm. Environmental Conservation Law 11-0935 is a temporary measure that will pilot lowering the age through 2023, including the following provisions:

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Monday, April 12, 2021

Partners work on Pen-Rearing Projects for Atlantic Salmon

salmon courtesy Concordia UniversityFollowing Success of Net Pen Programs for Other Species, DEC Anticipates Increased Survival of Stocked Smolts

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the deployment of two new pen-rearing projects for Atlantic salmon to begin this spring. To improve post-stocking survival and imprinting to the stocked water, experimental Atlantic salmon pen-rearing projects will be conducted in the Saranac River estuary in Lake Champlain and in the Salmon River in Lake Ontario. DEC is partnering with the Lake Champlain Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Plattsburgh Boat Basin on the Saranac River project and partnering with the Tug Hill/Black River Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Salmon River Lighthouse and Marina on the Salmon River project.

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Saturday, April 10, 2021

DEC Proposes Updates to Wildlife Management Area Regulations

DEC is proposing amendments to the regulations governing Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in order to protect natural resources, promote public safety, and help ensure the multiple uses of New York’s WMAs remain compatible as public demand for outdoor recreation increases. Proposed changes would update and clarify existing regulations—defining the allowable activities and uses of WMAs. Some changes would help bring consistency with existing rules for state forests, campgrounds, and other DEC lands, while others continue the prioritization of hunting, fishing, trapping, and wildlife viewing opportunities on WMAs.

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Friday, April 9, 2021

Outdoor conditions: plan ahead

outdoor conditions logoPlanning ahead is an essential part of any backcountry trip in the Adirondacks. Research a variety of hikes – or other trips – and pick one that is appropriate for the physical abilities and experience of every person in your group. Estimate how long the hike will take and make a realistic timeline. Using reliable sources, research the route. Double check your route on a map and bring a paper map with you. Research trailhead parking. Share your plans with a reliable friend or family member who will notice if you do not return on time.

Early Season Muddy Trails Advisory: DEC has released an early season muddy trails advisory urging hikers to postpone hikes on trails above 2,500 feet until high elevation trails have dried and hardened. As snow and ice continue to melt at high elevations, steep trails can pose a danger due to thick ice and deep, rotten snow. Thin soils are susceptible to erosion and sensitive alpine vegetation can be easily damaged.

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Thursday, April 8, 2021

Winter Fish Kills 

winter fish killsNew Yorkers may be seeing more dead fish in the water this spring than in past years. The winter of 2020-2021 created optimal conditions for winterkills, which usually occur in shallow waterbodies with aquatic plant growth.

Winterkill occurs when snow that accumulates on the ice reduces the amount of light penetrating through the water, inhibiting the photosynthesis cycle in plants and reducing the amount of oxygen (a byproduct of the cycle) available to fish and other organisms. The problem is exacerbated when fish die, as the decomposition process also consumes any available oxygen in the pond.

To report a fish kill contact your Regional DEC Fisheries Office.