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


Monday, June 28, 2021

Pitch-mass borers serve as reminder to procrastinate

In my line of work the list of boring topics is endless. There’s the emerald ash borer, lethal but oh-so aesthetically pleasing with its metallic-flake green paint job and subtle copper highlights. A handful of powder-post beetle species love to tunnel into floor joists and dead trees to mine talcum powder, leaving behind a field of microscopic holes perfect for anyone who has a sewing needle collection they need to organize. On the other end of the spectrum are fearsome Asian longhorned beetles that chew galleries in tree trunks faster than a Black & Decker cordless drill, leaving tunnels big enough to hide a Mini Cooper.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, June 28, 2021

Become a lake protector through Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program

APPIP lake protectorsAquatic invasive species, such as Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels, can clog lakes, outcompete native wildlife, and harm ecosystems. Identifying these species early, before populations grow out of control, is essential for protecting the lakes we love from the negative impacts of invasive species. The state legislature recently passed a law that makes the New York State Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Act permanent and allows pilot programs in the Adirondacks to further efforts to prevent invasive species. You can do your part by always cleaning, draining and drying your boat, fishing gear and sports equipment when moving from one waterbody to another.

And as an Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) Lake Protector, you can do more! Citizen scientists have surveyed over 400 lakes throughout the Adirondacks for invasives species in order to support critical early detection efforts. Lake Protector volunteers will learn how to identify, survey and record data about aquatic invasive plants. Once trained, volunteers can adopt an Adirondack lake or other waterbody to survey between July and September. APIPP provides all the training and resources you need to be part of this extraordinary network.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 24, 2021

Pollinator Week Article Collection

In recognition of Pollinator Week, we’ve compiled a selection of articles about pollinating birds and insects and the important roles they play.

National Pollinator Week: Who are the pollinators?

An article from last years pollinator week by Jackie Woodcock. Jackie show cases a few insects, birds, flowers, and lizards, explaining how each organism plays a roll in the pollination process.

National Pollinator Week 2020

Another article from last year’s pollinator week by the Adirondack Almanack, meant to highlight the critical importance of pollinators to biodiversity, food supply, and the economy.

Celebrate Spring by Planting Natives for Pollinator

An article from pollinator week 2019, while the sale advertised within is no longer going on, the information on planting and growing pollinator gardens is still valuable.

Creating Backyard Habitat for Pollinators

In this 2018 article, the Adirondack Pollinator Project presented two lectures by Kim Eierman, and environmental horticulturist specializing in ecological landscapes and native plants. The lectures are no longer available but the article still contains valuable information.

Wild Pollinators and Crop Viability

In this article by Richard Gast, he explains in depth the process of pollination and its uses. The article also provides more information from the Northeast Pollinator Partnership.

10 Ways You Can Help Pollinators

In this article from 2020, Jackie Woodcock explains the trouble that pollinators find themselves in, and 10 ways that you can be of assistance to them.

More to explore:

 

 


Sunday, June 6, 2021

Discussion time: Boat inspections

boat inspection stewardsThis week is NYS’s 8th annual Invasive Species Awareness Week and we’ve got aquatic invasives on our mind. In light of the current law expiring, here’s an excerpt from Explorer reporter Gwen Craig’s recent story:

“The old law in question requires boaters recreating in the Adirondack Park to take reasonable precautions against spreading aquatic invasive species like Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels. Boats should be cleaned, drained and dried to prevent spreading any unwanted hitchhikers. The Adirondack Park is home to more than 3,000 lakes, 8,000 ponds and 1,500 miles of rivers. With more than 12 million visitors each year, the threat of a new invasive species introduction is always looming.”

What are your thoughts about best ways to keep our waterways safe from invasives? Should the state require — and enforce — boat inspections? Or is the current system working well enough?

Photo provided, Connor Vara/Adirondack Watershed Institute. AWI stewards recently finished a 2-week training at Paul Smith’s College to learn techniques for implementing Clean, Drain and Dry at area boat launches.


Wednesday, June 2, 2021

The lakes don’t look like they used to

lakes recover from acid rainOver the past year, I’ve tried to gather data on the health of Adirondack lakes, despite major gaps.

So when a researcher emailed me out of the blue to say he’d just done a study of how lakes were recovering from acid rain and changing colors, I gave him a call.

The researcher, Paul Bukaveckas, is a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. But he was here a few decades ago studying the effects of acid rain on Adirondack lakes in the late 1980s.

His new research, which brought him back to 20 Adirondack lakes in recent years, helps confirm what a few people have started talking about: As lakes recover from the effects of acid rain they are turning browner. That’s a good thing, unlike the brown in other lakes that may be the result of pollution.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Fragmenting Whitney Park?

whitney parkNews on May 29 comes from the Times Union’s journalist Wendy Liberatore that the late Marylou Whitney’s husband John Hendrickson plans to apply for an 11-lot subdivision of Whitney Industries land in Long Lake.

Unable to sell the 36,000-acres in one fell swoop, Hendrickson tells the TU journalist that he will change the name to Whitney Real Estate and try for a permit allowing one private, two-three-thousand-acre estate on each of 11 lakes, leaving him, he estimates, with $238 million. Such sales would average $6600 per acre. That seems a bit high, but he’ll have the chance to find out.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, May 31, 2021

DEC 2021 ‘I BIRD NY’ Challenge

I BIRD NY is one of the DEC’s many programs with the purpose of enabling entertaining ways to get the public to engage in nature, and outdoor activities. Bird watching is a generally low cost hobby and a great excuse to get the family together. Two levels of challenges provide kids experienced birders to take part in identifying birds, and to learn about bird life and offer a chance to win some new equipment.

To take part in the youth challenge (open to anyone 16 years of age or younger) check out the following link: I Bird NY Beginner’s Birding Challenge (PDF).

To complete the challenge, just ID 10 common NY species of birds, and submit the challenge sheet to the DEC either via mail or email. All participants will receive a certificate of participation and be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win birding accessories.

In addition to the Beginner’s Birding Challenge, DEC is offering the I Bird NY Experienced Birder Challenge (PDF). To complete the experienced birder challenge, birders of any age must identify at least 10 different bird species found across New York State. All participants in this challenge will also receive a certificate of participation and be entered into a drawing for birding accessories.

“I encourage all birders to contribute observations of breeding birds to the Atlas by creating a free eBird account,” said Julie Hart, Breeding Bird Atlas project coordinator for the Natural Heritage Program. “By doing so, birders will increase the value of their observations for conservation. The Breeding Bird Atlas is a valuable tool to help protect birds and their habitat.”


Friday, May 28, 2021

Adirondack boat inspection, decontamination stations open this weekend

boat inspection stewardsStewards are ready for another busy Adirondack boating season
Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) is offering free boat inspections and decontaminations starting on Memorial Day weekend at more than 60 boat launches and road-side locations across the Adirondack region to help the public stop the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS).

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 27, 2021

Campers urged to ‘buy local’ when it comes to firewood

firewood check pointState’s Firewood Regulations Limit Firewood Movement to Protect New York Forests

With the start of the 2021 camping season underway, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid have encouraged campers to use local firewood and follow New York State firewood regulations to help prevent the spread of invasive species. Untreated firewood – firewood that has not met the state’s heat treatment standard – can contain invasive pests that kill trees. To protect New York’s forests, untreated firewood should not be moved more than 50 miles from its source of origin.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Bugs on the brain

Bugs that eat Hemlock woolly adelgidI’ve had bugs on the brain the last couple of weeks.

That’s because the New York State Hemlock Initiative invited me out to the Huyck Preserve in Rensselaerville to see the release of a predator fly that eats the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid — a forest pest that has afflicted the Lake George area of the Adirondacks. I went. About a week later, the Adirondack Park Invasive Plan Program held its annual partner meeting and guess what was a major highlight? Hemlock woolly adelgid. Check out adirondackexplorer.org for our coverage.

Of course, it was snowing when I went out to see these predator bugs released, so we missed the excitement of unscrewing a jar lid and sending them off. I confess that upon seeing these HWA predators in a jar, I was a bit underwhelmed by their size. They look more like fruit flies, hardly what one thinks when you hear the word “predator.” In my imagination, I whipped them up to look more like the size of house flies. I thought they’d be swarming in jars, thick and dense, so when they were let out, “release the flies!” would be a good thing to yell.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

DEC and Partners Continue Efforts to Control Invasive Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in Lake George

hemlock woolly adelgid

Biological Control Release Underway Bolsters Second Round of Treatment to Limit Spread of Invasive, Tree-Killing Pest

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and partners announced that additional efforts to limit the spread of the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) on Forest Preserve lands in Washington County are underway. DEC forestry staff are treating 29 acres of infested hemlock stands near Shelving Rock and additional infested hemlocks near Paradise Bay. DEC is partnering with the New York State Hemlock Initiative and Cornell University to release Leucopis silver flies, a biological control for HWA, near Paradise Bay. These efforts are part of an ongoing, multi-year initiative to control the HWA infestation along the shores of Lake George that was discovered last August. Additional partners in these treatment efforts include the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) and Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC).

» Continue Reading.


Monday, May 17, 2021

Eighth annual Invasive Species Awareness Week slated for June 6-12

State Agencies Encourage Partners to Begin Planning Events
The State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Agriculture and Markets (AGM) have announced that New York State’s eighth annual Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) will be held June 6-12. Organizations are encouraged to connect with their local Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) to begin planning events.

ISAW is an educational campaign featuring statewide events that promote an understanding of invasive species-how they get here, how to recognize them, what their negative impacts are-and empower New Yorkers to take action to protect the state’s resources from their introduction and spread. New York State is particularly vulnerable to invasive species due to its role as a center for international trade and travel. Managing invasive species is a long-term effort and requires collaboration from State agencies, stakeholder organizations, and the public.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, May 17, 2021

ADK applauds visitor use management proposal led by DEC, APA

Crowds of hikers in the high peaks of the Adirondacks

The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) presented a draft of their joint Visitor Use Management (VUM) and Wildlands Monitoring tool during the State Land Committee Report at the APA Meeting in Ray Brook.

ADK applauds the formation and release of this document, which is seen as a big step towards establishing a visitor use management framework consistent with standards set by the Federal Interagency Visitor Use Management Council (IVUMC), something ADK has routinely advocated for over the years.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, May 14, 2021

Give Turtles a Brake

turtleOur native turtles are on the move in May and June seeking sandy areas or loose soil to lay their eggs. In New York, thousands of them are killed each year when they are struck by vehicles as they migrate to their nesting areas. If you are traveling to the Adirondacks for an adventure, be especially mindful of turtles near water crossings, roadside water access points, swamps and marshes, and sandy soil areas.

What you can do to help:

  • If you see one on the road, please give turtles ‘a brake’. Slow down to avoid hitting it with your car.
  • If you can safely stop your vehicle, please consider moving the turtle to the shoulder on the side of the road in the direction it was facing.
  • Picking it up by its tail may frighten or injure it. Most can be picked up by the sides of the shell.
  • Use caution when moving snapping turtles; either pick her up at the rear of the shell near the tail using two hands or slide a car mat under her to drag her across the road.
  • Please do not take them home. All native turtles are protected by law and cannot be kept without a permit. All 11 species of land turtles that are native to New York are declining. Even losing one mature female can have a negative impact on a local population.

Photo of painted turtle by Jennifer Doyle-Ashline, provided by DEC