Over 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.
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.
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 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.”
Stewards 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).
State’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.
I’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.
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).
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.
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.
Our 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.
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
The Adirondack Council hired John Davis, a renowned national wildlife advocate with Adirondack conservation experience, to advocate for wild land restoration and reconnected wildlife pathways that have been disturbed by roads, buildings and other obstacles, to benefit nature and communities.
Davis served as Conservation Director of the Council from 2005 till 2011. He rejoins the staff as Rewilding Advocate.
“We are very pleased to welcome John Davis back after a decade away from our offices,” said Executive Director William C. Janeway. “We and others have kept tabs on John’s work as he helped to introduce the idea of ‘rewilding’ to the national lexicon. He has been all over North America talking about it and we are excited to add him to our talented and growing conservation team.”
“It is a privilege to bring John, a renowned rewilding expert, back onto the Conservation team to add capacity and expertise to our efforts,” said Vice President for Conservation Megan Phillips. “His experience and vision will amplify the Council’s voice as a strong advocate for the wild character of the Park and the myriad species that call this national treasure home, as a complement to our efforts with others to foster more vibrant human communities.” » Continue Reading.
The Department of Environmental Conservation – henceforth referred to as DEC – has been developing plans for major community connector snowmobile trails between Adirondack communities for a number of years. Protect the Adirondacks first sued the DEC in 2013, contending the trials cause significant environmental damage and violate the Constitutional clause for the ‘forever wild’.
Peter Bauer, executive director of Protect the Adirondacks, the environmental organization that sued to block the construction said the litigation is about Class 2 snowmobile trails and not hiking trails. He specifically called out the Adirondack Mountain Club and Open Space Institute’s concerns “specious claims.”
Until recently, ignoring problems in hopes they’ll go away hasn’t served me well. However, a decade-long study done by Cornell University researchers has clearly shown that avoidance is the best way to manage garlic mustard (Allaria petiolata), a pernicious exotic plant. Evidently I’ve been doing a great job in the fight against this aggressive and troublesome invader.
Native to most of Europe and parts of western Asia and northwestern Africa, garlic mustard is in the cabbage and broccoli family (Brassicaceae), and indeed was imported to North America as a culinary herb in the early 1800s. It’s not entirely evil, as it has the spicy tang of mustard with a hint of garlic, and can be used as a base for pesto and sauces, and to flavor salads, soups and other dishes. Unfortunately, eating it has not worked well as a control strategy.
Northern New York is often recognized as a great place to live, work, and raise a family. We’re fortunate enough to call the Adirondack Park, Lake Champlain, the St. Lawrence Seaway, and the farms and forests of the northern tier home. World-class downhill and cross-country skiing, golf courses, camping, boating, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hunting, and rock climbing; trails for hiking, jogging, bicycling, and horseback riding; tennis courts, and opportunities for outdoor and wildlife photography all contribute to the extremely appealing quality of life that many of us have come to take for granted.
AdkAction’s Compost for Good project is joining environmental and recycling businesses, organizations, community groups and individuals around the globe in celebrating International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) during the first week of May. The theme of this year’s Compost Awareness Week is “Grow, Eat… COMPOST… Repeat.”
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