Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Recreationists reminded to ‘Clean, Drain, Dry’ watercraft, equipment to protect against aquatic invasive species

Boat stewards serve on the frontlines to prevent the spread of invasive species in Adirondack waterways. Photo provided by Adirondack Watershed Institute.

New Mobile Boat Wash Equipment to be Deployed at Canal Launches

On May 24, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York State Canal Corporation joined together to remind those planning to visit New York’s waters to Clean, Drain, Dry their boats, trailers, fishing gear, and other equipment before recreating in New York’s waters to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Starting Friday, May 24, watercraft inspection stewards, also known as boat stewards, will be stationed at more than 220 boat launches and decontamination stations throughout the state to educate and assist the public in cleaning their equipment. Identified by their blue vests, boat stewards can provide a refresher on how to inspect boats and gear and offer information on AIS in New York.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Camp Gabriels amendment passes Senate

Camp Gabriels correctional facility.


The state Senate passed a bill (again) that would authorize the sale of the former prison Camp Gabriels in the town of Brighton through a constitutional amendment. The prison has been closed since 2009.

Since the state is no longer using the property, it has reverted to forest preserve, which cannot be sold or leased. In order for someone else to purchase the property, a constitutional amendment is required.

Such an amendment was first proposed in 2015, passing the state Senate several times. The bill has continued to stall in the state Assembly. State Assemblyman Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay Lake, said on Tuesday that the assembly was still working on it.

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Sunday, May 26, 2024

From canoe to climate

Man in water near waterfall

Meet Garrett Marino, the youth climate leadership coordinator for The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. With a love for literature and the outdoors, Marino uses communication and science to teach others about climate change.

Here’s what he said about his philosophy on climate action:

“It’s not that we need to be afraid of this, so we should be inspired to action. It’s that we love our planet and we love nature and we love the critters and the bugs and everything on it. And it’s worth protecting.”

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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Lake George Land Conservancy Receives $27,600 for Organizational Support

Lake George

Bolton Landing, NY –  The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) has been awarded a grant of $27,600 from this year’s New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP) to help further its mission to protect the land that protects Lake George.

Grant funds will be used to strengthen the LGLC’s donor and land database systems, and provide additional technology, field equipment, and services to keep the organization working efficiently and effectively into the future.

The need for robust management tools comes at a time when the LGLC is managing a record number of land conservation projects throughout the Lake George watershed, as well as continuing to provide safe recreational resources and quality educational and outreach programming to residents, landowners, and visitors, year-round.

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Friday, May 24, 2024

Herkimer County Soil & Water Conservation District Hosts Local County Envirothon

Winning Envirothon team

The Herkimer County Soil & Water Conservation District held its 29th annual Herkimer County Envirothon on Wednesday, May 8 at Herkimer College. Event organizers reported that the event was once again a huge success, thanking the generous sponsors and volunteers that made the event possible. This year Central Valley Academy (CVA), Herkimer BOCES, Herkimer Central School, Mount Markham, Poland, and West Canada Valley all sent teams.  Approximately 70 students participated in the Envirothon with advisors and volunteers from NYS DEC, Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Herkimer College, and Herkimer County Soil and Water Conservation District.

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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Lake Champlain cable slated for install

Lake Champlain as seen from Point Au Roche State Park in May

Cable installation nears start in Lake Champlain

over two years ago, we reported a story on a massive and complex project to pipe hydropower from Quebec to New York City.

Why was the Adirondack Explorer interested in the story? Because that energy will make its way to the city via a transmission line under Lake Champlain and underground through a sliver of the park’s southeastern corner.

The transmission project, more than a decade in the making, offered an interesting look at the tricky trade-offs of the renewable energy transition. The power will come from Hydro-Quebec’s sprawling portfolio of dams and reservoirs, many of which left a legacy of mistreatment and displacement of Indigenous communities. But no new dams will be built to fuel New York, and energy economists argue it’s a smart way to balance intermittent solar and wind energy sources.

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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Benson roadside hunter ticketed for illegal turkey take, discharging firearm within 500 ft of residence

ECO Manns with illegally taken turkey in Hamilton County

Illegal Turkey Take – Hamilton County
On May 1, ECO Manns responded to a complaint about a turkey being shot from the roadway near a residence in the town of Benson. Officer Manns interviewed the complainant and a witness to the event who described a vehicle stopping on the roadway and an occupant shooting the turkey on the complainant’s property before driving away. ECO Newell arrived at the location to assist with the investigation and evidence documentation.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

DEC Adds Nearly 8,000 Acres to State’s Wildlife Management Areas

nys dec logo

Acquisitions Secured from 2014-2023 with Federal Grant Funding, Protect Important Habitats for Wildlife and Wildlife-Related Recreation

On May 21, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Interim Commissioner Sean Mahar announced the DEC Division of Fish and Wildlife recently implemented two long-term federal grants that permanently protected nearly 8,000 acres statewide. The wildlife habitat acquired under these grants was added to the New York State Wildlife Management Area (WMA) system and supports a wide range of hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, birding, and photography, among other outdoor recreational opportunities.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Public invited to comment on plans for playground for Cranberry Lake Campground

cranberry lakeRay Brook – The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) are holding a joint public comment period to solicit comments for an amendment to the 2016 Cranberry Lake Campground and Day Use Area Unit Management Plan (UMP). The public is invited to submit input on a draft amendment for the construction of a playground.

The amendment will guide siting, construction, and management of a playground within the Cranberry Lake Day-Use Area. The DEC will consider public comments on the management activity as it finalizes the draft amendment.  Concurrently, the APA will accept public comment on the proposal’s conformance to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan.

All comments will be accepted until June 17, 2024.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Recapping a busy APA meeting

A lawyer presents at a podium

Adirondack Park Agency

It was a busy monthly board meeting last week at the Adirondack Park Agency in Ray Brook.

The board approved a permit expanding a marina on Fish Creek Ponds, which you can read about from my colleague Zach Matson here.

A shooting range to test artillery in Lewis is also back to the permitting process, after the board denied the applicant’s appeal over a fifth round of questions from staff. Read about that here. 

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Monday, May 20, 2024

Who will pay for climate disasters?

NYS map

A suite of environmental bills passed in the state Senate recently to mark last month’s Earth Day. One measure, delivered to the Assembly last week, could result in a multi-million annual grant for the North Country to help with disasters caused by extreme weather.

The money is anticipated under the Climate Superfund Act introduced by Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan. It would require oil and gas companies to contribute to a fund of $3 billion each year to foot climate disaster bills. The legislation was excluded from this year’s $237 billion state budget.

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Saturday, May 18, 2024

DEC Releases Final Recreation Management Plan for Big Moose Tract Conservation Easement

nys dec logo

Plan Maintains and Improves Upon Current Public Recreational Access on Easement Lands

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released the final recreation management plan (RMP) for the Big Moose Tract Conservation Easement in the town of Webb, Herkimer County. The RMP guides public recreation management on the 23,850-acre property, consistent with the encumbering conservation easement.

The Big Moose Tract contains commercially managed forestland, several small ponds, portions of Birch, Fourth, Sunday, and Twitchell creeks, the Independence River, and the west branch of the Beaver River. Under the terms of an RMP, a trail to the Stillwater Mountain fire tower and 12.4 miles of public snowmobile trails are open to the public.

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Friday, May 17, 2024

DEC Urges New Yorkers to Respect Wildlife by Leaving Young Animals Alone


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Interim Commissioner Sean Mahar today reminded New Yorkers to appreciate wildlife from a safe distance and resist the urge to touch or move young wildlife.

“Spring’s warmer weather brings with it more sightings and encounters with New York wildlife, especially young birds and other animals,” Interim Commissioner Mahar said.“While some might think these baby animals need assistance, human interactions with wildlife typically do more harm than good. Please remember: if you care, leave it there.”

Avoid Interactions with Young Wildlife

Human interaction with young wildlife can be problematic. When young wildlife venture into the world, for a brief time they may have limited ability to fly or walk on their own. While one or both parents teach survival skills to their offspring, some young wildlife receive little or no care.

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Thursday, May 16, 2024

APA hearings?

The marina site on Fish Creek Ponds

Groups to APA: Hold a hearing

Five groups — Protect the Adirondacks, the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, Adirondack Wild, Adirondack Council, and the Upper Saranac Foundation — on Monday outlined a shared argument making the case for a rare Adirondack bird: An evidentiary hearing. The groups’ stance: The Adirondack Park Agency board should refer a proposed marina expansion on its agenda this week to a rare evidentiary hearing.

The group’s called the proposed marina expansion at Fish Creek Ponds a “radical departure” from the former Hickok’s boat livery that operated at the site for decades.

“As proposed, the marina is likely to have significant adverse impacts on existing aquatic uses, public safety, wetland and wildlife resources, water quality and neighboring private landowners and Public Forest Preserve,” the groups wrote in a statement issued Monday.

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Thursday, May 16, 2024

New York Hunters Harvested Nearly 210,000 Deer, More Older Bucks Than Ever Before


On May 6, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Interim Commissioner Sean Mahar announced that during the 2023-24 hunting seasons hunters in New York harvested an estimated 209,781 deer. The 2023-24 deer harvest included more than twice as many older bucks, bucks two-and-a-half years old or older, than were harvested in the early 1990s, and nearly five times as many than were harvested in 1969 when DEC first began monitoring the age structure of New York’s deer herd.

“Nearly 70 percent of the bucks harvested by hunters during the 2023-24 deer hunting seasons were two years or older,” Interim Commissioner Mahar said. “This demonstrates the continued effectiveness of DEC’s Let Young Bucks Go and Watch Them Grow campaign, and the willingness of hunters to voluntarily pass up opportunities at young bucks to improve their future opportunities to harvest older bucks.”

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