Thursday, July 9, 2020

DEC adds 241 acres to Catskill Forest Preserve

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced the acquisition of 241 acres in the Catskills, including 208 acres adjoining existing Forest Preserve lands in the Bluestone Wild Forest that will preserve critical open space and expand recreational opportunities to support the local economy. The purchases of the two properties were made possible through a partnership with the Open Space Institute (OSI) and $758,000 from New York’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Rangers educate river guides; assist lost and injured hikers

Recent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Hudson River
Indian Lake
Hamilton County

On Sunday, July 5, two Forest Rangers from Region 5 Zone D, Hamilton County, conducted outreach and education for New York State-licensed rafting guides on the Indian/Hudson River. On this day, 182 customers hired licensed guides to raft them down the Indian and Hudson River Gorge. Rangers inspected 40 licensed guides, educating and assisting them with any violations observed.

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On June 30 at 7:48 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker reporting that her hiking partner was overdue coming off Lower Wolfjaw Mountain. The hiker had last seen her friend at a junction labeled for Lower Wolfjaw on their descent at approximately 4:45 p.m., when the caller took both of their gear and proceeded ahead to make things easier for her slower companion. Forest Ranger Rob Praczkajlo headed to the security house at the Ausable Club and proceeded to drive down the lake road to the start of the Wedge Brook trail for Upper and Lower Wolfjaw. At 10:05 p.m., Ranger Praczkajlo advised that he was with the 45-year-old hiker from Gloversville. The woman had hiked down the trail and followed Wedge Brook, off trail, down to the Ausable River. A group of hikers found her at the river and assisted her back to the trail where they were met by Ranger Praczkajlo who then escorted her down to the lake road and gave her a courtesy ride to join her friend at the gate house.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Watchable Wildlife – 2020 I Bird NY Challenges

DEC recently kicked off the 2020 “I BIRD NY” challenges for beginner and experienced birders. The I BIRD NY program was launched in 2017 to build on the State’s efforts to increase access to New York’s vast natural resources and promote low-cost opportunities to explore the great outdoors and connect with nature.

Birdwatching is one of the fastest growing outdoor recreational activities in the U.S. Backyard birding, or watching birds around the home, is the most common way people engage in birding. New York State is home to a wide range of habitats that support more than 450 different bird species throughout the year. There are also 59 designated Bird Conservation Areas to safeguard and enhance bird populations and habitats on State lands and waters across New York. Check the map to find the bird conservation areas in your region. The State’s I Bird NY program provides resources for New Yorkers who want to get outdoors and engage in birding all year long. People from all economic backgrounds experience the joy of birdwatching. While binoculars can help, you can enjoy birds without any special equipment.


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Increased Bear Activity in Adirondack High Peaks

Sunday, July 5, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) temporarily closed campsites and lean-tos in the Lake Colden area in the Adirondack High Peaks, Essex County, after a recent increase in bear activity. The sites are now reopen. Campers in other areas of the Eastern High Peaks are encouraged to follow DEC guidance for dealing with nuisance bears. Minimizing human-bear interactions can be accomplished through a few simple steps. Adirondack Explorer editor Brandon Loomis was backpacking over the weekend and experienced the increased bear activity firsthand. Read about it here (and watch a video): https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/stories/state-captures-bear-that-raided-lake-colden-campsites » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 4, 2020

In celebration of camping

About a year ago, I was paddling from Middle Saranac Lake to Lower Saranac Lake with three friends to finish up a week of camping that had taken me to several destinations throughout the Adirondacks.

The final night’s destination was an island at the end of Lower Saranac Lake, which is part of a state campground run by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

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Saturday, July 4, 2020

DEC to open camping reservations on Monday, 7/6

News update from NYS DEC:

DEC IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE OPENING OF RESERVATIONS FOR THE 2020 SEASON. RESERVATIONS FOR DATES ON OR AFTER JULY 10 WILL BEGIN AT 8AM ON MONDAY, JULY 6. DUE TO EXPECTED VOLUME, WE ENCOURAGE CUSTOMERS TO BOOK RESERVATIONS ONLINE.

WALK-IN CAMPING IS NOT PERMITTED AT THIS TIME.

As part of the COVID-19 guidelines, and for the courtesy of other visitors and our staff, face masks must be worn when outside your campsite area at any place where social distancing cannot be maintained. All patrons shall practice social distancing.

Only registered campers will be allowed in campground areas, no day visitors will be permitted.

In order to assist with enhanced cleaning, Check-in time is now 2pm and Check-out time is 10am.

There may be limited shower and/or restroom facilities and they may periodically be closed to allow for enhanced cleaning.

Use of facility amenities such as, but not limited to playgrounds, pavilions and day use areas may be restricted or prohibited at certain locations.

Retail sales such as firewood and ice as well as other services such as boat rentals may be restricted or prohibited at certain locations.

To achieve density reduction in our facilities, day use sales and bather capacity number will be reduced.


Thursday, July 2, 2020

Tupper Lake announces paddling challenge

The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) has launched a Tupper Lake Triad paddling challenge.

While hiking challenges have continuously grown in popularity throughout the Adirondacks, so has the Triad in Tupper Lake. Since 2014, more than 5,000 people have completed the Tupper Lake Triad hiking challenge. To build off of the success of the hiking challenge, a committee including ROOST, community leaders, and business owners have worked to establish the Tupper Lake Paddling Triad.

Paddlers are invited to complete what is believed to be the first water-based challenge within the Adirondack Blue Line. By completing three paddles near Tupper Lake, adventurers can earn a sticker, patch, and inclusion on the finisher roster.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Rangers fight backcountry fires in Old Forge, St. Lawrence Co.

Recent DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Webb
Herkimer County
Wildland Fire:
 On June 24 at 1:40 p.m., Herkimer County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch requesting assistance with a backcountry wildfire on Panther Mountain. Four Forest Rangers responded to assist the Old Forge Fire Department with a one-acre smoldering wildfire in the cliffs and rocks at the Panther Mountain overlook, burning in deep spruce duff 0.6 miles from a private road. Volunteer firefighters and Rangers knocked down the fire, preventing its spread. Over the following three days, seven Rangers utilized a State Police Aviation helicopter with water bucket drops, hand tools, and set up a half-mile water hose pumping operation up 600 vertical feet in elevation to continually douse several areas of the fire with water. The fire is now in patrol status.

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Friday, June 26, 2020

DEC expands campground openings; still not accepting new reservations

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that additional DEC campgrounds in the Adirondack and Catskill parks will open on July 1 to existing reservation holders for the 2020 season. To maintain social distancing and reduce the density of facilities and protect visitors, DEC is not accepting additional reservations or walk-in camping for the 2020 season at this time. Only existing reservations for all DEC campgrounds will be honored. Please visit DEC’s website for the latest updates on DEC campgrounds and information about each facility.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Rangers respond to dog in distress

forest ranger logoRecent DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Keene
Essex County
Pet Distress Reminder:
 On June 21 at 2:45 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker advising that they were coming down Giant Mountain when their 75-pound Golden Retriever collapsed about one mile from Chapel Pond parking lot. The hiking party had started their trip at approximately 7 a.m. up the Ridge Trail and neglected to bring enough water for their dog. About halfway up the trail, the dog began to struggle and the group turned around to head back down. The dog collapsed from heat exhaustion just above the junction for the Ridge Trail and Giants Nubble. An Assistant Forest Ranger working in the area was notified and quickly found the distressed dog. The dog was carried to the Washbowl waterhole and placed in the water. After cooling the dog and giving it time to rest and rehydrate, the dog was able to make it back down the trail without further assistance.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Fish for Free June 27-28

A Free Fishing Weekend is coming up June 27 – 28. The event is the second of six free fishing days offered in New York State every year. New York residents and non-residents are permitted to fish for free without a fishing license. Free fishing day participants are reminded that although the requirement for a fishing license is waived during free fishing days, all other fishing regulations remain in effect.

DEC encourages all anglers, new and experienced, to recreate locally and seek out fishing opportunities close to home. DEC’s Places to Fish webpages are a reliable source for those ready to plan their next fishing trip. For beginning anglers interested in getting started, the I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Fishing provides information on everything from rigging up a fishing rod, to identifying your catch, and understanding fishing regulations.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Ranger report: Boat set adrift strands campers

forest ranger logoRecent DEC Forest Ranger actions

Town of Indian Lake
Hamilton County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On June 12 at 7:20 p.m., Hamilton County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting stranded boaters camping on Indian Lake Islands. The campers were shuttling others from the boat launch to the island when the boat broke free of shore and floated away. Forest Ranger Jason Scott responded to assist. When the Ranger arrived on scene, he found one camper at the boat launch waiting to be picked up who was unaware of the situation. Ranger Scott gave the subject a courtesy ride to the island and assisted the campers trying to locate the vessel. Unable to recover the aluminum boat, the group decided to remain on the island for the evening and contact a friend the next day to bring them back to shore and help locate the drifting boat. At 9:54 p.m., Ranger Scott was back on shore.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

DEC to open 20 campgrounds on Friday, for existing reservations

Additional DEC Campground Openings to be Announced Soon for Summer 2020 Season
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that 20 of DEC’s campgrounds in the Adirondack and Catskill parks will open on June 19 for the 2020 season.

Three additional campgrounds are slated to open June 26, and additional DEC campgrounds and day use areas will open in the coming weeks as DEC works to safely reopen these facilities to meet guidelines in place to protect staff and visitors from the spread of COVID-19.

To maintain social distancing and reduce the density of facilities and protect visitors, DEC is not accepting additional reservations or walk-in camping for the 2020 season at this time. Existing reservations will be honored for the DEC campgrounds listed below.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Great Camp Sagamore updates resources for its historic trail network

By Jen Maguder, Great Camp Sagamore’s Program Director

Big Slope BridgeIn mid-May, seasonal staffers Lily Whiteman and Charles Sykes returned to work remotely for Great Camp Sagamore. Their positions are supported by the Payroll Protection Program, introduced by the federal government to encourage workforce retention and hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lily and Charles are helping to upgrade our online resources for visitors to the Historic Great Camps Special Management Area (HGCSMA).

It’s a long title, so we’re calling Lily and Charles’ work the “trails project” for now.

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Saturday, June 13, 2020

Environmental Conservation Officers rescue Sacandaga boaters

ECOs and local law enforcement on a long dock helping bring a boat to the launchECOs Assist Boaters on Great Sacandaga Lake – Fulton County
On June 6, ECOs Shane Manns and Paul Pasciak were patrolling near the Broadalbin boat launch when a wind storm came through the area.

Dozens of vessels began to crowd the launch due to the large waves and windy conditions. ECOs Manns and Pasciak immediately began assisting boaters, safely pulling them to shore and retrieving vessels.

ECO Pasciak rescued a woman who fell overboard from a vessel near the docks and both ECOs rescued an individual who fell off of a personal watercraft and was having difficulty getting to the dock. Dozens of vessels and people safely reached the shore with assistance from the two ECOs. Photo: ECOs Pasciak and Manns assisting boaters during wind storm on Great Sacandaga Lake

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