DEC is conducting a survey to elicit public feedback on the overnight gate closure program for Lake George at Mossy Point and Roger’s Rock boat launches. The information gathered will inform a more permanent program for future boating seasons and support the state’s ongoing efforts to protect Lake George from invasive pests.
We encourage boaters that have used either access sites to take a brief survey. The survey and comment period will remain open until March 12, 2021. Comments may also be submitted by email to [email protected].
In case you missed last week’s Adirondack Park Agency meeting, here are a few highlights.
The APA is collecting public comments on the Hinckley Day Use Area unit management plan proposed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Specifically, the APA will look at how this plan meshes with the Adirondack State Park Master Plan. DEC is proposing a revamp of the area, including new multi-use trails, additional camping opportunities and a pavilion at Price’s Point. Click here for more info, including how to comment.
Recent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:Lewey Lake
Public Service: On Feb. 14, Forest Rangers Temple and Thompson were on snowmobile patrol in the Jessup River Wild Forest. While on patrol crossing Lewey Lake, the Rangers observed two abandoned snowmobiles that appeared to be broken down and stuck on the ice. The Rangers took the information from the snowmobile’s registration stickers and did a cursory search of the area looking for any signs of the snowmobile operators. With no signs of anyone in distress and the snowmobiles frozen in the surface slush of the lake, the Rangers continued their patrol and attempted to locate the operators through other means. On Feb. 15, Forest Rangers Thompson and Nally again patrolled the area and observed three individuals in a UTV attempting to recover the snowmobiles. The Rangers interviewed the group and learned that one of the snowmobiles broke down and was being towed out by the second when it began to have mechanical issues causing both sleds to get stuck. Prior to the Rangers’ arrival, the group attempted to remove the snowmobiles without proper equipment and got their UTV stuck in the surface slush, as well. Rangers proceeded to Moffitt Beach campground to gather equipment and returned, freeing all three machines from the slush. The Rangers then escorted the group off the ice. Due to one of the snowmobiles not being registered, the operator was issued a summons returnable to the Lake Pleasant Court. » Continue Reading.
Backcountry downhill skiers, snowboarders, and others who may traverse slides or steep, open terrain in the High Peaks Region of the Adirondacks should be aware of and prepared for avalanche conditions, advises the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
Avalanche danger increases during and immediately after major snowfalls and during thaws. The High Peaks have received approximately five to six feet of snow, with the majority accumulating over the last two weeks. Due to high winds, snow depths are deeper on leeward slopes or areas of snow deposits, such as gullies. As snow accumulates over time it develops distinct layers formed by rain and melt/freeze cycles. When new snow falls onto previous snowpack, it adds weight and downward pressure. Lower snow layers may be reactive to the added stresses of recent snows, creating conditions conducive to avalanches.
The Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District is now accepting orders for its annual tree and shrub seedling sale, which means spring is well on its way. Each year, the District offers a diverse selection of low cost bare root seedlings including fruit trees, flowering shrubs, seed mixes and much more. Incorporating native woody vegetation into your landscape can be a great option for establishing pollinator and wildlife habitat, a buffer, edible fruit or strictly for the beauty.
Some highlights for this year’s sale are the new Homestead Pack which includes Elderberry, Witch Hazel, Sugar Maple, American Hazelnut and Blueberry. This pack has great farm value offering species that produce nuts, berries, homemade maple syrup, and supports beneficial insects. The sale has even more to offer this year such as wildflower seeds, bird houses, wood duck boxes, apple and pear trees, and much more!
The order deadline is March 10. The order pick up will be held on April 23 from 8:30am to 6pm at the District Office 394 Schroon River Road in Warrensburg. The order form can be found at warrenswcd.org.
I had hoped to get back to Canada sometime in the last year. I wanted to bring my family to Montreal and to some natural areas in Quebec and Ontario — maybe even visit the Maritimes for the first time. We got our son his first passport in preparation.
Oh well. I know that our continent and world have suffered much worse than I have in the last year. Canada will be there for us some other summer. No biggie.
The LGA, in consultation with our members — and our friends at the Darrin Fresh Water Institute — have determined that “Ice-In” for Lake George was Thursday morning, Feb. 11, 2021.
We expect there were a few areas without ice on Feb. 11, as occurs every year, but the conditions met the definition of “ice-in” we have always used: when someone could walk from one end of the Lake to the other solely on the ice – though it is NOT SAFE TO WALK ON YET in some areas!
Much of the Lake had already frozen by that time, but the stubborn area in Hague had open water across the Lake through Tuesday, Feb. 9. The wind stopped after the snow on Tuesday night and the rest froze.
The Lake did not fully freeze last year, so it is the first time it is fully covered in ice since 2019. (Ice-out in 2019 was April 13, Ice-in in 2019 was January 22.)
In fact, according to LGA records that date back to 1908, the Lake has stayed “open” (not fully frozen over) seven of the last 21 years.
New York’s State parks, historic sites, campgrounds, and trails welcomed a record-setting 78 million visitors in 2020. The milestone marks nine years of steady visitor growth and represents an overall increase of 34 percent, or more than 20 million visitors since 2011.
This increase was driven by unprecedented growth during the spring and fall seasons, as New Yorkers turned to State Parks facilities for safe, healthy outdoor recreation during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to learn more.
Statewide Empire State Trail Completed
New Yorkers have a new way to explore all their state has to offer with completion of the 750-mile Empire State Trail, a year-round, multi-use recreational trail for cyclists, hikers, runners, cross-country skiers and snowshoers.
The trail runs from New York City through the Hudson and Champlain Valleys to Canada, and from Albany to Buffalo along the Erie Canal. Three-quarters of the trail is off-road. Projections call for 8.6 million people to use it each year.
Connecting 20 existing regional trails, the Empire State Trail was created by building more than 180 miles of new off-road trail and connecting 400 miles of previously disconnected, off-road trails. There are 45 gateways and trailheads along the trail, which includes signage, interpretive panels, bike racks and benches. Navigating the trail can be done through the trails web site empiretrail.ny.gov, which includes an online map and the ability to print itinerary sheets for specific trail segments. Learn more.
The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) is conducting a short survey to help refine the destination marketing message for the Lake Champlain Region.
The Lake Champlain Region comprises the towns of Keeseville, Willsboro, Essex, Lewis, Elizabethtown, Westport, Moriah/Port Henry, Crown Point, and Ticonderoga in Essex County, New York.
The survey is designed to better understand what motivates people to live, work, and play in the region. Respondents are asked questions about the quality of particular activities, such as hiking, fishing, history experiences, and dining out. One example question asks respondents to describe the Lake Champlain Region to a friend.
Since the Halloween Storm raged through Hamilton County on October 31, 2019, excellent progress has been made to mitigate damage. In the wake of the storm, departments worked unceasingly to make roads passable. Then, they spent the spring, summer, and fall repairing infrastructure and stabilizing streams. Work continues, with more projects on tap for 2021.
Greg Boyer, Hamilton County Department of Public Works Road Supervisor II, reported that when the storm first hit, crew members spent countless hours making the roads passable.
“Crews were fabulous as far as getting together to get the work done, and making roads accessible for people to get in and out of their houses,” Boyer said. “Everyone worked together really well.”
The Hamilton County DPW completed the following flood mitigation projects:
Champlain Area Trails (CATS) has been awarded two grants from the New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP) totaling $63,225.
“We are thrilled to be awarded $28,500 to create a new website that will greatly improve our online presence,” said Emily Segada, CATS Operations & Communications Manager, “We’ve already reached out to designers and are working to have a much more interactive trails page among many other improvements.”
“When I heard about the project from my teacher, I had a vision of the shot where I held up a bottle of cleaning spray, I just saw the vintage theme in my head and went with it,” Emily said. “I love the creative freedom that comes with making movies — it’s one of the best ways to express your art.”
Lady beetles may appear cute to the human eye, but in the insect world, they are fearsome predators. Considered by farmers to be a helpful pest control tool, lady beetles are welcome neighbors in Adirondack gardening communities. Nonetheless, there are controversial aspects surrounding these voracious insects. This article will describe the biology and taxonomy of the lady beetles, then discuss the multifaceted roles they play in both human and insect interactions.
Many New Yorkers are familiar with the red, round, and shiny lady beetles, but they may not be aware of the reason why they have their unusual name. In the 1690’s, this insect was named after the Virgin Mary, the “lady” that British farmers would pray to when their crops were afflicted by pests. The red coloration of the insect’s hardened outer wings, known as elytra, reminded them of the red cloak commonly worn by Mary in artwork of the time. In fact, all lady beetles are categorized in the family Coccinellidae, a term drawing its origins from the Latin coccinus, meaning “scarlet.” Many lady beetles are red; however, some are yellow, black, orange, pink, and/or white.
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