Posts Tagged ‘DEC’

Saturday, May 8, 2021

The Cabins that Time Forgot

rundown cabinThe Adirondack Forest Preserve is celebrated as one of the world’s best-protected wilderness reserves, but of course this is New York State, not the distant, untrodden surface of Venus; with precious few exceptions all of the lands that are now “forever wild” were once privately owned, and many parcels were developed to one degree or another before the state acquired them for the Forest Preserve. If you’ve enjoyed any of the Adirondack Park’s “blockbuster” purchases over the last quarter-century, such as Little Tupper Lake, Round Lake, the Essex Chain of Lakes, Boreas Ponds, or Madawaska Flow, you have explored land that was once populated by dozens of modest hunting camps.

I was an early visitor at all of these properties, exploring their secrets while the ink was still wet on the deeds. In 1998, just weeks after the “William C. Whitney Area” opened to the public, I found a small cabin on the north shore of Little Tupper Lake that even DEC staff didn’t seem to know about. At Madawaska Flow in 2004 and Round Lake in 2006, I ventured into recently abandoned cabins that stood on expired leases, quietly awaiting their demolition. These structures reminded me that what I had come to explore as “wilderness” had been perceived and used as something slightly different a few years earlier.

Because of these experiences, as well as my interest in Adirondack history, I have never been deluded into thinking our wilderness is a people-less place; it may be the natural landscape that attracts me and fills my daydreams, but I am also familiar with (and fascinated by) the human story that haunts the Forest Preserve.

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Friday, April 30, 2021

How to Evaluate High Peaks Report Success in Short- and Long-term

This article concludes the series examining the ideas in the final report of the High Peaks Strategic Planning Group (HPAG) that provides ideas for building a new and improved management program for the High Peaks Wilderness Complex (HPWC). This article focuses on the realities of turning the ideas in the HPAG report, many of which have been around for years or are already in the works, into on-the-ground realities in the management of the HPWC. This piece looks at how to evaluate the success of the ideas enumerated in this report through adoption and implementation of leading ideas in the short-term and long-term.

The report was greeted warmly by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement “I commend the efforts of the High Peaks Strategic Planning Advisory Group in developing this important report which provides solid recommendations to further enhance our ongoing efforts to manage use and protect our irreplaceable natural treasures.… With the growing uptick in visitors to the High Peaks region, compounded this past summer by New Yorkers desperate to get outside as a respite from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s critical that DEC and our partners work together to protect these irreplaceable lands for future generations by promoting sustainable recreation, supporting local communities, and improving the visitor experience, and we look forward to working with all partners to continue and expand our ongoing efforts.”

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Friday, April 9, 2021

At 50, how are APA and DEC Performing?

Report of the Commission on the Adirondacks in the 21st Century April 1990In the just-approved 2021-22 state budget is a $3 billion-dollar environmental bond act, subject to voter approval in November 2022. If approved, it may make a small dent in the $60+ billion needed statewide to upgrade our state’s old water and sewage treatment systems. If approved, it may help to do even more than we are doing today to prepare and make more resilient New Yorkers and their villages, towns, counties and cities for the more frequent and more severe weather events that will continue during a warming climate. And it may help to create more incentives to protect intact forests in private ownership to offset our carbon emissions.

If approved, maybe a tiny amount, relatively speaking, perhaps as little as a few hundreds of thousands of dollars from the $3 billion could go towards an independent evaluation of how well the Adirondack Park Agency and Department of Environmental Conservation are fulfilling their respective, but also overlapping missions.

This also being the 50th anniversary of the Adirondack Park Agency, the question should be asked: has there ever been an evaluation of the agency’s current and past performance visa vi its legislated responsibilities and jurisdiction? The answer is a qualified no.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

In-Person Hunter Education Classes Resume April 1

small game hunters provided by DEC

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that hunter education courses will be resuming their in-person format on April 1. The DEC will also continue to offer online hunter education courses.

In-person courses will be free and are taught by volunteer Hunter Education Program instructors. You may take a class in hunting, bowhunting, trapping, and waterfowl education. Registration is required for both online and in-person courses, and the in-person courses require mandatory homework which must be completed prior to the course.

For more information, or to register for a HEP course, visit the Hunter Education Program page on DEC’s website.


Tuesday, February 9, 2021

DEC seeks applicants for annual pheasant release program

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced that applications for the DEC’s cooperative Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program are now available until March 25. This program, provided through the DEC’s partnership with hunters, 4-H youth, and interested landowners. enables people to raise and release pheasants in order to enhance the state’s fall hunting opportunities.

The program began in the early 1900’s, when the State Conservation Department, the precursor of the DEC, gave out pheasant eggs and pheasant chicks to farmers and the rural youth. This tradition extends into modern times, and day old chicks are available for free to applicants that can provide a brooding facility, a covered outdoor rearing pen, and an adequate release site. Approved applicants will receive the chicks in April, May, or June.

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Saturday, January 23, 2021

DEC Reminder – Seeking Comments for Proposed Trout Stream Fishing Regulations

NYS DEC has announced that there is still time to comment on the potential fishing regulations for inland trout streams in New York State. Those interested in posting comment can find the text of regulations proposed, as well as instructions for submitting comments on the DEC’s website. Public comments on proposed rule changes will be accepted until January 25.

If you need a quick reminder, the DEC is proposing an amendment to Trout Stream Sportfishing Regulations by creating new statewide regulations, 4 regulation categories, and a catch and release season from October 15th through March 31st.

 


Thursday, January 7, 2021

DEC seeks public input on Three Lakes Tract management planning

The Three Lakes Tract is an area of commercially managed forestland, composed of northern hardwood forest, Hitchcock, Grass, and Moose Ponds. It shares around 4.1 miles of boundaries with the State Forest Preserve lands (the Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness and Independence River wild Forest) as well as 2.5 miles with the Big Moose Tract Conservation Easement.

Until January 13, The NYS DEC will be seeking public input on the development of a draft Recreation Management Plan (RMP) for the Three Lakes Tract Conservation Easement. The conservation easement is privately owned and extends over 3,350 acres in the town of Webb, in Herkimer County.

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Thursday, December 31, 2020

First Day Hikes in 2021

This New Year’s Day, the 10th anniversary of First Day Hikes is taking place in New York State parks, historic sites, wildlife areas, trails, and public lands across the North Country (With some minor limitations for COVID-19).

The event includes options for hikes ranging from self-guided to small staff and or volunteer-led hikes on Friday the 1st, or the following Saturday or Sunday of January. The extended hiking schedule is to allow hikers time and space to social distance while enjoying nature.

All hikes are family-friendly, ranging from one to five miles dependant on location and conditions. Hikes are being offered at 61 state parks, historic sites, DEC state lands, wildlife areas, Forest Preserve trails and environmental education centers.

A full listing, including details and pre-registration requirements, can be found at parks.ny.gov  and dec.ny.gov.


Monday, December 21, 2020

2021 Decentralization Grant Applications Now Open

council on the artsThe 2021 Decentralization (DEC) Grant application process is now open for eligible arts organizations and individual artists residing in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, and Hamilton Counties. Artists may submit up to three direct requests of up to $5000 in any combination of two categories: Community Arts and Arts Education projects.

The requirements for submission include reading the guidelines for whichever category you are applying in and attending a free informational seminar with a Grant Coordinator. Seminars will be held online via Zoom between now and January 15. The deadline for the online application process is January 31.

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Saturday, December 19, 2020

Holiday recycling tips

Recycling Bin “Do’s” and “Don’ts” – Holiday Edition

NYS DEC provides some important recycling tips so you can have a waste-free seasonal celebration! Check out all the following tips and information, as well as events offered this season in order to help spread information and reduce waste this season.

Holiday Recycling Tips
  • Cardboard Boxes: Do recycle! Flatten boxes to save space and remove loose tape.
  • Holiday Cards: Do not include cards with glittery, metallic, or foil elements. Do include all others.
  • Wrapping Paper: Do not include metallic, glittery, or foil-lined papers. Do include other wrapping papers by folding into flat sheets before recycling.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2020

“Why I Hunt” and “Why I Trap” Photo & Essay Contest

The NYS DEC is calling for hunters and trappers to submit photos and essays about what motivates them to trek out into the wilderness and practice what they love. Whether it be a family tradition, a connection to nature, or just to feed your family, the DEC is asking for the people of New York to share their stories so that they may encourage others to get outside and do the same. The winners of the contest will appear in the 2021-2022 New York Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide, which has over half a million readers.

Essays should be non-fiction, original material told from a first-person perspective, of 50 to 500 words in length. The contest has a limit of one entry per person with a maximum of two photos per entry. Photos must be taken in New York State.

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Friday, December 11, 2020

APA, DEC announce new public comment period, public hearing for Debar

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA), as co – lead agencies, have determined that the Integrated Series of Proposed State Land Management Actions in the Vicinity of Debar Mountain Wild Forest may have a significant adverse impact on the environment and have prepared a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) and Final Scope. NYS DEC and the APA announce an opportunity for public comment on the proposed actions.

The APA proposes re-classification of approximately 41 acres of land from the Debar Mountain Wild Forest to be classified as Intensive Use, on the shore of Debar Pond.  The reclassification proposal will be reviewed for compliance with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan and will be in conformance with the Programmatic EIS.  The proposed reclassification is located in the Town of Duane.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

DEC Announces Annual Arbor Day Poster Contest

2019 arbor day poster by Paul BergwallThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced the start of the DEC’s Annual Arbor Day Original Artwork Poster contest. This contest is held by the DEC’s Urban and Community Forestry Program yearly in order to commemorate Arbor Day. The public is invited to submit original photos and artwork celebrating the immeasurable value of trees.

The contest is sponsored by the New York State Arbor Day Committee, and the DEC will be accepting photographs and artwork submissions for the committee through December 31, 2020. The photos and artwork submitted must include trees within New York State, and can be sent to [email protected]. Participants will be limited to five submissions and each submission should include a completed artist information form available on DEC’s website.

To obtain past New York State Arbor Day posters, contact any local DEC forestry office or call 518-402-9428.


Thursday, November 19, 2020

Update on Lake George Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Treatment

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and its partners have successfully completed this year’s Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) spread prevention and control treatment on the Washington County Forest Preserve Lands.

This treatment is part of an ongoing effort spanning multiple years. The HWA infestation was confirmed by the DEA in August- the affected hemlock trees located within the Glen Island Campground on the shore of Lake George.

 

 

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Friday, November 13, 2020

DEC Awards Mohawk River Watershed Grants to Prevent Flooding, Improve Habitat

Mohawk River Watershed and Adirondack ParkNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced funding for seven projects throughout the Mohawk River watershed. The projects will contribute to flood risk reduction and resiliency, improve stewardship and stakeholder engagement, and protect fish and wildlife and associated aquatic and riparian habitats. The grants are supported via the State’s Environmental Protection Fund.

“The Mohawk River basin is an environmental, recreational, and economic asset that will benefit from the projects announced today and the ongoing partnerships we are helping to strengthen,” Commissioner Seggos said. “This funding will help reduce flooding due to climate change, increase habitat, and improve water quality, ensuring the preservation and protection of the Mohawk watershed and the communities that depend on it.”

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