Posts Tagged ‘DEC’

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Protect: Search for next DEC head should be national

From left, Justin Driscoll, acting president and CEO of the New York Power Authority; Doreen Harris, president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority; and Basil Seggos, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, testify before lawmakers during a joint budget hearing on Feb. 14 in the New York State Capitol in Albany.

With the news that Basil Seggos, the current Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), is going to step down with the next two months, Protect the Adirondacks calls upon Governor Kathy Hochul to conduct a nationwide search for the next DEC Commissioner. With the many challenges facing New York’s environment and DEC’s serious environmental responsibilities, it’s critical that the next DEC Commissioner have a proven track record in successful management of an environmental agency, including assuring transparency and open engagement with the public, and a demonstrated commitment to upholding environmental laws and respecting court decisions.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Blue Mt. Lake Assoc. awarded grant to fight milfoil

The Blue Mountain Lake Association announced  a grant award totalling $60,000 over three years by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to support its project to eliminate Variable Leaf Milfoil, a highly aggressive aquatic invasive species, from Utowana Lake, and to prevent its spread throughout the Eckford Chain of lakes. 

The Blue Mountain Lake Association is grateful to be one of 43 recipients in this statewide investment to provide critical support to address negative impacts of aquatic and terrestrial invasive species on New York State’s natural resources, economy, and communities. These grants are part of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Invasive Species Grant Program, which provides funding for aquatic and terrestrial invasive species spread prevention, early detection and rapid response, lake management planning, research, and education and outreach. 

The Blue Mountain Lake Association oversees efforts to promote the long-term health of all three lakes in The Eckford Chain (Blue Mountain Lake, Eagle Lake and Utowana Lake). In 2020, when Variable Leaf Milfoil (VLM) was first discovered in Utowana Lake, The BMLA acted decisively, quickly raising an unprecedented $150,000 to stop VLM from spreading further into the Eckford Chain. Experts were hired to begin hand-harvesting VLM from Utowana using scuba equipment in order to stop its spread. Initially, 400 gallons of VLM were harvested. By 2023, that number was down to 36 gallons – a testament to The BMLA’s vigilance against VLM in its waters. With the support of additional funds from New York State, The BMLA is seeking to eradicate VLM from Utowana while continuing to monitor all three lakes in the Eckford Chain for aquatic invasive species.


Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Public invited to comment on plans for Revolutionary War soldiers’ remains

Public Comment Period Open Through February 19, 2024

 Ray Brook – The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) are holding joint public comment periods to solicit comments for a proposed amendment to the 1981 Lake George Beach and Battlefield Park Unit Management Plans (UMP). The public is invited to submit input on the draft amendment and its conformance to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. Comments will be accepted until February 19, 2024.
» Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 26, 2023

DEC seeks submissions for student poster contest, Jan. 12 deadline

Top Winner - Mudanvit Goyal Mildred E Strang Middle School Yorktown Heights, NY Watershed superhero

DEC and NYWEA are sponsoring the 2023-2024 “Create a Watershed Super Hero” (PDF) Poster Contest for middle school students. Fourteen winners will have the honor of having their artwork in a 2025 calendar distributed across New York State. The deadline for submitting posters is January 12, 2024.

Poster Contest Theme

What you do at home and in your community affects everyone downstream. This poster contest is meant to encourage students to learn about their role in the watershed they live in and how to conserve and protect our water resources, now and for future generations.

All Middle School students (Grades 6-8) in New York State public and private schools are eligible to enter the poster contest. One student per poster. Deadline for receipt of posters is Friday, January 12, 2024. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 21, 2023

APA-DEC Take A Bold Stand To Deny Reality

The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) have teamed up to formally interpret an important guideline in the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (Master Plan) that deals with the mileage of roads allowable in Wild Forest areas of the Adirondack Forest Preserve. This is a high stakes action by these agencies because of the potential to significantly expand the mileage of roads open to motor vehicles in all corners of the Forest Preserve.

There is no greater impact to a wild area than a road. From the fact that motor vehicles travel on roads at high speeds to the fact that roads are conduits for invasive species, the impacts of roads are undeniable. Roads change and fragment forest habitats, impact wildlife travel pathways, and impact streams, rivers, and wetlands that they cross and border. They are also extremely expensive for the DEC to maintain and repair.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, February 27, 2023

Budget requests for the park

From left, Justin Driscoll, acting president and CEO of the New York Power Authority; Doreen Harris, president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority; and Basil Seggos, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, testify before lawmakers during a joint budget hearing on Feb. 14 in the New York State Capitol in Albany.

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed $237 billion state budget did not include carve-outs for visitor safety and management for the Adirondack and Catskills parks in the $400 million environmental protection fund. The state Department of Environmental Conservation has said the money is still available for those items, but Commissioner Basil Seggos noted in his testimony last week that there are differences in opinion over whether an earmark is needed.

Several Adirondack Park organizations called for the line item to be restored. Some, including the Adirondack Mountain Club, also called for it to be boosted from last year’s $8 million to $10 million.

You can read more about Tuesday’s environmental conservation budget hearing here.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 2, 2023

PROTECT Challenges DEC’s Road Rebuilding in Wilderness

On January 20, 2023, Protect the Adirondacks filed a lawsuit challenging the reconstruction by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) of a previously closed and reclaimed road in the High Peaks Wilderness Complex. DEC’s road construction activity in the High Peaks violates the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (Master Plan) which prohibits roads in Wilderness areas.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 4, 2023

DEC Lands and Forests – Should It Still Do More with Less?

DEC discussing future accessible trail to Boreas Pond lean-to

Governor Kathy Hochul has signed the “30:30 by 2030” state legislation whose objective is, in line with national goals, to bring New York State’s percentage of protected lands and waters up to 30 percent by 2030.

The eminent, late biologist and ecologist E.O. Wilson urged that the nations of the world protect 50% of the lands, freshwaters and oceans under their jurisdiction in order to slow the loss of habitats and species dependent on them, including humans whose livelihoods completely depend on the health of fisheries, forest products and other natural ecosystems. At the same time, E.O. Wilson’s goal would accelerate carbon sequestration within the rich, but shrinking carbon sinks of coastal eelgrass beds, mangrove swamps, ocean surfaces and inland forests. Habitat protection and climate mitigation are inextricably linked, he taught us.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, January 2, 2023

Great Sacandaga campground approved

An Adirondack Park Agency presentation shows the slice of a proposed campground in Mayfield that is located in the Adirondack Park.

The Adirondack Park Agency gave its stamp of approval for an RV campground in the town of Mayfield at is monthly meeting last week. It also sent out to public comment plans for an expanded boat launch and a beach closure in Broadalbin, about seven miles from where the campground is planned.

The two projects brought up some interesting questions about the park’s boundary, which does not include the southern tip of Great Sacandaga Lake. You can read more about the projects and the Blue Line discussion here.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 16, 2022

Important NYSDEC Forest Preserve Management Reforms, Part 2

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for development of a “Visitor Use Management” Plan for the Central High Peaks Wilderness Area in the Adirondack Park and the Kaaterskill Clove/Route 23A corridor of the Catskill Park. The RFP marks a major step forward in DEC’s efforts to evaluate and address a series of impacts to the natural resources, the visitor experience, and public safety due to high recreational use in these two popular destinations on the Forest Preserve.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 1, 2022

State announces hiking season preparations

high peaks preparationIn anticipation of a busy hiking season, state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos took a trip up to the Adirondacks last week to recap all the visitor management initiatives DEC and partners have implemented.

“This is paradise,” Seggos said. “This is New York’s Yellowstone, and New Yorkers have discovered that.”

» Continue Reading.


Monday, November 22, 2021

Still blooming

HABs map

The HABs keep on happening on Lake George. Shortly after we reported on an early-October harmful algal bloom on Lake George, the state Department of Environmental Conservation updated its useful map of HABs across the state. And state officials confirmed yet more HABs on Lake George on Nov. 8-11.

Harmful algal blooms – or HABs – are formations of cyanobacteria, which can rise to the water’s surface under the right conditions. While HABs have the potential to turn toxic, toxins have not been detected in the Lake George HABs. The HABs on Lake George continued in the Harris Bay area and in November the confirmed blooms included some around Cotton near Bolton Landing, according to the DEC map.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 30, 2021

The NYSDEC Should Embrace Openness And Transparency

Last week, we saw news that Governor Kathy Hochul instructed state agencies to develop and submit plans for greater transparency. This is good news and welcome news. I’ve watched over the decades as state agencies have restricted more and more of what was once basic and easily accessible public information. 

The administration of former Governor Andrew Cuomo was the worst from a public information standpoint, and state agencies, which were often managed by his political appointees in the image and temperament of the former Governor, shared the former Governor’s desire to control all public information. Under Cuomo, state agencies required Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests for just about everything, and then they dragged out the response time for these requests like no other.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

How to Report a Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB)


harmful algal bloom, aka HABDEC’s harmful algal bloom (HABs) notification season has begun. HABs notifications will be updated through the fall using an online reporting and notification system dubbed NYHABS. The system includes an interactive map that shows reports of freshwater HABs, as well as a public reporting system. Instructions on how to use NYHABS are on DEC’s HABs notification page.

Know it:  If you see a HAB, please use the reporting form to submit a report to NYHABS.

Avoid it:  Because waterbodies may have HABs that have not been reported to DEC, we recommend avoiding contact with floating mats, scums and discolored water.

Report it: If you, your family, or pet have been in contact with a HAB, please rinse with clean water and report any symptoms to your local health department.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, August 2, 2021

Sabotaging Trail Deal Was No Way to Protect the Adirondacks 

snowmobile trail

By Brian Wells 

This is a story that should have had a happy ending. 

A story of five Adirondack towns working with state government and environmental non-profits on an agreement to expand the taxpayer-owned Forest Preserve, improve public recreation and bring new economic growth to the area. 

The Community Connector Trails agreement would have helped turn the page on decades of Adirondack Region job losses brought on by industry disinvestment and Forest Preserve expansion, and established a model for the type of common-sense, compromise solutions needed for many problems confronting the Adirondack Park. 

Instead, it’s a sad story of misplaced trust and lost opportunity, ending with the towns and the people who live there getting left out in the cold. 

» Continue Reading.



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