Do you live within the Saint Lawrence/Eastern Lake Ontario Region? Or do you like to get outdoors there? If so, NYS DEC friends SLELO PRISM are hosting their Virtual Hiking Challenge this winter, encouraging and challenging hikers to hike for the protection of the region’s hemlocks (and for cool prizes.)
The challenge will last through March, and you may participate anytime you choose to get outside. In order to participate, all you need to do is go for a hike, and check the hemlock trees for signs of invasive hemlock woolly adelgid, and share a photo.
To find out more information about the challenge, including featured trails, check out the SLELO PRISM website!
My son, wise beyond his years it would seem, taught me an invaluable lesson when he was a teenager living at home. Any time I got worked into a froth about a broken car, leaky roof or other serious, but non-cataclysmic setback, he’d put things in perspective for me: “Pops, it could always be worse – you could be on fire.”
This is a good model to apply to invasive species. Depending on the situation, they can wreak some genuine havoc, but sometimes the perception of danger is so far overblown that other problems ensue. It’s important to place an issue in the proper scale, beyond the fact that we are hopefully not surrounded by flames at the moment.
Spend sometime this winter getting involved in the following learning opportunities provided by the NYS DEC. Do your part to help combat the ongoing threat of invasive species within the Adirondack Park.
Protecting Rare Species from Invasives (Finger Lakes PRISM) – Tuesday, January 12 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. – Join the Finger Lakes PRISM for their Invasive Species: How to Know, Observe and Report Webinar Series. This presentation will feature Steve Young, Chief Biologist from the NY Natural Heritage Program. Please register in advance.
Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Society Annual Meeting (NEAPMS) – January 12, 13, and 14 – View agenda and registration information on NEAPMS’s website.
The Power of Native Plants (SLELO PRISM and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saint Lawrence County) – Thursday, January 14 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Join us for a free online class about the power of native plants, alternatives to exotic and invasive ornamental plants, and invasive species to watch for. Participants will also learn about nature-based community science opportunities they can contribute to from home. Register for this session on Zoom.
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.
An adult Galerucella beetle feeds on a potted purple loosestrife plant inside a hatchery.
Hamilton County students got a first-hand look at controlling the spread of invasive plants, thanks to the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Leaf Munchers project. As part of the program, kids reared and released leaf-munching beetles to keep the invasive wetland plant purple loosestrife in check.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation DEC Announced that they, along with Cornell University’s NYS Hemlock Initiative, The Adirondack Invasive Plant Program, Lake George Land Conservancy, and The Fund for Lake George, are developing a plan to mitigate the spread of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid HWA on Forest Preserve Lands in the towns of Dresden and Fort Ann, in Washington County. The DEC confirmed the HWA infestation August of 2020, in infected hemlock trees at the Glen Island Campground on the shore of Lake George. This marks the second infestation of HWA in the Adirondacks.
Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program’s (APIPP) final Summer Learning Event is right around the corner, and this topic may be of interest to a wide array of anglers, gardeners, hikers, and foresters alike. Invasive jumping worms are a creepy crawly creature coming our way from other parts of the state with destructive consequences for forest habitats among other environments.
Spread by human activities from being used as live bait during fishing trips, to being carried on shoes and pets within dried mud, or brought into gardens in potted plants and compost – these voracious decomposers damage soil structure, root systems, and negatively impact forest habitats. They are present in many other parts of New York State, but limited in the Adirondack Region, and our hope is to keep it that way by growing awareness!
Title: Emerging Species – Watch Out for Jumping Worms
The DEC’s Forest Health Team has seen great success in preventing the southern pine beetle from destroying the pine barrens of Long Island. (Visit this link for more information). If you live on Long Island or the Hudson Valley, be sure to keep your eyes open for signs of the southern pine beetle, which is active and flying around now. Some common signs of this beetle include a group of pine trees with needles yellowing at the same time, pitch tubes or popcorn-shaped clumps of resin on the tree’s bark extending all the way up the tree, and tiny scattered holes on the bark of a tree.
It is not yet established whether the southern pine beetle is in the Hudson Valley, and the DEC asks for help in finding any potential infestations early in order to keep it this way.
If you have seen any signs or suspect and activity in either of these regions of New York, please submit a report of your findings to NY iMapInvasives on their free mobile app, or their online system, available for viewing here.
Each summer, the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) receives calls from landowners across the Park who want to know how to manage invasive species on their property. The most common question is, “how do I manage that ‘bamboo’?” Most often the plant in question is not bamboo, it is one of three species of knotweed that grow in the Adirondacks.
To help community members learn how to identify these destructive invasive plants, prevent their spread, and manage infestations on their property, APIPP is hosting a free virtual learning event on Thursday, July 30 at 10 am. Visit www.ADKinvasives.com/Events to RSVP.
When the Asian Giant Hornet was discovered in Washington State Dec.19, it gave rise to a series of eye popping headlines and news stories.
The DEC has released a breakdown of the facts on this species in order to clear up any misinformation or anxiety in the general public. In North America, the Asian Giant Hornet has only been spotted in a small area in Washington state and British Columbia. There have been no AGH found anywhere else in the continent, east coast included.
New York has some common look-alikes, including the European Horney which is half an inch to an inch and a half in length, while the AGH is one to two inches in length.
The Asian Giant Hornet also does not attack humans unless you attempt to handle them, you are within 10 or so feet of their nest, or you are approaching a beehive that they are currently attacking. Their sting is more painful then the usual hornet due to their enormous size, but human deaths caused by AGH strings are extremely rare – about 12 per year worldwide. To put it in perspective, there are about 60 deaths a year in the U.S. alone from bee and hornet stings. However, the AGH will attack and destroy honeybee hives.
Boat counters on the Northway for the Memorial Day weekend say that 89% of the trailered motorboats traveling north into the Adirondacks on Interstate 87 passed the inspection/decontamination station without stopping, according to the Adirondack Council.
It is illegal to transport invasive plants, fish or wildlife from one water body to another in New York. The surest way to avoid contaminating one lake, pond or river with species from another is to have the boat inspected and cleaned by trained personnel. New York has installed a network of inspection stations in and around the Adirondack Park.
Boat inspections and decontaminations are free, but the state hasn’t required boaters to stop at the inspection stations. The Adirondack Council and others want better protection.
Starting this Memorial Day Weekend, Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute’s (PSC AWI) Stewardship Program will begin its work at public boat launches throughout the Adirondacks.
In partnership with NYS’s Department of Environmental Conservation, boat stewards will be assisting to CLEAN. DRAIN. DRY boats in the essential work to help protect the state’s waters from aquatic invasive species like hydrilla, water chestnut, and spiny waterflea.
In 2019, stewards talked with more than 250,000 water recreationists about aquatic invasive species and what can be done to prevent their spread. They also kept a lookout for invasive species at the waterbodies where they worked.
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