Boat stewards are being deployed at 14 new locations and 11 new decontamination stations will be available across the Adirondacks this summer as part of a collaborative program to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in the Adirondacks.
The program is the result of an agreement reached among more than 60 conservation groups, owners associations, and local and state governments in March. » Continue Reading.
It’s not Dorothy’s fault, or even that of the Wizard of Oz, but the emerald city isn’t what it used to be. By “emerald city” I mean Fort Wayne, Indiana. Naperville, Illinois. Dayton, Ohio or any number of Midwestern communities that are decidedly less green than before the emerald ash borer (EAB) arrived there. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that Environmental Conservation Police will conduct boat inspections in the Adirondacks on May 16 and 17 to ensure boaters are aware of new state regulations, adopted in 2014, to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.
The new regulations are limited in their scope, applying only to DEC managed lands such as boat launches and fishing access sites. The regulation requires boaters to remove all visible plant and animal materials from boats, trailers and associated equipment, and to drain boats prior to launching at or departing from DEC managed state lands. DEC also recommends drying boats, but that is not required under the regulations. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is seeking public comment on two general permits the agency says is designed to streamline and expedite the Park Agency’s review process.
“This will ensure qualified invasive species management organizations have the ability to quickly respond to invasive species infestations,” according to an announcement by the APA. » Continue Reading.
When people think of invasive species in the Adirondack Park, they think of Eurasian watermilfoil, zebra mussels, Asian clams, or any number of other exotic plants and animals that have made the headlines.
People don’t usually think of brown trout and rainbow trout, but neither fish, though abundant now, is native to the region.
Brown trout are native to Germany and were introduced to New York State in the late 1800s. Rainbow trout, native to the West Coast, were introduced around the same time. In both cases, the goal was to enhance fishing opportunities. » Continue Reading.
New York Sea Grant, a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, and New York State Parks are sponsoring a day-long workshop for those interested in starting a new watercraft inspection program or in standardizing an existing water-based steward program that includes watercraft inspection.
The Watercraft Inspection Steward Program Leaders Workshop will be held on Friday, May 1 from 10am to 4pm as part of the 32nd Annual Conference Celebrating Citizen Science in Hamilton, NY. » Continue Reading.
The Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) has announced that it will hire up to 10 seasonal Lake Champlain boat launch stewards to work at New York and Vermont public boat launch access areas this summer.
In 2014, the LCBP boat launch stewards surveyed 14,175 boats at Lake Champlain access sites. This will be the 9th season of boat launch stewards on Lake Champlain. » Continue Reading.
Forests, the final frontier. These are the voyages of forest pest surveyors. They’re lifelong mission: to explore strange new woodlands, to seek out invasive insects and pests that harm trees, to boldly go where no pest surveyor has gone before.
Invasive insects are to conservationists like Romulans are to Vulcans. Emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle, hemlock woolly adelgid, and balsam woolly adelgid threaten the economy with costly tree removal, environment with adverse impacts to forest health, and public safety with dead limbs that fall on cars and homes. They found their way from their Eurasian home range to the United States in nursery stock and wood packing materials. Without the natural checks and balances found on their home turf, they reproduce as fast as tribbles. Forest pest surveys are important because early detection leads to rapid response and better management options. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park may become the first region in New York State to have its own, integrated program to halt the spread of aquatic invasive species.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked the state legislature to appropriate $1 million to develop the Adirondack-wide strategy.
According to Morris Peters, a spokesman for the Division of the Budget, the money for the new initiative will come from an increase in appropriations to the Environmental Protection Fund. » Continue Reading.
One of the invasive species that deserves attention by forest owners is the emerald ash borer (EAB). Having eaten its way through the Great Lakes states and portions of the upper Midwest, the EAB is on a fast track to Northern New York.
Since its discovery in 2002, the emerald ash borer has stripped cities and villages of all ash trees. Dorothy wouldn’t recognize one of these “emerald cities.” Treeless neighborhoods in places like Fort Wayne, IN, or Dayton, OH are a far cry from the emerald city of Oz. » Continue Reading.
Don’t look now, but the sky is falling. Again. This time it’s poised ominously over our hemlock trees, whose verdant canopies shade many a North Country stream and glen. Although hemlocks make lush hedges for home landscapes, they’re best known as stately forest giants that form cathedral-like stands in the Adirondacks and elsewhere. It’s hard to believe these titans are being killed by a tiny insect less than a sixteenth of an inch long. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondacks would benefit from some of the priorities expressed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in his 2015 State of the State address on Wednesday. The proposals are expected to help protect water quality, combat invasive species, bolster APA and DEC staffing, increase the Environmental Protection Fund, expand broadband locally, and cut the risk of explosive oil trains moving through the region. The Adirondack Park is the largest park in the contiguous United States and contains most of the motor-free wilderness remaining in the Northeast. » Continue Reading.
By disposition, if not by design, Dave Wick is the local official least likely to become the center of a controversy. He directed Warren County’s Soil and Water Conservation program for almost twenty years and in 2012, he was recruited to succeed Mike White as the executive director of the Lake George Park Commission. Wick’s talent, a rare one, lies is combining practice with politics; engineering storm water controls, demonstrating the finer points of boat decontamination, while, at the same time, attracting and retaining the good will of elected officials and influential environmentalists. If he suffers from existential anxiety or self-doubt, cynicism or an ironic sense of humor, it’s not evident. The earnest, self-confident demeanor that he wears at public meetings, in conferences with officials and in interviews with the local press, never falters.
So it must have come as a surprise to Wick when, on November 14, he was summoned to the State Capitol and told that he was to submit his resignation, immediately. His inquisitor, Basil Seggos, must have been equally surprised when Wick replied, in so many words, that he’d rather not. » Continue Reading.
Since the retreat of the glaciers, lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) have been the top native predator in Adirondack waters. These northern fish require true cold (less than 55°F) and move downward when surface waters warm in late spring and summer. Consequently, they are isolated to the largest and deepest Adirondack lakes – most of them deeper than 30 feet – where they stay in the dark chilly depths all summer and early fall. The species name namaycush is believed to be an Algonquin term for “dweller of the deep.”
This need for very cold, clean, high-oxygen water can bring to light otherwise invisible changes beneath the surface. Water quality in the Adirondack interior, where we don’t have much industry or farming, can be abstract. You usually can’t see it, touch it or even taste it. But lake trout make the health of our coldest lakes real and tangible. » Continue Reading.
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