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Entries from May 27th, 2011

Moose River Plains Road Partially Open for Memorial Day Weekend

May 27th, 2011 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoThe Moose River Plains road system in Hamilton County was partially opened today in time for the Memorial Day Weekend the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced.

The Moose River Plains (Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road) has been opened to motor vehicles from the Limekiln Lake gate at the western end near Inlet and to the Lost Ponds access road. Also the Otter Brook Road is passable to motor vehicles to the Icehouse Pond trailhead.

Moose River Plains

Rock Dam Road, the Cedar River Gate and the Wakely Dam camping area at the eastern end of the main road remain closed at this time.

The open section of the road provides access to 30 roadside campsites and numerous waters popular with anglers including Icehouse Pond, Helldiver Pond, Lost Ponds, Mitchell Ponds and Beaver Lake.

Other roads in the Adirondack Forest Preserve that have been reopened since yesterday include the Powley-Piseco Road in the Ferris Lake Wild Forest in Hamilton and Fulton Counties and the Jabe Pond Road in the Town of Hague, Warren County.

The opening of the Moose River Plains roads is due to the hard work of the local highway department staff and the successful partnership between DEC, the Towns of Inlet and Indian Lake and Hamilton County.

More details on road closures and openings, trail conditions and more can be found on the Adirondack Trail Information web pages, along with links to current weather forecasts, regulations, and safety tips.

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DEC’s Hinckley Reservoir Day Use Area Kicks Off 2011 Season May 27

May 26th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoThe Hinckley Reservoir Picnic and Day Use Area will be opening on Friday, May 27, for the 2011 summer season, New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Judy Drabicki announced today. Located on Stormy Hill Road in the Town of Russia, Herkimer County, the DEC Hinckley Day Use Area is just a short drive from Utica, Rome and Herkimer.

Hinckley Reservoir Picnic and Day Use Area

“Hinckley Reservoir Picnic and Day Use Area is a local getaway spot on the edge of the Adirondack Park, with plenty of fresh air and clean water,” Drabicki said. “Our DEC staff have worked hard to get the site open and running and to provide these facilities to the public for yet another great year of summer outdoor fun.”

The roadways have been freshly paved and some of the out-buildings have been renovated. Visitors can enjoy the beauty of the outdoors that Hinckley provides as well as opportunities for swimming, fishing, hiking or picnicking. The large pavilions provide great spots for larger groups, such as Boy Scout and Girl Scout field trips or barbecues, birthday parties or office picnics.

Amenities include:

  • Full staff, including life guards
  • Large swimming area
  • Fishing
  • Picnic tables
  • Public grills
  • Volleyball court
  • Basketball net
  • Horse shoe pits
  • Hiking and Biking trails

To help defray operational costs, the DEC charges day use fees of $10 per passenger vehicle and $50 per bus. Pavilions can be reserved for $50 per day. The Hinckley Reservoir Day Use area is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, through Labor Day. For more information please contact the Hinckley staff at (315) 826-3800 or DEC Herkimer Office at (315) 866-6330.

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DEC Proposes the Use of Electric Motors Only on Thirteenth Lake

May 26th, 2011 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoA proposed regulation that would limit motorized boating on Thirteenth Lake to electric motors only was released for public comment today by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Interested parties have until July 2 to provide comments on the proposed regulation.

Thirteenth Lake lies in the northeastern portion of the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area in the Town of Johnsburg, Warren County. The lakeshore is predominately state-owned lands classified as wilderness.  Some privately owned parcels adjoin the lake.

13th Lake class=

During the development of the Unit Management Plan for the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area, DEC received numerous comments from private homeowners on the lake and from other users requesting that motorboats be prohibited on Thirteenth Lake due to noise, air pollution and water pollution issues. In response to these concerns, the Siamese Ponds Unit Management Plan calls for limiting motorized boating on the lake to electric motors only. This regulation implements that directive.

The use of electric motors will allow anglers to troll for trout and people with mobility disabilities to access the lake and adjoining wilderness lands.

The full proposed regulation and additional information regarding the purpose of the regulation can be viewed on the DEC web site. Notices have also be posted in the DEC Environmental Notice Bulletin and the State Register (pdf).

Comments will be accepted until July 2, 2011.  Comments or questions may be directed to Peter Frank, Bureau of Forest Preserve, Division of Lands & Forests, by mail at 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4254; e-mail at pjfrank@gw.dec.state.ny.us or by telephone at 518-473-9518. 

Siamese Ponds Wilderness Unit Management Plan (3.65 MB, pdf)

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Status of DEC Recreational Facilities in the Adirondacks for 2011 Memorial Day Weekend

May 26th, 2011 · No Comments · Adirondack News

CLOSED FACILITIES

Clinton County

  • Ausable Point Campground and Day Use Area and access road

Essex County

  • Mountain bikers should avoid using the Flume Bike Trail System in Wilmington to prevent damaging it

Hamilton County

  • Moose River Plains Road System, gates are closed at Limekiln Lake and Cedar River Flow
  • Cedar River Road is also closed near its terminus, preventing motorized access to the campsites near Wakely Dam and the Cedar River Headquarters
  • Old Military Road and Jessup River Road, preventing motor vehicle access to the Pillsbury Mountain and Spruce Lake trailheads

Herkimer County

  • Haskell-West River Road along the West Canada Creek from Route 8 into the Black River Wild Forest

Warren County

  • Old Farm Road near Thirteenth Lake, preventing motor vehicle access to the trailhead – park at the snowplow turnaround
  • Lily Pond Road near Brant Lake
  • Jabe Pond Road near Hague
  • Gay Pond Road in the Hudson River Recreation Area.

Washington County

  • Dacy Clearing Road

RECENTLY OPENED FACILITIES

All DEC Campgrounds and Day Use Areas except Ausable Point

Essex County

  • Moose Pond Road in Town of St. Armand
  • Elk Lake Road in the Town of North Hudson
  • Connery Pond Road between Lake Placid and Wilmington

Franklin County

  • Upper and Lower Locks on the Saranac Lakes Chain
  • Corey’s Road which accesses the western High Peaks from State Route 3
  • Madwaska Flow Road on the Santa Clara Tract Conservation Easement Lands
  • Pinnacle Road on the Santa Clara Tract Conservation Easement Lands

Hamilton County

  • Perkins Clearing Road north of Speculator
  • Lake Lila Road in the William C. Whitney Wilderness, the road is still rough in some areas – use caution

Herkimer County

  • Wolf Lake Landing Road in the hamlet of McKeever is only open to high clearance vehicles

Warren County

  • Lake George (Million Dollar) Beach
  • Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Toll Road in Lake George
  • River Road in the Hudson River Recreation Area, however it is muddy and rutted
  • Two designated campsites at Scofield Flats and two designated campsites at Pikes Beach in the Hudson River Recreation Area are currently restricted to day use only.

Washington County

  • Shelving Rock Road
  • Dacy Clearing Parking Lot

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DEC: 2011 Memorial Weekend In the Adirondacks

May 26th, 2011 · No Comments · News

NYSDEC LogoAdirondacks, NY – Residents and visitors planning to recreate on the lands and waters of the Adirondacks this Memorial Day Weekend should be aware of conditions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation advised today. Recent and current flood conditions have impacted a number of DEC facilities and structures, the Adirondack bug season has begun, bears are out and crowds are expected at DEC campgrounds and in the backcountry.

Read the rest of this entry »

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DEC Offers Tips to Help Prevent Encounters with Black Bears

May 26th, 2011 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Campers, Hikers, and Homeowners Can All Help Deter Bears

NYSDEC LogoCampers, hikers and homeowners should take precautions against unwanted encounters with black bears while enjoying the outdoors the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reminds the public today.

Black bears will become a nuisance and can cause significant damage if they believe they can obtain an easy meal from bird feeders, garbage cans, dumpsters, barbecue grills, tents, vehicles, out-buildings or houses. When bears learn to obtain food from human sources, their natural foraging habits and behavior are changed. It is illegal to intentionally feed bears and the incidental or indirect feeding of bears is illegal once a written warning has been issued by DEC.

Bear in GrassOnce a bear becomes a problem, DEC is often asked to intervene. However, bear relocations are rarely effective at solving the problem. Relocated bears often return to their original capture site or simply continue their bad habits at a new location. If the circumstances that led to the original problem are not corrected, other bears will quickly be attracted to the site and the problems will persist. Bears that become accustomed to obtaining food from humans will often become bold and assertive in their quest for food, potentially leading to property damage or dangerous situations for humans. Unfortunately, this often results in DEC having to euthanize the bear, echoing the adage, “a fed bear is a dead bear.”

The most effective way to prevent bears from becoming a problem is by not attracting them to your home, camp or campsite.

Prevent Problems with Bears at Home and Camp

  • Never feed bears, it is illegal in New York State to intentionally feed bears.
  • If you believe that bears are being fed, intentionally or unintentionally, immediately report it to DEC.
  • Stop feeding birds as soon as the snow melts. Birds do not need supplemental food in the summer, when natural foods are most abundant. Clean up all seed fragments and shells left over from winter feeding as the smell will attract bears.
  • Dispose of garbage as frequently as possible. Store it in clean, secure containers (top-latched, tied or chained). Sprinkle ammonia inside the garbage bag before closing. Tie off garbage bags before placing them in containers. Keep garbage containers inside buildings whenever possible.
  • If garbage is picked up at the curb, put the garbage out just before the scheduled pickup or place it in a roadside bear-resistant container. Do not put garbage out the night before curbside pick-up. Clean garbage cans frequently with ammonia.
  • Do not add meat scraps, bones or melon rinds to your compost pile.
  • Do not burn garbage, especially meat scraps and grease.
  • Clean barbecue grills before night fall and, after they cool down, store them inside;
  • Feed pets indoors and store pet food indoors. If pets must be fed outdoors, bring uneaten food and dishes before dark.

Prevent Problems with Bears While Hiking and Camping in the Backcountry

  • Store food, toiletries and garbage in bear resistant containers or “food hangs.” If you have no choice but to hang your food, be sure to use a dark colored cord. The cord should be 75 feet long and the bag should be hung 15 feet above the ground and at least 10 feet away from trees.
  • Keep food in hangs or in bear resistant containers at all times, take down only what is needed for cooking. Bear resistant canisters are a highly effective means for preventing bears from getting food, toiletries and garbage from back country campers. More information at: Bear Resistant Canisters.
  • Bear resistant containers are required to be used by all overnight campers within the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness Zone of the Adirondack Forest Preserve.
  • Never leave food unattended unless it is in a bear resistant container or in a food hang.
  • Never cook or eat in your sleeping area.
  • Cook early, no later than 5 p.m. if at all possible.

Prevent Problems with Bears at Campgrounds

  • Do not leave coolers or food out at any time. Store them securely in either the trunk of your car or in the passenger area of your truck. Keep windows shut and food and coolers out of sight.
  • Where food lockers are provided, food and coolers must be stored and locked inside.
  • Clean up immediately after all meals.
  • Clean grills, pots, pans, cooking utensils, and wash basins after each use.
  • Do not wash dishes under the water faucets.
  • Do not put grease, garbage, plastic diapers, cans, bottles or other refuse into the fireplace.
  • Do not keep food or coolers in your tent.
  • Do not wear clothing to bed that was worn while preparing or eating meals.
  • Keep campsites as clean as possible. Bring all garbage and recyclables to the recycling center each day by 8 p.m.

While these rules are required to be followed at DEC campgrounds, campers at other private and public campgrounds are also strongly encouraged to follow these practices to avoid bear encounters.

Approximately 4,000 – 5,000 bears live in and around the Adirondacks. For additional information about bears in New York State and the initiatives DEC is employing to help study and manage the population, visit the DEC Black Bear web page.

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DEC ECO Arrests Bass Poacher with Help from Concerned Sportsman

May 26th, 2011 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoOn May 24, 2011, a DEC Environmental Conservation Officer CO was dispatched to a complaint from a concerned sportsman regarding a man fishing for black bass out of season.

The unnamed sportsman reported that he had observed a man fishing in Harris Bay of Lake George in the Town of Lake George and keeping the bass he caught. He confronted the man explaining that it was illegal to keep bass caught at this time of year and suggesting that he release the fish. The sportsman further stated that the man dumped the fish back into the lake and hurriedly left the area leaving his fishing rod and tackle box, 

After viewing the photographs and taking the fishing gear, the ECO patrolled the area streets anticipating the fisherman would return for his gear. The ECO spotted the vehicle a short time later on Main Street in the Village of Lake George and stopped it.  

When confronted with the evidence including the photographs, the fisherman, David Chan, 68, from Whitestone, NY, admitted to the violations. He was charged with fishing without a license and taking black bass out of season. Chan was immediately arraigned before the Town of Lake George Court where he pled guilty to both charges and paid a fine of $225. 

Black Bass (largemouth bass and smallmouth bass) are exceptionally vulnerable this time of the year. The fish are guarding their spawning beds and are very protective, striking at almost anything. Black Bass may only be taken from the third Saturday in June and to November 30. The rest of the year they can be caught but must be immediately released back into the water, except in waters in Franklin and Hamilton County where it is illegal to fish for black bass from December 1 to the Friday before the third Saturday in June. 

The sportsman who observed the illegal activity did an excellent job of documenting and reporting the violations. He not only prevented more fish from being taken and he also prevented the violator from getting away. DEC does not encourage the public to confront people breaking the law. DEC does encourage people to report violations of environmental conservation laws and regulations to 24-hour TIPP (Turn In Polluters and Poachers) Hotline at 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332) or by e-mail to R5dsptch@gw.dec.state.ny.us  

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