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Entries from March 29th, 2013

Taking Snow Samples

March 29th, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack Life

Gratuitous crash sharing.

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DEC Issues Guidance to Avoid Conflict With Coyotes and Black Bears

March 26th, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today issued guidance on preventing conflicts with coyotes and nuisance bear encounters. With the onset of warmer weather, New York’s black bear population will be on the move and coyotes are setting up denning areas for soon-to-arrive pups. Conflicts with people and pets may result as coyotes become territorial around den sites and increase the frequency and intensity of foraging to provide food for their young.

COYOTES
People and coyotes can usually coexist if the coyotes’ natural fear of people is maintained. Below are some steps you can take to reduce/prevent coyote problems from occurring:

  • Do not feed coyotes.
  • Do not allow pets to run free or to be outside unattended.
  • Do not feed pets outside.
  • Make any garbage inaccessible to coyotes and other animals.
  • Fence or enclose compost piles so they are not accessible to coyotes.
  • Eliminate availability of bird seed. Coyotes are attracted to the concentration of birds and rodents that come to feeders. If you feed birds, clean up waste seed and spillage.
  • Fencing your yard may deter coyotes. The fence should be tight to the ground, preferably extending six inches below ground level.
  • Teach children to appreciate coyotes from a distance.
  • If you see a coyote, be aggressive in your behavior – make loud noises, wave your arms, throw sticks and stones to scare it away.
  • Ask your neighbors to follow these same steps.

The Eastern coyote is a firmly established wildlife species in New York, and is an integral part of our ecosystems, from rural farmlands and forests to populated urban and suburban areas. In most cases, coyotes avoid people as much as possible. Coyotes provide many benefits to New Yorkers through observation, photography, hunting and trapping; their calling at night can provide a haunting but harmless reminder of wildlife in our midst. However, if coyotes learn to associate people with food (e.g., garbage, pet food), they may lose their natural fear of humans, and the potential for conflicts increases dramatically.

It is important to keep pets safe. Cats allowed to roam free are at risk from many different factors including domestic dogs and cars. To protect your cat, keep it indoors, or allow it outside only under supervision.

Coyotes view other canines such as domestic dogs as a threat to their young during the spring denning season. Both a dog and a coyote believe that one’s backyard is their territory. Coyotes avoid confrontations with most medium to large-sized dogs, but small breeds may be at risk in some situations. For this reason, do not allow dogs to roam unattended.

If coyotes are seen repeatedly during the daytime in a populated area in close proximity to residences, please report this to the local DEC office, as this may indicate that some individual coyotes may have lost their fear of people and could pose a threat to unattended pets or small children.

For additional information, visit DEC’s website: Coyote Conflicts

BLACK BEARS
Black bears will take advantage of almost any readily available food source, including bird feeders and garbage. To prevent encounters between bears and humans, people should never intentionally feed bears and should take every precaution to discourage bears from seeking out food sources in neighborhoods and other residential areas.

Typically, black bears are timid and will avoid all contact with humans. However, 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, barbeque grills, tents, vehicles, out-buildings or houses.

It is not only illegal to intentionally feed bears, it is also illegal to inadvertently feed them. Specifically, after written notice from DEC, the incidental or indirect feeding of bears through food attractants such as garbage, pet food or bird seed is illegal. DEC has the authority to require the removal of these and other food attractants when bears become problematic.

Bear in GrassIt is in the best interest of both bears and people for bears to get their food solely from wild sources. Once a bear learns to associate certain structures with food, it can become a serious nuisance to people and a threat to itself. Bears that lose their natural fear of humans are much more likely to be illegally shot, hit by an automobile or destroyed under a DEC nuisance permit. Some studies suggest that when a bear is fed, either directly or indirectly, its life expectancy is cut by as much as 50 percent.

Once a bear becomes a problem, DEC is often asked to relocate the bear. Contrary to popular belief, bear relocations are rarely effective at solving the problem. Bears are extremely mobile and have excellent homing abilities. Relocated bears often return to their original capture site or may 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 bear/human conflicts will persist.

In addition to being ineffective, bear relocations are extremely time consuming and often dangerous. The heavy door on the bear traps, although not dangerous to bears, presents a potential danger to curious humans and pets. The simplest way to avoid a nuisance encounter is to remove all food sources. Removing the food source will remove the bear.

Because virtually all nuisance bear problems are the result of hungry bears being attracted to human food, pet food, bird food or garbage, these problems can be minimized by taking these simple precautions:

  • Never feed bears. It is illegal.
  • If you believe that bears are being fed, please 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 and store in a secure building prior to disposal.
  • 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 pick-up at the curb.
  • Clean garbage cans frequently with ammonia.
  • Do not burn garbage, it’s illegal and it attracts bears.
  • Do not add meat scraps, bones or melon rinds to your compost pile.
  • Clean up 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, take in all uneaten food and dishes before dark.
  • Turn off kitchen exhaust fans that vent to the outside whenever possible.
  • When camping, keep food out of sight and secured in the trunk of a hard topped, locked vehicle if one is available. If a vehicle is not available, hang food and garbage from a tree at least eight feet off the ground. Keep picnic tables, utensils, fireplaces and the surrounding areas clean.

To learn more about black bears, look for DEC’s DVD Living with New York Black Bears at your public library or visit: Black Bear

Everyone is asked to respect bears as wild animals – from a distance. For more information about bears in your area, contact the nearest regional DEC office. Visit: DEC Regional Office Directory

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To the People of Clinton and Essex Counties

March 21st, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack Life

Merkel & Kahner

WARNING.

To the People of Northern New York and Vermont:
It has come to our knowledge that many hotels and saloons are selling a very inferior quality of Beer or cheap Ale and trying to palm the same off as Merkel’s Boss Lager. We would therefore charge the public to take notice that we are the sole agents for BOSS LAGER, the only good Lager to be had in this section, and we sell no other — not like others selling four or five different kinds in one season under the same name — that every bottle is marked in the glass “Merkel’s Boss Lager,” and no other is genuine. Look at the bottle before it is opened and take no other. Respectfully,

MERKEL & KAHNER,
Plattsburgh, N. Y., 1878

Isaac Merkel - Boss Lager - Plattsburgh NY

 

Merkel's Boss Lager
More about: I. Merkel and Sons, A Pack-Peddler’s Legacy

Hinckle's Boss Lager  Isaac Merkel - Boss Lager

I hope you won’t be fooled, and only drink the original.

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Man Charged by DEC for Illegal Trapping Pleads Guilty

March 20th, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoA Franklin County man pleaded guilty last week to 31 violations of Environmental Conservation Law related to illegal trapping, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced today.

On February 11, DEC Environmental Conservation Police charged Terry J. Hurteau, 56, of Tupper Lake, for offenses including unlawfully setting 15 snares for coyote, multiple counts for unlawful use of body gripping traps on land and multiple counts of failing to tag traps. He was issued appearance tickets for the Town of Tupper Lake Court.

DEC Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) initially responded to complaints about a coyote running through the yards of some Tupper Lake residence. The callers reported that the coyote appeared injured and tangled in what appeared to be wire.

ECOs located the coyote by tracking it through the snow. Due to the extent of its injuries and its entanglement in the snare, the animal was euthanized. However, the ECOs were able to use the snare to begin the investigation which led them to Hurteau.

Hurteau’s activities were extreme and flagrant violations of trapping law and regulation. They do not reflect the behavior of the vast majority of ethical trappers.

Hurteau appeared in court on March 6, and pleaded guilty to all charges. He was ordered to pay total of $3,875 in fines and surcharges.

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Come visit Old Forge, your Adirondack Base Camp

March 20th, 2013 · No Comments · Destination Marketing

I should start a franchise business!

“Whether you’re after a relaxing getaway, a “one tank” day trip drive, or an extended vacation …” (More)

Update: Now available in-print.

Old Forge - Adirondack Base Camp

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DEC: 2012 is One of the Highest Bear Harvests on Record in New York

March 19th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoNew York bear hunters took 1,337 black bears during the 2012 hunting seasons, making last year the third highest bear harvest on record in New York, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. Only the 2003 harvest (1,864) and 2009 harvest (1,487) surpassed last year’s take.

“New York has excellent bear habitat and vast, accessible public lands that offer exciting opportunities for bear hunting,” said Commissioner Martens. “Black bears are thriving in New York, and they represent a great resource for all New Yorkers. Through the NY’s Open for Hunting and Fishing Initiative, Governor Cuomo is improving opportunities for hunting in New York State.”

Regionally, bear harvest increased in the Adirondacks but decreased in the Southeastern and Central-Western bear hunting areas. Though overall population size plays a large role in harvest totals, annual variations in take are also strongly influenced by environmental factors such as natural food availability and snow fall that affect bear activity and hunting pressure. These environmental influences were very apparent in the harvest totals of the past few years.

2012 New York Bear Harvest
In the Adirondacks, hunters took 606 bears in 2012, returning to a more normal harvest level after an exceptionally low harvest in 2011. This past season, hunters found greatest success during the early season (386 bears; mid-September until mid-October) compared to the regular season (132 bears; late October to early December). This pattern was expected after a summer of low natural food availability. The early season harvest is always high in such years because bears are moving more in search of food and many are closer to human food sources, which in both cases makes them more vulnerable to harvest. In fact, towns along the western and southern fringe of the Adirondacks saw some of the highest harvests as bears were found feeding in corn fields during the early season. Bears also tend to den early when natural foods are scarce, so fewer bears were available to hunters during the regular season.

Bear-favorite BeechIn the Southeastern bear hunting area, bear take dropped from the record 630 taken in 2011 to 442 taken in 2012. Similarly, take in the Central-Western bear hunting area dropped from the record 353 in 2011 to 289 in 2012. In both areas, take during bow season contributed substantially to the overall take (51 percent Southeastern, 37 percent Central-Western) and increased from 2011, reflecting the longer bow season initiated in 2012 and greater availability of bears during this period. Notably, take during the regular season dropped in both areas. The drop was most pronounced in Southeastern New York where biologists anticipated a potential reduced harvest due to early denning behavior associated with the general lack of soft and hard mast (apples, acorns and beechnuts).

Since 2005, DEC has expanded the area open to bear hunting in Southeastern and Central-Western New York and increased season length, aligning bear seasons with deer seasons. These actions were implemented to reduce bear population growth and range expansion. Most recently, in 2011, DEC expanded bear hunting into eastern New York from Rockland and Westchester to Washington counties. Hunters took 22 bears from these newly opened areas, with eight bears coming from each of Washington and Rensselaer counties.

Governor Cuomo’s Open for Hunting and Fishing Initiative is an effort to improve recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state. This initiative includes the streamlining of hunting and fishing licensing and reducing license fees, improved access for fishing at various sites across the state, stocking as much as 900,000 pounds of fish, expanding fishing clinics and increasing hunting opportunities in various regions.

A complete summary of the 2012 bear harvest with breakdown by county, town, and Wildlife Management Unit is available at Deer and Bear Harvests on the DEC website.

NYS Black Bear Cooperator Patch Program
Hunters play a pivotal role in bear management through reporting their bear harvests. Hunters also are asked to submit a tooth sample from their bear for DEC to determine the age of harvested bears. Typically, for all hunters who reported their harvest and submitted a tooth, DEC issues a NYS Black Bear Cooperator Patch and a letter informing them of their bear’s age. DEC is still processing tooth submissions from 2011 and 2012. DEC anticipates that eligible hunters from 2011 and 2012 will receive their patch(es) in late summer 2013.

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Adirondack Program Receive National Recognition for Invasive Species Work

March 19th, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Public-Private Partnerships Key to Program’s Effectiveness

The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) received the 2013 National Invasive Species Awareness Week Award in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Invasive Species Leadership, program partners announced today. APIPP is a partnership program founded by The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter, New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Transportation (DOT) and New York State Adirondack Park Agency (APA). This national recognition is for APIPP’s leadership in invasive species prevention and control, including collaboration and coalition building. DEC Commissioner Joe Martens presented the award to APIPP Director Hilary Smith during a Forestry Awareness Day celebration at the Legislative Office Building in Albany today.

The first program of its kind in New York State, APIPP started in 1998 as a grassroots effort to implement a landscape-level approach to address threats posed by invasive species and minimize costs to governments, businesses and landowners. It has since harnessed the energies of hundreds of volunteers, forged countless partnerships and influenced local and statewide action against invasive species. APIPP served as the model for seven other programs, known as Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM), now supported in large part through the state’s environmental protection fund. The program has also shared best practices at Weeds Across Borders conferences in Mexico and Canada.

2013 National Invasive Species Awareness Week Award
From left to right: Kevin King, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets director of Plant Industry; Hilary Smith, APIPP director and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens.

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