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Entries from October 30th, 2014

DEC Releases Draft Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan for Public Comment

October 30th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Public Comments Accepted Through December 15

NYSDEC LogoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today released its Draft Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) strategy to prevent the introduction and spread of AIS in New York State for public comment. Comments will be accepted through December 15.

Aquatic Invasive Species threaten the ecology of New York’s rich abundance of waters and can harm water-based recreational opportunities and economies. New York is particularly vulnerable to AIS due to its vast marine and fresh water resources, major commercial ports and the easy access that ocean-going vessels have to the Great Lakes via the State’s canal system. Managing an infestation is extremely costly, so prevention is the most cost-effective strategy.
Attention - Invasive Species

“Prevention of aquatic invasive species is critical to the long-term vitality of waterways across New York State,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “This strategic plan details proposals to further our efforts to help ensure AIS-free waters remain free and additional AIS are not introduced to other waters. We welcome the public’s ideas and feedback on the draft strategy.” This action-based Strategic Plan updates DEC’s “Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Management Plan,” which was written in 1993. The draft plan includes more than 50 actions designed to address prevention, detection, and response to AIS. Proposed actions identified in the strategy include:

  • Expand the boat launch steward program statewide;
  • Develop an AIS response framework to guide decision making when AIS are detected, and communicate the reasoning for the response selected;
  • Implement an AIS public awareness campaign and evaluate its effectiveness in reaching target audiences;
  • Expand the use of AIS disposal stations at waterway access sites;
    Establish regional “first responder” AIS teams to incorporate local expertise in planning and implementing appropriate AIS responses; and
  • Identify and evaluate risks associated with pathways for AIS introduction and movement within New York.
    Aquatic invasive species arrive by many pathways including direct introduction, live animal trade, the nursery and landscape trade, recreational boating and cargo transportation. Northern Snakehead, Sea Lamprey, Round Goby, Hydrilla and the New Zealand Mudsnail are examples of aquatic invasive species present in some New York waters, which can prey upon or displace native species, alter habitat or otherwise harm native species.

The Draft Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan can be viewed on DEC’s website. Public comments will be accepted from October 30 through December 15. You can send comments to the address below or email them – enter “AIS Management Plan” in the subject line.

Philip Hulbert
NYSDEC Division of Fish, Wildlife, and Marine Resources
625 Broadway, 5th Floor
Albany, New York 12233-4753

To help slow the spread of both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species, DEC asks all citizens to clean, drain and dry watercraft and gear after boating and fishing; use non-invasive plants in gardens and landscaping; use local firewood; and learn about, look for and report invasive species. Invasive species can be reported online to New York’s Invasive Species Database, a partnership with the Natural Heritage Program and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, by clicking the link to “Report an Invasive.”

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DEC Seeks to Amend Wilmington Wild Forest Management Plan

October 29th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Public Meeting Scheduled for Wednesday November 12 at Whiteface Mountain Ski Center

NYSDEC LogoWilmington Wild Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP) is under review for a possible amendment to identify improvement and expansion of trails within the unit, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Robert Stegemann announced today.

“We are responding to requests from local government and other organizations to provide additional trails in the Wilmington Wild Forest,” said Director Stegemann. “DEC continues to work to ensure that the forest preserve lands we manage are an asset to Adirondack communities, while continuing to protect and conserve the natural resources of those lands.”

A public meeting will be held at the Base Lodge at the Whiteface Mountain Ski Center, 5021 Route 86 in Wilmington on Wednesday, November 12 beginning at 6 pm. DEC staff will provide a brief presentation on the current trail system after which the public is asked to share information and ideas regarding improvements and expansion of the trail system. The lodge is wheelchair accessible. Please provide any requests for specific accommodation in advance to DEC at 518-897-1248.

DEC has partnered with local governments and volunteers to build a number of trails and trail systems since the UMP was approved in October 2005. Currently, there are approximately 33 miles of trails with 23 miles open to mountain bikes and eight miles of snowmobile trails – including a connection to the Adirondack/North Country snowmobile trail network.

Mountain biking has become a very popular activity in the Wilmington Wild Forest with bike trail systems concentrated around the Wilmington Flume and Hardy Road. Visitor comments have indicated that there is a need for improvements to the trail system in the unit. Improvements mentioned include the need for trail connections with the hamlet area, more trails that would be considered less difficult, and the relocation of some trail segments to better protect natural resources.

The Wilmington Wild Forest is located in the towns of Wilmington and Keene in Essex County and the town of Black Brook in Clinton County. The unit covers about 14,000 acres across several detached Forest Preserve parcels. The core area is located on the east-facing slopes of Whiteface Mountain between the Whiteface Mountain Ski center and the Whiteface Veterans’ Memorial Highway.

Comments may also be provided in writing to Steve Guglielmi, Senior Forester, P.O. Box 296, Ray Brook, NY 12977 or by e-mail to The current Wilmington Wild Forest UMP can be found at

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Adirondack Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights: 10/20-10/26/14

October 28th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the backcountry.

“DEC Forest Rangers’ knowledge of first aid, land navigation and technical rescue techniques are often critical to the success of their missions,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “Search and rescue missions often require Rangers to function in remote wilderness areas from rugged mountainous peaks to white-water rivers, and through vast forest areas from spruce-fir thicket to open hardwoods.”

Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks include:

Essex County
High Peaks Wilderness, Town of North Elba
Distressed Hiker: On October 25, 2014 at 12:21 p.m., DEC Forest Rangers rescued a 47-year-old man from Clinton, NY who called dispatch saying he was in medical distress. The hiker was half way up Mount Marcy when he began to develop symptoms. DEC Forest Rangers responded and evaluated the man. Crews performed life saving measures on scene. Several Forest Rangers assisted in carrying the man down Mount Marcy to a waiting helicopter. He was airlifted from the scene to Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh at 3:30 p.m.

Hamilton County
Blue Ridge Wilderness, Town of Indian Lake
Lost Hunter: On October 25, 2014 at 6:40 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from an individual saying that his hunting companion was overdue from hiking Sawyer Mountain. The 67 year-old man from Port Republic, NJ was supposed to return before dark. DEC Forest Rangers located the hunter at 1:10 a.m. on the backside of Sprague Pond and transported him across the pond and out to his vehicle at 3:22 a.m.

Pigeon Lake Wilderness, Town of Inlet
Stranded Boaters: On October 25, 2014 at 6:45 p.m., Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Hamilton County 911 advising of a 51-year-old man from Lafayette, NY stranded on Quaker Beach on Raquette Lake. Due to spotty cell phone service Hamilton County 911 received limited information and efforts to call the man back were unsuccessful. The Forest Ranger responded by boat to Raquette Lake and located the man and two others, a 51-year-old man from East Syracuse, NY and a 50-year-old man from Lafayette, NY on Quaker Beach. They explained their boat had broken down and due to limited cell phone coverage with Hamilton County they could not accurately convey their message for assistance. The DEC Forest Ranger gave the men a ride back to their camp at around 8:39 p.m. They retrieved their boat the next morning.

Jessup River Wild Forest, Town of Lake Pleasant
Injured Hiker: On October 26, 2014 at 1:30 p.m., a DEC Forest Ranger contacted DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook to advise he was responding to a report of an injured hiker on the Northville Placid Trail. The 63-year-old female from Yorkville, NY had been hiking north on the Northville Placid Trail and sustained a leg injury two miles up the trail. Additional Forest Rangers responded with All Terrain Vehicles. At 2:45 p.m. Forest Rangers located the woman and transported her by ATV to the trailhead. The hiker drove herself to the hospital for treatment of the injury.

Warren County
Lake George Wild Forest, Town of Lake George
Lost Hikers: On October 25, 2014 at 2:49 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from a 23-year-old man from Syosset, NY reporting that he and his companion, a 25-year-old woman from New York City, could see Blue Trail Markers, but believed they may be on the wrong trail. After talking to the hikers, the Forest Ranger determined where they might be. He directed them to go back the way they came and he met them on the trail. The Forest Ranger picked them up with his patrol vehicle through the Thomas Mountain trail system. They were transported back to their vehicle at 5 p.m.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety and Adirondack Trail Information web for more information.

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