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Entries Tagged as 'Adirondack News'

DEC Guidance for Discouraging Nuisance Black Bear

July 24th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoThe summer outdoor recreation season is well underway and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is advising homeowners and tourists about ways to discourage bears from becoming a nuisance. Black bears will take advantage of almost any readily available food source. Once bears learn about human food sources, it is not easy to recondition them to the wild and this can lead to conflicts between bears and people. It is against the law to feed bear, deer and moose.

During midsummer and dry conditions, the black bear’s natural foods are much more difficult to find. DEC Wildlife and Law Enforcement staff respond with technical advice as quickly as possible but local residents and visitors are responsible for preventing bears from gaining access to food items such as bird food, garbage and unattended coolers.

Bear in GrassBlack bears are generally timid and avoid people but if allowed access to human foods, chronic problems can develop. It is against DEC regulations to directly or indirectly feed bears and people who feed bears, intentionally or otherwise, are doing bears a great disservice. Once a bear learns to get food from people, it can be difficult to change the animal’s behavior. Bears are vulnerable to motor vehicle collisions in populated areas. In addition, if behaviors reach certain thresholds, in order to protect public safety, DEC biologists may determine it necessary to euthanize an offending bear. It is always a last resort to take a bear.

Once a bear becomes a problem, people often request that the bear be moved. Bear relocations can work if the bear isn’t solely feeding from human sources. Relocating bears is extremely time consuming and does not solve the overriding problem if people are feeding them. Bears are extremely mobile and have an excellent sense of smell and homing abilities and may return to the original capture site or start a new problem where there was none. If food attractants are not managed correctly new bears will be quickly attracted and the problem will persist. The key to preventing or solving most problems between bears and people is to eliminate the artificial food sources provided by people.

New Yorkers can help by following these guidelines:

  • When camping, keep food out of sight and secured in a vehicle if one is available. Hang food and garbage from a tree, out of reach (8 feet or higher). Also, keep picnic tables, utensils, fireplaces and the area around them clean. Do not leave coolers unattended.
  • Do not feed birds through the summer. Birds don’t really need supplemental food this time of year when their natural food is most abundant.
  • Dispose of garbage as frequently as possible. Store it in clean, secure containers (top-latched, tied or chained). Double bag meat scraps in a zip lock bag. Use ammonia soaked rags inside the garbage bag before closing. Tie off garbage bag before placing in container.
  • Do not leave dirty diapers or diaper pails outside.
  • If you live in an area frequented by bears, periodically disinfect or scrub garbage cans with Lysol, ammonia or bleach & water, store your garbage cans in a secure place such as a garage, cellar or a bear-resistant container, instead of a porch if possible.
  • If your 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. Don’t put garbage out the night before pick-up at the curb.
  • Feed pets and store foods indoors. If you must feed outdoors, give only enough food for one feeding, take in all uneaten food and dishes before dark.
  • Remember that the smell of cooked foods may attract wandering bears closer to your house. Clean up after your picnic or barbecue. Keep barbeque grills as clean as possible and after they cool down store them inside. Do not overlook cleaning the grease trap.
  • Don’t add meat scraps, bones or melon rinds to your compost pile.
  • Don’t leave food visible for bears to see in through windows. Close blinds if necessary.
  • It’s against the law to feed a bear. If you witness bear feeding activity, report the incident to DEC Law Enforcement immediately.

Residents and tourists alike are asked to respect bears as wild animals so everyone can enjoy them with a minimum of problems.
More information: Reducing Human-Bear Conflicts

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DEC And DOT Announce Plans To Reinvigorate The Remsen To Lake Placid Travel Corridor

July 10th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

State Agencies Seek Public Input on Possible Unit Management Plan Amendment to Convert the Tupper Lake to Lake Placid Segment to a Recreational Trail

State Agencies Will Also Explore Options to Bolster Rail Service Along Remainder of the Corridor and to Create and Expand Snowmobile Routes to Connect Communities between Old Forge and Tupper Lake

The State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Transportation (DOT) today announced that they will reopen the 1996 Unit Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (1996 UMP/EIS) for the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor. The review will evaluate use of the Tupper Lake to Lake Placid segment for a recreational trail. It will also examine opportunities to maintain and realize the full economic potential of rail service on the remainder of the corridor. In addition, the state will review options to create and expand alternative snowmobile corridors to connect communities from Old Forge to Tupper Lake on existing state lands and conservation easements.

The UMP governs the use of the 119-mile Remsen to Lake Placid Travel Corridor. The determination to revisit the UMP was made following a thorough assessment of options and a review of the extensive public comments made during four public meetings held by DEC and DOT last year.

DEC and DOT will prepare the UMP and draft EIS, which will explore opportunities to increase recreational use of the rail corridor and ensure it promotes tourism and economic growth in the surrounding communities. As part of this process, the public will have an opportunity to review and comment on a draft scope that outlines significant issues and environmental impacts, and guides preparation of the UMP and draft EIS. In addition, the public will be able to review and comment on the draft UMP and draft EIS when they are deemed complete.

Revisiting the 1996 UMP/EIS will enable DEC and DOT to thoroughly review those aspects of the 1996 UMP/EIS that recommend enhanced recreational opportunities and community connections, and to examine alternatives for the best future use of the Corridor along the Tupper Lake to Lake Placid segment. DEC and DOT will work with the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and public stakeholders, including local officials and residents, to assess alternatives that reflect current realities along the corridor and potential environmental and economic impacts.

“Our goal is to protect our natural resources, while also exploring ways to increase opportunities for people to enjoy outdoor recreation activities in the Adirondacks,” DEC Commissioner Martens said. “We recognize that the future of the Remsen to Lake Placid Travel Corridor is important to local residents, communities and the regional economy, and the UMP process is the appropriate way to determine the best use of the corridor. We greatly appreciate the input received and continue to encourage the public and stakeholders to be actively involved in the UMP process since their views and interests will be an important part of the decision-making process.”

“The Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor is a tremendous transportation resource that traverses stunning landscapes across the northern Adirondacks,” DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald said. “In response to public interest, we are reopening the Unit Management Plan, providing new opportunities to engage local communities and support the regional economy as we plan for the corridor’s future.”

The UMP process will provide a transparent and public means of exploring a proposed amendment to the 1996 UMP/EIS that would maximize benefits from public use of the corridor and conform with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. Any proposed amendment would consider and incorporate public comments.

The rail service envisioned by the 1996 UMP/EIS has never been fully realized. The recurring short term lease under which the Adirondack Scenic Railroad operates has hindered the capital investment necessary to improve the rail line in the most remote sections of the corridor. This review will evaluate options to provide the long-term assurance to the rail operator and its investors need to move forward with much needed improvements.

Snowmobilers have long used the travel corridor during peak season to transit between communities. That use is made unsafe during periods of lesser snow as track becomes exposed. As part of this review, DEC will evaluate ways to expand snowmobile routes between the communities along the Old Forge to Tupper Lake segment of the corridor on state lands and conservation easements. This will open new recreational and tourism opportunities for those communities but also provide a safer riding experience for the snowmobiling community.

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Adirondacks: Fourth of July Holiday Weekend Notice

July 3rd, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoThe Adirondacks are open for summer recreation, come and enjoy all that our lands and waters have to offer! Please be advised of the following conditions and prepare for them to ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor recreational experience. This information focuses on the High Peaks Region, for more information or for information on other areas in the Adirondacks visit the DEC trail information web pages at: Adirondack Trail Information

ADIRONDACK BACKCOUNTRY VISITORS

If you are recreating in the Adirondacks this Fourth of July Holiday weekend, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation asks that you be aware of the following:

HIGH USAGE LEVELS: Visitors to the Adirondacks should expect to encounter more people on the water and trails this holiday weekend. Popular campgrounds, trailhead parking lots, boat launch sites and interior campsites will likely fill to capacity. The Eastern High Peaks may reach capacity by Thursday. Plan accordingly and seek recreational opportunities in other less used areas of the Adirondack Forest Preserve.

ESSEX CHAIN LAKES: 22 designated tent sites are currently available the area around the Essex Chain Lakes. Thirteen designated along the shores of the waters of the complex require a free permit. Campers must call 518-582-2000 or visit the Adirondack Interpretive Center facility at 5922 State Route 28N in Newcomb, NY, to reserve a tent site. Campers can pick up their reserved permit at the AIC facility between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. any day of the week. See the Essex Chain Lakes Complex web page for more information on camping and other outdoor recreational opportunities in this area.

POOR MAN’S DOWNHILL SHUTTLE BUS: The Town of Wilmington will operate a shuttle bus for mountain bikers on Sunday July 6, between 1 pm and 4 pm. The shuttle will take mountain bikers from the downhill trailhead off Route 86 to the uphill trailhead off Route 431. The Poor Man’s Downhill is a multi-use trail on the northeast side of Whiteface Mountain. The trail begins just below the toll booth for the Whiteface Mountain Veteran’s Memorial Highway and ends 1,150 feet lower and nearly 3 miles away in the hamlet of Wilmington.

MUDDY & WET TRAILS: Mud and water will be present on all trails. Trails along water may be flooded. Wear waterproof footwear and gaiters and walk through – not around – mud and water to prevent eroding and widening the trail.

BEAR RESISTANT CANISTERS: Regulation requires the use of bear-resistant canisters by overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness between April 1 and November 30. NYSDEC encourages the use of bear resistant canisters throughout the Adirondacks.

OTHER BEAR AVOIDANCE TIPS

  • Store all food, toiletries and garbage in bear-resistant canisters.
  • Outside the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness, if you don’t have a bear canister, hang food. Store all food, toiletries and garbage in the hang bag. Use a 75 ft. (25 m) long dark- colored cord. Hang the bag 15 ft (5 m) above the ground and at least 10 ft (3 m) away from trees.
  • Keep food in bear-resistant canister or food hangs at all times – take down only what is needed for cooking and eating.
  • Never leave food unattended unless it is in a bear-resistant canister or in a food hang.
  • Cook early, no later than 5 p.m., and never cook or eat in your sleeping area.

BITING INSECTS: Black Flies, Mosquitoes, Deer Flies and/or Midges (No-see-ums) are everywhere. Follow these steps to minimize the nuisance of biting insects:

  • Wear light colored clothing, long sleeve shirts and long pants;
  • Tuck shirts into pants, the bottom of pant legs into socks and button sleeves at the wrist;
  • Wear a headnet when insects are thick and use an insect repellant with DEET.

Visit the Adirondack Trail Information web page for current weather forecasts, regulations, safety tips, trail conditions, and more.

Enjoy your visit to the Adirondacks!
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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New State Regulations Target Aquatic Invasive Species

June 5th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Boaters Using DEC Lands to Launch Boats or Other Watercraft Are Now Required To Clean and Drain Boats Prior to Launch

NYSDEC LogoAs part of an aggressive effort to prevent invasive species from entering and damaging New York water bodies, the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today adopted new regulations that require boaters to remove all visible plant and animal materials from boats, trailers and associated equipment, and to drain boats prior to launching from DEC lands.

The regulations, which are effective today, pertain to all DEC boat launches, fishing access sites and other DEC lands where watercraft such as boats, kayak or canoes, can be launched into the water.

“New York State continues to work with its state, local, federal and environmental partners to protect water bodies from destructive invasive species,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. “Boats, trailers and associated equipment are common pathways for spreading aquatic invasive species. These new regulations will help reinforce the message that boaters need to clean their equipment of any clinging plant and animal materials and drain their boats prior to launching at lands administered by DEC.”

Boaters should take the following steps to ensure that their boat, trailer and equipment are free of aquatic invasive species:

  • Visually inspect the boat, trailer and other fishing and boating equipment and remove all mud, plants and other organisms that might be clinging to it. Materials should be disposed of in one of the Nuisance Invasive Species Disposal Stations installed at many DEC boat launches, in the trash or at an upland location away from the launch ramp.
  • Drain the boat’s bilge and any other water holding compartments such as live wells, bait wells and bilge tanks. This does not apply to water associated with sanitary systems or drinking water supplies.

Drying boats is also highly recommended but is not required under the new regulations. Boaters who are unable to dry their boats between uses should flush the bilge and other water holding compartments with water, preferably at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Microscopic larval forms of aquatic invasive species, such as zebra mussels and spiny waterflea, can live in as much as a drop of water. To ensure that these organisms are not accidentally spread, anything holding water should be dried, flushed or disinfected with hot water to ensure that these aquatic invasive species are not spread. Additional information on AIS and disinfection recommendations can be found at: Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasives.

The new regulations are available at: Proposed Regulations.

Boaters intending to boat on Lake George this year are also reminded that the Lake George Park Commission has enacted new regulations that require all boats to be inspected for aquatic invasive species prior to use. Additional information on this new mandatory boat inspection program can be found at: www.lgboatinspections.com.

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Adirondack Backcountry Visitors – Memorial Weekend Information

May 22nd, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

DEC Trail MarkerIf you are planning to recreate in the Adirondacks this Memorial Day Weekend, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation asks you to please remember the following:

FIRE DANGER: Low. Campfires are prohibited in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness.

HIGH USAGE LEVELS: Visitors to the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness should be aware that trailhead parking lots and interior campsites will often fill to capacity on Memorial Day weekend. Please plan accordingly and seek backcountry recreation opportunities in other areas.

TRAIL CONDITIONS: Trails are wet and muddy. Wear waterproof footwear and gaiters. Walk through, not around, mud and water on trails to avoid further widening and eroding trails.

MUDDY TRAIL ADVISORY: Hikers are advised to avoid trails above 3000 feet to protect the trails and surrounding vegetation which are very vulnerable at this time of year. Hikers can cause severe erosion of trails and significant damage to vegetation. Steep, wet and muddy trails are also very slippery. Hikers are asked use low and mid-elevation trails at this time.

BEAR RESISTANT CANISTERS: Regulation requires the use of bear-resistant canisters by overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness between April 1 and November 30. All food, toiletries and garbage must be stored in the bear resistant canisters at all times. DEC encourages the use of bear resistant canisters throughout the Adirondacks.

ROADS: Due to the harsh winter and washouts caused by heavy rains this spring some roads remain closed. Roads that are open may be rough and muddy – use caution. Pickup trucks, SUVs and other high axle vehicles are recommended – four wheel drive vehicles will serve even better. Corey’s Road is open and the Elk Lake Road is open beyond the Clear Pond Gate. South Meadow Lane remains closed.

BITING INSECTS: The “Bug Season” has begun in the Adirondack. Back flies are present almost everywhere; mosquitoes & ticks may be found in many locations. Follow these steps to minimize the nuisance of biting insects:

  • Wear light colored clothing, long sleeve shirts and long pants;
  • Tuck shirts into pants, the bottom of pant legs into socks and button sleeves at the wrist;
  • Wear a headnet when insects are thick and use an insect repellant with DEET.

SUMMITS: Conditions on summits are more extreme – cooler temperatures, stronger winds and possibly snow and ice.

WATER LEVELS & TEMPERATURES: Water levels are at or above average spring high levels and water temperatures remain cold. Although Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs, aka life jackets) are not required at his time, paddlers and boaters are strongly encouraged to wear PFDs at all times while on the water. Children under age 12 are required to wear a PFD at all times while on the water. Strong currents and cold water can quickly cause a person without a PFD to lose their ability to keep their head above water.

Visit the website for current weather forecasts, regulations, safety tips, trail conditions, and more: Adirondack Trail Information

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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2014 Victoria Day Holiday Weekend Information

May 15th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

GREETINGS TO OUR CANADIAN FRIENDS
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

If you are planning to recreate in the Adirondacks this Victoria Day Weekend the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation wants you to be know the following:

FIRE DANGER: Low

CAMPGROUNDS: The Saranac Lake Islands Campground is not open this weekend. It will open on Friday, May 23. All other DEC campgrounds are open for the season.

ROADS: Corey’s Road is open to public motorized traffic, but South Meadow Lane and the Clear Pond Gate on Elk Lake Road remain closed.

BOAT LAUNCHES: The Second Pond Boat Launch accessing the Saranac Lakes Chain remains closed for construction this weekend. It will open on Friday, May 23. Most other DEC boat launches are open at this time.

WATER CONDITIONS: Water levels are average level for spring but water temperatures remain cold. Paddlers and boaters are strongly encouraged to wear Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs, aka life jackets) at all times while on the water.

HIGH USAGE LEVELS: Visitors to the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness should be aware that trailhead parking lots and interior campsites will often fill to capacity on Victoria Day weekend. Please plan accordingly and seek backcountry recreation in other areas of the Adirondacks.

MUDDY TRAIL ADVISORY: Hikers are advised to avoid trails above 3,000 feet to protect the trails and surrounding vegetation which are very vulnerable at this time of year. Hikers can cause severe erosion of trails and significant damage to vegetation. Steep, wet and muddy trails are also very slippery. Hikers are asked use low and mid-elevation trails at this time.

BEAR RESISTANT CANISTERS: Regulation requires the use of bear-resistant canisters by overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness between April 1 and November 30. NYSDEC encourages the use of bear resistant canisters throughout the Adirondacks.

BITING INSECTS: Black Flies & Mosquitoes are present in the lower elevations. Take steps to minimize the nuisance of biting insects:

  • Wear light colored clothing.
  • Wear long sleeve shirts and long pants, and tuck shirts into pants.
  • Button or rubber band sleeves at the wrist.
  • Tuck the bottom of pant legs into your socks.
  • Pack a headnet to wear when insects are thick.
  • Use an insect repellant with DEET, follow label directions.

ROCK CLIMBING ROUTE CLOSURES: Due to nesting Peregrine Falcons:

  • Chapel Pond – All climbing routes on Lower and Upper Washbowl Cliffs are closed.
  • Wilmington Notch – All routes on Moss Cliff are closed.
  • Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain – All climbing routes on the Main Face are closed, except for the climbing routes between and including “Opposition” and “A Womb with a View”.

Visit the Adirondack Trail Information web page for current weather forecasts, regulations, safety tips, trail conditions and more.

Enjoy your visit to the Adirondacks!

Nous vous souhaitons un séjour agréable dans les Adirondacks!
Informations en français (PDF)

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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New Adirondack Park Report Finds Four Dominant Trends Shaping Life Inside The Blue Line

May 15th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

A newly published report identifies four dominant trends shaping life inside the Adirondack Park:

  • The Park’s population is declining at a steadily increasing pace;
  • The median age in the Park is eight years older than in the rest of New York State and, more strikingly, five years older than in the communities outside the Park’s boundary in the same 12-county area;
  • State-owned lands and public conservation easements have grown by one million acres in the past 30 years. Since 1972, these protected lands have grown by 50% to 3,392,000 acres;
  • Park school enrollments, which had been declining at 2% per year since the start of the millennium, are now declining at nearly 2.5% annually.

The report, entitled “The Adirondack Park Regional Assessment 2014: Seeking Balance,” is a follow-up to the 2009 Adirondack Park Regional Assessment Project (APRAP) report. The research team remained the same through both studies, including Brad Dake, Chairman of the APRAP study, and a team of community planning experts from The LA Group of Saratoga Springs. Overseeing the report, along with Mr. Dake, were Town of Chester Supervisor Fred Monroe, executive director of the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board; and former Adirondack Park Agency Commissioner Deanne Rehm.

“Our goal is quite simple: to bring new information to the 140-year discussion about the preservation of the Park and the communities therein,” said Mr. Dake.

Among APRA 2014′s many findings:

  • The Park’s population is declining at a steadily increasing pace and the median age will increase by four years this decade alone. In the early 1970s, the population was 115,000 and the median age was 31. The population is projected to drop to that level again by 2030 (a loss of 17,000+ residents) and the median age will rise to 51.
  • From 2000 to 2030, the number of Park residents younger than age 30 is projected to decline by an average of 14% each decade. By 2030, more than one-third of the Park residents will be over the age of 60.
  • From 2003 to 2013, the number of public school students living inside the Adirondack Park dropped by 21% (an average of 422 students per year), twice the rate of decline in communities outside the Park’s boundary in the same 12-county area.
  • State-owned forever-wild lands now account for 45% of the Adirondack Park land area, while state-owned conservation easements in perpetuity account for another 13% of the Park. Taken together, 58% of the area of the Park is restricted from future development. Each of these percentages is the highest in the Park’s history.
  • Over the past 16 years, New York State has acquired conservation easements on private lands in the Park at a pace of 63 square miles annually. Over the past 25 years, these acquisitions have exceeded the size of Yosemite National Park.

“Historically, analyses of population and demographic trends in the Adirondacks have relied on data from the 12 North Country counties. But only two of those counties are wholly within the Adirondack Park, while 10 counties straddle the Park boundary,” said Mr. Dake. “Data from communities outside the Park’s boundaries have often produced a skewed picture of what’s happening inside the Blue Line. APRA 2014 took unprecedented steps to look specifically at what’s happening inside the Park and we found the picture to be quite different than what’s happening outside in the same 12-county area.”

Sources for APRA 2014 include the Program for Applied Demographics at Cornell University, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Department of Education and several other state agencies. In addition, an extensive survey of Blue Line school districts provided the most accurate count ever of K-12 students living inside the Park.

APRA 2014 can be read online at www.apra2014.com.

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