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Entries Tagged as 'conservation'

Status of Seasonal Access Roads in the Adirondacks

June 4th, 2015 · No Comments · Adirondack News

As of June 3, 2015:

See the Adirondack Trail Information web pages for more information.

Blue Mountain Lake Wild Forest/Township 19 Conservation Easement

  • O’Neill Flow Road is open to motor vehicles to the gate at Barker Pond Road.
  • Barker Pond Road is be open to motor vehicles to the Barker Pond parking lot.

Moose River Plains

  • Moose River Plains (Limekiln Lake-Cedar River) Road is open to motor vehicles its whole length from the Limekiln Lake gate near Inlet to the Cedar River Gate near Indian Lake.
  • Otter Brook Road is open to motor vehicles to the Squaw Lake barrier.
  • Rock Dam Road remains closed.

Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm

  • All roads designated for public motor vehicle traffic on the Perkins Clearing and Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easements are open.
  • The section of Jessup River Road, in the Perkins Clearing Conservation Easement, leading to the Spruce Lake Trailhead is soft and should only be traveled by four-wheel drive trucks, SUVs and other high axle vehicles.

Essex Chain Lakes Complex

  • The Shadow Dam Gate and the Cornell/Deer Pond Road will be closed for 1-2 weeks beginning Monday, June 8 to allow for replacement of one of the bridges on the road which is in poor condition.
  • Chain Lakes Road South is open for motor vehicle access to the Old Gooley Club Parking Area.
  • Chain Lakes Road North and Drakes Mill Road are open to allow for public motor vehicle access to the Hudson River/Polaris Bridge Parking Area.

Lake George Wild Forest

  • Gay Pond Road in the Hudson River Recreation Area is open to motor vehicles but is rough.
  • Buttermilk Road Extension in the Hudson River Recreation Area is closed to all motor vehicles.
  • Lily Pond Road off State Route 8 south of Brant Lake is open to motor vehicles.
  • Jabe Pond Road off Split Rock Road and State Route 9N west of Lake George is open to motor vehicles.
  • Dacy Clearing Road is open to motor vehicles from the Hogtown Parking Lot to Dacy Clearing, it may be rough in spots.

Reminder: Seasonal access roads are rough, dirt or gravel roads. Four wheel drive trucks, SUVs and other high axle vehicles are recommended.

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DEC Seeks to Amend Moose River Plains Management Plan to Improve Mountain Bike Trail System

December 4th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Public Meeting Scheduled for December 18 in Raquette Lake

NYSDEC LogoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking comments to amend the Moose River Plains Wild Forest (MRPWF) Unit Management Plan to improve its mountain bike trail system, Regional Director Robert Stegemann announced today.


“The 2011 Unit Management Plan called for DEC to create a working group consisting of mountain bikers, local governments and other interested parties to develop a comprehensive mountain bike plan for Moose River Plains,” said Director Stegemann. “A meeting of stakeholders in July 2013 resulted in DEC contracting with the International Mountain Bicycling Association to create a mountain bike trail system concept plan. The concept plan has been completed.”

The next step in the process to develop a high-quality mountain bike trail system in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest is to consider an amendment to the UMP.

DEC is initiating a public review to determine which elements of the concept plan to adopt in a UMP amendment, which will also define how a mountain bike trail system will be implemented on the ground. A public meeting will be held in the gymnasium of the Raquette Lake Union Free School, 115 State Route 28, Raquette Lake, on Thursday, December 18, beginning at 7 p.m. The school is wheelchair accessible. Please provide any requests for specific accommodation in advance to DEC at 518-897-1248.

DEC staff will provide a brief presentation on the proposals in the concept plan, identifying the proposals that may be acted on without amending the UMP; proposals that require a UMP amendment; and proposals that cannot be undertaken due to physical or regulatory restrictions. DEC will then seek thoughts and ideas from the public on the proposals in the plan.

Mountain Biking in the AdirondacksMountain biking has become a very popular activity in many places. Residents and local government officials in the communities around the Moose River Plains seek to improve their local economies by developing high-quality mountain bike trail systems to attracting mountain bikers to the area.

Comments may also be provided by January 30, 2015 in writing to McCrea Burnham, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY, 12233-4254 or e-mailed to: Adirondackpark@dec.ny.gov.

The Moose River Plains UMP and the mountain bike trail system conceptual plan can be viewed and downloaded at:
Moose River Plains Wild Forest – Unit Management Plan

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DEC to Prepare Management Plan for Northern Franklin County State Forests

December 3rd, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Public Meeting Scheduled for December 17 in Malone

NYSDEC LogoThe state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will develop a unit management plan for 21,239 acres of public lands in the Northern Franklin County State Forests, DEC Region 5 Director Robert Stegemann announced today.

The Northern Franklin State Forest includes five state forests (St. Regis River, Deer River, Titusville Mountain, Valley View and Trout River), seven detached forest preserve parcels, a state fish hatchery and over 50 miles of public fishing rights. The lands are located in the towns of Bangor, Bellmont, Brandon, Chateaugay, Constable, Dickinson, Malone, Moira and Westville.

“DEC is seeking public input on how to best manage these lands and provide access for outdoor recreational activities including hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, camping, wildlife watching and other activities,” said Director Stegemann.

A public meeting will be held at the North County Community College Campus, Resheketina Hall, Room RH-208 at 75 Williams St. in Malone on Wednesday, December 17, beginning at 6 p.m. The facility is wheelchair accessible. Please provide any requests for specific accommodation in advance to DEC at 518-897-1248.

The meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to meet with DEC staff and share thoughts, ideas and suggestions regarding management of State lands within this particular unit. This will be the first of several opportunities for the public to be involved in the planning process.

Natural features in the Northern Franklin Unit include the St. Regis River, Deer River, Salmon River, Trout River and Chateaugay River; Titusville Mountain, Mount Immortelle and Elephant’s Head; and Huckleberry Marsh. The primary recreational uses are hunting and fishing, hiking, camping, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and bird and wildlife watching. The trails to Elephant’s Head and High Falls on Titusville Mountain State Forest and the campsites on Deer River State Forest are used often by the public.

Management issues under consideration by DEC’s planning team include public recreational access, habitat management, and forest management and forest products sales. Upon completion of a thorough resource inventory, an analysis of current and potential uses, and review of public comments, the Northern Franklin planning team will prepare a draft UMP. The public will have the opportunity to review and comment on the draft UMP.

Proposed management actions will be guided by DEC’s Strategic Plan for State Forest Management which focuses on ecosystem health and diversity, economic benefits, recreational opportunities, forest conservation and sustainable management. The completed draft plan will be widely distributed for public review and comment and a public meeting will be scheduled to discuss the draft.

Any interested individual or organization wanting to submit comments may contact Forester Ethan Pierce by mail at NYSDEC, P.O. Box 296, Ray Brook, NY 12977; by telephone at 518-897-1291; or by e-mail at R5.UMP@dec.ny.gov.

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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 Announces Early Bear Hunting Seasons to Begin

September 5th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Bear Hunting Seasons Begin September 6 in Portions of Southeastern New York and September 13 in Northern New York

NYSDEC LogoUnder Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today announced that the new 2014 early bear hunting seasons open at sunrise on Saturday, September 6, in portions of New York’s southern zone and Saturday, September 13, in the northern zone.

“Early black bear hunting seasons are an important tool for managers to control bear populations, and beginning Saturday, hunters will have a new opportunity to pursue bears in portions of the Catskills and western Hudson Valley,” said Commissioner Martens. “Opening these early seasons demonstrates Governor Cuomo’s commitment to increasing hunting opportunities here in New York State for sportsmen and women.”

Following recommendations in DEC’s recently adopted bear management plan to reduce bear populations in the region, the new early firearms bear season runs from September 6-21 in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 3A, 3C, 3H, 3J, 3K, 3M, 3P, 3R, 4P, and 4R. The early bowhunting season for bears will then open in all of the Southern Zone on October 1, followed by the regular firearms season beginning November 15.

Bear in GrassNew this year, DEC has also expanded bear hunting in northern New York to include WMUs 6A, 6G, 6K and 6N. In these newly opened units, bear hunting begins with bowhunting equipment only from September 13 through October 17. In the rest of northern New York (WMUs 5A, 5C, 5F, 5G, 5H, 5J, 6C, 6F, 6H, and 6J), the early firearms season begins Saturday, September 13 and continues until October 17. Muzzleloader season then opens in all northern WMUs on October 18, followed by the regular firearms season for bear on October 25.

During these early seasons, or whenever hunting in warm conditions, bear hunters should be prepared to skin and cool harvested bears as soon as possible to protect the quality of the meat. Hunters may consider skinning and quartering the bear in the field and packing out the meat in game bags.

As part of the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, New York streamlined the hunting and fishing license structure, made it consistent for resident and non-residents, and reduced license fees. Some hunters and anglers may not be familiar with these license changes, but licensing-issuing agents are prepared to provide assistance and ensure the license buyers secure all the desired permits and privileges. Highlights of the sporting licenses changes are available on DEC’s website.

In addition, the new Hunting & Trapping regulation guides are available at all license issuing outlets, as well as on DEC’s website.

In support of the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, this year’s budget includes $6 million in NY Works funding to support creating 50 new land and water access projects to connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors to more than 380,000 acres of existing state and easement lands that have not reached their full potential. These 50 new access projects include building new boat launches, installing new hunting blinds and building new trails and parking areas. In addition, the 2014-15 budget includes $4 million to repair the state’s fish hatcheries; and renews and allows expanded use of crossbows for hunting in New York State.

DEC regulates black bear hunting to manage populations toward levels that are acceptable to the public. Information about black bear hunting in New York, including season dates and regulations, is available on DEC’s website. Additionally, DEC’s booklet Hunting the Black Bear in New York (PDF) (937 KB), includes tips on bear hunting and proper care of harvested bears.

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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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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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