Leaflets Issue #1, August 2011
First Issue of Leaflets
Welcome to the first issue of Leaflets, a periodic e-newsletter published by the DEC Division of Lands and Forests. This newsletter will cover a wide range of topics, from new recreation opportunities on public land to current status of invasive pests, plants and diseases. If you like Leaflets, please encourage your friends to subscribe.
In This Issue
- 2011 Declared International Year of Forests by the United Nations
- Celebrating New York's Forests Photo Contest
- Giant Hogweed
- Emerald Ash Borer
- What You Can Do to Help New York's Forests
- Back Country Stewards
- DEC and Partners Celebrate Opening of Bike Trail Segment
- North Mount Loretto State Forest Arbor Day Reforestation Project
- Charles E. Baker State Forest Assisted by the NYS Plantation Walking Horse Club
- State Forests Strategic Management Plan
- Conservationist Magazine
- Useful Resources
2011 Declared International Year of Forests by the United Nations
This international effort underscores the importance of forests to people for food, shelter, health and economy. The UN's goal is to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.
Some Global Forest Facts:
- Forests cover 31% of total global land area.
- Forests house 80% our terrestrial biodiversity.
- The livelihood of over 1.6 billion people depends on forests.
- Forests store more than 1 trillion tons of carbon.
- Over 40% of the world's oxygen is produced by rainforests.
- More than 1/4 of modern medicines originate from tropical forest plants.
Learn more about New York's forests and the International Year of Forests.
Celebrating New York's Forests Photo Contest
In honor of the International Year of Forests, DEC's Division of Lands and Forests has launched Celebrating New York's Forests Photo Contest. This contest is an effort to increase awareness of and appreciation for all types of forests, urban and rural, large and small, public and privately owned, across the state. People are encouraged to submit photos in five different categories:
- Nature (wildlife, plants, natural landscapes, etc.)
- Enjoying the forest (hunting, fishing, trails, camping, hiking, etc.)
- Trees where we live (parks, streets, yards, etc.)
- Forest products (maple syrup, lumber, baseball bats, furniture, etc.)
- State-owned Forests (State Forests, Forest Preserve lands, forested Wildlife Management Areas, Campgrounds)
For more information, see DEC's Celebrating New York's Forests Photo Contest web page.
This time of year giant hogweed is most noticeable and most easily identified. This invasive plant is a Federally listed noxious weed. Its sap, in combination with sunlight, can cause severe skin and eye irritation, painful blistering, permanent scarring and blindness. Contact between the skin and the sap of this plant occurs either through brushing against the bristles on the stem or breaking the stem or leaves. "Giant" is a good description because it grows up to 15 feet tall and the white umbrella-shaped flower heads can be 2 feet across. DEC is gathering data on all giant hogweed locations. Read more about giant hogweed.
Emerald Ash Borer
The emerald ash borer (EAB) is only about ¼ inch long but can kill a full-grown ash tree. It was first discovered in New York State in 2009 in Cattaraugus County. Since then, it has been found in 10 counties. It has most recently been found in Rochester, Buffalo and Highland Falls. Cities, towns and villages that have ash street trees will be hit rather hard financially and aesthetically by EAB. To get a sense of the dollar cost, multiply the number of ash trees by the cost of removing a tree. By identifying and managing infested areas, we can slow the spread of EAB which gives everyone more time to plan and prepare for its arrival.
EAB Contiguous Movement:
The NYS Division of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) is allowing movement of ash logs into NYS from the contiguous EAB-quarantined counties in Pennsylvania, with a newly established a NYSDAM State Compliance Agreement (CA) for mills interested in doing so. USDA APHIS also has agreed to provide the necessary Federal CAs for interstate movement of ash logs out of one quarantined state into another. For more information, call the NYS DAM Division of Plant Industry at (518) 457-2087.
What You Can Do to Help New York's Forests
- Don't move firewood. You could be moving invasive insects that kill trees.
- Become familiar with what emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle and giant hogweed look like and keep on the lookout for them.
Back Country Stewards
Backcountry recreationists and the state's natural resources will both receive a higher level of protection thanks to the creation of the Backcountry Stewards Internship Program. The Backcountry Stewardship Program expands the long running partnership between Student Conservation Association (SCA) and DEC that began more than a decade ago. Funding from the Environmental Protection Fund will be matched by contributions from SCA to hire 24 college-aged students to work this summer as backcountry stewards on a variety of DEC public lands including State Forests and Forest Preserve lands, in addition to Conservation Easement lands. More information on backcountry outdoor recreation.
DEC and Partners Celebrate Opening of Bike Trail Segment
The Beaver Brook Trail System recently added 3.5 miles of mountain bike trails to the Wilmington area. Combined with the Flume Trail System, which opened in 2009, and the bike trails on the Whiteface Mountain Ski, which are connected to the Flume Trail System, there are now more than 20 miles of bike trails in the Wilmington area. This Wilmington area bike trail system was developed through the combined efforts of the DEC, Town of Wilmington, Wilmington Mountain Peddlers, Barkeater Trails Alliance, the Olympic Regional Development Authority's Whiteface Mountain Ski Center and the Adirondack Mountain Club's Trails Program.
North Mount Loretto State Forest Arbor Day Reforestation Project
On April 29, New York City, through the Million Trees New York (MTNY) program, partnered with DEC to reforest two areas at North Mount Loretto totaling nearly one acre. More than 1,340 trees and shrubs from the MTNY program and State Tree Nursery were planted. People of all ages from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Public School 25, Americorps, and DEC staff helped on planting day.
Charles E. Baker State Forest Assisted by the NYS Plantation Walking Horse Club
For the tenth straight year, the New York State Plantation Walking Horse Club has donated materials and supplies to the DEC's Region 7 Lands and Forests to maintain and improve the assembly area at Charles E. Baker State Forest, part of the esteemed Brookfield Horse Trail System that traverses four DEC state forests in Madison County. Groups like the New York State Plantation Walking Horse Club are important partners for the state, especially during these difficult fiscal times. Other organized groups that would like to help keep state forest recreational services open and available for the public are encouraged to contact their regional Lands and Forests office to learn more about the Adopt a Natural Resource program.
State Forests Strategic Management Plan
Commissioner Joe Martens officially adopted the Strategic Plan for State Forest Management on July 15. The plan is intended to guide the Department's activities on the nearly 800,000 acres of State Forests managed by the Division of Lands & Forests. It is also a Generic Environmental Impact Statement, which will increase staff efficiency by eliminating the need for separate State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) analysis for projects that comply with the guidelines and thresholds outlined in the plan. The 315-page document covers a broad array of management areas, including forest product sales, ecosystem management, resource protection, forest health, public recreation, rare and endangered species protection, and mineral resources.
If you are reading this newsletter you might enjoy DEC's Conservationist magazine, with great stories and award-winning photographs.
Recent forest related stories:
- More than a Working Forest: Conservation easement protects Upper Hudson Woodlands
- Tiny Beetle, Big Problem: DEC battles the emerald ash borer
- The DEC website (http://www.dec.ny.gov/) is loaded with lots of information on recreation, natural resources, wildlife, resources for teachers and much more.
- DEC's Places to Go web page has the most comprehensive list of state-owned land open to public recreation including maps and directions.
- Use DEC's mapping gateway web page to access interactive maps.