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Leaflets Issue #3, December 2011

In This Issue:

Celebrating New York's Forests Photo Contest Winners Announced

American flag with maples in fall color
Home by Michael Linse

In honor of the International Year of Forests, DEC's Division of Lands and Forests 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. More than 530 photos were received and judged.

The photo to the right, titled Home, is by Michael Linse and is the category winner for Trees Where We Live. View the winners of each category, the semifinalists and the Commissioner's Choice photo on the photo contest webpage.

Real Christmas Tree or Fake?

child decorating a real Christmas tree

Some people think it's environmentally bad to cut a real, live Christmas tree and that it is more environmentally friendly to have a fake tree. Wrong! Christmas trees are grown as a farm crop like lettuce and tomatoes, and even hay. Nobody ever refused to eat a salad because a head of lettuce was killed. While Christmas trees are growing, they clean the air, filter water and provide wildlife habitat. Income from tree sales helps keep the land as a farm and unpaved. Locally grown trees require less fuel to get to the final destination for sale.

"If you can't grow it, you have to mine it." If your tree is not a real tree, then what is it? Most likely it is a combination of metal and plastic, possibly with some wood thrown in. Most fake Christmas trees come from China which has lower health, safety and environmental controls with weaker enforcement than in the US. Such trees must then be shipped all the way to the US, burning significant amounts of fossil fuels. Fake trees also take up space in landfills and cannot be recycled. Read more about why a real Christmas tree is the best choice.

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Update

A single adult EAB was caught in a purple panel trap in southern Albany County (near Selkirk). It is expected the county will be quarantined sometime this winter. DEC encourages readers not to move firewood or any ash tree material out of the towns of Coeymans, New Scotland or Bethlehem in case there are infested trees that have not yet been discovered. Visit DEC's EAB webpage for more information.

Seedling Sales Begin January 2012

mature black walnut tree

The NYS Tree Nursery offers more than 50 different trees and shrubs for your needs: stream buffers, hedges, windbreaks, wildlife food and habitat, attracting pollinators, Christmas trees and more. Bare root seedlings are lightweight and easy to plant.

Numerous trees and shrubs available make great stream buffers. Storms in 2011 destroyed many streambanks. Healthy planted streambanks and floodplains slow the force of floodwaters and reduce erosion, protecting our loved ones and property. The sale begins January 3, 2012 and runs through mid May.

Draft Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Grievance Procedure

This policy establishes the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation grievance procedure for prompt and equitable resolution of non-employment related complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in practices and policies, or the provisions of DEC programs, services and activities. This draft policy will be available for comment shortly. Watch DEC's Accessible Recreation page to review and comment on the draft policy when it is available.

Land Acquisitions

Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area Expands by a Third

New York State has acquired a 261-acre property in Putnam County that is prized for wildlife habitat and water quality protection. The property, known as North Hollow, is located within the Great Swamp watershed and was acquired by the state with federal grant money and a private donation. North Hollow features steep upland forests protecting the nearby Haviland Hollow Brook, a pristine trout stream. The brook watershed connects with the Great Swamp, Croton River and reservoirs in the New York Highlands that provide drinking water to New York City. The area is used for such recreational activities as hiking, cross-country skiing, hunting, fishing and trapping. Learn more about the Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area.

State Purchases 1,200 Acres of Land in the Catskill Park

New York State recently purchased 1,200 acres of land on the eastern side of Belleayre Mountain, known as Big Indian. The acquisition expands the Catskill Forest Preserve and further protects the New York City watershed. The $5.6 million used to purchase the land came from the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). The property will be added to the constitutionally protected State Forest Preserve and will remain on local property tax rolls. This purchase fulfills a priority project area in the state's Open Space Conservation Plan.

Recent Conservationist Articles Relating to Forests

* Beware: Nature Ahead! by Gloria Van Duyne

New Assistant Commissioner, Kathleen Moser

Assistant Commissioner, Kathleen Moser

We would like to extend a warm welcome to Kathy Moser who will be working with us, the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources and the Office of Invasive Species in executing conservation programs for the protection of New York's natural resources. Kathy has an extensive background in environmental conservation. In her earlier endeavors, she worked for the U.S. Peace Corps, which led to multiple leadership roles for both the Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund. We are delighted to work with Kathy in our continuous efforts to manage and conserve New York's natural resources. Welcome Kathy!

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