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Leaflets Issue #5, May 2012

In This Issue:

$750,000 in Urban Forestry Grants Available

Young street tree planting

Applications are now being accepted by DEC to support urban forestry projects across the state. These grants, funded by the Environmental Protection Fund, will be of particular interest to those communities faced with the infestation and eradication of the Emerald Ash Borer. Proposals for tree inventories, tree planting, maintenance, management plans and invasive pest detection studies will be accepted. The grants will be awarded to large cities and small communities across the state. Applications must be postmarked by June 21.

$1.4 Million in Grants Awarded to Land Trusts

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the Land Trust Alliance recently awarded $1.4 million in Conservation Partnership Program grants for 53 projects. The grants, funded through New York State's Environmental Protection Fund, will be matched by $1.2 million in private and local funding. The purpose of the grants is to increase the pace, improve the quality and ensure the permanence of voluntary conservation of private lands, which will result in significant environmental and economic benefits for communities throughout New York.

Trees for Tribs Program Plantings Held in Observance of Arbor Day

A mom and daughter watering a newly planted tree

The State Tree Nursery's Trees for Tribs program held two tree planting events along streams heavily eroded by the waters of Tropical Storm Irene as part of the Lake Champlain Basin Trees for Tributaries program. The first event was held on Friday, April 27, along the shores of Lake George on Assembly Point in the Town of Queensbury, Warren County. The Assembly Point Water Quality Committee planted more than 500 trees to restore areas significantly damaged by Hurricanes Irene and Lee.

The second event on Sunday, April 29, 1,600 trees were planted at 13 sites along the banks of the East Branch Ausable River in the Village of Ausable Forks and the Towns of Jay and Keene, Essex County. The Ausable River Association in partnership with the Essex County Soil and Water Conservation District organized the event. Staff from DEC, NRCS and APA participated in the effort.

In addition to stabilization benefits, trees and other natural vegetation along waterways (also called riparian forests) can reduce up to 69 percent of total nitrogen, 60 percent of total phosphorous, and 71 percent of total sediment from an average agricultural setting. Riparian buffer restoration is one of the most low cost ways to meet water quality goals established for major water bodies. Riparian forests also provide much-needed shading, cooling and food for trout and other fish habitat. Read the full press release.

Tree Planting at the Capitol

Commissioner Martens, poster contest winner Hershini Paray, and Urban Forestry Coordinator Mary Kramarchyk

The State Arbor Day Committee, made up of several state agencies and industry associations, joined DEC Commissioner Joe Martens and other state and local officials to celebrate Arbor Day in Albany's West Capitol Park. This annual celebration encourages New Yorkers of all ages to recognize the importance of trees and the impact they make in our everyday lives. A greenspire linden tree was planted by attendees. In addition to other awards, Hershini Paray, a fifth grader from Our Lady of Perpetual Help in South Ozone Park Queens, was recognized for winning DEC's 2012 Arbor Day Poster Contest depicting the theme "Trees are Terrific." Read the full press release.

Controlled Burn at Rush Oak Openings

fire crew conducting controlled burn

Rush Oak Openings, a State Unique Area, in southern Monroe County contains a globally rare plant community referred to as an "oak opening" or "oak savannah". In order to keep this unique ecosystem from disappearing, a combination of brush hogging and prescribed burns is recommended. Oak Openings are maintained by periodic burning. Historically, fires were set by Native Americans or caused by lightning strikes. Of the Area's 228 acres, 84 were recently burned. Oak Openings can be variable in size, from just an acre to several thousand acre complexes. Until recently, this site was the only known intact oak opening remaining in New York State. There are now several areas in the Southern Tier portion of Region 8 on which DEC has been able to restore the same type of community.

Conservation Easement Change Allows Camps, Transfers Land to the State

Under the new terms of the agreement, Heartwood Forestland, the owner of a conservation easement on the former Champion lands, will retain the right to permanently lease 220 camp sites on which the state acquired a working forest easement in 1999. In return, the company will transfer 2,797 acres of land to the state in two parcels adjacent to the state's existing Deer River holdings.

Of those 2,797 acres of land, a 2,146-acre parcel within the Adirondack Park will be added to the State Forest Preserve as part of the recently classified Deer River Primitive Area, and a 651-acre parcel outside the Park will become a new State Forest. These parcels will provide access to a previously-inaccessible, detached Forest Preserve property and will be open to the public for hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and other outdoor recreation. Read the full press release.

Articles in the Current Issue of the Conservationist

Trees at Charles Baker State Forest. Photo by Wells Horton.

There are too many forest related stories in this issue to list separately. From planting trees for tributaries to surviving a wilderness emergency and amazing photos! We recommend you read the entire issue, or, better yet, subscribe to this entertaining and informative magazine celebrating New York's environment.

Did You Know?

baseball bat

Most wood baseball bats are currently made from white ash trees (Fraxinus americana) and are mainly harvested from New York and Pennsylvania. Even though aluminum bats are used at other levels, professional baseball only allows the use of wood bats. White ash is used because of its hardness, durability, strength, weight and "feel". Sugar maple (Acer saccharum), also called rock maple because of its hardness, has recently become a popular wood for making bats, but can break more explosively than ash-made bats.

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