D E C banner
D E C banner


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

From the August 2011 Conservationist


By Eileen Stegemann and Jenna Kerwin

Heavy Load

Mother opposum with many baby opposums on her back.

I thought your readers might enjoy this photo of a mother opossum and her babies. My wife and I decided she has at least 11 of them on her back. It reminds us of a "soccer mom" with a van full of kids!
Jim Getman
Schoharie County

That's a lot of mouths to feed!
-Conservationist staff

Rare Book

The green cover of Whitaker's Game Code

We recently had the pleasure of receiving a letter about an old game code book from Leonard P. Wood of Hammondsport, Steuben County. Mr Wood had an 1892 copy of Whitaker's Game Code.

Mr. Wood indicated the book was in good condition and looked as though it had hardly been used. However, he couldn't find much about it online. We checked with DEC Librarian Deb Ferguson who found a short biographical sketch of Mr. Whitaker in an old biographical directory of New York State. It turns out the Game Code is the precursor to today's Environmental Conservation Law, but interestingly, only three libraries were listed as having copies.

Do any other readers have a copy of Whitaker's Game Code? If so, we'd love to hear from you.
-Conservationist staff

June Love

We recently received the following letters in response to our June 2011 issue. It's loyal readers like these two gentlemen that make Conservationist what it is today.
-Conservationist staff

I left New York more than 65 years ago, but I still subscribe to your magazine. About 25 years ago I had the pleasure of visiting with former Conservationist art director, Wayne Trimm, here in Oregon. What a great guy! I also wanted to say that I enjoyed your June issue, especially the articles, "Flying Jewels of New York State," "Giants at Our Feet" and "Tiny Beetle, Big Problem." I'm 90 years old so I'm probably on my final approach (flying lingo), but you help me feel young.
Roland Fisher
Lake Oswego, Oregon

In our house, your magazine is passed from one person to another until the pages are tattered. I enjoyed your article, "Giants at Our Feet." Each spring, more than 60 years ago, friends and I would scour the available waterfront of the East River at College Point. Our mission: find and look for "treasure" in the underbody of horseshoe crabs. Rings, coins and everything shiny were the fortune they provided. Thanks for a great article and a reminder of some happy experiences as a youth.
Dominick J. Mupo
Huntington, Suffolk County

Nice and Clean

A snapping turtle with a very clean shell, on the ground

I first thought this turtle was a snapper, but after seeing a snapper at the river, I had second thoughts. I saw two of these turtles in the past couple of weeks, no doubt looking for a spot to lay their eggs. But their shells seemed too clean and smooth to be snappers.
Jack Dwyer
Selkirk, Albany County

You're right; it's a snapping turtle! While many snappers have algal communities on their backs, some don't either due to the water quality or the algal community base in the wetland they spend most of their time in. It's nice to see photos of a clean turtle like this one.
-William Hoffman, DEC Fish and Wildlife Technician

Future Biologist?

A cute young blonde toddler holding a turtle

This is my niece Lydia. She wasn't quite sure what this turtle was, but by the looks of things, the turtle didn't quite care to know what she was. Lydia's growing up to be quite the explorer!
Matthew Nichols
Long Island City

What a great photo. It's always a pleasure to see our future conservationists in action!
-Conservationist staff