From the August 2013 Conservationist
By Jenna Kerwin and David Nelson
OK Slip Falls
New York recently purchased 9,300 acres of land in the Adirondack Park from The Nature Conservancy. The lands, which were previously owned by Finch Paper (formerly Finch, Pruyn & Co.), include: the OK Slip Falls in Hamilton County; the Casey Brook tract in Essex County; the Spruce Point tract in Washington County; the Saddles tract in Washington County; the Hudson Riverside/Ice Meadows tract in Warren County; and the Indian River tract in Essex and Hamilton Counties. This acquisition complements the state's purchase of more than 18,000 acres of land from the Conservancy in 2012. The new purchase helps ensure the protection of the region's forests, waterways and wildlife, as well as provides future tourism and recreational opportunities. For more information, search "Finch Pruyn" on the governor's website.
Spruce Grouse Recovery Plan
DEC recently released a final spruce grouse recovery plan. Spruce grouse were first listed as threatened in New York in 1983 and later moved to the endangered list in 1999 due to declines in population. Highlights of the recovery plan include ways to maintain grouse habitat, and information on reintroducing the birds into specified areas. See more information about spruce grouse.
The invasive beetle, emerald ash borer (EAB), was recently confirmed for the first time in Delaware and Otsego Counties, bringing the total number of counties with confirmed EAB sightings to 15. The New York Department of Agriculture and Markets expanded quarantine areas to include all or part of 42 counties. The quarantine prohibits any movement of live EAB from where they are found, which includes infested ash logs. DEC's "Don't Move Firewood" regulations prohibiting the transportation of firewood of any species more than 50 miles from its source or origin remains in effect. To report signs of EAB, call DEC's emerald ash borer hotline at 1-866-640-0652, and visit the Emerald Ash Borer page for more information about the beetle.
New State Record Brookie
On May 16, Rick Beauchamp of Fulton County caught a new state record brook trout while fishing on Silver Lake, Hamilton County. Rick caught the 22.5-inch brookie using a Lake Clear Wabbler and worm. The trophy fish weighed in at slightly more than 6 pounds, surpassing the previous state record by 2 ounces. Rick submitted the details of his catch to DEC's Angler Achievement Awards Program, a program designed to recognize the accomplishments of anglers. Check out the June 2013 article "Nice Catch!" for information about the program, or download an application form.
Ranger School Turns 100
The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Ranger School recently celebrated its centennial. Begun in 1912, the Ranger School started as a place to "train men to fill the gap between the average woodsman and the professional forester," and today offers several degree programs (Environmental and Natural Resources Conservation, Land Surveying Technology, and Forest Technology) to both men and women. Throughout last year, students and faculty celebrated the institution's rich history with festivals, lectures, an alumni reunion, games, dinners, and much more! For more information about the important work students are doing to protect our natural resources, and to learn about the centennial, visit the Ranger School's website.
Tracking Dog Exam
DEC recently announced the upcoming examination date for people interested in obtaining a license to use certified leashed tracking dogs to find dead or injured deer or bear. The test will be given at designated DEC regional offices on August 16, and the deadline for registering is August 2nd. For more information, visit the Leashed Tracking Dog License page (Note: Licensees must have a valid NYS big game hunting license.)
Museum Features Rare Works
The Road to Ausable, Roswell Morse
In the "Great Wilderness, Great Expectations: Masterworks from the Adirondack Museum" exhibit currently on display at the Adirondack Museum, visitors can peruse more than 50 works of art depicting the changing Adirondack landscape over several past centuries. The exhibit, which runs until October 14, 2013, features rarely or never-before-exhibited drawings, paintings, sketches and photographs by artists like John Frederick Kensett, Seneca Ray Stoddard, Edward Bierstadt, Thomas Cole, Nathan Farb, and others. These images have helped define the American wilderness, and show how artists from the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries portrayed the Adirondack region. Visit the Adirondack museum website for more information.