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From the October 2013 Conservationist


By Jenna Kerwin and David Nelson

2012 Hunting Season Wrap-Up

A black bear standing in dead leaves in the woods
Photo: Eric Dresser

New York bear hunters took 1,337 black bears during the 2012 hunting season, making it the third highest bear harvest on record in the state. (Harvest was 1,864 in 2003 and 1,487 in 2009). Deer hunters harvested approximately 243,000 deer (124,000 antlerless deer and 119,000 adult bucks) during the 2012-13 season; about a six percent increase from the previous year. Check out the complete reports. You can also view the results of the 2012 Youth Deer Hunt.

Trees for Arbor Day

Forest rangers and volunteers plant tree seedlings

This past Arbor Day, DEC forest rangers led a day of tree planting in the Hudson River Special Management Area along the Upper Hudson River in Warrensburg. Staff from the nonprofit organization, Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, and boy scouts and troop leaders from Boy Scout Troop 100 in Warrensburg joined in planting trees to prevent erosion and to re-green former campsites abused by years of overuse. DEC's Saratoga Tree Nursery provided a variety of seedlings and potted trees, and forest rangers, led by Chuck Kabrehl, Evan Donlon and Art Perryman, imparted lessons of tree planting and careful stewardship of our Forest Preserve and Upper Hudson River. A spirit of friendly competition also ensued, to see who could plant and water the most trees!

CWD Regulations Amended

DEC has adopted changes to its Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) regulations that prohibit the importation of certain parts of white-tailed deer or elk taken in Pennsylvania. This is in response to the first confirmed case of CWD in Pennsylvania last fall. CWD is a contagious, neurological disease affecting deer, elk and moose. (See Wildlife Health Corner on page 16 for information about the disease.) Since movement of infected meat may be one route of spreading this disease, hunters who take deer or elk in Pennsylvania are required to remove the brain, eyes, spinal cord and other parts, before entering New York. DEC advises hunters not to consume the meat of any animal that acts abnormally. More on CWD.

Grants to Improve River Access

DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission recently awarded grants totaling $117,611 to four communities to support projects that will provide access to the Hudson River and its tributaries for fishing, wildlife education and river watching in underserved comminutes, including for people with disabilities and individuals living in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Recipients were: The City of Albany, to increase educational and recreational opportunities along Patroon Creek in the Tivoli Lake Preserve; The City of Kingston to install a fishing pier on Rondout Creek; West Harlem Environmental Action Inc., to develop plans for a new community center for ecological education and recreational activities; and Yonkers, Groundwork Hudson Valley, to develop access plans near Saw Mill River for fishing, birding, walking, and environmental education. For more information, contact DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program at (845) 256-3016.

Conservationist for Kids Gets Kudos

The cover of the habitat issue of Conservationist for Kids magazine

DEC's Division of Public Affairs and Education, and the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources recently received an award from the Northeast Conservation Information and Education Association for the Conservationist for Kids April 2012 issue, "Habitat is where it's at." The award is given to an individual or group for service to the field of information and education in the conservation and management of fish and/or wildlife. The magazine encourages youngsters to explore the world outside and learn about natural resources first-hand. Gina Jack, editor of Conservationist for Kids, noted that each issue is a product of a partnership among resource professionals, educational specialists and editors, with designer Frank Herec bringing the words to life with creative graphics. Conservationist for Kids is included three times each year in the Conservationist.

EPF Anniversary

This year marks the 20th anniversary of New York's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), an important source of funding to support projects that protect the environment and enhance communities. During the past 20 years, EPF has invested billions of dollars in clean air and water, conservation, recreational opportunities, and a green economy. EPF monies have been used to build new parks, add to the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserves, and conserve working forests and farms.