Looking Ahead: With the arrival of August, our minds start turning to hunting; if they’re not already. Sporting licenses are now on sale and now is the time to start getting those bows and deer rifles out and doing some shooting. It doesn’t hurt to do some plinking with the .22 or bust a few clay targets with the shotgun as well. All is good practice for deer season. Meanwhile, there is some interesting news from DEC. Check out the post below for their new DECinfo Locater. This is good stuff, and should come into handy to all who recreate in the Adirondacks. Including, and especially, hunters.
QDMA & Cornell Cooperative Extention are partnering to bring Field to Fork to the Southern Adirondack (Lake George/Glens Falls/Saratoga) region. The program trains and mentors new hunters in all aspects of deer hunting. They will be visiting the following Farmers Markets to recruit new hunters.
-Aug. 16 – Warrensburg
-Aug. 28, Sept. 25 and 28 – Saratoga
QDMA’s Field to Fork Website: https://www.qdma.com/recruit/field-to-fork/
Download Flier: NY_F2F flyer_Blank [1-2]
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that DEC is proposing several regulatory changes to further protect New York’s wild deer and moose from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD is a fatal and untreatable nervous-system disease affects deer, elk, and moose and is believed to be caused by abnormally shaped proteins called prions. CWD prions are shed through saliva, urine, and feces of infected animals. A healthy deer, elk, or moose can pick up the disease by direct contact with the infected animal’s body fluids or by eating contaminated sources of food or water.
DEC and the Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) recently finalized the New York State Interagency Chronic Wasting Disease Risk Minimization Plan, which includes recommendations to strengthen protection of New York’s wild white-tailed deer and moose populations, as well as captive cervids (deer and elk) held at enclosed breeding and shooting facilities. The public has until Oct. 6, 2019 to offer comment.
Proposed changes include:
- Expanding the prohibition on the importation of carcasses and carcass parts of CWD-susceptible animals to include all jurisdictions outside of New York;
- Clarifying that the only parts of CWD-susceptible animals that may be imported into New York are deboned meat, cleaned skull cap, antlers with no flesh adhering, raw or processed cape or hide, cleaned teeth or lower jaw, and finished taxidermy products;
- Modifying the list of species referenced in the regulations to only include known CWD-susceptible species;
- Increasing the ease with which DEC’s Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) can enforce DAM regulations to ensure owners of captive-bred, CWD-susceptible animals comply with DAM’s captive cervid health requirements;
- Clarifying disposal requirements for taxidermists that process CWD-susceptible animals; and
- Removing text associated with feeding wild deer and moose, as that prohibition is being established in a separate rulemaking.
Public comments will be accepted on these proposals through Oct. 6, 2019. For more detailed explanations of these proposals and for instructions for submitting comments, visit DEC’s website.
Along with regulation changes affecting hunters, DEC biologists and DAM veterinarians will be conducting joint inspections of captive deer and elk facilities and improving record-sharing among agencies to increase compliance with cervid health requirements. DEC and DAM will also explore several potential oversight and CWD-testing improvements for captive cervid facilities.
DEC issued the following advice to reduce the likelihood that CWD will come into New York.
Hunters, taxidermists, and deer processors are directed to:
- Not import whole deer, elk, moose, or caribou carcasses into New York;
- Avoid natural deer urine-based attractants and use synthetics forms instead; and
- Dispose of carcasses and carcass parts properly at approved landfills.
All New Yorkers are encouraged to:
- Report sick or abnormally behaving deer;
- Not feed wild deer or moose; and
- Report violators.
DEC also recently announced that new proposed regulations for the feeding of wild deer and moose and the use of 4-PosterTM devices are available for public comment until Sept. 1, 2019. The measure is needed to strengthen and clarify the existing prohibition on the intentional feeding of wild deer and moose. Prohibiting the feeding of wild deer and moose is a best management approach to reduce risks associated with communicable wildlife diseases like chronic wasting disease, minimize conflicts with deer, and protect wildlife habitats. More information can be found on DEC’s website.
To learn more about CWD and DEC efforts to protect wild deer and moose in New York, visit DEC’s website.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that a 250-foot section of trail has been rehabilitated along the Murphy-Middle-Bennett Trail in Wilcox Wild Forest, town of Wells, Hamilton County. This project is part of the Adventure NY Initiative to connect New Yorkers with the outdoors.
DEC staff, backcountry stewards, and volunteers from the Velo Bicycle Club and the community spent four days rehabilitating the section of trail using sustainable practices to create a durable and hardened trail surface for multi-use recreation. DEC used the existing corduroy surface as the foundation for the crushed stone turnpike built on top of it.
The 6.8-mile Murphy-Middle-Bennett trail accesses Murphy Lake and features three picturesque ponds along the trail, as well as camping opportunities, including a lean-to at Murphy Lake. It is part of a network of 92 miles of trails in the Wilcox Lake Wild Forest. The trail is also a designated route along the more than 550-mile Adirondack Trail Ride, a solo, self-supported bike-packing adventure through the Adirondack Mountains.
Wilcox Lake Wild Forest, located in the southeastern Adirondacks, is comprised of approximately 125,000 acres of Adirondack Forest Preserve lands in Fulton, Hamilton, Saratoga, and Warren counties. There are 92 miles of marked trails, 63 primitive campsites, and four lean-tos available for recreational opportunities in the wild forest. Users are encouraged to practice Leave No Trace principles when recreating in the Adirondacks to enjoy the outdoors responsibly and minimize impact on natural resources.
Under Governor Cuomo’s Adventure NY Initiative, DEC is making strategic investments to expand access to healthy, active outdoor recreation, connect more New Yorkers and visitors to nature and the outdoors, protect natural resources, and boost local economies. This initiative is supporting 75 projects over three years with many more to come, ranging from improvements to youth camps and environmental education centers to new boat launches, duck blinds, and hiking trails. Click here to learn more about Adventure NY. For more information on planning an outdoor adventure in New York State, visit DEC’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that sporting licenses and Deer Management Permits (DMPs) for the 2019-20 season are now on sale.
Licenses and permits can be purchased at any one of DEC’s license-issuing agents, by telephone at 866-933-2257, or online. The new hunting and trapping licenses are valid from Sept. 1, 2019 through Aug. 31, 2020, while annual fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from date of purchase.
New York’s habitat serves a vital role in maintaining healthy and sustainable fish and wildlife resources. DEC encourages all outdoor enthusiasts to consider purchasing a Habitat & Access Stamp each year. Funds from the $5 Habitat & Access Stamp support projects to conserve habitat and improve public access for fish and wildlife-related activities. This year’s Habitat & Access Stamp features a bull moose. Last year’s Habitat & Access Stamp, which featured a Barred Owl, was the most popular stamp in DEC history, with more than 14,000 sold.
Deer Management Permits (DMPs)
DMPs are also now available at all license-issuing outlets, by phone, or online through Oct. 1, 2019. DMPsare used to manage the deer herd and are issued through an instant random selection process at the point of sale. The chances of obtaining a DMP remain the same throughout the application period—hunters need not rush to apply for one. The 2019 chances of selection for a DMP in each Wildlife Management Unit are available online, through license issuing agents, or by calling the DMP Hotline at 1-866-472-4332. Detailed information on Deer Management Permits is available on DEC’s website.
The new Hunting & Trapping Regulations Guide, which provides an easy-to-read compendium of all pertinent rules and regulations, is available on the DEC Hunting Regulations webpage. A summary of hunting and trapping regulations is currently available at license issuing agents, and copies of the full hunting and trapping regulations guide will be available at license issuing agents beginning Sept. 1.
Expanded Call Center Hours
Beginning Aug. 1, the DEC Call Center is accessible from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays through Oct. 1. Regular call center weekday hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) will resume on Oct. 2.
Individuals should have the following items ready when buying a license:
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that DEC is participating in events across the state this month to celebrate Smokey Bear’s 75thanniversary. DEC is teaming up with the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters, and the Ad Council to celebrate 75 years since the 1944 launch of the Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention campaign, the longest-running public service advertising campaign in U.S. history.
Smokey Bear was “born” on August 9, 1944, when the Forest Service and the Ad Council agreed on using a fictional bear to serve as the symbol for their joint effort to promote forest fire prevention during World War II. Roughly nine out of 10 forest fires are caused by humans. Wildfires can be deadly and destructive, and the national annual cost of their consequences can range anywhere from $71.1 to $347.8 billion, according to recent study by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Last year’s Camp Fire in northern California destroyed the city of Paradise and killed more than 80 people, making it the nation’s deadliest wildfire in more than a century.
New York State has 18.5 million acres of public and private forest lands susceptible to seasonal wildfires, and DEC’s Forest Rangers are the state’s lead division tasked with forest fire mitigation and the control and prevention of wildfires. In 2018, DEC Forest Rangers extinguished 105 wildfires that burned a total of 845 acres. For more information about the Forest Rangers, go to DEC’s website.
SMOKEY BEAR’S 75TH ANNIVERSARY AUGUST EVENTS
- August 7, 6 p.m.: attends Wellsville Movie Night w/Partners for Prevention in Allegany County;
- August 8, 1 p.m.: attends Empire Farm Days, Seneca Falls, Seneca County;
- August 9: DEC Smokey Bear Anniversary event at Otis Pike Preserve–West, Suffolk County – details to be announced soon;
- August 9, 6:30 p.m.: attends Erie County Fair Firefighters Day Fireman’s Parade;
- August 10: visits DEC campgrounds in Hamilton County: Golden Beach, Lake Eaton, and Lake Durant;
- August 14, 7:30 p.m.: attends the Adirondack Experience (formerly Adirondack Museum), Blue Mountain Lake, Hamilton County;
- August 16, 6 p.m.: Smokey Bear will throw out the first pitch at the Tri-City ValleyCats game in Troy, Rensselaer County. This will also take place in conjunction with the annual Boy Scout Night;
- August 16-18: attends The Woodsmen’s Field Days, Boonville, Oneida County;
- August 18, 1 p.m.: attends the NYS Championship Parade, Hagerman Fire Department, East Patchogue, Suffolk County; and
- August 21st – September 2: attends The Great New York State Fair, Syracuse, Onondaga County.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today encouraged New Yorkers to participate in the state’s annual survey for wild turkeys. Since 1996, DEC has conducted the Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey to track wild turkey populations and estimate the number of wild turkey poults (young of the year) per hen statewide. Weather, predation, and habitat conditions during breeding and brood-rearing seasons can significantly impact nest success, hen survival, and poult survival. This index allows DEC to gauge reproductive success and predict fall harvest potential.
During August, survey participants record the sex and age composition of all flocks of wild turkeys observed during normal travel. Those interested in participating can download a Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey form along with instructions and the data sheet from DEC’s website. Survey cards can be obtained by contacting regional DEC offices, calling (518) 402-8883, or e-mailing email@example.com (type “Turkey Survey” in the subject line). Participants can also submit observations on-line. Visit the DEC website and click “Summer Wild Turkey Sighting On-line Report.”
Additional information is available on the DEC website:
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that DEC is accepting applications for sponsored pheasant hunts. The program enables interest groups to obtain pheasants for use in sponsored hunts to engage more people with the outdoors, especially youth, women, novices, veterans, and people with disabilities. Applications to participate in the program are due September 1, 2019.
Sponsored hunts are free, non-competitive events coordinated by a group, club, individual, or organization. Dedicated local sportsmen and sportswomen share their expertise with beginning hunters in a supportive environment. This program gives individuals the chance to embark on a lifelong pursuit of hunting and outdoor enjoyment.
In addition to the pheasants reared for fall stocking throughout New York State, staff at DEC’s Reynolds Game Farm raise 2,000 pheasants each year for sponsored hunts across the state. DEC provides up to 50 game-farm-raised pheasants to each sponsoring organization free of charge for these hunts.
Chairman of the New York State Conservation Fund Advisory Board, Jason Kemper said, “New York’s Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program has a rich history and tradition of introducing young people to wildlife management practices and to the sport of hunting. As one of DEC’s successful fish and wildlife programs, the Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program provides participants with a unique opportunity and educational experience to pheasant hunt and a possible continued future interest in the sport.”
Volunteers are key to this program’s success. If an individual or a group would like to sponsor a hunt, please contact the DEC regional office for an application (a list of DEC regional offices is provided below). Program requirements and an application may also be downloaded from DEC’s website. All applications must be received by a regional wildlife office no later than September 1, 2019. Successful applicants will be notified via phone. If an application is approved, the applicant will be required to make arrangements with staff at the Reynolds Game Farm, located in Ithaca, Tompkins County, to coordinate a delivery time, date, and location. Continue reading →
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proposing changes to current deer feeding and bear hunting regulations. Public comments will be accepted until Sept. 1, 2019, on proposals related to feeding wild deer and moose, including the permitting of 4-PosterTM devices, and expansion of early bear hunting to reduce population growth in parts of Delaware and Sullivan counties.
The regulatory proposals are available on the DEC website. Comments on these regulatory proposals should be submitted via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or via mail to Game Management Section, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754. Comments will be accepted through Sept. 1, 2019.
DEC’s proposal on feeding wild deer and moose and the use of 4-PosterTM devices is needed to strengthen and clarify the existing prohibition on the intentional feeding of wild deer and moose. Prohibiting the feeding of wild deer and moose is a best management approach to reduce risks associated with communicable wildlife diseases like chronic wasting disease, minimize conflicts with deer, and protect wildlife habitats.
The proposal requires that products packaged to be sold as a food or attractant for deer or moose carry a clear label stating that such use is illegal in New York. It would continue to provide appropriate exceptions for wildlife plantings, agricultural practices, livestock husbandry, and research and nuisance abatement actions permitted by DEC. The proposed rule also clarifies that incidental feeding, such as the attraction of deer or moose to a birdfeeder, would only be considered a violation if DEC has previously issued a written warning about incidental feeding. This would allow DEC to respond to specific nuisance situations without limiting bird feeding in general.
Additionally, this rulemaking proposes to define the application procedures and conditions for issuance of a permit for the use of a 4-Poster TickicideTM, including the requirement that automated feeding devices used with a 4-PosterTM be used only in the context of a comprehensive management approach that also addresses local deer abundance.
The bear-hunting proposal would expand bear hunting opportunities in DEC Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 4W. This rulemaking is necessary to reduce bear population growth in WMU 4W, which includes parts of Delaware and Sullivan counties. The current bear management objective for WMU 4W, as identified in DEC’s 2014-2024 Black Bear Management Plan for New York State, is to maintain a moderate bear population density. However, current harvest levels are not adequate to achieve that objective and the bear population in 4W is greater than desired and growing. Although bear hunting is currently allowed in WMU 4W during the regular season, 4W is not open to early bear hunting. Opening WMU 4W to early bear season is expected to yield the modest increase in bear harvest necessary to reduce population growth. As drafted, the proposed change would take effect in fall 2020.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the launch of DECinfo Locator, an interactive map that provides access to DEC documents and public data about New York’s environment and outdoor recreation resources. This first-of-its-kind DEC mapping application generates results specific to locations across the state, including water and air permits, enforcement actions, recreational assets, environmental education facilities, and sites in the State Superfund and Brownfield Cleanup programs.
With more than 50 interactive data layers, DECinfo Locator lets users see and download permits, former industrial site cleanup plans, water quality reports, and more based on where they live, work, or play. Selecting a map feature can bring up links to database records for petroleum bulk storage facilities, oil wells, or permitted mines. Users can also view potential environmental justice areas and Climate Smart Communities or find out what local wastewater facilities are doing to reduce their impact on New York’s waterbodies. Several information layers can be active at the same time, allowing users to see the many ways DEC is working to protect and enhance the state’s environment and recreational opportunities.
The map’s Near Me feature lets users narrow data results by creating an interactive list of data points within an area of up to 10 miles from a selected point. In addition to environmental quality information, users can explore new places for recreation such as hiking, cross-country skiing, or mountain biking, or look up the rules for a nearby Wildlife Management Area. The public can also download Unit Management Plans for state forests, access a web page with details about allowed uses on a nearby Conservation Easement or find a DEC campground and see photos of individual campsites (where available).
Users can activate the Public Fishing Rights layer to see available locations and nearby boat launches, then overlay information about the water quality of lakes, rivers, and streams to access DEC data for specific locations. Additional features and data will be added to the DECinfo Locator in the future.