September, 2012

DEC: We had to kill moose

State officials felt they had no choice but to kill an injured moose that had been hanging out in the Ausable River in Wilmington Notch, according to David Winchell, a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Conservation. “The primary factor was its deteriorating condition,” Winchell said this morning. “It was not able to move out of there on its own, and the likely outcome would have been its death anyway.” The bull moose showed up last weekend in a steep ravine on the West Branch of the Ausable. Over the next several days, motorists would stop to gawk at the >>More


September, 2012

It looks like an early fall

Baker Mountain trail in Saranac Lake.

As I often do, I climbed Baker Mountain on my lunch hour today and was surprised by the amount of leaves that already have come down. As you can see from the photo above, the trail was covered in places. It struck me as a little early to see so many leaves on the ground. Did they die early because of the dry summer? I did a little Googling and discovered—no surprise—that I am not the first to ask that question or to wonder how the summer drought might affect coloration of the foliage this fall. It appears the leaves >>More


September, 2012

Garden Club members to gather in Adirondacks

Conservation leaders from the Garden Club of America will be meeting in the Adirondacks over the next week and discussing a variety of issues with environmentalists, scientists, local farmers, and others. Nancy Howard, a former owner of the Wawbeek on Upper Saranac Lake, arranged the annual field trip and lined up an impressive array of speakers. There are too many to list them all, but they include Ross Whaley, former chairman of the Adirondack Park Agency; Mike Carr, executive director of the Adirondack Nature Conservancy; Hilary Smith, head of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program; Jerry Jenkins, author and naturalist; >>More


July, 2012

Adirondack Invasive Species Awareness Week

We all need to learn more about the ecological risks posed by invasive species. There is no better time than next week, when the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program will be coordinating a series of activities to raise awareness of the problem. Following is a news release from the organization. Groups across the region are sponsoring fun and educational activities July 8-14 during the 7th annual Adirondack Invasive Species Awareness Week. Invasive Species Awareness Week provides an opportunity for communities to highlight the threats of invasive plants and animals and for residents and visitors to learn ways to prevent and >>More


April, 2012

DEC confirms falcon nesting

Peregrine falcon

Notice to rock climbers: the state Department of Environmental Conservation has confirmed that peregrine falcons are nesting on Upper Washbowl Cliff near Chapel Pond and on the Nose on the main face of Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain. The nesting location of falcons on Moss Cliff in Wilmington Notch has not been determined. To protect the nest sites, all climbing routes on Upper Washbowl, Moss Cliff , and Labor Day Wall and fifty-four routes on Poke-o will remain closed until further notice. Routes on Lower Washbowl and all other routes at Poke-o will reopen on Friday. Following routes are the closed routes at >>More


April, 2012

Good news for bats

Little brown bats in hibernation.

Little brown bats were once the most widespread .bat species in New York State, but its population has declined about 90 percent since the discovery of white-nose syndrome in a cave south of Albany several years ago. Now there may be a bit of good news: the latest survey of caves in the Albany region detected an increase .in the number of little browns. “While we remain cautiously optimistic of encouraging trends for some species seen more recently, it will likely take several years before we fully know how to interpret this,” said Kathleen Moser, assistant commissioner of natural resources >>More


January, 2012

DEC wants to expand bobcat harvest

The state Department of Environmental Conservation wants to allow more hunting and/or trapping of bobcats in many parts of the state, including the Adirondacks. In a draft five-year management plan, DEC reports that the state’s bobcat population—now estimated to be five thousand—has been growing, especially in the Southern Tier. Roughly twice the size of housecats, bobcats prey on a variety of species, from small voles to white-tailed deer. DEC says up to 20 percent of the state’s bobcats (i.e., a thousand animals) could be killed by hunters and trappers each year without hurting the population. In recent years, sportsmen have >>More


January, 2012

Yes, this is a snowy year

In his latest Birdwatch column for the Explorer, John Thaxton said we might see an influx of snowy owls this winter. The man is a soothsayer. Snowy owls live in the Canadian tundra, but once in a while they migrate south in great numbers in search of food. This is one of those “irrupution” years. National Public Radio reported last week that snowy owls have been sighted in many states this winter, from Maine to Washington State and as far south as Oklahoma. Jim McCormac, a biologist with the Ohio Division of Wildlife, told NPR that the owl’s movements are >>More


January, 2012

Biologist to talk about big cats

Wildlife biologist Paul Jensen will give a lecture on “Big Cats of the Adirondacks” at the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts in Blue Mountain Lake at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, January 29. Jensen will talk about the historical distribution of mountain lions, Canada lynx, and bobcats in the Northeast and how these species may be affected by changes in the landscape and the climate in the years ahead. Mountain lions and Canada lynx no longer live in the Adirondacks, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Last year, however, officials confirmed that a mountain lion struck by a car >>More


October, 2011

Cougar advocate to give talk

An advocate of reintroducing the cougar to the Adirondacks will speak at the Whallonsburg Grange at 7 p.m. Thursday. Christopher Spatz, president of the Cougar Rewilding Foundation, has argued in the pages of the Explorer and elsewhere that reintroducing the cats would restore the Adirondack Park’s ecological balance. Spatz will discuss cougar biology and behavior, recent studies of cougar populations, and the much-publicized case of the cougar that migrated from South Dakota to Connecticut. The talk is sponsored by the Northeast Wilderness Trust and the Champlain Valley Conservation Partnership. For more information, call 802-453-7880 or e-mail Rose Graves at rose@newildernesstrust.org.


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