Pets & Conservation 01.09.20

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Sand Lake Dog Park News!

Thank you! The Sand Lake Dog Park Committee would like to thank all those members of our community who supported the future Sand Lake Dog Park in 2019. Our capital campaign for a fence will continue in 2020!  Full Moon Walks! As we develop a strong canine community we would like to invite you to Full Moon walks at the Sand Lake Walking Trails (and future site of the Dog Park) on Eastern Union Turnpike. We hope to see you on February 9th and March 8th at 6:30pm. We will enjoy warm beverages and treats for dogs and humans. Donations encouraged.  Please contact us at and join us. Our next meeting is January 7th at 6:30 PM at the Town Hall. That’s all fur now!

– The Sand Lake Dog Park Committee

Submitted by Shannon DeCelle

01/02/2020 – 01/09/2020

Sharing Nature with Children, with Lisa Hoyt

Thursday, January, 9 7 pm. Sand Lake Town Hall—Rensselaer Plateau Alliance’s Plateau People at Work Lecture Series: “Sharing Nature with Young People,” presented by Lisa Hoyt of Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center. Dyken Pond provides high quality environmental education, outdoor recreation and youth development opportunities in a variety of programs. Dyken Pond is a Proud Partner in Rensselaer Youth Outdoors (RYO), bringing expanded environmental education opportunities to Rensselaer County youth and families. Lisa will talk about Dyken Pond activities and Rensselaer Youth Outdoors. She will share her love of the outdoors and her passion for connecting children and others to nature.$5 suggested donation goes directly to support conservation on the Rensselaer Plateau.




01/02/2020 – 01/09/2020

January Mindful Nature Walk

Sunday, January 12, 10 am – 12:30 pm, Albert Family Community Forest, East Nassau – Wintertime Mindful Nature Walk. Join Kripalu-certified Mindful Outdoor Guides Molly Freiberg and Moriah Cutro-Kelly for our January Mindful Walk, sponsored by Rensselaer Plateau Alliance. We will be walking slowly, sometimes sitting, to take in the forest atmosphere, so we will not be building much heat. Bundle up in your warm winter layers and then add 1 or 2 more! Please no cotton layers as these will not keep you warm. Wear extra socks and boots with good tread or microspikes. We’ll warm up with tea and a fire at the end of the walk. Contact or 978-239-8105 to register ahead of time in case of weather-related cancellation (drop-ins also welcome!). Ages 12 and up. $5 – $10 suggested donation goes directly to support conservation on the Rensselaer Plateau.

Photo credit: Kate Lovering

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Winter Walk at Robert Ingalls Preserve

Sat, January 11, 2020 • 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

A winter walk through Rensselaer Land Trust’s compact, but diverse jewel will take us along the sparking Black Brook, across a field of glacial erratics, and passing by evidence of long-gone people’s efforts to wrest a living from this rocky land. We will snowshoe or hike as conditions suggest; participants may need traction devices such as cleats/microspikes if it is icy. The walk will cover about two miles and involve up and down some steep slopes, negotiating rocky and uneven terrain, and likely some icy, wet, or muddy spots. Part of the 2020 Winter Hiking Series, jointly sponsored by Rensselaer Land Trust and Rensselaer Plateau Alliance. Learn more about the Winter Series and Register online

01/02/2020 – 01/23/2020

Brown’s Walloomsac Taproom and Brewery Tour– A Benefit Event for Rensselaer Land Trust

On Saturday, January 25, come tour the beautifully renovated mill complex that houses Brown’s Brewing’s Walloomsac taproom, brewery, and canning facility in North Hoosick, NY, on the banks of the Walloomsac River. The intimate tour – conducted by brewers – will feature the energy saving practices, waste water processing, and other green innovations at the facility. The tour includes one beer, tastings, and snacks! Tickets: 1 for $65 or 2 for $120, include tour, beer tasting, and delicious, fresh food much of which is made using local ingredients and cooked on a custom wood fire grill. Limited to 20 people per tour time. Tours start at 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm. Money from ticket sales go toward supporting Rensselaer Land Trust’s mission to protect and conserve the open spaces, fresh drinking water, and natural habitats of Rensselaer County. Snow date is February 9, 2020.

Photo credit: @Fronhofer Design

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Dec Advises Backcountry Visitors Of Winter Conditions In The Adirondacks

Winter Recreational Opportunities Available with Proper Preparation and Precautions

Recent snow and cold weather have created good conditions for winter outdoor recreation in the Adirondack backcountry, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. Visitors should be prepared with proper clothing and equipment for snow, ice, and cold to ensure a safe and enjoyable winter experience.

“Now that snow has arrived in the Adirondacks, visitors can take advantage of all the winter recreation opportunities in the park,” Commissioner Seggos said. “However, winter can also present dangerous—even perilous—conditions to the unprepared. DEC advises visitors exploring the backcountry to dress for cold weather and use snowshoes and skis to navigate trails where appropriate.”

Snow depths currently range from four to six inches across the central and northwestern portions of the Adirondacks. Eight to 12 inches of snow can be found across the southern and northeastern portions of the Adirondacks. In the High Peaks, snow depths range from 24-36 inches above 3,000 feet, requiring the use of snowshoes. Ice is present on exposed outlooks and summits above tree line. The National Weather Service NERFC Snow Page provides detailed maps depicting current snow depths and forecasts.

DEC recommends visitors to the backcountry carry snowshoes and use them when snow depths warrant. Snowshoes or skis ease travel on snow and prevent “post holing,” which can cause sudden falls resulting in injuries and create hazardous trail conditions for other users. Ice crampons and traction devices should be carried on all hikes for use on icy portions of the trail including summits and other exposed areas.

All seasonal access roads are closed to motor vehicle traffic. These roads will reopen after the spring mud season upon completion of maintenance and repair work. Seasonal access roads designated as snowmobile trails will be opened to snowmobile traffic as snow depths allow.

Many snowmobile trails remain closed despite recent snowfall. Additional snow is needed to provide a good base for snowmobile travel. Visitors should check with local snowmobile clubs to determine the status and condition of specific trails or view the New York State Snowmobile Association Interactive Trail Map.

Ice is forming on ponds, bays of lakes, slow moving streams, and backwaters of rivers. Ice is not safe to walk or stand on at this time. Although ice has snow on the surface, it does not mean the ice is thick enough to hold the weight of a person. Ice will remain unsafe until temperatures fall below freezing for a significant, continuous period.

To ensure a safe backcountry experience, visitors should also follow these additional safety guidelines:

Be aware of weather conditions. Check the weather before entering the woods. If the weather is poor, postpone your visit. If the weather worsens during your visit, head out of the woods immediately.

Dress properly. Wear layers of wool, fleece, and other materials that wick moisture. Avoid cotton. Wear a wool or fleece hat, gloves or mittens, wind/rain resistant outerwear, gaiters, and insulated winter boots.

Carry a day pack with the following contents: traction devices, plenty of food and water, extra clothing, map and compass, first-aid kit, flashlight/headlamp, sun glasses, sun-block protection, packable insulated pad, stove and extra fuel, and bivy sack or space blanket.

Eat, drink, and rest often. Being tired, hungry, or dehydrated makes visitors more susceptible to hypothermia.

Know the terrain and your physical capabilities. It takes more time and energy to travel through snow. Plan trips accordingly.

Avoid traveling alone. The risks of injury, hypothermia, and getting lost are much higher this time of year. Always inform someone of your intended route and return time.

Call the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch at 518-891-0235 to report lost or injured people or other backcountry emergencies.

The DEC Adirondack Backcountry Information web page provides current trail condition information and links to current weather and snow cover as well as other important information to help ensure a safe and enjoyable Adirondack backcountry winter experience. For more information on winter safety in the backcountry, visit DEC’s HikeSmartNY web page.

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