Pets & Conservation 08.01.19

Rensselaer Youth Outdoors Forest Conservation Corps Teen Sumer Program

Rensselaer County, NY: Rensselaer Youth Outdoors is announcing an environmental education summer program for teenagers, aged 14-16. The program will combine recreation and education experiences while teens work on valuable conservation projects protecting Rensselaer county’s parks, waters and natural resources.

The four-week program will run weekdays from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm, July 22 to August 16, with space for 10 teens each week.


Week 2: July 29-August 2 – Grafton Lakes State Park

Week 3: August 5-August 9 – Poestenkill Community Forest

Week 4: August 12-August 16 – Albert Family Community Forest

Participants who complete a full week of the program will receive a certificate and a $100 stipend at the end of the week.

For more information or to download an application, visit and click the Programs tab

Contact RYO Program Coordinator Amanda McCreary with questions at: Email:

Phone: 518-810-4544.

The Burden Lake Conservation Association events

The Burden Lake Conservation Association (formerly the Burden Lake Improvement Association) is a not-for-profit organization committed to making a positive impact on keeping Burden Lake crystal clear and preserving it for future generations. Please join us for some of our many community and educational events. Open to the public. Our clubhouse is located on the 3rd Burden Lake, 4 Brook Spring Avenue, Averill Park, NY 12018. More information is available on our web site – or on facebook.

The following are our BLCA events for 2019:

August 2 – “Burden Lake Takeover of June Farms” at June Farms in West Sand Lake, Matt Baumgartner – 5:00 PM, Admission $5.00 – June Farms bar and food available – MYSTERY GUEST BARTENDERS

August 9 – Comedy Night – “The Not Too Far from Home Comedy Tour” at BLCA Clubhouse – Janice Tighe – 8:00 PM – $15.00 per person advance, $20 per person door (518)477-8152

August 23 – Kids Lip Sync/Ice Cream Social at BLCA Clubhouse – Lori Dunigan & Cherisse Young – Join us at 5:00 PM for ice cream and games, stay for Kids Lip Sync Acts start at 6:30 PM – Admission $6.00

August 31- Adult Lip Sync at BLCA Clubhouse – doors open at 8:00 PM – Bo Weidman – $20 per person at the door (no pay pal).

Tickets can be purchased by going to our Facebook page: and going to ‘Events’.

Attention Dog Owners in the Town of Schodack

Debra L. Curtis, the Schodack Town Clerk, wishes to remind residents that under NYS Agriculture and Markets Law Article VII, §109, all dogs are required to be licensed by four months of age and under Town Law §109-5, all dogs, when not confined to the property of their owner, must be under control and on a leash not in excess of 12 feet in length. Leash length is reduced to 6 feet when walking within the Town Park.

To obtain a dog license, a copy of the current Rabies Certificate, which must be valid for more than 30 days prior to licensing and must be signed by a licensed veterinarian, and proof that the animal has been altered, must be provided. The cost for a spayed/neutered dog is $7.00 and an unspayed/ unneutered dog is $15.00. One tag is issued for the lifetime of the license; however, in the event of loss, it can be replaced at a cost of $3.00. A renewal letter will be sent on an annual basis, based upon the anniversary of the license.

If you have any questions, please visit the Schodack Town Clerk’s office, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Schodack Town Hall, 265 Schuurman Road, Castleton, NY 12033 or please call 518-477-7590.

It’s the Law!

New York State Law requires that all dogs to be licensed annually. The State requires that all Town Clerks’ office process them in their local municipality. Before a license can be issued or renewed, current proof of rabies vaccination must be provided. The NYS Dept of Agriculture & Markets & NYS Health Dept. requires all dogs FOUR months of age or older to be vaccinated for rabies. This information is crucial for the general public’s well-being. The Town of Sand Lake does have a Leash Law. In addition, if your dog is lost, stolen or dies, New York State law requires you to notify the Town Clerk’s Office. Failure to comply with this law can result in court appearance tickets. Unlicensed dogs are subject to seizure on or off the premises of the owner under Art. 7 117(b). Check the Town’s website for additional information regarding the Town’s Dog Laws. For more information call Barbara Biittig, Sand Lake Town Clerk @ 518-674-2026 ext 122 or Animal Control Officer @ 518-477-8230.

Sand Lake Garden Club continues to celebrate their 25th year with more hints for your Garden

• Give your summer-blooming roses some fertilizer for a continuous show.

• Due to the rain and humidity, powdery mildew can become an issue. A fungicide spray may be needed to battle powdery mildew on plants.

• Mulch your gardens to conserve moisture and discourage weeds

SLGC celebrating 25 years in the town of Sand Lake

Please enjoy these gardening hints from the Sand Lake Garden Club

• Sharpen lawn mower blades, since dull blades can damage grass. Set your mower to mow at 3 inches high to encourage the development of a deep root system.

• Keep an eye out for pests by watching for yellowing leaves, wilted new growth or twisted foliage. A close look (especially at the underside of a leaf) might reveal mites, aphids or something else!

• Enjoy your garden. Step back and look at all your successes. Have a garden party and share your garden with others.

Sand Lake Garden Club – Hints for you Garden

As our growing season continues so do the garden hints from Sand Lake Garden Club, celebrating their 25th anniversary.

• It’s harvest time! The fruits of our labor are starting to show! Some cold crops ready for harvesting are peas, lettuce, early beans and summer squash. As space is made in the garden, one can consider using the space for a second crop.

• Be sure your plants get at least one inch of water per week. It is better to water in the morning or the evening and avoid the heat mid-day when a lot of water would be lost in evaporation.

• Don’t prune or fertilize trees and shrubs now. Any growth stimulated will likely not harden before winter and may kill the plant.

DEC Asks Public to Report Moose Sightings

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is asking the public to report moose sightings and observations. DEC and its research partners use these public sightings as indices of moose distribution and abundance in New York. This is part of a multi-year research project to obtain information on the status of New York State’s moose population, health of the moose, and the factors that influence moose survival and reproductive rate.

Most moose sightings occur within the Adirondacks, but neighboring states Connecticut and Massachusetts also have moose populations, resulting in observations in the southeast portion of New York.

The moose, a protected mammal in New York State, is the largest member of the deer family and the largest land mammal in New York. Bulls weigh from 600 to 1,200 pounds and stand up to six feet tall at the shoulder. Cows weigh anywhere from 500 to 800 pounds.

DEC reminds the public to respect wildlife by viewing from a distance, at least 50 feet away. Keep quiet, move slowly, and do not approach moose. Drive cautiously at dusk and at night in the Adirondacks.

Have you seen a moose? Let DEC know by reporting your observations using the online form. Share your moose encounters by mailing in or e-mailing your photos to us.

Tree Identification Book

The Arbor Day Foundation has a book that helps people identify trees in a simple, step-by-step process. The book, What Tree Is That?, is available for a $5 donation to the nonprofit tree-planting organization.

What Tree Is That? is a fun, easy-to-use tree identification guide that features hand-drawn botanical illustrations highlighting the distinctive characteristics of many tree species.

Its beautiful, full-color illustrations are in precise detail and depict natural colors, shapes and textures so users can make a positive species identification in a few steps.

The Arbor Day Foundation offers this book to help people identify trees throughout the Eastern and Central regions of the United States. What Tree Is That? uses a unique step-by-step approach for identifying the species of each tree, explaining what to look for in the shape and arrangement of the leaves, differences in the leafstalks and specific characteristics of fruits, flowers, buds and bark.

What Tree is That? is also available as an online interactive version at

To obtain a tree identification guide in full color, visit or send your name, address, and $5 for each guide to:

Arbor Day Foundation

What Tree Is That?

100 Arbor Ave.

Nebraska City, NE 68410.

DEC Seeks Public Comment on Deer Feeding and Bear Hunting Proposals

Comments Accepted until Sept.1 on Proposals to Clarify Prohibition on Deer Feeding and Allow Early Bear Hunting in Additional Wildlife Management Unit

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.

“Responsible and responsive wildlife management decisions include sound science and informed public input,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “DEC encourages public input on these proposals as we continue to work to balance the needs of our communities and wildlife across the state.”

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.

The regulatory proposals are available on the DEC website or in the July 3 New York State Register. Comments on these regulatory proposals should be submitted via e-mail to or via mail to Game Management Section, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754. Comments will be accepted through Sept. 1, 2019.

Dec Issues Guidance To Reduce Bear-Human Conflicts

Recent Rise in Bear Sightings Confirms Young Bears Are on the Move

           New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today issued guidance to reduce the potential for human-bear conflicts.

“Black bears have recently been reported in a number of suburban locations,” said Commissioner Seggos. “DEC is urging homeowners and property managers to follow the simple steps and guidance to keep bears from taking up residence in an area, including storing garbage in secure buildings, removing bird feeders, and feeding pets indoors. Preventing access to food sources is key to preventing nuisance bears.”

Conflicts between people and bears typically increase in summer months due to the dispersal of young bears from family groups, the onset of the breeding season, and a lull in natural food availability prior to the ripening of local berries and other natural food sources. These conditions occasionally cause bears to travel through unfamiliar areas. Bears will take advantage of anything they consider a food source as they travel, adding to the potential for conflict. The most common attractants are poorly stored garbage, bird feeders, messy grills, and pet food left outdoors. Once a bear finds these foods, it will often continue to return to the area in hopes of finding the same food again.

When bears have access to human foods, it encourages behaviors that can put bears at risk. While bears can be intimidating, they generally shy away from getting into conflicts with people. The bears seen recently are mostly young individuals dispersing from their natural habitat, searching for new suitable habitat. If bears find reliable food sources near human residences, they may become temporarily established in green spaces in urban and suburban areas.

Bears will avoid large groups of people. If a bear is seen in a community, residents should simply be aware of the bear’s presence and avoid any interaction with it.

DEC staff and local police officers will sometimes attempt to direct a bear toward a better location, away from developed areas, but this is not always possible. Nearly all urban bears leave as quickly and quietly as they appear, without serious conflict or need for physical removal.   

Residents and visitors should take the following steps to avoid attracting and creating nuisance bears:

NEVER FEED BEARS INTENTIONALLY – Feeding bears intentionally is illegal and a ticketable offense. Bears that obtain food from humans will continue to seek food from humans and become nuisance bears.

Around Dwellings

· Remove all bird feeders;

· Keep garbage, grills, pet food, and bird seed inside a solid, secure structure (house, shed, garage, etc.);

·If grills cannot be secured, move grills away from houses and remove grease traps after each use;

·         Put garbage on the curb the morning of collection, not the night before, and use bear-resistant trash containers; and

·Close garage doors and ground-floor windows/doors at night.

At Campgrounds

·Keep campsites as clean as possible;

·Clean up after all meals immediately. Keep grills, pots, pans, cooking utensils, and wash basins clean when not in use;

·Leave coolers and food inside car trunks or truck cabs;

·Store food and coolers in food lockers when available;

·NEVER keep food, coolers, or scented items in tents when camping. Store toiletries securely with coolers and food;

·Do not put grease, garbage, plastic diapers, cans, bottles, or other refuse into the fireplace; and

·Dispose of garbage in the campground’s dumpsters every evening.

In the Backcountry

·Pack a minimal amount of food. Use lightweight and dehydrated foods. Plan all meals to avoid leftovers;

·Use bear-resistant food canisters, which are required in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness of the Adirondack Park;

·         Cook and eat before dark and cook away from campsites;

·         Avoid spills and drippings while cooking and do not pour grease into fire pits; and

·         Never leave food unattended.

If you encounter a bear

·         Don’t panic. Most bears are just as afraid of people as people are of bears;

·         Never approach, surround, or corner a bear;

·         Back away slowly – do not run;

·         Do not throw backpacks or food at bears. If bears are rewarded with food, they will continue to seek food from people; and

·         If feeling threatened by a bear, raise your arms over your head to look bigger and yell loudly at the bear while slowly backing away.

More information on avoiding and creating conflicts with nuisance bears is available on DEC’s website.

Dec Reclassifies Shellfish Harvesting Areas In Several Nassau And Suffolk County Embayments

427 Acres to be Closed to Shellfishing; 31 Acres to be Reopened for Shellfishing

In response to annual review of multiple data sources, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced new regulations that will close approximately 427 acres across several shellfishing areas in Nassau and Suffolk counties. The affected areas in six Long Island towns are now closed during part or all of the year. Areas being closed, or those having seasonally closed periods extended, were found to have elevated levels of fecal coliform bacteria that do not meet New York State’s bacteriological standards for certified (open) shellfish harvesting areas. DEC acted to close the areas to protect the health of shellfish consumers.

Areas affected by new or extended closures are:

105 acres in Long Island Sound (towns of Brookhaven and Riverhead) will be closed year-round;

132 acres in West Harbor, Fishers Island (town of Southold), will have the existing seasonal closure extended by 14 days;

One acre in Gardiners Bay (town of Southold) will be closed seasonally from May 1 through October 31;

23 acres in Great Peconic Bay (town of Southold) will be closed year-round;

80 acres in Lake Montauk (town of East Hampton) will have the existing seasonal closure extended by 60 days;

Eight acres in Moriches Bay (town of Southampton), closed seasonally, from May 1 through October 31;

Two acres in Greenport Harbor, Shelter Island Sound North (town of Southold), will be closed year-round;

21 acres in Little Northwest Creek, Sag Harbor, (town of East Hampton) will be closed year-round;

10 acres in Shinnecock Bay (town of Southampton) will be closed year-round; and

257 acres in Smithtown Bay (towns of Smithtown and Huntington) will be closed year-round.

In addition, DEC has made the determination to reopen approximately 31 acres in three embayments in Suffolk County. The affected areas, in two towns, will be reopened to shellfishing during all or part of the year or have existing seasonal openings extended by several weeks. The areas being reopened, or having seasonally open periods extended, were found to meet the stringent standards for certified areas. DEC has reopened these areas to provide additional shellfishing opportunities for commercial and recreational harvesters. Nearly one million acres of certified harvest areas around Long Island are available for taking shellfish (clams, oysters, mussels, and scallops) for human consumption.

Areas affected by the new openings are:

Seven previously closed acres in Bellport Bay (town of Brookhaven) will be opened year-round;

24 acres in Pirates Cove, Fishers Island (town of Southold), will be seasonally open from October 1 through April 30, annually; and

Five acres in Mill Creek, a tributary of Shelter Island Sound North (town of Southold), will have its seasonally open period extended by 45 days.

Additional technical amendments to DEC regulations include clarifying and updating landmarks and other boundaries for delineating shellfish closure lines. DEC continues to monitor water quality throughout New York’s marine district as part of its participation in the National Shellfish Sanitation Program. DEC will make changes to the certification of shellfish lands as water quality conditions warrant.

In addition, DEC is mailing a Notice to Shellfish Harvesters to individuals that hold a 2019 shellfish diggers permit and reside in the towns in which the affected areas are located. These notices provide information about the changes and maps showing new closure lines. Detailed descriptions of the new landmarks and boundaries for the newly closed and reopened areas, including the new dates of the seasonal closures, are available from DEC by calling 631-444-0492.

The regulations adopting the changes announced today were effective immediately on July 12, and are expected to be published in the July 31, 2019, edition of the New York State Register. Text descriptions and maps of all uncertified (closed) areas are available on DEC’s website at.

For more information about shellfish safety and New York’s role in the National Shellfish Sanitation Program, visit DEC’s website.

Dec Seeks Participants For 2019 Summer Wild Turkey Survey

Citizen Scientists Help DEC Gauge Turkey Population

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.

“For more than 20 years the public has partnered with DEC on the Summer Wild Turkey Survey—a critical citizen science effort,” Commissioner Seggos said. “The public’s observations help DEC biologists to monitor and manage this great game bird and sustain it for the future.”

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 (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:

Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey

Citizen Science Initiatives

DEC Regional Office Contact Information

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