Pets & Conservation 10.10.19

Recognizing Cruelty and Neglect

Presented by Sue McDonough, former NYS Trooper, Investigator

Saturday, October 12th – 10a-12p

This informative workshop is for private citizens, animal control workers and anyone else with an interest in how to legally and effectively deal with the cruelty and neglect of animals. It will touch on pending legislation that would help to prevent and end animal abuse, and give attendees a better understanding of how to get involved in making a positive difference for animals.

Sue McDonough worked as a New York State Trooper for 26 years, specializing in animal cruelty investigations, and served on the board of the New York State Humane Association (NYSHA) for over 25 years. She acts as a consultant on animal cruelty issues and continues to lobby for humane legislation on behalf of NYSHA. Sue is co-author of How to Investigate Animal Cruelty in New York State, available for download at NYS HUMANE. She has owned, rescued and trained horses for over 20 years, serves on the board of Responsible Animal Care USA (RAC), and volunteered as a New York State Wildlife Rehabilitator for 15 years.

Class is free, but pre-registration is required:

Howl’oween in the Park this Sunday!

The SPOOKTACULAR event is this Sunday! October 13th from 12PM – 4PM, Butler Park, Sand Lake. Rain or Shine

Come help raise funds to meet our goal of $25,000 for the Sand Lake Dog Park. Get ready for the Costume Parade! Registration is a 12 PM, the parade begins at 1PM. Town officials will be judging with awards! Creative costumes and themed human/dog costumes are encouraged. We are excited to have musical entertainment by The Jack Kelle Band and Zach & Hannah! Enjoy Carols Place, and yummy Girl Scout dog treats! Learn about The Rensselaer Land Trust, bike safety and take fun photos with your pup! Safety first! YOU are responsible to maintain control of your pet at all times – owners of misbehaving pets will be asked to leave. Your pup needs to be leashed on at all times (no longer then 4 feet). All dogs must have current rabies vaccines, and no dogs in heat. An adult must walk the dog, no toddlers in attendance please. Contact the SLDP with your questions at or 518-495-2314. Costume Parade: $20 Registration. SLDP donations can be made by check payable to Town of Sand Lake (write Dog Park on the memo line) mail to Dog Park Treasurer, 110 Edgewood Drive, Averill Park, NY 12018. Online tickets purchase at Eventbrite: HOWl’oween in the Park. SLDP donations can be made online by visiting the Sand Lake Dog Park gofundme page at

What does Your Pet Want You to know??

Fundraiser & Indoor Garage Sale for “Caring About the Strays” Tuesday, October 15, 2019 6:30 – 8:30 PM

Curious about what your PETS may have to say? Wondered how they feel, what they like/dislike? Maybe even receive a message from YOUR pet!!

With David Louis, Animal Communicator. Want to know what your Pet is thinking? Want to know what your Pet wants you to understand?

Don’t understand a behavioral problem? Can’t remedy a problem? Don’t understand a behavioral problem? Can’t remedy a problem?

Want to know what they think of their companions/living conditions? Worried about a sick/elderly Pet? Worried about end of life issues?

Want to hear from a Pet who has passed on?

Presented by David Louis who has been communicating with animals for 20 years, using his skills to bring together animals and their human companions.

Humans only, please! Suggested Donation: $18 (cash/check). ALL monies received go directly to “Caring About The Strays” a 501(c)(3) Non-profit organization.

50/50 Raffle & Door Prizes! Seating Limited – Reservations Suggested. Just call 518-477-6566 or email:

Held at Venture Inward, 568 Columbia Turnpike, Suite 16 (back entrance), East Greenbush, NY (Only minutes from downtown Albany).

Mushroom Identification Series

Rensselaer Land Trust (RLT) and Rensselaer Plateau Alliance (RPA) are partnering to bring our communities unique opportunities to get outside this fall. More information and registration at

October 19 • 10 a.m.–noon Mushroom Walk for Beginners with Sue Van Hook Mycologist.

Sue will lead us into the woods at one of our Preserves or Forests on the Rensselaer Plateau. Participants will have a chance to develop their field skills in mushroom identification.

October 19 • 1–3 p.m.: Learn to Key Mushrooms with Sue Van Hook, Mycologist. Sue will guide us in the use of books and keys to identify some of our local mushrooms.

Upcoming Events at Grafton Lakes State Parks

For all events, please call ahead to pre-register at (518) 279-1155 ext. 2.

Saturday, October 12th — Little Johnny’s Foliage Tour 1:00 PM. Take advantage of the cooler weather and join a naturalist as we hike a ~4 mile loop while appreciating the fall foliage color change. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and bring water. Meet at the welcome center.

Sunday, October 13th — Autumn Tree ID Walk 1:00 PM. Join a naturalist for an afternoon walk through the woods and learn to ID the trees of Grafton. Get to know our tallest residents by their leaves, bark, and fruit on a leisurely stroll. Program designed for ages 12 and up.

Monday, October 14th- Guided Hike to the Fire Tower 1:00 PM. Enjoy an Autumn hike to the historic Dickinson Hill fire tower with an environmental educator. On a clear day you can observe the Adirondack Mountains, the Green Mountains, and the Taconic Range from the top of the tower. Program meets at the welcome center before driving to the trailhead.

Saturday, October 19th—Radical Reptiles 1:00 P.M. Join us in celebrating Reptile Awareness Day at our welcome center and learn about reptiles found in Grafton!

Sunday, October 27th — Batty about Bats 1:00 PM. With Halloween just around the corner, take a chance to learn about conservation concerns and what you can do to help one of the more misunderstood creatures in the animal kingdom.

Saturday, November 2nd — Amazing Water Bear Hunt 10:00 AM — 12:00 PM. Stop in to help a scientist find microscopic creatures, known affectionately as water bears, that live in your own backyard! Learn about these incredibly resilient animals and get a chance to view one through a microscope.

Sunday, November 3rd — Sunrise Fire Tower Hike 5:30 AM. Start the day off by watching the sunrise over the green mountains from one of the best views on the Rensselaer Plateau, the Dickinson Hill Fire Tower. Be sure to dress in layers and bring proper lighting.

Hunting Licenses Town of Schodack

Debra L. Curtis, the Schodack Town Clerk, wishes to remind hunters that hunting licenses went on sale August 1, 2019. For hunting and trapping licenses, the license year runs form September 1, 2019 – August 31, 2020. Annual fishing licenses and recreational marine fishing registration are valid for 365 days from date of purchase.

Deer management permits (DMPs) will be available via an instant lottery from August 1, 2019 through the close of business on Oct. 1, 2019.

We also have a limited supply of Federal Duck Stamps available at a cost of $26.00 ($25.00 plus $1.00 revenue for the town).

The Town Clerk’s Office is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Please be sure to have your driver’s license or an old hunting license to expedite processing of your new license.

Hiking & Rensselaer Naturalist Series Programs

Rensselaer Land Trust (RLT) and Rensselaer Plateau Alliance (RPA) are partnering to bring our communities unique opportunities to get outside this fall. More information and registration at

Mushroom Naturalist Series

October 19

10 a.m.–noon: Mushroom Walk for Beginners with Sue Van Hook

1–3 p.m.: Learn to Key Mushrooms with Sue Van Hook

Taconic Crest Trail Hike

October 5 • 9 a.m.: Potter Road in Hancock, MA to south end near New Lebanon, 10.5 miles. Leader: Nick Conrad

Estate Planning Workshop for Landowners

Saturday, October 5, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Education Center, Blue Skies Travel (New Location!)

2 Pittsfield Avenue, East Greenbush, NY

Protecting Your Legacy: Planning for the Future of Your Land

Few challenges faced by landowners are more important than the issue of passing land on to the next generation. Many landowners want to conserve their woods but don’t know about conservation options and how to involve family members in future plans. The workshop will help landowners by connecting them with legacy planning resources to help them consider the future of their forests. Experts from Cornell University will share resources to help landowners make decisions regarding the future of their property. An attorney will present on the legal aspects of estate planning tools, and a panel of landowners will discuss their conservation challenges and decisions.

Professionals who work with landowners in areas relating to estate planning are also encouraged to attend this event.

Registration for this workshop is required. $25 per person covers handouts, resource materials, light morning refreshments and lunch.

Register at

Questions? Contact Kristina A. Ferrare, or (315) 424-9485 ext 321.

JEN SAYS GET IT IN (Dog park meeting)

Dog Park Meeting

Calling North Greenbush dog owners and lovers! It’s time to re-start the dog park meetings. We have a promising lead on a dog park location. Councilwoman Mary Frances Sabo will host a follow up discussion on Tuesday, October 15 at 7:00 p.m. in the council room at North Greenbush town hall. All are welcome and you do not need to have attended the previous two meetings.

For more information, please contact 518-424-1884 or

October Events at Dyken Pond EE Center

Grafton – The Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center is offering the following events in October.

Fall Family Foliage Hike: Saturday, October 12: 1pm Join Josh Pulito, Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H Natural Resources Educator, on a family friendly fall foliage hike around Center trails. We’ll explore using all of our senses and learn why leaves are changing colors this time of year. For all ages. Preregistration required. $2 per youth suggested donation.

Full Moon Hike: Sunday, October 13: 5:00pm Hike under the natural light of the full Hunter’s Moon. Enjoy a campfire afterwards to watch the moon rise over the lake. Bring a snack if you would like to share (not required!). Free.

Batty for Bats! : Saturday, October 19: 1pm -3pm Just in time for Halloween, learn all about this sometimes misunderstood, but amazing creature. Learn about our native bats, their habitat and habits. Play bat games and make a bat mask. For kids 4 – 12 years old. $3 per youth suggested donation.

Firewood Gathering Volunteer Day: Saturday, October 26: 9am – noon An annual event to help the Center cut, gather, haul, split, and stack enough firewood to last the winter. We’ll treat all hardy volunteers to a free lunch for your efforts. Please preregister by Thursday, October 24 so we can plan enough food for everyone.

Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center is a Rensselaer County Park open daily during daylight hours for hiking, fishing and non-motorized boating. Preregister for all events by calling (518) 658-2055 or email dykenpond@gmailcom. Call for more information and a complete schedule of our fall events or visit .

Animal And Pet Items In-House Garage Sale!

An on–going sale! Come and see nifty animal/pet knickknacks, bric-a-brac, pet toys & supplies. Items can be purchased during Venture Inward classes and events. Go to to see Calendar for days and times we are open!

If you have items you would like to donate, contact Venture Inward at 518-477-6566 & please forward this to family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, facebook friends!! All proceeds go directly to Jane Demartino’s CaringAboutTheStrays, a 501.c3 non-profit, so your generosity is tax deductable too!

Enjoy the Majesty of Fall

Join the Arbor Day Foundation in October and Receive 10 Colorful Trees and Bushes

The Arbor Day Foundation will brighten up your fall by offering 10 colorful trees and bushes when you join the organization in October.

The free trees are part of the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation’s Trees for America campaign, a program dedicated to environmental stewardship through the planting of trees.

Everyone who joins the Arbor Day Foundation in October will receive 10 colorful trees and bushes selected for your area.

“Members will especially enjoy these trees during the autumn months because they’ll add abundant, vibrant color to any yard or landscape for years to come,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation.

The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting, between Nov. 1 and Dec. 10. The 6- to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge. Planting instructions will be enclosed with each shipment of trees.

To receive your free trees, visit or send a $10 membership contribution by October 31 to:

Arbor Day Foundation

10 Colorful Trees and Bushes

100 Arbor Ave.

Nebraska City, NE 68410

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.

DEC Announces Proposed Changes to Protect New York Deer and Moose from Chronic Wasting Disease

Public comments accepted through October 6

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 poses a real and substantial threat to deer, elk, and moose populations across North America, and we take that risk seriously in New York,” said Commissioner Seggos. “Currently, there is no evidence of CWD in New York, and we want to keep it that way. With these proposed changes, DEC is reducing the potential that hunters or owners of captive deer may inadvertently bring this disease into New York.”

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “All New Yorkers have a stake in keeping both our wild deer population and our deer and elk farms free of Chronic Wasting Disease. We will continue to coordinate and work with the Department of Environmental Conservation, hunters, and our state’s deer and elk farmers to ensure these populations are healthy. Our deer farmers understand the importance of keeping New York CWD-free, and these updates will provide our veterinarians and veterinary technicians with additional assistance from DEC and allow for expanded testing abilities.”

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.

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.

New York State Hunting and Trapping Education Courses Now Available

Training Required before Purchasing a Hunting License

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today reminded all new hunters and trappers that registration for required hunter education classes is now open. Courses fill quickly and interested hunters and trappers are encouraged to register early. Each year, more than 45,000 New Yorkers take DEC’s hunter and trapper education courses.

Commissioner Seggos said, “Hunting in New York is a proud tradition that helps us manage our state’s incredible natural resources. Before getting their license and going afield, all new hunters and trappers must complete a hunter, bowhunter, or trapper education course. I encourage all prospective hunters and trappers to sign up for one of the hundreds of courses offered across New York over the next several months by our dedicated volunteer instructors. We’re proud of our hunting safety record in New York, in part because of DEC’s Hunter Education Program, which teaches the principles of safe, ethical hunting.”

DEC works closely with thousands of dedicated, DEC-certified instructors statewide to provide these training courses free of charge. Courses are offered for Hunter Education, Bowhunter Education, Trapper Education, and Waterfowl Hunter Education.

DEC’s online registration system makes it easy to view a list of available courses. Students can register from any device—smartphone, tablet, or computer—24 hours a day, seven days a week. Courses are added continuously throughout the year, so those interested should regularly check the online system to find a course near them. To locate a hunter or trapper education course, visit DEC’s website or contact a local DEC office for assistance.

Students must complete homework prior to attending the required classroom and field course. The homework portion of the course provides an introduction to the subject and enhances students’ understanding of the course material. Proof of the completed homework is required to attend the course. Students should register for the course well in advance of the course date to allow time to complete the homework requirement, which can take several hours.

Access to the homework materials and online homework options can be found on DEC’s website or you can follow the guidelines listed in the course announcement when you register for a course. Course manuals and homework sheets are always available from DEC wildlife offices and Hunter Education Program instructors.

Federal Agency Asks Fish and Wildlife Service to Start Over on Crucial Permit for Mountain Valley Pipeline

Reinitiation of Endangered Species Act Consultation Should Halt All Work on Fracked Gas Pipeline

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the federal agency tasked with reviewing and approving interstate gas pipelines, requested that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) reinitiate consultation on its Endangered Species Act permit for the fracked gas Mountain Valley Pipeline. Because the project does not have a valid Biological Opinion and Incidental Take Statement, all work on the pipeline should halt until a new one is issued. Today’s announcement comes one week after a coalition of conservation groups requested a stay while courts review their legal challenge to the FWS’s approval for the 303-mile pipeline.

In response, Sierra Club Staff Attorney Elly Benson released the following statement:

“We have said all along that there is no right way to build this dirty, dangerous fracked gas pipeline. Mountain Valley Pipeline has already destroyed and degraded the habitat of endangered species, and all construction should be halted immediately. It’s going to take more than half-measures to protect our endangered species, climate, and communities. Mountain Valley Pipeline should read the writing on the wall and shut this project down once and for all.”

The Chesapeake Climate Action Network’s General Counsel Anne Havemann stated:

“The rush to build this unnecessary and harmful pipeline has polluted drinking water, harmed livelihoods, triggered landslides, and further threatened already endangered species. Despite the devastation that construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline has left in its wake and despite the lack of valid permits, construction on much of this dangerous pipeline continues. FERC must stop work on the entire pipeline — to do otherwise is completely unacceptable.”

David Sligh, Conservation Director for Wild Virginia stated:

“The Mountain Valley Pipeline threatens some of our most sensitive and precious species and must be stopped. Regulators at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have now agreed with advocates that the Fish and Wildlife Service failed in its duty under the Endangered Species Act. Now the Service must go back and do the job right. We are confident that an honest analysis will show that this pipeline cannot be built without harming these species and and it should be abandoned.”

Jason Rylander, Senior Endangered Species Counsel for Defenders of Wildlife stated:

“The Fish and Wildlife Service’s original biological opinion was wholly inadequate to protect imperiled species in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Further construction on the pipeline must cease while the Service conducts this necessary review of its impacts.”

Roberta Bondurant, of Preserve Bent Mountain, stated:

“Under MVP construction we’ve witnessed a financially failing fox assert it could guard the henhouse, while disregarding and flaunting all rules in broad daylight, in plain view. MVP has given new meaning to the word ‘lawless.’ We persevere in seeking a full stay of construction in protection of our fragile species, our great places. For our next generations, we seek the Rule of Law.”

Jared Margolis, of the Center for Biological Diversity, stated:

“There’s no doubt that the Mountain Valley Pipeline is a disaster for imperiled wildlife and our waterways, but FERC needs to do more than simply renew its analysis of those threats. This pipeline should be cancelled entirely to protect the public interest and prevent further harm to our climate. Regulators need to stop putting corporate profits ahead of safeguarding our environment.”

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