Pets & Conservation 12.26.19

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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 openspacessandlake@nullgmail.com 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

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Dec Announces Annual ‘First Day’ Hikes In The Adirondacks

State and Partners to Lead Hikes on Jan. 1 to Celebrate New Year

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced “first day” hikes planned for Jan. 1, 2020, in DEC’s Region 5. DEC encourages New Yorkers to connect with nature by getting outdoors on the first day of the New Year with DEC Region 5 staff and partners.

“First Day Hikes are a great way to start the New Year,” said Bob Stegemann, DEC Region 5 Director. “DEC is excited to work with partners, Paul Smith’s College, and SUNY College of Environment Science and Forestry (ESF), to provide exceptional guided adventures for this year’s First Day Hikes.”

“We can’t wait to have folks here starting off the New Year on snowshoes with their families and neighbors,” said Thompson Tomaszewski, Lead Naturalist and Environmental Educator at Paul Smith’s VIC. “We love getting people outside on our gorgeous 25-plus-mile trail system to explore and learn about the natural world no matter the season, and we think this is a great way to give people a taste of what we do here.”

“We’re excited to offer two first day guided hikes this year.” said Jacob O’Connell, SUNY ESF Outreach Program Manager. “The Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC), located on SUNY ESF’s Newcomb Campus is the center for nature interpretation in the Adirondacks. With over seven miles of trails, and naturalists from the ESF Newcomb Campus, the AIC hosts public programs throughout the year.”

Hikers should come prepared for the conditions with warm layered clothing, water, sunglasses, and proper footwear to be worn with snowshoes, warm hats, and gloves.

Each participant will receive a pair of Adventure NY branded gloves and First Day Hike sticker. Guided hikes will be cancelled if snowfall or other weather events creates hazardous travel conditions or outdoor recreation conditions. Participants will be notified if a hike is cancelled by December 31.

DEC Guided Hike Up Prospect Mountain

January 1, 2020, 10:00am

Details: The hike is 1.5-miles and climbs 1,630-feet from the trailhead to the 2,030-foot summit. The spectacular 360-degree, 100-mile view of Lake George, the Queen of the American Lakes, the Southern Adirondack Mountains, the Green Mountains of Vermont, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Adirondack High Peaks of New York, and on a clear day the Laurentian Mountains of Canada.

Prospect Mountain: Trailhead on Smith Street, Village of Lake George (43.4254°N, 73.7197°W)

Registration: For information and registration: Ben Thomas, benjamin.thomas@nulldec.ny.gov or call (518) 623-1268.

Be Prepared: This event is free of charge. All hikers must have appropriate clothing and footwear. Snow shoes or crampons are required. Weather conditions may make this trail extremely icy and require additional traction. Bring water, snacks or anything else you may need for a hike.

Paul Smith’s Guided Snowshoe at Paul Smith’s Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC)

January 1, 2020, 1:00pm-3:00pm

Details: Paul Smith’s Lead Naturalist will provide a guided two-hour, light-to-moderate walk on VIC trails. The guided walk will take visitors through a series of diverse Adirondack ecosystems. The experience is open for all ages, comfortable with a moderate level of difficulty on a well-maintained groomed trail. Hikes will begin at the VIC welcome center.

Paul Smith VIC: 8023 NY-30, Paul Smiths, NY 12970.

Registration: For more information and registration: call (518) 327-6241.

Be Prepared: The event is free of charge. Participants will not need to purchase a day pass to go on the guided hike. Snowshoes are required. Bring your own or rent a pair at the VIC for a fee. Hot chocolate and warm drinks will be available for sale the VIC store.

SUNY ESF Guided Snowshoe at SUNY ESF’s Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC)

January 1, 2020, 10:00am

Details: The hike around the AIC trails will be approximately 2 miles and will explore the many unique adaptations that allow mammals to survive the often cold and harsh Adirondack Winters. Walk will be on light-moderate terrain and the hike will take approximately 1.5 hours. Hike will begin at SUNY ESF’s Adirondack Interpretive Center.

SUNY ESF AIC: 5922 State Route 28N, Newcomb NY, 12852.

Registration: Registration is required. Call (518) 582-2000 to register.

Be Prepared: This event is free of charge. Snowshoes are required and will be provided if participants do not have their own. Hot chocolate will be available at the Adirondack Interpretive Center.

SUNY ESF Guided Hike Up Goodnow Mountain

January 1, 2020, 10:00am

Details: More intrepid first day hikers can join AIC naturalists and snowshoe the four-mile round trip trail up Goodnow Mountain. The hike will explore the natural and cultural history of Goodnow Mountain. The Goodnow Mountain trail ascends approximately 800 feet over two miles and features views of the high peaks from a 60ft Fire Tower on the summit. Hike will take approximately 3.5 hours. Hike will begin at SUNY ESF’s Adirondack Interpretive Center.

SUNY ESF’s AIC: 5922 State Route 28N, Newcomb NY, 12852

Registration: Registration is required. Call (518) 582-2000 to register.

Be Prepared: This event is free of charge. Snowshoes are required and will be provided if participants do not have their own. Hot chocolate will be available at the Adirondack Interpretive Center. All hikers must have appropriate clothing and footwear. Weather conditions may make this trail extremely icy and require additional traction. Bring water, snacks, or anything else you may need for a hike.

DEC and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation are offering over seventy First Day Hikes at parks and state lands across New York. For a list of DEC and partner guided hikes, visit DEC’s First Day Hikes webpage. For more information and a complete list of hikes, view the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation press release.

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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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