Archive for the ‘Nature Conservancy’ Category

Take A Hike - Finger Lakes available at www.footprintpress.com includes FL Nat'l Forest & more.

Take A Hike – Finger Lakes available at

The Nature Conservancy will dedicate 107 forested acres on Nov. 28 that will become part of the conservancy’s West Hill Preserve. The preserve, which now totals 550 acres, is along Seman Road in the town of Naples, Ontario County, near the southern tip of Canandaigua Lake. Part of the Finger Lakes Trail passes through the property.

Folks from TD Bank, a U.S. banking enterprise owned by a financial corporation based in Toronto, will attend the dedication of the Hickory Ridge parcel. TD Bank has provided funds to pay for this acquisition and other Nature Conservancy work in the Finger Lakes, as a green-minded offset to the bank’s use of tree-consuming paper.

source: D&C

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The Nature Conservancy & U.S. Fish and Wildlife agreed to remove an old, unneeded dam from Reynolds Gully, a high-quality stream that provides habitat for native brook trout and flows eventually into Hemlock Lake, the near-wilderness lake that provides Rochester with drinking water.

That stretch of Reynolds Gully passes through a 310-acre parcel the conservancy owns near Hemlock Lake, which is in Livingston County about 30 miles south of Rochester.  The group hopes to add the property to Harriett Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area, which lies between Hemlock and nearby Honeoye Lake on Ontario County.

“The project will restore more natural movement of water, better connect the stream to its floodplain and remove an unused structure on the river that is a hazard in times of heavy rain,” the Central and Western New York chapter of the conservancy said in a statement. ““Now, for the first time in more than 50 years, brook trout will be able to travel freely in this stretch of the watershed.”

source: D&C

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Lake Placid News, link to original post

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Wednesday announced that for the first time in 100 years, the public can now access for recreational purposes the Hudson and Cedar Rivers within the new lands recently added to the Forest Preserve.

Parking areas, public motor vehicle access, a hiking route to the Cedar River and waterway access sites for non-motorized watercraft are designated and available for public use on these newly acquired public lands in the towns of Newcomb and Minerva in Essex County and Indian Lake in Hamilton County.

“The addition of these 7,200 acres to the state’s extensive Forest Preserve will help drive tourism in the Adirondacks region,” Cuomo said in a press release. “Starting today, (Wednesday) this land along the Hudson and Cedar Rivers, which has been closed to the public for the past century, will open for New Yorkers to enjoy this summer and fall. I encourage everyone to come explore the many outdoor recreational activities that this breathtaking area has to offer.”

Signs and kiosks located at both the boat launch in Newcomb and on the newly acquired properties provide information about the lands and the premier paddling and fishing opportunities now open to the public along the Hudson and Cedar Rivers. A map depicting the lands that are currently open to the public; the location of parking areas, public motor vehicle access and hiking routes and waterway access sites is posted on signs and information kiosks and is also available on DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov

Michael Carr, executive director of The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter was pleased with the announcement. said “TNC applauds New York State for bringing these special places into public ownership and making them a part of our collective conservation legacy,” Carr said in the press release. “DEC’s interim recreation plan will allow the public to explore remote and beautiful stretches of the Hudson and Cedar rivers for the first time in more than 100 years, which TNC recently transferred to New York State. More opportunities will follow and we look forward to hearing people’s stories as they discover so many newly accessible wild places in the Adirondacks.”

The Adirondack Park Agency has proposed seven possible land classifications for the Essex Chain Tract and surrounding lands. The proposed land classifications and the schedule for public comment may be found on the APA website www.apa.ny.gov/.

Public access facilities outlined in the interim plan have been established where existing areas are cleared and infrastructure is already in place. Recreation users will need to follow existing paths to carry around rapids when traveling down the Hudson River and camping is allowed more than 150 feet from any road, trail, spring, stream, pond or other body of water. Marked trails, camping sites and portages will be designated and constructed once DEC, in consultation with APA, completes a Stewardship Plan later this summer. This Stewardship Plan will identify the location for a new trail for the public to safely access OK Slip Falls, designated camping sites along the Hudson and Cedar Rivers, and the official locations of portages around challenging stretches of the Hudson River for paddlers.

Upper Hudson River

Paddlers can travel nearly 12 miles on the Hudson River from Harris Lake to a landing just above the confluence with the Indian River. There are several stretches of flat but moving waters that people of all skill levels can enjoy, especially in the upper portion.

The river also contains numerous rapids and shallow rocky areas. Depending on water levels, the rapids are mostly rated Class 1, 2 or 2+. Under the certain water levels a few of the rapids may rate Class 3, such as Long Rapids and Ord Falls. During low water conditions a considerable amount of portaging, dragging and lining of kayaks and canoes will be required especially in the lower portion of the river.

Less adventurous paddlers can take advantage of a long stretch of flat water above and below 28N, and the Blackwell Stillwater section above and below the Iron Bridge Landing, which also provides access to the lower Goodnow River.

Trips shorter than the entire 12 miles can be taken by paddling from Harris Lake to the Iron Bridge Landing or from the Iron Bridge Landing to the Indian River Landing. Inexperienced paddlers should make use of the flatwater sections, carry around all rapids or hire a licensed guide to lead their trip.

The Town of Newcomb Boat Launch on the Harris Lake (Beach) Road is the best location to launch canoes, kayaks and rafts. Parking is available at this location and in the nearby parking lot at the Town of Newcomb Beach. Information about the available access, including maps, is provided on a kiosk at the boat launch.

The public can drive to a parking area located approximately 0.9 mile from the Iron Bridge Landing. Paddlers need to carry their canoes and kayaks between the parking area and the landing on the river. Information about the available access, including maps, is provided on a kiosk at the parking area.

The Iron Bridge parking area can be reached by taking the Goodnow Road, off Route 28N in Newcomb, approximately 5.5 miles south to the southeast corner of Goodnow Flow. Turn left on to the access road and the parking area is two miles away at the end of the access road. DEC recommends that only high clearance pickups and SUVs use the roadway at this time.

Another parking area is located at the end of the Chain Lakes Road, approximately three miles north of Route 28 in Indian Lake. The public can walk the 0.8 mile on the roadway between the gate at the parking areas and the landing above the confluence of the Hudson and Indian Rivers. Information about the available access, including maps, is provided on a kiosk at the parking area.

Cedar River

The Cedar River, Pine Lake, Mud Pond, Clear Pond, Corner Pond and the surrounding lands can all be accessed from the same parking area at the end of the Chain Lakes Road. It is a 3.5-mile walk from the parking area along a roadway to the landing on the Cedar River.

Paddlers can enjoy the flatwater section of the Cedar River above and below the landing. The rapids above and below the flatwater section and the lack of carries prevents paddlers from accessing the upper reaches of the Cedar River and the Hudson River from the landing. Paddlers can also enjoy the four ponds on the forest preserve lands south of the Cedar River.

Anglers can fish the Cedar River for brook and brown trout. Anglers can also fish for native lake trout and stocked rainbow trout on Clear Pond or stocked brook trout and panfish on Pine Lake. Float planes previously restricted to landing on the western portion of Pine Lake can now land anywhere on the lake.

Additional information on the recreational opportunities on these and other nearby forest preserve and conservation easement lands can be found on the DEC Eastern Adirondacks Trail Information web page at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9199.html.

The Essex Chain Lakes Tract and the Indian River Tract are part of the former Finch, Pruyn & Co. lands purchased by New York State from The Nature Conservancy (TNC).

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We are at the height of birding season, and beginners can even get started in their backyard or garden. Plus, this is an exciting time for birding because technology has made it a sport and a science that everyone can enjoy. With all the new apps and GPS technology, citizen scientists can indulge their obsessions by tracking ornithologists’ real-time findings.

Click here to read about the wonders of birding in  The Birding Effect by Melissa Milgrom.

Click here to find the Nature Conservancy Field Trips & Events throughout New York State.

Birding in Central & Western NY

Birding in Central & Western NY

Link to e-book Birding in Central & Western New York.

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by Glenn Coin | syracuse.com , link to original post

New York state has bought 9,300 acres of Adirondack land that is part of the former Finch, Pruyn & Co. property.

The land sprawls across several Adirondack counties and contains waterfalls, wetlands, camping spots, hiking and hunting areas, and access to the Hudson River and Lake Champlain.

Today’s announcement is the second of five installments in the state’s purchase of 69,000 acres owned by The Nature Conservancy was begun last year.

“Adding these former Finch lands to the Forest Preserve will open a magnificent stretch of the Upper Hudson to the public and attract new visitors to the interior of the Adirondacks,” Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said today in a statement.

The parcels bought today include:
— OK Slip Falls tract, Hamilton County (the Adirondacks’ highest waterfall which was previously inaccessible)
— Casey Brook tract, Essex County
— Spruce Point and Saddles tracts, Washington County
— Hudson Riverside/Ice Meadow Tract, Warren County
— Indian River tract, Essex and Hamilton counties.

The total purchase price of the 69,000 acres over the five years will be $49.8 million, and that will be drawn from the state Environmental Protection Fund. The land includes 180 miles of rivers and streams, 175 lakes and ponds, 465 miles of undeveloped shoreline along rivers, streams, lakes and ponds, and six mountains taller than 2,000 feet.

The majority of these lands are concentrated within the central lake and tourist region of the Adirondack Park in the towns of Newcomb, Indian Lake, North Hudson and Minerva.

The Nature Conservancy purchased 161,000 acres of Adirondack land from Finch, Pruyn & Co. for $110 million in 2007. Martens was president of the Open Space Institute when it loaned The Nature Conservancy $25 million to purchase the land.

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New York state has taken ownership of the Essex Chain of Lakes tract in the Adirondacks. The deal to buy the 18,294 acres from The Nature Conservancy for almost $12.4 million closed on Dec. 21. The purchase is the first in a five-year program of buying 69,000 acres of former Finch, Pruyn and Co. timberlands for a total of $48 million.

The land is in the towns of Minerva and Newcomb and includes 11 lakes and ponds, nearly 15 miles of Hudson River shoreline and 8.5 miles on the Cedar River shoreline. There won’t be public access to most of the property until the fall, when two hunting club leases on a total of 11,600 acres expires.

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By Paul Post, Troy record, link to original post

An Adirondack environmental group is calling for creation of a new 39,000-acre Upper Hudson River Wilderness Area on former Finch Paper Co. lands.

This summer, the state announced plans to purchase 69,000 acres over the next five years from The Nature Conservancy, which acquired the land from Finch Paper.

The 22,000-acre Essex Chain Lakes tract will the first tract purchased, in 2013. The group Protect the Adirondacks has a proposed a new wilderness area that would encompass much of this property.

“Protect envisions a new wilderness area that protects the Essex Chain Lakes and Hudson River,” Executive Director Peter Bauer said. “Wilderness classification is the best protection to create a motorless lakes system for the Essex Chain Lakes and protect the Hudson River as a wild river.”

Board co-chair Chuck Clusen added, “Wild country and wild rivers grow fewer each year and a new wilderness area for the Upper Hudson would provide permanent protection for 22 miles of one of the greatest rivers in America.”

The proposed wilderness area is centered on a stretch of Upper Hudson River from the town of Newcomb to North River. It would include more than five miles of the Cedar River and four miles of the Indian River as well as dozens of other lakes and ponds.

The new wilderness area would be created from roughly 19,000 acres of former Finch Paper and 20,000 acres of existing forest preserve lands in the Hudson Gorge Primitive Area (17,000 acres) and the Blue Mountain and Vanderwhacker Wild Forest Areas (3,000 acres).

The state Department of Environmental Con servation has indicated plans to continue floatplane access to First and Pine lakes on the edge of the proposed new wilderness area.

Bauer said his group recognizes the established floatplane use on these lakes and has drawn proposed boundaries to classify those lakes as wild forest. The group also recognizes public interest in access to the Essex Chain Lakes for canoe camping and has drawn boundaries for road access to this area through conservation easement and wild forestlands.

Bauer said he believes the new wilderness area would enhance the popular Hudson River-Indian River whitewater-rafting industry by managing, for the first time, the Hudson River as an integrated resource and by providing much improved day use and camping opportunities through the entire length of the Hudson River Gorge.

“An Upper Hudson River Wilderness will protect the whitewater-rafting industry over the long-term,” he said. “This industry has proven to be highly successful as well as sustainable and provides terrific opportunities and wild river experiences for visitors to the Adirondack Park” Bauer said.”

The proposed area would be larger than nine existing Adirondack Park wilderness areas. Five existing wilderness areas have more than 100,000 acres each. They are the High Peaks, West Canada Lake, Five Ponds, West Canada Lake and Silver Lake areas.

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By Brian Nearing, TimesUnion.com, link to original post

The state’s forever-wild state Forest Preserve in the Adirondack Park is growing by more than 400 acres of forests and wetlands along the western shore of Lake Champlain.

The state is adding more than 2 miles of protected shoreline to the preserve near the Washington County hamlet of Clemons off Route 22, the Department of Environmental Conservation announced Tuesday.

This area is the southern end of the 132-mile lake. Here the lake is narrow, appearing more like a river, and is predominantly wetlands and isolated forest. Being added to state forever-wild lands are 156 acres along the lake donated by The Nature Conservancy and an adjoining 283-acre parcel and island donated by Washington County.

There is no cost to the state, which will pay local property taxes on the land as it does on all state-owned lands in the 6 million-acre Adirondack Park, DEC spokeswoman Lori Severino said on Tuesday.

The Nature Conservancy spent $500,000 three years ago to buy its parcel, located in an area called Chubbs Dock off Route 22, 9 miles north of the village of Whitehall. That money came from a half-million-dollar federal wetland protection grant to the conservancy from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The donated county-owned parcel is in a part of the lake called Maple Bend Island. “Chubbs Dock conserves excellent wildlife habitat along the narrow headwaters of Lake Champlain,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said.

The area also will provide new public access to launch boats into the lake. It is several miles north of the existing state boat launch at South Bay. The other public access to the lake is much farther north at Ticonderoga.

Michael Carr, executive director of the Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter, said: “Not only is New York state keeping intact some of the largest wetlands on Lake Champlain, but doing it in a way that will also secure public access for hunting, fishing, boating and wildlife-oriented recreation — all of which contribute to the state’s outdoor recreation economy.”

The newly protected lands also are important because moose, bears, bobcats, fishers and otters use that relatively undeveloped area to travel between the Lake George region and the Green Mountains in Vermont.

The Nature Conservancy has been studying the southern Champlain region as a “wildlife corridor,” said Michelle Brown, a conservation scientist for the conservancy. “We are looking at this landscape with a big lens, and are exploring ways to make sure that the Adirondacks do not become a kind of ‘island,” and remain connected to the Green Mountains.”

Large carnivores like bears can range up to 10 miles in a single day, and up to 40 miles over the course of a season. Even a smaller predator like a fisher, a member of the weasel family that can reach 4 feet long and weigh 10 pounds, can cover three or four miles a day.

Keeping the forest and lake link open between the mountains allows for continued genetic mixing between animals. When animal populations become isolated, genetic variability declines, making animals more susceptible to disease outbreaks.

The conservancy’s five-year study looks at three strategies — land conservation, like what is being done in Clemons; methods to reduce barriers to wildlife presented by roads in the area, and land use planning to ensure development does not occur in critical areas.

The Champlain study is part of a larger, four-state project including New Hampshire and Maine that seeks to protect connections in the forests of the Northeast. That study includes the conservancy, DEC, as well as the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Society and The Conservation Fund.

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Trails Outside Adirondack Park

Click here to explore these great places to run in NY’s natural world. Be sure to watch the slideshow with images of the different parks, and tips on different trails to run. It also identifies natural features on the trails, such as wild plants and different bird species.

The Nature Conservancy came up with 5 trails to run in nature in NY State which are near where people train for marathons – but there are so many more. Most trails are great for running and they get you into nature. There are trails all over NY State – many near where you live. Find trails close to your home using the guidebooks from Footprint Press and Common Man at http://www.footprintpress.com.

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Studies have shown that running outside is better for your mental health and makes you more likely to continue to run as opposed to running inside on a treadmill.  It’s also much less costly. The Nature Conservancy is working to help show that there are beautiful, natural places out there to explore, and that anyone can be a part of Team Nature.

A group of individuals have come together to participate in the New York City ING marathon (November 6) to raise money for The Nature Conservancy- They are running for nature, and for the future of our planet.  The 20-person team is a mix of staff members and supporters, headed by Bill Ulfelder, New York Director for The Nature Conservancy. Each team member has committed to raising a minimum of $3,500 and is raising money through http://www.crowdrise.com/NatureConservancyNYC.

One of The Nature Conservancy’s featured runners is Victor Medina – a Washington Heights, New York native, Victor has climbed mountains all over the world and is now embarking on a new journey–marathon running. After working as a LEAF intern on a Conservancy preserve in 2007, the college junior lost 60 pounds and has been bitten by the outdoor bug. In November, he’ll run 26.2 nature-inspired miles for his cause and Team Nature. You can read more about him on his blog or in The New York Daily News– he is super excited to be running his first-ever marathon.

Join Team Nature. Donate to the Nature Conservancy’s efforts and find some trails near home to go walk or run. A good place to look is the guidebooks of Footprint Press and Common Man at www.footprintpress.com.

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