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5 Things You Need to Know | February ADK Conservation News

By:Casey Marvell - Adirondack Council's Policy Fellow
Friday, February 22, 2019

Adirondack Conservation News is a collection of the most current events taking place in New York’s Adirondack Park, a unique national treasure and legacy we inherited over 100 years ago, that we have to protect for future generations. Adirondack Conservation News aims to highlight both threats and opportunities concerning the Park’s ecological integrity, wild character and community vibrancy.

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The Environmental Protection Fund Changed the Adirondacks

The Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) has supported numerous clean water infrastructure and green initiative projects across the Adirondacks since its creation in the 1990s. This year, environmental groups are applauding Governor Cuomo for proposing a $300-million EPF in his Executive Budget. However, the Governor has also proposed a controversial change that would allow EPF dollars to pay for salaried employees, which sets a poor precedent. In Albany, on February 12, environmental groups held a lobby day to support the EPF and make sure it remains a strong source for capital projects and land purchases.

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Basil Seggos Staying on at DEC

In a change of plans, the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Basil Seggos has announced he has reconsidered his choice to leave as head of one of the largest state agencies. Previously, Seggos planned to depart after the passage of this year’s budget. Commissioner Seggos has served in the top spot at the DEC since 2015. Seggos will continue to be tasked with handling the many ongoing issues in the Adirondacks such as High Peaks overuse, climate change mitigation and invasive species prevention.

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New York Holds First Hearing on Climate Change

In February, the Adirondack Council and partners took the opportunity to celebrate the wave of environmental support coming from Governor Cuomo and the state Legislature. On February 12, Chair of Senate Environmental Conservation Committee Todd Kamisky along with fellow legislators listened as more than 40 groups testified on climate change in Albany. Now with Democrats in control of both legislative houses, goals from the Governor’s budget, like making New York State produce 100 percent renewable electricity by 2040, seem more promising.

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New Effort to Head off the Need for Search-and-Rescue Efforts

On Presidents’ Day weekend, one of the busiest winter recreational times in the Adirondacks, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), 46ers and the Adirondack Mountain Club launched a new Preventative Search and Rescue (PSAR) initiative that educated hikers at numerous trailheads across the High Peaks. The goal is to reduce dangerous situations that often come from being unprepared. Cascade Mountain again served as an example that more stewardship efforts are needed in high use areas, as the DEC reported that over 40 percent of people questioned were not properly prepared.

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DEC Announces Completion of Annual Aerial Survey of Adirondack Moose

There are around 400 moose in the Adirondacks according to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) following its annual aerial study. Moose recolonized New York in the late 1980s and their presence is welcomed among scientists and environmentalists. After seven days of helicopter flights, the DEC spotted 83 groups of one or more moose that helped support their current Adirondack moose population estimates. As moose are a unique animal that thrive in wilderness habitat found in the Adirondacks, these types of studies help experts track migration patterns and reproduction rates to ensure a healthy population.

 

 

Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/staff-headshots/Casey_Marvel2.jpgCasey Marvel is the Policy Fellow in the Council’s Albany office. He assists the government relations and communication teams by tracking legislation, researching issues and advocating for the Adirondacks. A native of Niskayuna, New York, Casey recently completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Albany, and is currently pursuing his Master’s in Political Science. Casey has always been intrigued and passionate about the Adirondacks, having visited the Park throughout his life, from fishing at Paradox Lake, to recently pursuing the 46 High Peaks.

 

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