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Autumn’s Splendor

Notes from the North Woods

A 'new' Cascade Falls, which tumbles from high in the notch located between the Upper and Lower Cascade Lakes in Keene, was revealed following Tropical Storm Irene.  Although measurements need to be verified, the flow may be in contention for the title of the tallest waterfall in the Adirondacks.  Currently, the title is held by T-Lake Falls, near Piesco in Hamiliton County, which falls over 600 feet.

A 'new' Cascade Falls, which tumbles from high in the notch located between the Upper and Lower Cascade Lakes in Keene, was revealed following Tropical Storm Irene. Although measurements need to be verified, the flow may be in contention for the title of the tallest waterfall in the Adirondacks. Currently, the title is held by T-Lake Falls, near Piesco in Hamiliton County, which falls over 600 feet. Photo by Joe Hackett.

However, sportsmen and women should not forget that October 1 is the beginning of the new license year, especially if they want to continue to hunt, fish or trap.

Monies collected from the sale of sporting licenses, combined with a special excise tax collected from the sale of sporting equipments such as firearms and ammunition, bows and arrows, and rods and reels, generates over $1.75 billion annually. These funds are used to pay the operating expenses for a majority of state fish and wildlife agencies.

All outdoor travelers must do their part! Fortunately, the non-consumptive outdoor sporting community now has an opportunity to contribute as well. They can pitch in by purchasing a Trails Supporter Patch, which is available for $5 at all, outlets where sporting licenses are sold. Proceeds from the sale of the patches goes to the Conservation Fund's Outdoor Recreation, Trail Maintenance, and Development Account, to help maintain and enhance over 3,500 miles of non-motorized trails throughout New York State.

Cold water PFD law

It is important for boaters and paddlers to remember that New York state now has a Cold Water PFD law which requires that all boaters on recreational watercraft less than 21 feet in length, including motorboats, canoes, kayaks, rowboats and sailboats, must wear a personal flotation device (PFD) from November 1 to May 1 on New York waters.

The measure was developed to address a number of fatalities involving off-season boaters who were not wearing PFDs. Roughly 25 percent of the state's total of boating fatalities have occurred in the off season.

According to the US Coast Guard, 75% of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, 88% were not wearing a life jacket.

Death by drowning continues to be one of the primary causes of hunter fatalities. It occurs most often, when a heavily dressed hunter stands in a boat to take a pee at seas.

Although the skies may be blue, the landscape colorful and the autumn weather, warm and wonderful, outdoor travelers should never forget that Adirondack waters are cold and deadly, especially in the fall of the year! A life jacket, no matter the season, is the single best way boaters can stay safe on the water. Tie one on, and be sure to waterproof your family and friends as well!

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net

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