DEC kept busy this season

Notes from the North Woods

The natural camouflage of a female Spruce Grouse allow it to virtually disappear among the branches of a small spruce tree.

The natural camouflage of a female Spruce Grouse allow it to virtually disappear among the branches of a small spruce tree.

Advocacy groups claim the modifications of the original agreement violate state Environmental Conservation Law and devalue the property value. They have lobbied the state Comptroller and the Attorney General to intervene.

Charles Morrison, a former director of natural resources planning at DEC, who is now working with the Sierra Club claimed, “It (the renegotiated agreement) really doesn't protect the public interest."

However, the renegotiated agreement which allows the camps to remain intact certainly protects the public interests of numerous business owners in the small communities that have long depended on an annual influx of camp owners during the typical non-tourist seasons, which generally include all the months beyond July and August. In addition, leaseholders with a vested stake in the land are much more likely to protect it, than the traveling public.

When DEC isn’t engaged in legal wrangling with former employees, it is usually involved in more worthwhile efforts to protect wildlife, and the folks that pursue it.

Recently, DEC announced the 2011 Big Game Hunting Season equaled the 2009 season as the safest hunting season ever recorded in New York. Although there were several fatalities during the 2011 season, a majority of these incidents involved injuries sustained as a result of tree-stand accidents, rather than hunter on hunter incidents.

Cats and Birds

Cats and birds are not typically a good mix, however, when it comes to DEC efforts, there is a good chance that each species will derive some useful benefits.

Although bobcats are not a common sight in the interior of the High Peaks region, the cautious cats maintain a viable presence in many other areas of the state, including the Champlain Valley, the Hudson River Valley and throughout the Catskill Mountains. I’ve never come across a bobcat in the park, but I have observed several while hunting deer in the Southern Tier.

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

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