Tensions Run High At NYRI Hearings
The big guns were out in full force earlier this week for the Public Service Commission's evidentiary hearings about the proposed New York Regional Interconnect (NYRI), a high-voltage transmission line that would run 190 miles between Marcy and Orange County.
Lawyers for Communities Against Regional Interconnect made sure the group's position was abundantly clear: the line is not need and will have adverse effects on the environment and economy.
One argument for building the controversial line seemed to be undercut when George Vanderheyden, chief executive of UniStar Nuclear Energy, testified that his company does not need additional transmission lines to carry power from its planned new nuclear power plant in Scriba.
However, David Kalson, a spokesman for for NYRI, countered, "Without the line, congestion and inefficiency would continue to mount, leading to brownouts and blackouts. It's a matter of efficiency."
by Jodi Lee Reifer
Friday May 16, 2008, 1:00 AM
As any know-it-all can attest, tap water comes from the faucet. Duh.
But true trivia-hounds know NYC's H2O is collected in the Catskills Mountains. One of the spots is called Neversink Reservoir. No joke.
The American Museum of Natural History leads a bus trip up there Saturday for a behind-the-scenes tour of the water works. It comes in conjunction with the museum's "Water: H2O = Life" exhibit.
Meet at 8:30 a.m. on the museum steps at Central Park West at 79th Street, Manhattan. The bus returns at 5 p.m. Fee: $25. Lunch included. Reservations necessary. 212-769-5100, http://www.american-mnh.org.
link is here:
March 20, 2009: Fly Rod & Reel: Abel/Prosek new Super 3N Rainbow Trout Reel will benefit Theodore Gordon Flyfishers
Abel/Prosek new Super 3N Rainbow Trout Reel will benefit Theodore Gordon Flyfishers.
A limited edition Abel Super 3N large arbor fly reel – in a rainbow trout design inspired by wildlife artist James Prosek – will benefit the Theodore Gordon Flyfishers, a New York-based conservation organization announced Don R. Swanson, president of the tackle manufacturer.
One hundred of the individually colored and anodized reels will be produced. Reels will be accompanied by a signed and numbered 11x14-inch gicleè print of a rainbow trout by Prosek. The print number will correspond to the reel number.
Reel numbers one and two together with corresponding gicleè prints and the original rainbow trout watercolor by Prosek are being donated to the Theodore Gordon Flyfishers by Abel and the artist.
The new reel size from Abel for 2009 was designed with a tall frame and narrow spool for maximum retrieval rate. At 4.7 ounces, the Super 3N or Narrow reel with a 1.50-inch hub has been precision machined for 3- and 4-weight flylines.
According to Swanson, the Abel Super 3N is “the perfect tool for spring creeks and technical meadow streams . . . it balances with virtually every split bamboo or high tech graphite rod currently in production as well as antique rods.”
Funds derived from the Abel reel and accompanying Prosek prints will be used by the Theodore Gordon Flyfishers “to carry out a large-scale stream conservation project on the famed Beaverkill in New York and some of its spawning tributaries: TGF Beaverkill Restoration,” according to TGF president Bert Darrow.
“Continuing our history of protecting cold water fisheries through litigation, oversight and labor, TGF is undertaking our largest hands-on initiative with this multi-year, multi-phase action to improve spawning access and habitat for both native and wild trout. It is a great challenge,” Darrow said.
Theodore Gordon Flyfishers is a not-for-profit angling organization, formed in 1963 by fly-fishing legends including Lee Wulff, Ernest Schwiebert and Arnold Gingrich. TGF was founded on American fly-fishing traditions to promote stream and river protection and self-sustainable salmonid populations through conservation, environmental oversight, activism, catch-and-release practices and education, added Darrow.
The American-made Abel Super 3N is machined from cold finished 6061-T aircraft quality aluminum. Reels are then precision machined (not die cast) on C.N.C. lathes and mills.
Prosek, who has authored and/or illustrated Trout an Illustrated History, Trout of the World, Joe and Me, Fly-Fishing the 41st Parallel, Early Love and Brook Trout a children’s book, A Good Day’s Fishing, and his most recent children’s book, Bird, Butterfly, Eel has been called the James Audubon of fish.
His rainbow trout gicleè print is an individually produced high resolution reproduction. The collectors’ edition rainbow Super #3N reel to benefit the Theodore Gordon Flyfishers is priced at $750. The reels are available at Authorized Abel Dealers.
For information or sales, phone 866 511 744, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.abelreels.com
As New York continues with its plans to close six state park campgrounds, at least one community is fighting back.
Sullivan County advocates are planning to lobby Albany to keep open the Beaverkill Campground, reports The River Reporter newspaper in Narrowsburg.
Four other campgrounds are slated to not open this summer in the Adirondacks, including Poke-O-Moonshine, Sharp Bridge, Point Comfort and Tioga Point.
But in Sullivan County, advocates say the closing of the campground will hurt the region financially. The campground is located in the mountains a few miles off Route 17, next to a covered bridge and a popular fishing creek. While the state says the campgrounds it’s closing are underutilized, advocates say the numbers at Beaverkill are skewed because of flooding in the few years previous.
To read the entire Beaverkill story, click here.
Tree Species Composition Influences Nitrogen Loss From Forests
ScienceDaily (Mar. 16, 2009) — Throughout the world, nitrogen compounds are released to the atmosphere from agricultural activities and combustion of fossil fuels. These pollutants are deposited to ecosystems as precipitation, gases, and particles, sometimes many hundreds of miles downwind of their release point.
The Catskill Mountains of southeastern New York are a case in point—though they contain little in the way of industrial or agricultural pollution sources, they receive some of the highest nitrogen deposition rates in North America due to pollutants drifting in from midwestern power plants and east-coast cities.
Anyone who grows plants for food, fiber, or flowers, knows that nitrogen is crucial for healthy plant growth. But excess nitrogen that leaches from a forest can acidify the soils and streams and decrease water quality. Prior research has shown that in addition to plant uptake, microbial processes are very important in retaining nitrogen in forest soils, and that forested watersheds in the Catskills vary markedly in the amount of nitrogen they can absorb and prevent from leaching away. So why would atmospheric nitrogen deposition lead to increased losses of nitrogen from some forests and not from others?
The research is focused on the tree species control on nitrogen cycling dynamics in the Catskill Mountains. Part of a long-term research project on nitrogen cycling in Catskill forests, this study utilized a stable isotope technique to determine how the microbes consume and transform nitrogen in the soil under stands of five different tree species that are common in the Catskills. Half of the forest plots also had experimental nitrogen fertilizer treatments.
The study showed that forests dominated by sugar maple are particularly susceptible to nitrogen leaching, while soils under red oak and hemlock forests are better at retaining nitrogen and preventing leaching losses. This difference was partially related to the ratio of carbon to nitrogen in the soils. The microbes under the different tree species vary considerably in their production of nitrate, the form of nitrogen that is most readily leached into streams. However, unlike previous studies from western forests, this study found very little consumption of nitrate by the soil microbes in any of the forest types. Because of the low nitrate consumption, the forest types that have high nitrate production (such as sugar maple) also have high nitrate losses via leaching.
Lead author Lynn Christenson of Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY noted, “The most significant difference we see in nitrogen cycling under sugar maple trees compared to other tree species are much higher rates of nitrification, with very little consumption of this nitrate occurring in sugar maple soils. Why the soils and trees are not consuming this nitrogen is still a mystery.”
Project Leader Gary Lovett of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY stated, “It is important for watershed managers to know that differences in tree species composition can influence nitrogen retention. Some forest types are more likely to saturate with nitrogen than others.”
This study was funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
March 13, 2009, Adirondack Daily Enterprise: Federal acid-rain monitoring funds for Catskills restored
Federal acid-rain monitoring funds restoredlink is here: http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/page/content.detail/id/505439.html?nav=5008&showlayout=0
POSTED: March 13, 2009
Three acid rain-monitoring programs in the Adirondacks and Catskills received a federal boost Thursday, according to Rep. John McHugh, R-Pierrepont Manor, after there was some worry among environmental advocacy groups that two of the programs were in jeopardy of having their funding cut entirely.
While the restored funding in the Omnibus Appropriations legislation passed the House of Representatives Thursday, it still must go through the Senate and the president.
The Clean Air Status and Trends Network (CASTNET), Temporary Integrated Monitoring of Ecosystems (TIME) and Long-Term Monitoring (LTM) programs, as currently funded in the appropriations before the Senate, will continue to receive their historic levels of funding of $3.9 million for CASTNET and $800,000 combined for TIME/LTM. The Committee on Appropriations allotted $3,951,000 in funding for CASTNET and $720,000 combined for TIME/LTM in the Fiscal Year 2009 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill.Additionally, unlike last year, the bill specifically appropriates funds for these programs.
"This was an important victory in the continued fight against acid rain, which has historically had a severe and detrimental impact on large parts of the United States, particularly in New York," McHugh said in a press release."We need to continue to take action to understand and fight this problem, which these three acid rain programs do."
March 12, 2009
DEC chief: License fee increases are inevitable
link to complete article is here:
By Bill Conners
The message: Additional revenues are needed. The messenger: Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis.
In a meeting Monday afternoon with outdoors writers from across the state, the commissioner confirmed again that the Conservation Fund is millions of dollars in the red and that license fee increases are inevitable.
While the commissioner was meeting with the writers on the 14th floor of DEC headquarters - 625 Broadway in downtown Albany - the Conservation Fund Advisory Board was meeting on the 5th floor. One of the issues on the board's monthly agenda was how much of an increase is needed to get the fund operating in the black again and how long will it keep it there.
Early this year, Gov. David Paterson announced that the Reynolds Game Farm was going to be closed, and that there were no plans to continue with a pheasant stocking program. Because there is very little natural propagation, pheasant hunting here in New York would have been all but eliminated, except on hunting preserves.
The commissioner noted that in retrospect the governor's announcement could have been handled better, but that there was a silver lining of sorts that has come out of it. Grannis said: "The sportsmen have come alive and are letting us know what it is they want."
While the governor may have backed off from the decision to close the farm, the commissioner made it clear that it is just for the next year, "pending the development of alternative revenue sources." The stakeholders will have to work with the DEC to decide what those sources will be.
Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources Division Director Patricia Riexinger said that there will be a new requirement for a salt water fishing license for the marine district and when fishing the Hudson River for migratory species such as striped bass. When fishing for non-migratory species, a fresh water fishing license will be required. This marks the fist time that a license has been required for recreational anglers on the Hudson.
Currently, there is no way to know how many anglers are using the marine district or the Hudson River because there is no license requirement. Migratory fish stocks are monitored by federal agencies.
If the state does not impose a license requirement, the feds will impose one and most likely keep the revenue. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission monitors migratory fish stocks and the impacts that commercial and recreational anglers have on them - a difficult task, given the fact that in New York no salt water license is required. Riexinger said that the revenues from salt water license sales will be used in the marine account and in support of marine fisheries programs.
Jeremy Hurst, the DEC's big game biologist, said that there seems be a growing interest in antler restrictions. "There is no biological need for the restrictions, but there is a social interest," he said. Many deer hunters would like to be able to hunt deer with heavy, well-formed antlers.
There has been a antler restriction pilot program going on in four Catskills Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) for a few years and Hurst said there are a number of areas where interest seems to be growing.
Because there is no biological need, the DEC has taken the position that the imposition of restrictions must be entirely voluntary. A survey was conducted in WMUs 3A, 4G, 4O, 4P, 4R, 4S, 4W and 4X, which produced a mixed result.
Before the program can be implemented, a survey must show that at least 67 percent of the hunters in an area must be generally in favor of the program and no more than 20 percent are strongly opposed. The most recent survey in the areas above produced a mixed result and came in at about 95 percent of the required thresholds, but no clear mandate emerged. Hurst said that the DEC will continue to evaluate hunter attitudes in those areas.
Grannis reported that budget cuts will take their toll on staffing. The DEC anticipates that 240 people will leave the DEC this year via normal attrition either through retirements or people leaving state government for other jobs. Those positions will be left vacant, including 40 that are anticipated in the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources.
The DEC also plans to make changes to the Wildlife Management Areas around the state - in some cases consolidating them, redoing lines in others to make them easier for hunters to understand.
A lot of what is going on by way of program and planning within the DEC is dependent on the anticipated license fee increases. They might be the heaviest we've seen in recent times. The last across-the-board fee increase was in 1992. The fees the Conservation Fund Advisory Board are recommending right now would bring additional revenue to the fund of about $14.762 million. A basic resident hunting or fishing license would go from $19 to $29 each. A Super Sportsman would go from $68 to $88. Turkey permits will cost $10, up from the current $5.
As of the meeting with the commissioner, no final decision has been made on the new fee structure.
March 11, 2009, CMJ: Medeski, Martin And Wood are accepting applications to Camp MMW, to be held in the wild Catskill Mountains
Mar 11, 2009
Story by: Krista N. Levy
Jazz phenom trio, Medeski, Martin And Wood, are currently accepting applications to their second annual Camp MMW, to be held in the wild Catskill Mountains of Big Indian, NY, August 4 to August 9. After great success last summer, Camp MMW has returned for an encore in hopes of teaching musicians of all skill levels about creativity, rhythm, and musical exploration through workshops, seminars and lectures. Anyone age 16 and up with varying experience in any instrument are encouraged to apply by April 1 for one of the limited 80 spots.
Competition will be fierce as the attendee is given the opportunity to augment their knowledge of music through intensive learning as well as interactions with other attendees and the camp’s namesake post-rock jazzbos.
Set at the Full Moon resort, which is quaintly tucked within the vast 80,000 acres of New York’s Catskill Mountain forest-scape, Medeski, Martin and Wood teach many of the workshops themselves in addition to delivering exclusive performances. The camp also incorporates a plethora of guest speakers and special performances that embody the camp's "breaking boundaries" attitude.