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ecsammym's picture

Planning a mid-winter midnight campfire with kids in Ringwood. Not an overnight, just a late night in and out hike with hot choc, smores etc. Want to make sure I know the rules and can find a great spot with just enough adventure. What's my best source for info and guidance? Thanks in advance for any help.
NYCHiker's picture

Has the TC taken a position on New York's Ballot Proposal 1?

Here's the text:


Amendment to section 1 of article 14 of the Constitution, in relation to the use of certain forest preserve lands by National Grid to construct a 46 kV power line along State Route 56 in St. Lawrence County. The proposed amendment would authorize the Legislature to convey up to six acres of forest preserve land along State Route 56 in St. Lawrence County to National Grid for construction of a power line. In exchange, National Grid would convey to the State at least 10 acres of forest land in St. Lawrence County, to be incorporated into the forest preserve. The land to be conveyed by National Grid to the State must be at least equal in value to the land conveyed to National Grid by the State. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?

 

EDIT: It appears the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) is urging its members to vote YES on 1.

tree6hugger's picture

Does anybody have any information about a cave or a mine shaft opening that is visible on a hillside about 100 yards west of the Devils Path in the West Kill wilderness area approximately one mile south of the Spruceton trailhead? There is a stone cairn beside the trail marking the spot from which this feature is visible.
jddeller's picture

I am planning a 5 day backpacking trip in Harriman in November. I have never camped overnight in an area known to have rattle snakes. Are they a problem near the lean-tos for tenters? Are there any special precautions to take, other than just be aware?
NYCHiker's picture

In my experience, the timber rattlesnakes in the park are pretty good about letting you know you're too close. For the most part, the snakes will know you are approaching before you see them because they are so sensitive to ground vibrations. I've never had a snake problem in the shelters or tenting areas near the shelters. All of my encounters with snakes in Harriman have been during the day when they are sunning themselves on rocks or the trail. Always check your footwear before you insert your foot in the morning. You're looking not only for snakes, but any other bugs that might sting or bite.

In addition to the snakes, there are black bears in Harriman. Unfortunately, many inexperienced hikers fail to follow basic bear-country practices while in the park. Following a few simple guidelines will help keep the bears (and humans) safe. These are a few of the basic bear-country practices, per NY DEC and the US Forest Service you should consider following:
1) The only lawful places to overnight in Harriman are near the shelters. There are plenty of established tent sites near the shelters. When you get to the shelter area, find your tent site and designate it as your sleeping area. About 100 yards downwind of your sleeping area, find a spot that you can designate as your food prep area. Food and other attractants should always remain in the food prep area. Attractants include food, cooking gear, garbage, cosmetics, soap, first-aid kits and other odorous items.
2) Keep a clean and neat site. Pack out any food you might spill.
3) Do all of your food prep, cooking and eating in the food prep area. Never eat or take food or other attractants into your tent.
4) When finished with dinner, strain any food solids out of your dishwater and pack them out with your garbage. Scatter grey water over a wide area away from your sleeping area and water sources.
5) Pack out all garbage and trash. Never bury garbage; bears will find it and dig it up, and you’ll be teaching them camp sites are a good place to look for food. Don’t burn garbage or leftovers; a campfire is not hot enough to completely incinerate the remains, and the smell is very attractive to bears.
6) Hang food and other attractants from a tree limb at least 10-15 feet off the ground, 4-5 feet from the tree trunk and 50-100 yards downwind of your sleeping area (if possible).
7) Never leave food or other attractants unattended, even for a few minutes, unless they are in a bear resistant container or food hang. It’s an open invitation for everything from ground squirrels, birds and even bears to stop by and make off with the loot. This also means not hiding or stashing your pack full of food near the main trail while you take a side trail.
8) I don't recommend sleeping in the clothes you ate dinner in, especially if you've spilled or you're cooking something odorous. I take a weight penalty and bring along a set of thermals I wear only for sleeping. I normally take time after dinner to wash the sweat and smells from my face and hands. It also helps keep my bag smelling better longer.

srtmaintainer's picture

This information is straight from the NY DEC website, Timber rattlesnakes are active from late April until mid-October. I get rattle snakes in my yard and even had one in my garage. They are not at all agressive and choose to either leave or make a neat buzzing sound with their rattle. http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7147.html
NYCHiker's picture

It looks like the phone calls worked.

SA 2371 (Coburn) was voted down 39-59.
Gillibrand (D-NY), Nay
Schumer (D-NY), Nay
Lautenberg (D-NJ), Nay
Menendez (D-NJ), Nay

SA 2370 (Coburn) has not been voted on as far as I can tell
NYCHiker's picture

Based on the Majority Leader's calendar, SA 2370 (Coburn) never came to the floor yesterday. If they go to a final vote on HR 3288 - THUD Appropriations, then SA 2370 will die without a vote.

For future reference, the Senate Calendar can be found at: http://democrats.senate.gov/calendar/2009-09.html

Just change the month/year when appropriate.
peteyd's picture

Anyone who hikes hariman knows that there are a lot of black (rat) snakes in the area, as well as northern brown water snakes, timber rattelers, and copper heads. The later two are the only that are venomous. In my own experience the number of rattelers is perhaps on the rise? I have seen more this year than the past 5 years I have been hiking. I hike with my dog and have done some research that may be helpfull to others who hike with dogs. Antivenom for rattelers is available at OCAES (845)-692-0260. If you hike with a dog, this phone number may be something you want to keep in your pack.
Doug C's picture

I've seen rattlesnakes at Harriman also. Off of 7 lakes drive, as you go up to the large lake along the creek, Lots of hikers with dogs. I won't go up there with my dog unless the weather is cooler. Thanks for the info. I'll print out and keep.
NYCHiker's picture

I was at the West Mountain shelter about a month ago for a shakedown to prep for a week long trip in Glacier's backcountry. While at the shelter, I noticed most people weren't following basic bear country procedures. It surprised me, since I've always assumed there are black bears in the park (beyond those in the zoo) and have always taken the normal precautions.

I've never seen a black bear while hiking in Harriman, but I've talked with a number of locals who have seen bears in the park. One regular told me he asked a ranger about bear activity and the ranger confirmed that the number of bear sightings has been on the rise over the last few years. Considering the number inexperienced hikers using the backcountry shelters, I'm surprised there aren't signs at the trailheads or shelters listing basic bear procedures.

It might not be a terrible idea to post something about bears, even if it's just in and around the shelters. I'd hate to see a bear habituated to humans because humans didn't hang their food or pack out their garbage. As the saying goes, a fed bear is a dead bear.
PVPatrick's picture

I am tired of hearing The Conference pushing for the bigger better bottle bill in NY. I do not support it and I've written my state reps with my opinion. I wonder how many members support this hidden tax which in my opinion will do little or nothing to reduce litter as there are millions of containers that already have deposits that are strewn along the roadsides. It is merely a political gimmick to raise revenues without actually taxing consumers as unreturned bottle deposits are kept by the state.
Paul_A's picture

As a trail maintainer on Long Island, about 50% of the garbage I pick up is water bottles. I have to think if there was a deposit on them that the amount left along my trail would go down. I believe that because there are very few cans or bottles with a deposit discarded there.
daveg76's picture

I agree 110%. It is in fact money going into "someones" pocket being disguised as a bill that's "good for the environment". No one will think twice about throwng a water bottle to the side of the road or trail for 5, 10, or even 15 cents. I see more beer cans & bottles on roads and trails than water & non carbonated drink bottles as it is. It's making some politician wealthy not the environment. Reality is grim.
Walt Daniels's picture

As the person who ran the Trail Conference Litter Day for 5 years before the current bottle bill, I can assure you that the litter reduction after the bottle bill was dramatic. We would take 50-100 bags of litter off the Pine Meadow Trail before and only 1-2 bags after. Once clean there is a strong incentive to not litter, but if it is already a mess, few think twice about adding to it.

You have some of the facts wrong about who "profits" from unclaimed deposits. Currently the bottlers keep the unclaimed deposits. The BBB changes that so that state gets the unclaimed deposits and the proposal is to use that to fund the EPF which benefits all hikers with more land and stewardship of our natural areas.

One of the principal reasons for supporting the BBB is that it modernizes the law to accommodate current drinking preferences to cover non-carbonated drink containers which now are a significant part of the litter.

It should also be pointed out that it is hard to claim that it is a tax if you can legally avoid paying it by returning all the bottles you pay a deposit on. 

PVPatrick's picture

The trails would be even cleaner if there was a deposit on dog deposits! Seriously, I agree with your "broken window" theory relating to trail trash(the stuff, not the people who leave it) however, I'll offer some other thoughts on the bill. NY's redepmtion rate is only 70%, so the effectiveness of the current law is barely passing. The state is counting on that 30% coming from our pockets which is why I called it a hidden tax or fee if you like. The additional funding for the EPF from recyclables could free up previously EPF budgeted funds to be used in the general budget. People with private trash contractors will not see any savings in costs as the truck still needs to come and pick up other recyclables. Municipalities could lose revenue in the sales of recyclable materials, but still have to maintain their recyclable pick up and handling infrastructure. Customers would need to sort bottles by type and origin to return to the purchase place since the distributors no longer profit from the nonredemptions they will be less happy to handle other stores products. Environmentally speaking, it would be more efficient to handle all recyclables at a single point of pick up, say... the curb, where the dogs are supposed to be.
srtmaintainer's picture

I agree with you Walt 100%. I have worked on a highway crew for over 26 years. We see far less beer and soda containers along our highways. While some people still toss them many others collect them from the areas roadways and return them to supplement their income. If every beverage container had a deposit then the people who currently collect deposit containers along the roadways would pick up all of them to supplement their income.