Verizon Wireless Recycling
Cell phone and electronic recycling options through Verizon.
a project of the Union of Concerned Scientists explains the impact of Global Warming.
Appalachian Mountain Club's conservation efforts
NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation
Info and news about the environment in NYS. Includes the Dunn Memorial Bridge Falcon Nest webcam (March - June) Maps section contains an interactive mapper showing trails and other recreation details for state lands.
Conservation is a major focus of the Appalachian Mountain Club. Consider signing up for the AMC's Conservation Action Network newsletter and finding out how you can help. Review the links and tips here for ideas on how you can help to reduce our carbon footprint, while saving money in the process. If you have some suggestions to add, we would love to hear them. Contact John Tifft, Conservation Chair
Wildflower Phenology at Ann Lee Pond Nature and Historic Preserve
Phenology is the study of plant life cycle events and how they are influenced by seasonal climate variations and other habitat factors such as elevation. Examples of the kinds of phenomena that phenology monitors would be the dates of first emergence of leaves and flowers of different plants, and the first appearance of migratory birds of different species. Because these phenomena tend to be sensitive to small variations in climate, especially to temperature, phenological records can serve as a useful proxy for temperature in the study of climate change and global warming.
Since 2004 AMC has sponsored a monitoring program called 'Mountain Watch' that tracks plant response to climate change. Participating hikers observe and record some of the plants they encounter along the way, and provide the information for recording in the iNaturalist app. Our project will use the same approach to record plant life cycle events in our region, as our contribution to the ongoing efforts to monitor the status of climate change.
It's important that you as a participant either on your mobile device, your tablet or desktop join inaturalist, which is an app available in Google Play or the App Store. Once you have downloaded and installed the app, find our project by clicking the three-lined marker at the top left and look for 'projects'. Join the one entitled 'Flowers and Fauna along the Appalachian Trail Corridor'. It is the one where we will be entering our data. Make sure that if you are using a mobile device that 'location' is enabled in the device. Our data will then go to the AMC scientists who will be incorporating our data into their studies. The four wildflowers that AMC are concentrating on and that we will be looking for for the project are the Painted Trillium, the Red Trillium or Wake Robin, Bluebead Lily, and Canada Mayflower.
There are four links following to resources for this project. The first is a map of the Ann Lee Pond site. The green highlighted route is the one we will be utilizing. The second is a complete field guide to the wildflowers to be found at the Ann Lee Pond Nature and Historic Preserve arranged in their blooming order. The third link contains two sets of flowers, one highlighted in purple, the other in yellow, both in the order in which they bloom during the year. The flowers highlighted in purple are the four wildflowers we will focus on for our phenology project - we will input pictures and data about these wildflowers as part of the project. The flowers highlighted in yellow are those which we will follow up on as additional fun, while we are at the pond site. The dates we have set will hopefully overlap with the blooming times of the four wildflowers which we will be focused on. The fourth resource is a photo key of the wildflowers highlighted in the previous attachment containing pictures of both the wildflowers we will be focused on as well as the wildflowers we will pursue as a fun exercise in identification and possible inclusion in the project.
Information and Links for Some Citizen Science Projects
1. Control and Eradication of the Hemlock Wooly AdelgidNew York State Hemlock Initiative This particular citizen science project concerns itself with the infestation of the hemlock tree caused by an invasive insect called the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid. Right now the infestation is spreading northwards and has reached the Adirondacks as there are reports of it on Prospect Mountain. When you are out walking, look for the white masses of wax produced by the females at the base of the needles, or just the insects themselves on the underside of the lower branches of the hemlock. Hemlocks are identified by their short needles which are flat on both sides.
2. Control and Eradication of Invasive Species
For information relating to New York Partnership of Regional Invasive Species Management check out the Capital Mohawk PRISM website . That includes a PDF put out by the Cornell Cooperative Extension and Capital Mohawk PRISM showing pictures and descriptions of common invasive plants in our area. PRISM and Imapinvasives work together towards the identification, control and eradication of invasive plants, insects and animals. The New York State IMapinvasive site has yet to set a date on their "Spring Training Blitz "taking place throughout the state for training persons interested in learning about how to input data into their data base that they observe. Keep an eye out for it. To gain a further first hand knowledge of the the characteristics of common invasive species found in the local region, I have posted two workshops cosponsored by the Rensselaer Land Trust and the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance on April 7th and 28th, and a workshop sponsored by the Mohawk Land Conservancy on July 13th on the activities listings. At these workshops participants will have a first hand opportunity to learn some of the common invasive plants to be found locally.
3. Tracking and Documenting Frog and Toads
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums sponsors a science project called Frog Watch USA. Learn more here . Follow this link for a site on which you can hear the individual sounds of frogs and toads. The names of the frogs and toads which are common to this area are the Spring Peeper, the Eastern Spadefoot, the Green Frog, the American Bullfrog, the Northern Leopard Frog, the Wood Frog, the American Toad, the Green Tree Frog, Fowler's Toad and the Pickerel Frog, Frogs and toads have been in population decline. Their importance in maintaining a healthy ecosystem can not be overemphasized. Starting in the Spring volunteers involved with the Frog Watch USA citizen science project sit quietly after sunset recording which frog and toads sounds they are hearing. This information is then transmitted to the AZA to further their research into the frog and toad populations. The Pine Bush Preserve is going to offer training on June 6th at their Discovery Center for volunteers who wish to become frog watch monitors. On April 26th, there will be a frog and toad watch walk sponsored by the Pine Bush Preserve where we can gain an introductory appreciation of what is involved in this citizen science project.
The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) has launched a new "Marcellus Shale's Greatest Treasures" interactive website http://www.outdoors.org/shale featuring first-hand accounts of the impact of natural gas development by people who rely on the public lands and waters in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region for outdoor recreation. Through personal stories and photos, this new website gives Pennsylvania residents and visitors an opportunity to better understand and discuss natural gas development on and near public forests, parks, trails, and waterways. The individual stories represent a variety of outdoor recreation perspectives, including hikers, paddlers, hunters, and rock climbers, as well as popular destinations such as Pine Creek Gorge, Ricketts Glen, and Ohiopyle.
Govenor Cuomo has signed the agreement to purchase the Finch Pruyn lands for inclusion in the "Forever Wild" Forest Preserve. You can read the Times Union Article and/or read about the original controversy.
To learn more about this controversial topic, read this article by Cathy Frankenberg, AMC's Mid-Atlantic Policy Associate.
To read more about AMC's Natural Gas policy, visit http://www.outdoors.org/conservation/issues/natural-gas.cfm
The AMC is undertaking a study of the development lifecycle of certain flowering plants with the goal of using this information to monitor climate change. As temperatures get warmer, plants should start developing earlier in the year. To find out more about this study and how you can help, visit this website
To learn more about the new horrible menace affecting our area, the Emerald Ash Borer, and what you can do to help thwart it, see the article Emerald Ash Borer On the Move in the Fall 2011 edition of On the Western Slope
Conservation Activites the Mohawk Hudson Chapter conducted in 2011