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conservation chatter corner

with ron schroder

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YOUR IN ON THE OUTDOORS FOR WESTERN NEW YORK
www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com

 

11 - 16 – 18

 

Welcome to this week’s Conservation Chatter Corner – little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

REGULAR FIREARMS SEASON FOR DEER AND BEAR HUNTING IN THE SOUTHERN ZONE BEGINS TOMORROW: The 2018 regular deer and bear hunting seasons in New York's Southern Zone begin at sunrise on Saturday, Nov. 17, and continue through Sunday, Dec. 9. The Southern Zone regular season is New York's most popular hunting season, with an estimated 85 percent of New York's nearly 600,000 licensed hunters participating. This season accounts for nearly 60 percent of the total statewide deer harvest and 30 to 60 percent of the statewide bear harvest.

Following the regular deer and bear seasons in the Southern Zone, late bowhunting and muzzleloading seasons run from Dec. 10 through Dec. 18. Hunters taking part in these special seasons must possess a hunting license and either bowhunting or muzzleloading privileges.

It is encouraged all hunters to wear blaze orange or blaze pink to make themselves more visible to other hunters. Hunters who wear hunter orange are seven times less likely to be shot.

When hunting in tree stands, use a safety harness and a climbing belt, as most tree stand accidents occur when hunters are climbing in and out of the stand. Also, hunters should never climb in or out of a tree stand with a loaded firearm.

The DEC would like to remind hunters that the legal hours for big game hunting across the state run from official sunrise to sunset. It is the responsibility of hunters to know when those times are in their locations Consult the DEC hunting guide, use the DEC wildlife app or search weather data on the internet to find the official sunrise and sunset times for your area. Not only is it unsafe but it is illegal to hunt deer and bear in the dark.

 

DEC TO OPERATE DEER AND BEAR CHECK STATION ON OPENING WEEKEND OF REGULAR BIG GAME SEASON: Hunters can help DEC's data collection and research efforts

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) encourages hunters to visit a deer and bear check station during the upcoming opening weekend of the regular big game season.

DEC's Region 9 check station, located on Route 16, in Holland, Erie County (northbound about one mile south of the town of Holland), will operate Saturday, Nov. 17 from noon until 8 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 18 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Participation is voluntary and helps DEC gather valuable data to assess the status of the area's big game population.

Hunters are encouraged to bring their deer to the check station where DEC staff will determine deer age and collect other important biological and harvest information. With black bear season opening the same day as deer season, wildlife staff will also check harvested bears to collect weight and sex information, along with pulling a premolar tooth to determine the bear's age.

Technicians from State Department of Health (DOH) will also be present at the check station to examine deer for ticks and collect samples to test for Lyme disease.

As in previous years, hunters wishing to donate their harvest to "Hunters Helping the Hungry" sponsored by the Venison Donation Coalition, may drop off a deer at the Holland check station during days of operation before 6 p.m.

 

RABIES IN CENTRAL/WESTERN NEW YORK:  Counties in Central/Western New York State have been ranked by its number of positive rabies cases in 2017, according to data from the NYS Health Department. The number of animals submitted for rabies testing was used to break any ties. You'll also find the top three most common animals with rabies in each county.

Niagara County had no positive cases of rabies, and was unranked:

#56 Schuyler County - Positive rabies tests: 1 raccoon - Animals tested: 13

#54 Seneca County - Positive rabies tests: 1 cat - Animals tested: 34

#53 Wyoming County - Positive rabies tests: 1 cat - Animals tested: 37

#51 Chautauqua County - Positive rabies tests: 1 cat - Animals tested: 47

#46 Orleans County - Positive rabies tests: 2 (1 raccoon & 1 fox) - Animals tested: 41

#44 (tie) Livingston County - Positive rabies tests: 2 (1 bat & 1 fox) - Animals tested: 44

#43 Cattaraugus County - Positive rabies tests: 2 (1 bat & 1 raccoon) - Animals tested: 76

#42 Chemung County - Positive rabies tests: 2 (bats) - Animals tested: 76

#41 Broome County - Positive rabies tests: 2 (1 bat & 1 skunk) - Animals tested: 108

#37 Yates County - Positive rabies tests: 3 (2 raccoons & 1 cat) - Animals tested: 32

#34 (tie) Wayne County - Positive rabies tests: 3 (2 raccoons & 1 cat) - Animals tested: 39

#34 (tie) Genesee County - Positive rabies tests: 3 (2 skunks & 1 raccoon) - Animals tested: 39

#33 Allegany County - Positive rabies tests: 3 (2 raccoons & 1 bat) - Animals tested: 42

#30 Ontario County - Positive rabies tests: 3 (2 raccoons & 1 dog) - Animals tested: 93

#28 Monroe County - Positive rabies tests: 3 (2 raccoons & 1 bat) - Animals tested: 134

#20 Tioga County - Positive rabies tests: 5 (2 raccoons & 1 cat/fox/skunk) - Animals tested: 44

#19 Cortland County - Positive rabies tests: 5 (4 raccoons & 1 skunk) - Animals tested: 53

#18 Cayuga County - Positive rabies tests: 5 (2 bats/foxes & 1 raccoon) - Animals tested: 83

#11 Steuben County - Positive rabies tests: 9 (3 foxes, 2 skunks & 1 bat) - Animals tested: 85

#6 Tompkins County - Positive rabies tests: 13 (5 bats, 4 raccoons & 3 fox) - Animals tested: 218

#4 Oswego County - Positive rabies tests: 14 (6 raccoons, 5 skunks & 2 bats) - Animals tested: 133

#3 Erie County - Positive rabies tests: 15 (12 bats & 1 raccoon, skunk) - Animals tested: 929

#2 Onondaga County - Positive rabies tests: 17 (12 bats, 3 raccoons & 1 fox/skunk) - Animals tested: 425

 

KUDOS: Congratulations go out to Dillon Steed and Sean McDermott on their first beaver catch – a monster 65 pounder. The animal was trapped on the East Branch of the Tioughnioga River, near the Village of Truxton. They are apprentices of Bob Gotie, a retired DEC Wildlife Biologist. The last two years were mink and muskrat. This year they’re moving up to beaver and they are off to a good start.

 

TENNESSEE NURSERY PENALIZED FOR VIOLATING NEW YORK STATE'S INVASIVE SPECIES REGULATION: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced a final Order on Consent (Order), including a $2,500 penalty, with Tennessee Wholesale Nursery, LLC, Dennis Sons, and Tammy Sons for violating New York's invasive species regulations. The Tennessee nursery transported eastern hemlock seedlings infested with hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), a prohibited invasive species, to Oswego and Schenectady counties. Under the terms of the order, the nursery is required to provide DEC with monthly nursery stock orders for New York State through 2020 in order to continue doing business in New York State.

Invasive species are non-native plants, animals, and diseases that harm or can cause harm to the environment, the economy, and human health. New York's Part 575 Invasive Species Regulation, adopted in July 2014, prohibits or regulates the possession, transport, importation, sale, purchase, and introduction of select invasive species. The regulation helps reduce new introductions and the spread of existing invasive populations. For more information on Part 575, visit DEC's Invasive Species Regulations web page.

HWA is a tiny insect from Asia that attacks North American hemlock trees. Damage from the insect has led to widespread hemlock mortality throughout the Appalachian Mountains and the southern Catskills with considerable ecological damage, as well as economic and aesthetic losses. HWA infestations can be most noticeably detected by the small, white, woolly masses produced by the insects attached to the underside of the twig, near the base of the needles. For more information on HWA, including identification, control techniques, and reporting possible infestations, visit DEC's website or Cornell's New York State Hemlock Initiative (link leaves DEC website)

DEC encourages the public to learn more about how to report unusual forest insects, plants, and diseases by visiting the Forest Health web page and reporting possible infestations to foresthealth@dec.ny.gov. DEC encourages anyone with information on environmental crimes and violations to call its 24-hour hotline, at 1-844-DEC-ECOs (1-844-332-3267).

 

BERNARD "BERNIE" RIVERS NEW DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT: A Hudson Valley native with 27 years of experience with DEC, Rivers has served as Acting Director since March following the retirement of former Director Joseph Schneider. As DLE Director, Rivers will lead 289 Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) across the state in the enforcement arm of DEC, tasked with safeguarding the state's natural resources and enforcing the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) that protects fish and wildlife, environmental quality and the citizens of New York State.

Rivers, 55, a 1981 graduate of Minisink Valley High School, has more than 37 years of law enforcement experience, having spent the last 27 years as an ECO. A graduate of Empire State College and the FBI National Academy, Rivers began his career in law enforcement as a NYS Corrections Officer. He also served as a part-time police officer in Mount Hope, Wallkill, Chester, and Montgomery police departments.

He graduated from DLE's 9th Basic School in 1992, and has served in several positions as an ECO in Long Island, New York City, and the Hudson Valley, including as a Uniformed Officer, Investigator, and as both a Regional Lieutenant and Supervising Captain.

"I am honored to have been selected by the Commissioner to oversee DEC's Division of Law Enforcement," Rivers said. "This has been the job and career I've always wanted since my senior year of high school when I first met an Environmental Conservation Police Officer who spoke to our law enforcement class at Orange/Ulster County BOCES."

Rivers most recently served in DEC's Central Office in Albany as the head of DLE's Office of Professional Standards. A father of two adult sons, Rivers lives in the Hudson Valley with his girlfriend of two years and her two children.

The oldest law enforcement organization in New York State, ECOs were first appointed as Fish & Game Protectors in 1880. In addition to enforcing all laws of the state, ECOs focus on fish and wildlife poaching, the illegal sale of endangered species, water pollution, policing the commercial fishing industry and the timber industry, emissions enforcement, illegal mining and any issue that affects air, land or water quality violations.

Comissioner Basil Seggos with Bernard Rivers and other ECOs

 

THIS WEEK’S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)
NOVEMBER 2018

17 - Start of Southern Zone Regular Deer and Bear Hunting Season (>12/9)

17 - Photography Class & Tour led by Zaphir Shamma at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (12:00 – 4:00 pm) Ever wonder how to take the best picture with your camera?  No camera is too big or small to take the perfect picture!  Join us for a traveling photography class lead by Western NY wildlife photographer, Zaphir Shamma. The class begins with a presentation with overviews of birding throughout the Montezuma Wetlands Complex and the fundamentals of photography.  Later, join us as we travel around the Montezuma Wetlands Complex exploring our wintering bird’s hot spots while receiving expert photographing advice.  (Fee: $50/adult.  PRE-REGISTRTATION and PAYMENT are required.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org) 

17 - In The Rut at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am) During this month, whitetail bucks are on the hunt for does. Join us for a walk as we search for bucks in the preserve. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

17 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Salmon River Chapter Wheelin’ Sportsmen Archery & Crossbow Deer Hunt on Private Property, 2509 State Route 104 Mexico, NY (For information contact William Wilbur 315-440-4351  wwilbur551@hotmail.com)

17/18 - DEC Deer And Bear Check Station located on Route 16, in Holland, Erie County (northbound about one mile south of the town of Holland) (Sat noon – 8:00 pm/Sun 10:00 am – 6:00 pm) Hunters are encouraged to bring their deer to the check station where DEC staff will determine deer age and collect other important biological and harvest information. With black bear season opening the same day as deer season, wildlife staff will also check harvested bears to collect weight and sex information, along with pulling a premolar tooth to determine the bear's age. Technicians from State Department of Health (DOH) will also be present at the check station to examine deer for ticks and collect samples to test for Lyme disease. As in previous years, hunters wishing to donate their harvest to "Hunters Helping the Hungry" sponsored by the Venison Donation Coalition, may drop off a deer at the Holland check station during days of operation before 6 p.m.

24 - Start of Canada Goose Hunting Season – Part 3 – in the South Zone (1/13/19)

24 - Outdoor Skills at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:00 am) In this program, you will build an emergency shelter from natural materials and practice navigation and fire building techniques. For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

26 - End of Canada Goose Season – Part 2 - in the West Central Zone

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for – “Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.”

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

 

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11 - 9 – 18

 

Welcome to this week’s Conservation Chatter Corner – little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

DEC TO REDUCE CHINOOK SALMON STOCKING IN LAKE ONTARIO:

DEC recently announced that it would reduce Chinook Salmon2019 Chinook salmon stocking in Lake Ontario by an additional 20 percent to help ensure the long-term sustainability of the high-quality Chinook salmon fishery. Chinook salmon in Lake Ontario feed almost exclusively on large alewife, and the severe winters of 2013 and 2014 resulted in poor alewife survival creating instability in the adult alewife population.  Chinook salmon and lake trout stocking reductions in 2017 and 2018 (20 percent each) were implemented to help avoid a future imbalance between stocked and wild trout and salmon and the alewife forage base. DEC recently held public meetings in Niagara, Monroe and Oswego counties to present information on the status of the alewife population in 2018, and to discuss 2019 stocking levels. DEC remains optimistic that the excellent fishing in Lake Ontario will continue in 2019. Additional details concerning the stocking cuts and DEC's effort to manage the Lake Ontario fishery can be found on DEC's website

 

DEC TO OPERATE DEER AND BEAR CHECK STATION ON OPENING WEEKEND OF REGULAR BIG GAME SEASON: Hunters can help DEC's data collection and research efforts

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) encourages hunters to visit a deer and bear check station during the upcoming opening weekend of the regular big game season.

DEC's Region 9 check station, located on Route 16, in Holland, Erie County (northbound about one mile south of the town of Holland), will operate Saturday, Nov. 17 from noon until 8 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 18 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Participation is voluntary and helps DEC gather valuable data to assess the status of the area's big game population.

Hunters are encouraged to bring their deer to the check station where DEC staff will determine deer age and collect other important biological and harvest information. With black bear season opening the same day as deer season, wildlife staff will also check harvested bears to collect weight and sex information, along with pulling a premolar tooth to determine the bear's age.

Technicians from State Department of Health (DOH) will also be present at the check station to examine deer for ticks and collect samples to test for Lyme disease.

As in previous years, hunters wishing to donate their harvest to "Hunters Helping the Hungry" sponsored by the Venison Donation Coalition, may drop off a deer at the Holland check station during days of operation before 6 p.m.

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

Heavy Rain Response: Town of Ellery and Busti, Chautauqua County: On Nov. 1 at 5 p.m., a Forest Ranger was assigned to patrol along the southeast shoreline of Chautauqua Lake, west of Jamestown, in response to persistent rains and the lake reaching minor flood stage. A second Forest Ranger was assigned to inspect DEC's Bemus Point Boat Launch and associated infrastructure along the north shore. No damage was noted. Additional Forest Rangers, along with DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) and State Parks Police, staged at Long Point State Park throughout the night to track flood waters. Water levels increased slightly during the evening, and with the passage of the cold front and lake levels steady, all resources were released the morning of Nov. 2.

Illegal Fishing Enforcement - Monroe County: On Oct 21, ECO John Lutz received a complaint of individuals snagging salmon on Irondequoit Creek at Channing Philbrick Park in the town of Penfield. At the scene, ECO Lutz located several people fishing illegally and observed one subject reeling in a salmon that he had hooked in the tail. After the fish was netted, the subject kept the fish and gave it to a second subject fishing from the bank. The second subject then put the illegal fish in a garbage bag and gave it to a third subject, who carried the illegal fish to a station wagon in the parking lot before returning to the creek The ECO continued to monitor the creek and watched a fourth subject intentionally snagging fish. At this point, ECO Lutz made his presence known The officer gathered the illegal fishermen and issued five tickets to the four violators, with charges including failure to immediately release foul hooked fish, possession of foul hooked fish, use of a hook with greater than a half-inch hook gap, and attempting to take fish by snatching.

Hunting with a Shotgun Before Season Opens - Cattaraugus County: On Oct. 25, ECO Jason Powers received a phone call from a hunter who reported that on the previous evening while packing up his truck at the Boyce Hill State Forest in Franklinville, he encountered a woman walking out of the woods carrying three firearms. He asked the woman what she was doing, and she told the hunter that she, her husband, and their 15-year-old son were hunting turkeys. The suspicious hunter wrote down the woman's license plate. The next day, when the hunter and his friend returned to the same parking area, they found a blue plastic sled covered with blood, deer hair, and pine needles. The sled had left a noticeable trail, and when the hunters retraced its tracks they found more blood and a 12-gauge shotgun shell, which prompted them to call ECO Powers. The ECO met the pair at the property. The officer surveyed the area and found more shotgun shells. He visited the license plate owner's residence and the male wasted no time telling the ECO how he had shot a 7-point buck with both a 12-gauge and a 20-gauge shotgun, although only the archery season for deer was open at the time. The man explained that while hunting turkey, he couldn't resist taking aim at the buck. The deer was seized and taken to a processor before being donated to the Food Bank of Western New York. The illegal hunter was issued multiple tickets, including illegal taking of a deer, taking a deer with a shotgun during the archery season, illegal possession of a shotgun and slugs afield during the archery season, hunting without a license, and deer tagging violations.

Deceased Buck
The illegally taken 7-point buck

BE SAFE, BE SEEN: With several hunting and trapping seasons now open, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) are encouraging outdoor enthusiasts to follow some commonsense safety precautions this fall and winter.

Since most public lands in New York are open to hunting, as well as other forms of outdoor recreation, outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds will be sharing these lands with hunters. Hunters in New York have an outstanding safety record thanks to mandatory hunter education training delivered by a large group of dedicated volunteer instructors.

DEC encourages every outdoor enthusiast to wear blaze orange, pink, or another bright color, especially during fall and winter. Doing so will allow these individuals to be seen more easily and from greater distances. Data from hunting-related shooting incidents show hunters that wear hunter orange are seven times safer. If it makes sense for hunters, it makes sense for other outdoor enthusiasts as well.

In addition, wearing blaze orange or pink or another bright color also makes it easier to be found by a Forest Ranger, Environmental Conservation Police Officer, or other rescue personnel if visitors become lost, sick, or injured while afield. Pet owners are encouraged to dress dogs, as well. Dogs should wear blaze orange or pink or another bright color too, and stay leashed at all times.

Trapping seasons for many species including fox and coyote are open throughout the fall and early winter; traps set for these species can also capture dogs that are not under control. Trapping is a highly regulated activity and regulations are strongly enforced. Trappers are required to take an educational course before getting a license and DEC works closely with the trapping community to encourage trapping techniques that minimize risks to non-target wildlife and other animals like dogs. Keeping dogs on a leash is safer for the dog, for other people, and gives pet owners peace of mind.

Hunting is among the most popular forms of wildlife recreation in the state, drawing nearly 700,000 New Yorkers and more than 50,000 out-of-staters. Hunting is a safe and economically important outdoor pursuit, helping to balance wildlife populations, promote family traditions, while fostering an understanding and respect for the environment and the complexity in which it functions. Hikers should be aware that they may meet hunters bearing firearms or archery equipment while hiking on trails. Hikers are encouraged to recognize that these are fellow outdoor recreationists with the legal right to participate in these activities on Forest Preserve and Conservation Easement lands. Hunting accidents involving non-hunters are extremely rare.

Hunting Within State Parks

New York state lands offer many places to hunt, including 81 parks, three historic sites, three golf courses, and 50 boat launches that provide chances to hunt a variety of different wildlife including big game, small game, turkey, furbearers, waterfowl and migratory bird species. Learn more about Statewide Hunting Regulations in NY State Parks and the Policy on Possession of an Unloaded Firearm for the Purpose of Accessing Adjacent Lands for Lawful Hunting Purposes.

In addition to a valid hunting license, all hunters wishing to take advantage of select hunting seasons within State Parks need to obtain a regional hunting permit for each individual park. The hunting permit will specify which species can be hunted, any additional seasonal restrictions, areas available for hunting, and what implements (e.g. shotgun, bow, or crossbow) can be used. Please contact the park directly to learn about what hunting opportunities are available at that location.

 

NYSDEC WMA HABITAT CONDITIONS ON MANAGED MARSHES:

Northern Montezuma WMA
There are more than 40 wetland impoundments on DEC's Northern Montezuma Wildlife Management Area (located in the Montezuma Wetlands Complex in central NY). In these restored wetlands, DEC staff raise and lower water levels to produce food and cover for waterfowl and marsh wildlife. Annual plants are encouraged to grow within the marshes by lowering water levels and exposing soils in the Spring. These plants produce an abundance of seeds that provide food for waterfowl and other marshbirds. Water depths are gradually increased in time for Fall waterfowl migration. NMWMA’s managed marshes are also supplemented by floodplain wetlands found along the Seneca River and Crusoe Creek.

WaterfowlCurrent conditions at Northern Montezuma WMA, with Howland Island marshes being the exception, are generally dryer than normal. Seneca River water levels are low but rising, and some adjacent wetland impoundments still provide excellent waterfowl hunting opportunities, but water levels are 1' or less - lower than usual. Most have pockets of water providing hunting opportunity, but they have yet to be re-watered completely. Please consider scouting the WMA prior to the opening of waterfowl hunting season to check for current conditions. DEC staff also provide aerial images of many of the wetland impoundments to help waterfowlers scout for preferred sites and access to those sites. Images are posted and updated on Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex.  

Tonawanda and Oak Orchard WMAs

After a hot and abnormally dry summer at Tonawanda and Oak Orchard Wildlife Management Areas, water levels remain low, and impoundments that were drawn down to provide moist soil annual seeds for migrating waterfowl have not been adequately reflooded due to a continued lack of sufficient precipitation. Recent rains are helping, and impoundments will continue to be refilled as more water becomes available. In addition to the dry conditions, many of the marshes have dense emergent vegetation due to drought conditions in both 2016 and 2018.   There are open water areas in many of the marshes, but access will be more difficult - scouting ahead of time is extremely important this year! As a result of the lower water levels and the dense vegetation, we issued fewer permits for opening weekend of duck season (Tonawanda WMA  - 60 permits per day and Oak Orchard WMA -  30 permits per day). Drawdowns this year included Cinnamon Marsh, Paddy 2, and Finks Paddy on Tonawanda WMA and North Marsh and Belson Paddy on Oak Orchard WMA. Other work included dike repair, control of invasive phragmites, continued work to transition Finks Paddy on Tonawanda WMA to a moist soil annual unit, mowing of dense cattail in Paddy 2, and the installation of an accessible waterfowl hunt blind. Future projects on these areas include creation of a ditch within Windmill Marsh on Oak Orchard WMA to improve water management capabilities in order to help control water lily and possible plans to create channels and potholes in dense cattail areas on West Ruddy Marsh on Tonawanda WMA.

 

LEARN ABOUT FEATHERS ONLINE WITH THE CORNELL LAB OF ORNITHOLOGY:   

Feathers – they are one of the things that makes a bird a bird – and you can learn all about feathers with a free class from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. This self-paced, interactive class is great fun, and exploring the different kinds of feathers will make you a better birder.

For example, when you are trying to identify a bird and your field guide mentions something distinctive about underwing coverts, you need to know where these feathers are located. If you don’t, by the time you look this information up, the bird you were observing may be long gone!

Feathers are just plain fascinating. Most birders would recognize a wing or tail feather, but what about a countour feather or filoplume? The simple, informative illustrations in this free class make it easy to understand how feathers work. You’ll learn how biologists believe feathers evolved (think dinosaur fuzz), find out how feathers grow on today’s birds, meet a feather scientist, and learn some cool words such as pennaceous. There are also some great videos showing birds and their unique feathers.

Have fun with this class and you’ll find yourself having more fun with birds in the field. Oh, and a pennaceous feather is one with a stalk or quill, like the wing and tail feathers you may find on the ground.

Link to the “All About Feathers” class at https://academy.allaboutbirds.org/all-about-feathers/

 

THIS WEEK’S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)
NOVEMBER 2018

8 -  Great Lakes Action Agenda Work Group Meeting - SW Lake Ontario Work Group at the Watershed Education Center, 5828 Big Tree Rd, Lakeville, NY (9:00 am - 12:00 pm) NYSDEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a basinwide partnership to advance ecosystem-based management (EBM) opportunities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA).  Meeting objectives include: Share information on funding and resources, key project updates and collaborative opportunities relevant to sub basin work plans and discuss progress of EBM demonstration area watersheds and identify next steps. (For information contact Shannon Dougherty at 716-851-7070 or email Shannon.Dougherty@dec.ny.gov)

8 -  Junior Home School Nature Series: Conserving Wildlife (Ages 5-10) at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (10:00 am – 12:00 pm) It is fun to play in the great outdoors but are our actions hurting wildlife and their habitats? Join us for hands-on demonstrations to learn how to enjoy nature while protecting wildlife and the places they need to survive. PRE-REGISTRTATION and PAYMENT are required.  (Fee: $8/student) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org) 

10 - Natural Products Workshop at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am) Learn how to make natural cleaning and beauty products, which make great holiday gifts. Make a natural cleaner or lip balm to take home. (Materials fee: $7/$5 for Friends members.) (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

10 - Hooray for the Hibernators! beginning at The Portville Free Library, 1 North Main Street, Portville, New York 14770 and concluding at Pfeiffer Nature Center, Lillibridge Preserve, 1974 Lillibridge Road, Portville, NY (10:30 am – 12:30 pm) Fall is here and many of our woodland friends are checking their calendars to find that their time of rest is soon upon them. As we know, hibernation is a way for some animals to make it through the cold months of winter by conserving energy when food is scarce. Some of these animals put on lots of weight in the fall so they can live off of their fat reserves through the winter while others store food and wake up for a winter’s snack. Join us to learn more about the who’s, when’s and how’s of hibernation. Part of this program will be held outdoors, so please dress appropriately. (Fee: Free for members, $5 for non-members. Free for children 13 and under. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.) Please register by 4 pm, Thursday, November 8th 2018. Sign up on the Programs Calendar on our website at Register here or contact the Pfeiffer Nature Center office at 716-933-0187.)

10 - Cayuga Bird Club Presentation - Loon Watch led by Wes Blauvelt meet at the north end of southeast main entrance (on the lake side, before the bridge on the creek if you are coming from Ithaca) to Taughannock Falls State Park, 1740 Taughannock Blvd, Trumansburg, NY. (6:40 – 8:40 am) Dress very warmly as standing on the lake with north breeze can be very cold. If you are lucky you may see hundreds of Common Loons flying overhead. There is also the possibility of seeing waterfowl such as scoters and Long-tailed Ducks on the lake. (For information call 800-843-2473 or email lms9@cornell.edu.)

10 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Salmon River Chapter Wheelin’ Sportsmen Archery & Crossbow Deer Hunt on Private Property, 2509 State Route 104 Mexico, NY (For information contact William Wilbur 315-440-4351  wwilbur551@hotmail.com)

10 - Arcadia Bass Anglers 2018 Die Hard Series Tournament – Keuka Lake at the Keuka Lake State Park Launch. Also open to Lake fishing. (7:30 am – 3:30 pm) (Entry fee: $60.00) (For information call 585-615-3620 or email aba3620@yahoo.com or go to  www.arcadiabassanglers.com)

10-11 - Niagara Frontier – Springville Gun Show at the Springville Vol. Fire Hall, 405 Main St, Springville, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am - 3:00pm) 60 tables. NICS background checks available. (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (For information call Bruce Johnston 716-542-9929 or email nfgshows@aol.com)

11 - FREE FISHING DAY in New York State. No license required.

12 – Ruffed Grouse Society - 31st Annual Triple Flush Chapter Banquet in Elmira, NY (For information go to http://www.ruffedgrousesociety.org/UserFiles/File/NotFinal.pdf)

14 - Close of Woodcock Hunting Season

14 - End of Canada Goose Season – Part 2 - in the South Zone

15 - First Day Ice Fishing Tip-Ups Can Be Used Statewide (>4/30/15)

15 -  Great Lakes Educator Workshop Series - Climate Change And The Great Lakes at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (4:00 – 7:00 pm) Discover activities designed to meet new NYSSLS requirements. Anyone who works with kids is welcome! Attend at least three workshops and receive one free in-school program for your classroom or after school program. For educators of students in grades 6-12. (3 CTLE hours provided)  (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

15 - Thoreau & Me in the Finger Lakes: Discussion & Book Signing at Cumming Nature Center, 6472 Gulick Road, Naples, NY (6:00 – 7:00 pm) Meet author Mark Holdren as he discusses his book at the, part of a year-long program being sponsored by The Rochester Regional Library Council (RRLC) Breakthrough Grant for the Naples Library. The goal of this project is to connect library patrons to natural areas in their community in order to deepen relationships with the natural world and involvement with environmental issues through creative nature awareness journaling activities, recording of observations for citizen science on-line projects, and expanding environmental literacy through book discussion events. The program is free and will include refreshments, pizza, and books for sale. Donations to Cumming Nature Center are gratefully accepted. (For information call 585.374.6160.)

17 - Photography Class & Tour led by Zaphir Shamma at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (12:00 – 4:00 pm) Ever wonder how to take the best picture with your camera?  No camera is too big or small to take the perfect picture!  Join us for a traveling photography class lead by Western NY wildlife photographer, Zaphir Shamma. The class begins with a presentation with overviews of birding throughout the Montezuma Wetlands Complex and the fundamentals of photography.  Later, join us as we travel around the Montezuma Wetlands Complex exploring our wintering bird’s hot spots while receiving expert photographing advice.  (Fee: $50/adult.  PRE-REGISTRTATION and PAYMENT are required.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org) 

17 - In The Rut at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am) During this month, whitetail bucks are on the hunt for does. Join us for a walk as we search for bucks in the preserve. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

17 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Salmon River Chapter Wheelin’ Sportsmen Archery & Crossbow Deer Hunt on Private Property, 2509 State Route 104 Mexico, NY (For information contact William Wilbur 315-440-4351  wwilbur551@hotmail.com)

17/18 - DEC Deer And Bear Check Station located on Route 16, in Holland, Erie County (northbound about one mile south of the town of Holland) (Sat noon – 8:00 pm/Sun 10:00 am – 6:00 pm) Hunters are encouraged to bring their deer to the check station where DEC staff will determine deer age and collect other important biological and harvest information. With black bear season opening the same day as deer season, wildlife staff will also check harvested bears to collect weight and sex information, along with pulling a premolar tooth to determine the bear's age. Technicians from State Department of Health (DOH) will also be present at the check station to examine deer for ticks and collect samples to test for Lyme disease. As in previous years, hunters wishing to donate their harvest to "Hunters Helping the Hungry" sponsored by the Venison Donation Coalition, may drop off a deer at the Holland check station during days of operation before 6 p.m.

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for – “Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.”

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

 

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11 - 2 – 18

 

Welcome to this week’s Conservation Chatter Corner – little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

AVOID CAVES AND MINES TO PROTECT NEW YORK'S BAT POPULATIONS: the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today is urging outdoor adventurers to suspend exploration of cave and mine sites that may serve as seasonal homes for hibernating bats. Human disturbances are especially harmful to the State's bat population since the arrival of the disease known as white-nose syndrome, which has killed more than 90 percent of bats at hibernation sites in New York.

All posted notices restricting the use of caves and mines should be followed. If New Yorkers or visitors encounter hibernating bats while underground, DEC encourages them to leave the area as quickly and quietly as possible. When bats are disturbed during hibernation it forces them to raise their body temperature, depleting their fat reserves. This stored fat is the only source of energy available to the bats until the weather warms in spring.

Two species of bats are currently protected under federal and State endangered species law. The Indiana bat, which is sparsely distributed across New York, is a federally endangered bat listed before white-nose syndrome began impacting bat populations. The northern long-eared bat is protected as a threatened species under federal and New York State Endangered Species law. The current population for this formerly common bat is approximately one percent of its previous size, making the species the most severely impacted by white-nose syndrome. Nonetheless, northern long-eared bats are still widely distributed in New York. Their presence is documented in most of the 100 or so caves and mines that serve as bat hibernation sites in the State.

Anyone entering a northern long-eared bat hibernation site from October 1 through April 30, the typical period of hibernation for bats, may be subject to prosecution.

There is currently no treatment for bats suffering from white-nose syndrome. Along with the New York State Department of Health, DEC is partnering with researchers from the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin, and experts at several universities across the country to better understand the disease and develop a treatment. This collaborative effort helped identify that reducing disturbances at hibernation sites during the winter can help the remaining animals survive.

For more information about white-nose syndrome, visit the White-Nose Syndrome Response Team website. Details about the protection of the northern long-eared bat can be found on DEC's website.

 

ATLANTIC BRANT RESEARCH UPDATE:

BandLast winter, DEC began a multi-year cooperative research effort with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Canadian Wildlife Service to better understand Atlantic brant migration chronology and breeding propensity. In total, DEC staff and research cooperators have put out 30 GPS transmitters and nearly 400 “geolocators”. What should I do if I encounter a marked Atlantic brant and how can I help?
1. Birds with tarsal band or backpack transmitter shot or found dead: Please contact Ted Nichols (NJDEP) at 609-628-3218 or e-mail Josh Stiller at: joshua.stiller@dec.ny.gov. In order to obtain any previous location data from a geolocator or backpack transmitter, we need to get the device in hand. The information obtained from these marking units is vital to the success of the study. Further, if not damaged, the devices can be reused on new birds. Hunters who want to retain one of the marking devices as a "keepsake" will be provided with a "dummy" unit which will be a casing of the real device.

2. Sight record of live birds with color leg bands: If you see colored bands in the field, please report the observation to the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Bird Banding Laboratory. The bands will have a one or three-digit alphanumeric code. These re-sighting records of the colored leg bands is very helpful to the project. 

3. Birds with leg band only, shot or found dead: Report to Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Bird Banding Laboratory

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

Salmon River Shenanigans - Oswego County: Mid-October was quite busy for Region 7 ECOs with the late salmon run luring fishermen to the Salmon River to bag a trophy fish, some with little regard for the law. ECOs Ricardo Grisolini and Rob Howe worked in plainclothes, observing two individuals attempting to take fish by snatching in Pulaski. While surveilling the pair, one of the individuals managed to hook and land a fish. The angler put the fish onto a stringer rather than releasing it as required. As the fishermen prepared to leave the water, the ECOs approached and identified themselves. ECO Grisolini issued the first violator summonses for attempting to take fish by snatching and keeping a foul hooked fish. ECO Howe issued the second angler a summons for attempting to take fish by snatching. The next day, the officers spotted two anglers near the South Trestle Pool foul hook an Atlantic Salmon and a Steelhead. While questioning the subjects, the ECOs determined one was fishing with an expired license. The two fishermen were ticketed for various violations, including possession of foul hooked fish and fishing without a freshwater fishing license. On the same day, ECO Matt Foster responded to a complaint of trespassing on property owned by the Douglaston Salmon Run. The suspect in this case was issued a ticket for trespassing.

Wildland Search: Town of Mendon, Monroe County: On Oct. 25 at 6:45 a.m., Forest Ranger Ryan Wickens was contacted by the Monroe County Fire Bureau to assist with search efforts for a missing 19-year-old female from Honeoye Falls. The young woman was last seen by her parents leaving their residence around 9:30 p.m., the previous evening without shoes or a coat. Forest Rangers Ryan Wickens and Patrick Dormer arrived at the Honeoye Falls Fire Department and assisted with assembling and assigning volunteer crews. Around 10:30 a.m., a volunteer traveling to the search spotted the missing female walking through a field off Sheldon Road near Mendon Ponds Park, a little more than three miles from her residence. The subject was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital for treatment of hypothermia. 

 

TRUMP SIGNS WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT ACT INTO LAW: President Trump has signed the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 – which includes the Water Resources Development Act of 2018 (WRDA) – into law. Thanks in part to advocay of America's boaters and anglers over the past several months, this critical legislation is now on the books.
WRDA includes several of the recreational boating industry’s top water infrastructure priorities. Specifically, this bill authorizes key dredging programs, Everglades restoration projects, the use of new technologies to detect and prevent harmful algal bloom outbreaks, projects to combat aquatic invasive species, and streamlines U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ procedures. Thanks to boaters, anglers and conservationists for being outspoken and active on WRDA. The passage of this bill is a reminder that when we unite as an industry, we can make a difference.

 

HELP FEEDERWATCH SURVEY THE HEALTH & BEHAVIOR OF BACKYARD BIRDS: It’s amazing what we can learn when tens of thousands of eyes are focused on one thing. Those eyes don’t miss much. For more than 30 years, people who feed wild birds have been reporting their observations to Project FeederWatch at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. FeederWatch participants turn their hobby of feeding birds–a hobby more than 50-million strong in North America–into scientific discoveries. Their reports help scientists better understand what happens to birds facing challenges such as climate change, habitat loss, and disease. The 2018-2019 season of FeederWatch kicks off on November 10.

                                                                                                                 Photo by John Adamski
The spread of House Finch eye disease is a clear example of the value of this citizen science project. First reports of the disease came from sharp-eyed FeederWatchers in 1994. The Cornell Lab has been tracking the disease ever since by collecting vital information about sick birds from FeederWatchers. From that data, Cornell Lab scientists know the disease is spreading beyond House Finches.
FeederWatch reports have also been used in scientific studies of bird behavior to create a continental dominance hierarchy–which species displace others for access to feeder food. More data on species interactions will be collected during the 2018-19 season. The graphic shows which of six species is more dominant relative to the others, based on data collected by FeederWatchers. The higher a bird’s score, the more swagger it has at the feeder. Check out the FeederWatch interactive graphic showing dominance relationships for 13 species.
FeederWatch is easy to do and participants tell us they find so much joy in tracking their feeder birds and in making a contribution to science. Participants make two-day counts from November through early April. They can spend as much or as little time as they like collecting data. Even counting birds once or twice all winter is a valuable contribution. But many people count birds more often.
Project FeederWatch is a joint research and education project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada. To join tens of thousands of other FeederWatch participants, sign up online at FeederWatch.org or call the Cornell Lab toll-free at (866) 989-2473. In Canada, contact Bird Studies Canada at (888) 448-2473, toll free.
In return for a participation fee of $18 in the U.S. ($15 for Cornell Lab members) or a donation of any amount in Canada, participants receive the FeederWatch Handbook and Instructions with tips on how to successfully attract birds to feeders, an identification poster of the most common feeder birds, and a calendar. Participants also receive Winter Bird Highlights, an annual summary of FeederWatch findings. Those making a minimum donation of $35 in Canada will receive a subscription to Bird Studies Canada’s magazine, BirdWatch Canada.
(Contact: Pat Leonard, pel27@cornell.edu, (607) 254-2137)

 

GREAT LAKES ACTION AGENDA WORK GROUP MEETINGS: NYSDEC invites interested public to join other regional stakeholders in a basinwide partnership to advance ecosystem-based management (EBM) opportunities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA).  Meeting objectives include:

Share information on funding and resources, key project updates and collaborative opportunities relevant to sub basin work plans.

Discuss progress of EBM demonstration area watersheds and identify next steps.  

Four sub basin work groups provide a unique opportunity to connect, coordinate and collaborate with other groups and agencies working locally and basinwide.

Please join us for one or more of the following meetings:

>Lake Erie Work Group - November 7th, 1:00pm - 4:00pm -- Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, 93 Honorine Dr, Depew, NY 14043

>SW Lake Ontario Work Group - November 8th, 9:00am - 12:00pm -- Watershed Education Center, 5828 Big Tree Rd, Lakeville, NY 14480

>NE Lake Ontario Work Group - November 29th, 1:00pm - 4:00pm -- Potsdam Civic Center Community Room, 38 Main St, Potsdam, NY 13676

>SE Lake Ontario Work Group – November 30th, 10:30am - 2:00pm -- Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation office, 7413 County House Rd. Auburn, NY 13021

All NYS Great Lakes stakeholders are invited to participate -- including environmental orgs, academic institutions, state and federal agencies, local government, individuals and other diverse stakeholder groups (business, health, recreation, planning, etc).

Please let us know if you can make it: RSVP to greatlakes@dec.ny.gov at least one week in advance of the meeting you plan to attend.

Questions or comments -

Lake Erie & SW Lake Ontario Work Groups: Shannon Dougherty, Shannon.Dougherty@dec.ny.gov, 716-851-7070

SE & NE Lake Ontario Work Groups: Emily Sheridan, Emily.Sheridan@dec.ny.gov, 315-785-2382

GL Sub basins

 

 

THIS WEEK’S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)

NOVEMBER 2018
3 - KTBA Bass Club Tournament on Oneida Lake (Stone Cold Open) (7:00 am – 3:00 pm) (Cost: $85.00 boat for Members/$105.00 boat for Non-Members) (For information call Jonathan Bechy 607-761-3037)

3 - Cayuga Lake Wine and Wings Tour at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (12:00 - 3:00 pm) Cayuga Lake is an Audubon designated Important Bird Area because of the incredible number of waterfowl that use the lake during migration seasons.  Hop in our van for an excursion to the north end of the lake where up to 30 species of ducks, geese and swans can be seen.  During the tour, we’ll stop at Apple Station Winery for wine tastings and learn how agriculture and wildlife thrive side by side. Binoculars and field guides will be provided. Must be 21+. Fee: $20/adult, includes wine tasting fees. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org) 

3 - Montezuma’s Boy Scout Merit Badge: Geology at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (12:00 – 3:00 pm) Boy Scouts are invited to the MAC to complete the requirements for the Geology Merit Badge, through our fun and interactive afternoon program with regional geologist, Fred Hayes. Pre-requisites/pre-registration is required. All scouts must be accompanied by a parent, leader, or chaperone. Fee: $8/Scout (Fee: $8/scout.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org) 

3 - Arcadia Bass Anglers 2018 Die Hard Series Tournament – Conesus Lake at the State Launch on East Lake Road. Also open to Lake fishing. (7:30 am – 3:30 pm) (Entry fee: $60.00) (For information call 585-615-3620 or email aba3620@yahoo.com or go to  www.arcadiabassanglers.com)

3-4 - Little Valley Volunteer Fire Department Sportsmen’s Show at the Cattaraugus County Fair Grounds, 501 Erie Street, Little Valley, NY (Sat. 9:00 am – 4:00 pm/Sun. 9:00am – 3:00 pm) (Cost: $5.00/12 and under free) (150 Tables) Fire Arms, Ammo, Hunting and Fishing Supplies (New & Old ). All federal, state and local firearm ordinances and laws must be obeyed. (For information call Jim Miller 716-938-6928, email lvsc1982@yahoo.com or go to http://www.lvvfd.com)

4 - Fix It 4U Trail Bass Tournament – Keuka Lake Tuff Guy III (6:00 am – 3:00 pm) (For information call Evan Perry 570-662-1247 or go to http://www.fixit4utrail.com/)

10 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Salmon River Chapter Wheelin’ Sportsmen Archery & Crossbow Deer Hunt on Private Property, 2509 State Route 104 Mexico, NY (For information contact William Wilbur 315-440-4351  wwilbur551@hotmail.com)

6 - Great Lakes Educator Workshop Series - Project Learning Tree

at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (9:00 am – 3:30 pm) Discover activities designed to meet new NYSSLS requirements. Anyone who works with kids is welcome! Attend at least three workshops and receive one free in-school program for your classroom or after school program. For educators of students in grades PreK-8. (6 CTLE hours provided)  (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

7 - Montezuma’s Home School Nature Series: Geology (Ages 11 – 15) at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (1:00 – 4:00 pm) Knowing what’s under the ground is as important as knowing what’s on it.  Students will learn how rocks can tell us about our past, and how they formed our region. Led by regional geologist, Fred Hayes, students will get hands-on opportunities to learn about rocks and our unique geological history. PRE-REGISTRTATION and PAYMENT are required. (Fee: $8/student) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org) 

7 - Great Lakes Action Agenda Work Group Meeting - Lake Erie Work Group at Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, 93 Honorine Dr, Depew, NY. (1:00 - 4:00 pm) NYSDEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a basinwide partnership to advance ecosystem-based management (EBM) opportunities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA).  Meeting objectives include: Share information on funding and resources, key project updates and collaborative opportunities relevant to sub basin work plans and discuss progress of EBM demonstration area watersheds and identify next steps. (For information contact Shannon Dougherty at 716-851-7070 or email Shannon.Dougherty@dec.ny.gov)  

8 -  Great Lakes Action Agenda Work Group Meeting - SW Lake Ontario Work Group at the Watershed Education Center, 5828 Big Tree Rd, Lakeville, NY (9:00 am - 12:00 pm) NYSDEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a basinwide partnership to advance ecosystem-based management (EBM) opportunities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA).  Meeting objectives include: Share information on funding and resources, key project updates and collaborative opportunities relevant to sub basin work plans and discuss progress of EBM demonstration area watersheds and identify next steps. (For information contact Shannon Dougherty at 716-851-7070 or email Shannon.Dougherty@dec.ny.gov)

8 -  Junior Home School Nature Series: Conserving Wildlife (Ages 5-10) at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (10:00 am – 12:00 pm) It is fun to play in the great outdoors but are our actions hurting wildlife and their habitats? Join us for hands-on demonstrations to learn how to enjoy nature while protecting wildlife and the places they need to survive. PRE-REGISTRTATION and PAYMENT are required.  (Fee: $8/student) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org) 

10 - Natural Products Workshop at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am) Learn how to make natural cleaning and beauty products, which make great holiday gifts. Make a natural cleaner or lip balm to take home. (Materials fee: $7/$5 for Friends members.) (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

10 - Hooray for the Hibernators! beginning at The Portville Free Library, 1 North Main Street, Portville, New York 14770 and concluding at Pfeiffer Nature Center, Lillibridge Preserve, 1974 Lillibridge Road, Portville, NY (10:30 am – 12:30 pm) Fall is here and many of our woodland friends are checking their calendars to find that their time of rest is soon upon them. As we know, hibernation is a way for some animals to make it through the cold months of winter by conserving energy when food is scarce. Some of these animals put on lots of weight in the fall so they can live off of their fat reserves through the winter while others store food and wake up for a wi