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#50577 - 02/20/10 12:22 PM A bullet dodged?
Rickster Offline
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 845
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Over 50 statewide Park closures or service reductions posted this morning by NYS seem to have bypassed Ulster Cty! Even some LI parks are seeing their pools drained. RC

[url=http://nysparks.state.ny.us/newsroom/press-releases/release.aspx?r=776]

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#50578 - 02/20/10 01:58 PM Re: A bullet dodged? [Re: Rickster]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
I remain baffled that a park can't be open if there isn't someone "managing" it. We have all seen trash, etc. in public parks but this can be handled with volunteer groups. What a shame that people would now have to break the law to use their own land for a walk.

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#50581 - 02/20/10 10:42 PM Re: A bullet dodged? [Re: chip]
Rickster Offline
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 845
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
The solution could be as simple as the current practice at Highland Lakes State Park or Goose Pond State Park in Orange County...... No visible management of any kind. Same goes for the Catskill and Adirondack Parks. Dirt parking, a sign or two and lots of people who have lots of fun recreating with minimal facilities. With that model working so well, there should be no reason to close a park entirely. RC

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#50584 - 02/21/10 03:43 AM Re: A bullet dodged? [Re: Rickster]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
Originally Posted By: Rickster
The solution could be as simple as the current practice at Highland Lakes State Park or Goose Pond State Park in Orange County...... No visible management of any kind. Same goes for the Catskill and Adirondack Parks. Dirt parking, a sign or two and lots of people who have lots of fun recreating with minimal facilities. With that model working so well, there should be no reason to close a park entirely. RC


Passive management is fiddling while Rome burns. Closures are the best thing that could happen to many of these parks, especially Minnewaska.

Forest regeneration arrest, ground-nesting songbird habitat and biodiversity loss, and invasive species proliferation are accelerating from super-abundant white-tailed deer eating forest understories to the ground throughout the state parks (not to mention the state). Recreationists - hikers, runners, mountain-bikers, cross-country skiers and climbers - are unwittingly picking up invasives on shoes, clothing, and gear at degraded areas where invasives first strike - parking lots, trailheads, campgrounds, roadsides - spreading them down access corridors - rail trails, carriage roads, hiking trails, footpaths - where it's an easy jump into the overbrowsed understory, or from crag bases up, and onto the crags.

Crags are the thinnest of thin-skinned ecosystems. The Trapps and the Nears are under siege from a deer-resistant native plant called white snakeroot. It's within striking distance of the base of Peterskill. It's even shown up on two guided routes at Skytop, and nowhere else along the crag from top-outs down. Certain native plants that deer won't touch, like hay-scented ferns and snakeroot, start to spread and act like invasives in the absence of less hardy, or more delectable natives. This is what happens when we "ethically cleanse" routes of their native flora, clearing the way for problem plants. We're bringing it in, and where snakeroot is, lichen and spleen-wort and pitch pine - and the critters dependent on them - aren't.

With the parks shut down, now's the perfect time to get a handle on both deer and invasives.

Too bad Minnewaska's off the list, because like the rest of the Gunks, we're accomplices to forest death by herbivore.
_________________________
Shongum ain\'t Indian,
it\'s Shawank-unk.

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#50595 - 02/22/10 06:29 PM Re: A bullet dodged? [Re: yorick]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3764
Loc: Ulster County, NY
Let's just remember, the Catskill and Adirondack Forest Preserves are not parks, even though they saddled with that inappropriate term. Just saying..

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#50596 - 02/22/10 09:40 PM Re: A bullet dodged? [Re: RangerRob]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
As you know, Rob, the Preserve designation is a hopeless artifact.

Parks they'll become when no one addresses the tree-loss, the biodiversity loss, the square miles of stilt grass and ferns because no one at the DEC or PIPC had the courage or the leadership to properly manage deer, or wield fire.

Adirondack Park, Catskill Park, Shawangunk Ridge Park, as in Central Park. Our children's future bereft of living, breathing forests.
_________________________
Shongum ain\'t Indian,
it\'s Shawank-unk.

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#50612 - 02/23/10 03:39 PM Re: A bullet dodged? [Re: yorick]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Big Carnivores Needed! A wolf pack and cougar population would solve a lot of issues but is there enough habitat outside of the Catskills and Dacks to support them?
As for the human contamination, there is obvious change as routes are "gardened" but I also observe very rapid re-covering with lichens on cliff areas that don't get as much traffic. Yorick brings the expert's evidence.
Recreation vs. preservation is THE THEME in the applicable literature and I don't see where either will supplant the other completely, hence there will continue to be change to the environs. Thankfully, I haven't yet made the ultimate find of a lichen that tastes like good beer, so there remains hope.

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#50624 - 02/25/10 12:22 PM Re: A bullet dodged? [Re: chip]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
Cougars don't need the same range as wolf packs, and there's some debate about whether the Daks' private in-holdings make it good habitat for wolves, though such discussion tends to lump subspecies together, and not focus on restoring eastern/Algonquin/red wolves, which are smaller (they hybridized with coyotes) and perhaps better suited to the East than gray wolves.

I'd like to see a study comparing the Daks to northern Minnesota, which, at 3,000, has more than twice as many wolves as all of the West (since Salazar's green-lighting, 400 + wolves have been taken out in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming - go Obama!), and where you don't hear a peep about threatened deer-densities, livestock slaughters, etc.

ME, NH, VT, NY, PA and WV combined have about the same area and population density as CA, which has anywhere from 4,000 - 6,000 cougars. Even as it's now constituted, the cougar has the adaptability to guard and regulate nearly every terrestrial ecosystem in the continental US.

Regarding Recreation vs Preservation, the Daks and Catskills are chartered as "forever wild" forest preserves, and Minnewaska and other PIPC holdings have similar designations. Though considered compatible land uses, preservation has priority. So when recreation begins to degrade habitat, the automatic, responsible management decision would be to limit or temporarily halt recreation while the degraded habitat is recovered, as when Minnewaska closed the big burn area. They just didn't do it long enough.

What needs to happen, what the DEC and PIPC won't do, is implement rotating closures: reduce their deer herds to sustainable numbers and keep them there; wipe out invasives; employ big, rotating prescribed burns (not these 5-10 acre experiments) and keep them closed until the understory recovers above the deer browse-line.

If they don't preserve their holdings, all the effort and resources that went in to protecting, say, the Palmaghatt/Save the Ridge acquisition, will be worthless, because the forest can't regenerate and invasives will consume the understory. But the DEC won't acknowledge the deer problem, let alone do anything about it, nor do they have a fire management policy other than suppression. They don't manage ecosystems.

They're stuck in a game/forest management paradigm that's at least eighty years-old; they're deer, duck, fish and tree farmers.
_________________________
Shongum ain\'t Indian,
it\'s Shawank-unk.

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#51181 - 04/05/10 11:10 PM So... is Peterskill open?? [Re: yorick]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
I think they usually open April 1. Given the recent weather, I can't imagine a delay. But... did they open? Is the threat of NY park closures something to deal with next year?

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