Our network

Urban Wildlife

Senator wants Pine Bush designated as national natural landmark

The Karner Blue Butterfly, which makes its home in the Pine Bush. - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wants to make the Albany Pine Bush Preserve a national natural landmark.

The senator has sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, asking for the designation.

Gillibrand says the Pine Bush, home to the Karner Blue Butterfly, is "a gem of ecological diversity and rare geological landforms."

The U.S. has 596 designated national natural landmarks, including 25 in New York.

Applications avaliable for 2013 Conservancy Small Grant Program

Applications are now available for the 2013 Greenway Conservancy Small Grant Program.

The program helps take care of an area from Manhattan up to Saratoga and Washington Counties.

The funding will help with trail planning, design, construction, rehabilitation and education.

This year, A total of $50,000 is available for matching grants.

For more on the Greenway, please click here.

For more on the National Heritage Area, please click here.

DEC accepting poster contest submissions for 5th graders

DEC accepting poster contest submissions for 5th graders


CAPITAL REGION - The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is now accepting submissions for the annual Arbor Day Poster Contest. Following is more information:

Fifth grade students, especially in science and art, are encouraged to design an original poster depicting the 2013 contest theme, Trees Are Terrific in All Shapes and Sizes.

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said, “Arbor Day is a national observance that celebrates the essential role trees play in our environment. By participating in the annual Arbor Day poster contest, students learn about trees and how they promote a healthy, balanced ecosystem.”

DEC: Killing bear was necessary

ALBANY - It wasn't the typical outcome, but the state Department of Conservation insists it was a prudent decision. In a crowded college campus setting at high noon Thursday, environmental officers felt shooting to kill a black bear was their best option.

It was a three year old black bear that was making its third Capital Region appearance in less than three weeks. Wildlife experts were hoping that tranquilizer darts and relocation efforts would change his migrant behavior pattern, but when that didn't work, they pulled out a shotgun.

It was a combination of basic black bear instincts and sad circumstance that led to the demise of the adventurous creature. During his finals days of freedom, on May 1 the bear was captured in Albany and relocated in Greene County.

DEC kills same bear it caught two weeks ago

ALBANY - The state Department of Environmental Conservation says it has killed a bear on the University at Albany campus.

It's the same one spotted in Albany’s South End two weeks ago and released in the Catskills.

The DEC says the bear came back twice after being tranquilized. So they killed it this time.

Center Square Parking Permits one step closer

We also have an update on plans for permit parking in the city of Albany.

For years, people living in the city have complained about state employees stealing their parking spots.

According to the Times Union, the common council will vote on legislation Monday night to create a new permit parking system.

But lawmakers will wait until next month to designate which streets will have restricted parking.

And it's still not clear when the system will go into effect.


Applications available for DEC Environmental Education Summer Camps

Applications available for DEC Environmental Education Summer Camps

Applications are now posted online for the Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Education Summer Camps.

The DEC Environmental Education Camps offer campers experiences in sportsman education, games, lessons, hands-on activities, swimming, hiking, canoeing and other outdoor activities. Through these activities, campers will learn about forests, water quality, nature and more.

There are four different camps kids can attend, Camp Colby, Camp DeBruce, Camp Rushford and Camp Pack Forest. Campers will participate in discovery groups and will complete six lessons. These lessons include group dynamics, explorations of different habitats and human impacts on the environment.  Science, problem solving, games, journal keeping and wildlife activities are also part of what campers will experience.

Camp starts on July 1, 2012 and goes until August 18, 2012. Campers can attend multiple times during the seven, week-long sessions.