Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Information Meeting, June 30 in Spafford

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, an invasive insect that infects and can kill hemlock trees, has been in southern Cayuga County since at least 2012 and was recent confirmed on hemlocks in the Town of Niles.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County is hosting a public forum to discuss Hemlock Woolly Adelgid and its impacts on our forests and watershed.

6 – 8 pm, Monday, June 30, 2014
Spafford Town Hall

More information from CCE Onondaga online:

Hemlock branch infected with Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants from U.S. Forest Service

The United States Forest Service has announced a grant funding opportunity for urban forestry projects in the Great Lakes Basin. Organizations active in the watershed of the Great Lakes, including Towns, Villages, and non-profits, are eligible to apply for projects to:

  • Restore urban and community forests ($120,000 total available)
  • Mitigate emerald ash borer impacts ($1,000,000 total available)
  • Reduce toxic substances in brownfield sites ($1,200,000 total available)
  • Develop ecosystem service markets ($100,000 total available)

For more information, visit the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) program webpage at:

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Conservation Easement Workshop, June 11 at Montezuma NWR

Having trouble deciding how to conserve the lands and waters you own? Are you looking to preserve your family land for future generations, but are unsure of your options?

The Finger Lakes Land Trust is hosting a conservation easement workshop in the Visitor Center at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge (MNWR) on Wednesday, June 11 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

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Recycle Residential Tires! Tire Round-Up June 21

Tire Round-Up for Cayuga County Residents

8:30 am – 12 noon, Saturday, June 21, 2014
Natural Resource Center, 7413 County House Road, Auburn, New York

Recycle your old tires.

  • Up to 40 tires per household.
  • Tires on and off rims are accepted.

$1.00 per tire up to 30 inch height (outside diameter).
$5.00 per tire 31 to 36 inch height (outside diameter).

No businesses please!
Are you a farm or business with excess tires? Please contact CCE of Cayuga County at (315) 255-1163.

For more information, call (315) 255-1183 or email cayuga@cornell.edu.

Sponsored by:
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County
Cayuga Department of Planning & Economic Development
Cayuga County Soil & Water Conservation District
Cayuga Recycles: Cayuga County Solid Waste Management Department

Cayuga Recycles

Earth Week “Electronics Plus” Collection, May 31 at BOCES

Earth Week “Electronics Plus” Collection Event

9:00 am to 2:00 pm, Saturday, May 31, 2014
Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES, 1879 West Genesee Street Road


  • Computer Equipment
  • Fluorescent Light Bulbs
  • Typewriters
  • Video Game Systems
  • Small Freon Appliance (40 pound limit)
  • Button Cell Batteries (e.g. Hearing Aid Batteries)
  • Propane Tanks
  • Universal Power Supplies
  • Cell Phones
  • Toner/Ink Cartridges
  • Televisions

Funding powered by: Cayuga County & Nucor Steel

More info:
(315) 255-1183


Cayuga Recycles

Bear Swamp State Forest Nature Walk May 18

Nature Walk at Bear Swamp State Forest

2 pm, Sunday, May 18, 2014
Bear Swamp State Forest, Cayuga County

Join Peter Harrity, Lime Hollow Nature Center’s Associate Director, to learn about the birds, flowers and other natural wonders at Bear Swamp State Forest.


From Homer, take Route 41 north to Route 41A north. About a 1/3 mile north of the village of Sempronius turn right on to Iowa Road. Drive approximately 1.5 miles on Iowa Road until it tees with Bear Swamp Road. Turn left onto Bear Swamp Road and dive 1/4 mile to gravel parking lot on right. Call (607) 275-9487 for more directions.

NYS DEC to Host Webinars on New Environmental Assesment Forms (EAF)

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will be hosting a series of web seminars online in April and May to instruct government agencies and the public on how to use the streamlined and revised Environmental Assessment Forms (EAF).

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Good-bye to Chemical Hazards

Chemical Collection Safely Completed

Cayuga County held its 14th household hazardous chemical collection event on Saturday October 26th.

Starting at 8 AM, a staff of nearly 30 from two contractors and two County agencies accepted a wide assortment of chemicals from about 274 vehicles. The chemicals were all sorted, drummed, loaded, manifested and safely removed from the site by 2:30 in the afternoon. After the hours of what looks like chaos at times, it is always good to see the empty tent in the middle of the vacant parking lot at the end of the day.

HHW13 end of day

Two hours after the event… 8 drums of water holding down the tent, and everything else is packed and gone

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Wildlife survey at Owasco Flats

Spotted salamander oct 5 2013

Spotted Salamander oct 5 2013

Water snake oct 5 2013

Northern Water Snake oct 5 2013

On Saturday, October 5th, the Herpetology class from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry spent five hours searching for salamanders, frogs, snakes and other reptiles on some of the public lands at the NW corner of the Owasco Flats in Venice and Moravia.

The day included exploring the County-owned woodlands west of the Flats. This area was suspected to be good salamander habitat, which was confirmed that day.

That afternoon, around 6 acres of the woodlands was explored by ESF Professor Jim Arrigoni, 6 students and three local volunteers for 2 hours. Here are the species found in the afternoon and the numbers of each:

Red Back salamanders            33
Northern Dusky salamanders    12    
Alleghany Dusky salamanders   ?     2 or 3, see below
Dusky salamanders                 19    (mostly northerns)
Spotted salamanders               11
N. Two-lined salamanders          2
N. Spring Peepers                    13
Gray Treefrogs                        2

Totals… 77 salamanders and 15 frogs in 2 hours.

At the same time, a smaller group was exploring the flatter parts of the Flats via the Loop Trail… They saw mainly frogs, mostly Greens and Leopards.

Live snakes and turtles completely evaded the group for 5 hours, only to be seen by a photographer that happened by the site just before we finished. The photo at the right was taken that day.

It was a beautiful October day, but a lot of reptiles and amphibians are hard to observe in the fall. Plans are being made to repeat the fieldwork in the spring and summer, so let me know if you’d like to join us next time!

I don’t have the field report from the other afternoon group yet, but the preliminary species list for the day includes…

Red Back salamanders
Northern Dusky salamanders
Allegheny Dusky salamanders
Spotted salamanders
N. Two-lined salamanders
N. Slimy salamander ##
N. Spring Peepers
Gray Treefrogs
Green frogs (Flats)
N. Leopard frogs (Flats)
Pickerel frog (Route 38, deceased) ##
N. Water Snakes (photographer’s find plus 2 on Route 38, deceased)

Two of these are new confirmed sightings within the Moravia USGS quadrangle (##), which is how species are normally tracked and mapped. The original 10 years of mostly volunteer observations that went into the 1999 NYS Herp Atlas only found 22 species in the entire Moravia quad (which is larger than the Flats and includes south to the Locke/Groton line)… With species added and confirmed in the last 13-14 years, including 2 Saturday, that is now up to 27-28…

Finding 12 species of herps in 5 hours of fieldwork in October is not bad, especially when 2 are new species!

Why is this important? Well, only one USGS quadrangle North or West of the Catskills had 30 or more species in the original NYS Herp Atlas (1 in about 800). With a little more field work, the Flats area will be confirmed as being one of the best habitats for amphibians and reptiles in all of western, central and northern New York!

Bruce Natale

Cayuga County Planning

PS on 11/6… I have been to the Flats several times since 10/5, and keep finding the snakes that eluded us during the “salamander hunt.”  Today I saw a garter snake and a red-bellied snake, plus a spring peeper, in November! That’s two more species, bringing the total to 14 species in 4.5 weeks (without any turtles or toads…)…