Parks, Wildlife and Forests


ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Bus tours of the former Seneca Army Depot, are about to get going again. The people taking the tours will likely be looking for a particular attraction…it is the white deer, of course, that have generated so much chatter and photos online in recent years.

Disabilities No Longer A Barrier To Great Lakes

Oct 7, 2017
Veronica Volk, Great Lakes Today

GREAT LAKES TODAY - Julie Cataldo is strapped into a harness as she sits in her wheelchair just a few feet from the edge of the Erie Canal. A hydraulic lift hoists her from the chair and swings her out over the water.

The lift lowers her into a kayak, and its operator adjusts her seat.

This is Cataldo’s second time in a single kayak, and in a few minutes, she’s cruising alone down the Canal near Rochester, N.Y.

Judge rules against Adirondack railroad trail

Sep 29, 2017

A state Supreme Court justice in Franklin County ruled Wednesday that the Cuomo administration's plan to turn a 34-mile-long section of an Adirondack railroad into a multi-use trail was "arbitrary and capricious" and failed to follow numerous state laws.

The state's plan called for removing the rails between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid for a trail corridor that could be used by hikers, bicyclists, snowmobilers and cross-country skiers.

Chris Caya, WBFO

BUFFALO (WBFO) - The Niagara Falls Water Board is being fined by the state over its "black water discharge" near the base of the Falls on July 29. Governor Andrew Cuomo calls the incident inexcusable. 

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) toured the Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Museum in Oswego last week, trying to renew interest and support for making the historic site part of the National Park Service (NPS).

Department of Environmental Conservation


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State biologists are holding public meetings around the state about trout stream management. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO Public Media

(WRVO) The New York State Fair opens its 2017 edition Wednesday. The fair has some new features, fixed some problems from last year and is getting ready for the second part of a major expansion.

Phase one of the fair’s revitalization included a new entryway and larger midway. Phase two will begin after this year’s fair with the creation of a new Expo Center which Acting Director Troy Waffner called the gem of the expansion.

Did Great Lakes Just Get Another Invasive Species?

Aug 15, 2017

(GREAT LAKES TODAY) - A new non-native species has been found in western Lake Erie, the EPA said Monday. It's named Brachionus leydigii. And it's a type of zooplankton, which means it could be food for lots of fish. But the EPA isn't sure whether little ol' B.l. will be harmful -- or helpful -- to the Great Lakes. The agency says there isn't enough scientific evidence to know yet. 

In a long-awaited report, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says new measures are needed to prevent Asian carp from getting into the Great Lakes.

The report says the current defense at the Brandon Road lock in Illinois – an underwater electric barrier – should be beefed up. The Army Corps' recommended plan would add water jets and complex noises – like the underwater recordings of a boat motor.

On Monday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is releasing a study detailing the best ways to prevent Asian carp from getting into the Great Lakes.

A document outlining the study says the current defense – an underwater electric barrier – should be beefed up. The recommended plan would add complex noises – like the underwater recordings of a boat motor.

Sarah Gager / WSKG News


Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Representatives from the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and their 1862 Canal Schooner replica, the Lois McClure, presented white pine and white oak trees to the Village of Fairport Tuesday morning. 

Sarah Gager / WSKG News



Giant Hogweed is an invasive plant that can be dangerous to your health and the environment. New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation has a hotline to call if you think you see the plant. The state even has a Giant Hogweed Control Crew.

Was Asian Carp Near Great Lakes Just A Scare?

Jul 11, 2017

(GREAT LAKES TODAY) There's some good news from Illinois, where an Asian Carp was recently caught just nine miles from Lake Michigan. In two weeks of intensive, follow-up monitoring, no bighead or silver Asian carp were found, a regional monitoring group says.   

NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - New York State officials say that bald eagles are thriving in historic numbers across the state. The DEC is reporting the highest ever number of nesting pairs, 323, since the agency began a restoration effort in 1976. 

Adirondack Council

CANTON (NCPR) - Imagine if your town needed to amend New York's state constitution every time it wanted to straighten a rural road or install a broadband internet line. 

White Deer Tours Return To Seneca Army Depot

Jul 4, 2017

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Under a new agreement reached between Seneca White Deer, Inc. (SWD), and Deer Haven Park, LLC, bus tours of  the world's largest white deer herd will be offered at the former Seneca Army Depot. 

Tiny Varroa Mite Seriously Threatens Honeybees

Jul 3, 2017

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - A tiny mite is believed to be responsible for the loss of 44 percent of New York's honeybee colonies in the last year, according to scientists at Cornell University.

GREAT LAKE TODAY - The National Wildlife Federation issued a statement in response to the recent discovery of an Asian Carp found just a few miles outside of Lake Michigan. 

NY's Black Bear Population Growing, Migrating

Jun 6, 2017
Cornell University

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - According to Cornell University researchers, the black bear population is growing in parts of New York state. Scientists are continuing to track the black bear numbers, and hope to get some help from the public going forward. 

Bald Eagles Face Deadly Threat From Lead Poisoning

Jun 3, 2017
Jim Luvulus, WAMC

GREAT LAKES TODAY - The comeback of the American bald eagle is a success story across the Great Lakes region, and keeping them safe is a high priority for many environmental professionals. But one serious threat to the great raptor is lead poisoning. 

New York State

New York state is expected to break ground this fall on a new environmental education center at Green Lakes State Park in Fayetteville – the second part of an almost $17 million upgrade of the busiest state park in central New York.

Trout Unlimited

The upper part of the Delaware River hosts some of the world’s best trout fishing spots. The river also supports humans – about 16 million people living in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware share the river’s water. 

Payne Horning, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo called it the largest public acquisition of land in central New York in more than 45 years. The state now owns 6,000 acres of land along and around the Salmon River, which is a major economic and tourism asset for Oswego County. 

Monica Sandreczki / WSKG News

It's hard to beat a relaxing day at the park. They're opening for the summer in Chenango and Chemung Counties.

At Dorchester Park in Broome County, Matthew Francis Gawors, Director of Parks, Recreation & Youth Services, is preparing for his first summer heading the department.


ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Wildlife researchers at Cornell University are asking for help from citizen scientists as they try to estimate the current black bear population in New York. 

Cayuga County Worries About Spread Of Hydrilla

May 8, 2017
Ellen Abbott, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - Cayuga County officials want to prevent the spread an invasive species in Cayuga Lake, before it becomes impossible to contain. 

Old Fort Niagara Pummeled By Lake Ontario Flood Waters

May 4, 2017

GREAT LAKES TODAY - Concerns are growing that the historic structures at Old Fort Niagara could be at risk of damage from Lake Ontario's flood waters. The fort is located in New York at the mouth of the Niagara River, where it meets the lake. 

SYRACUSE (WRVO/WXXI) - Residents who live along the shoreline of Lake Ontario have been trying to stay ahead of rising water levels that are threatening their properties. 

Sandbags stacked in Sodus Point, NYCredit Veronica Volk / WXXIEdit | Remove


CANTON (North Country Public Radio) - Two bald eagles died in the North Country this spring after being poisoned with lead. That’s according to a wildlife rehabilitation group in the Lake George area. This comes at a time when there’s a fierce debate over sportsmen’s use of lead ammunition and lead fishing tackle.