The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will once again have a strong presence at the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, Aug. 22 through Sept. 2, showcasing a new 248-page "New York Wildlife Viewing Guide" and hosting an exhibit on the progress to restore Onondaga Lake.
"DEC and its partners are pleased to highlight activities and programs that provide exciting opportunities for people to enjoy New York's magnificent natural resources," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. "New York has some of the best recreational and wildlife viewing sites in the northeast, and we continue to advance Gov. Cuomo's commitment to enhancing tourism and promoting regional business growth and job creation across New York state."
The new wildlife viewing guide features maps and information on more than 110 New York sites across the state that offer bird watching, nature walks, viewing of unique and rare species and the landscapes where they live. Fairgoers can obtain a free copy of the guide by subscribing to the Conservationist, DEC's award-winning magazine about New York's natural resources and the environment.
A one-year subscription, along with the guide, is $12 during the fair. The regular price for the guide alone is $14.95. Fairgoers can pick up their copy of the "New York Wildlife Viewing Guide" at the DEC Aquarium Building or the New York State Parks Visitors Center, both adjacent to the Chevy Court.
Also new at the fair this year will be a major exhibit on the progress to restore and revitalize Onondaga Lake. "Onondaga Lake: A Fresh Gateway to a New New York" will explain how cleanup efforts by DEC and state and local partners are benefiting the entire region and providing for future economic vitality. The exhibit, which includes more than 3,000 square feet of space, will be located in the Center of Progress Building.
DEC will continue to operate popular exhibits from years past at both the aquarium building and the log cabin building, which will be open daily from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
At the aquarium building, live fish will be on display in large tanks.
Fairgoers can purchase their hunting and fishing licenses every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the aquarium building. A biologist will be available to answer hunting and fishing questions, and sportsmen's education staff will provide information on hunting safety and education classes offered for those seeking a hunting license. The New York Conservation Officer's Association will also be represented, and environmental conservation officers will also be on hand to talk to the public about their work and answer questions pertaining to environmental law.
At the DEC log cabin, the Division of Lands and Forest's Saratoga Tree Nursery will have free tree seedling giveaways daily beginning at 10 a.m. There will also be information on DEC-managed recreational land throughout the state and information on recreational opportunities available, including hiking, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, camping and much more. DEC's recreation office will provide camping brochures and maps and demonstrate how to use DEC's website to access detailed information to plan an outdoor adventure.
Fairgoers can obtain information regarding the emerald ash borer and other invasive species that pose a threat to New York. Staff will be available throughout the day to educate the public about DEC's efforts to control these insects and what one should do if they discover these pests.
Also in the log cabin, the Big Buck Club will have a display and will be available to answer questions. DEC's Watchable Wildlife Program and the New York State Forest Rangers will also have displays on site. In addition, the Finger Lakes Trail Conference, located on the nature trail lean-to that runs behind the log cabin, will offer tips on hiking, camping and exploring the great outdoors.