Catskill Digest October 19th 2017

Catskill Digest October 19th 2017

This week on Catskill Digest on WIOX Jeff chats with Cara Cruickshank about her upcoming event, The Halloween Journey.  

Catskill Digest- October 5th 2017

Catskill Digest- October 5th 2017

This week on Catskill Digest on WIOX Moe and Jeff talk upcoming events in the Catskills. 

Be sure to tune in at 9am to catch us live and local on WIOX 91.3fm or streaming at wioxradio.org

Catskill Digest is a weekly show on WIOX radio (91.3FM) hosted by Jeff Senterman, Executive Director of the Catskill Center and Moe Lemire, the Executive Director of the Pine Hill Community Center every Thursday morning from 9 to 10am.

Catskill Digest- September 29th 2017

Catskill Digest- September 29th 2017

This week on Catskill Digest on WIOX Moe and Jeff talk upcoming events in the Catskills. 

Be sure to tune in at 9am to catch us live and local on WIOX 91.3fm or streaming at wioxradio.org

Catskill Digest is a weekly show on WIOX radio (91.3FM) hosted by Jeff Senterman, Executive Director of the Catskill Center and Moe Lemire, the Executive Director of the Pine Hill Community Center every Thursday morning from 9 to 10am.

A Windham Path Streamwalk (with scientists)

On a recent Saturday morning that was balmy and bright down in the valley and downright chilly up in the mountaintop clouds, John Thompson of the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) and Julia Solomon of the Streamside Acquisition Program (SAP) geeked out about all things streamside on a guided walk with intrepid participants who, fortunately, brought plenty of both warm layers and burning questions.

The walk, held at the Windham Path on the Batavia Kill stream, was the first public collaboration between CRISP and SAP, both programs of the Catskill Center.

Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership Coordinator, John Thompson examines a Hemlock

Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership Coordinator, John Thompson examines a Hemlock

CRISP is a cooperative partnership of diverse stakeholders throughout the Catskill region whose mission is to promote education, prevention, early detection, and control of invasive species to limit their impact on the ecosystems and economies of the Catskills. In addition to conducting public outreach and management activities, CRISP supports research on ecological impact and effective controls of invasive species.

SAP is a partnership project between the Catskill Center and New York City to reach a shared goal: protect the streamside, forested lands and floodplains that are essential for maintaining Catskill streams’ excellent water quality.  Through this program, the Catskill Center works with interested landowners in the Schoharie Basin to acquire vacant streamside property at market value for ownership by New York City. The acquired land is then set aside for preservation as natural, forested ‘buffers’ and floodplains, which can help mitigate flood risk, provide wildlife habitat, and offer recreational opportunities, in addition to protecting water quality. 

To understand the potential synergy between these two programs, look no further than to the hemlock woolly adelgid, a nasty insect pest that is threatening hemlock forests throughout the Catskills.

Hemlock forests help protect water quality and provide shade for streamside land year-round, which helps keep our trout waters cool. If Julia sends a letter to the owner of a property with streamside hemlock woods who decides not to sell their land, but wants to know how to care for their streamside property, she can refer them to John, who can train the landowner to help in monitoring for hemlock woolly adelgids and other invasive pests. Conversely, if John has been working with a streamside landowner on invasive projects, and that owner is considering selling their land, John can refer them to Julia to discuss permanent protection options.

Ultimately, both programs work to build awareness of the fact that Catskill streams - and the lands that surround them - are important, vulnerable, and pretty darn amazing. The folks who spent two hours getting muddy while learning about everything from knotweed to milkweed and erosion to easements definitely went home with a deeper appreciation of all those things.

— Julia Solomon

Catskill Digest- September 7th

This week on Catskill Digest on WIOX Moe and Jeff talk hurricanes and upcoming events in the Catskills. 

Be sure to tune in at 9am to catch us live and local on WIOX 91.3fm or streaming at wioxradio.org

Catskill Digest is a weekly show on WIOX radio (91.3FM) hosted by Jeff Senterman, Executive Director of the Catskill Center and Moe Lemire, the Executive Director of the Pine Hill Community Center every Thursday morning from 9 to 10am.

Giant Hogweed Wrap Up

John Thompson of CRISP

This month, the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) team wrapped up their 2017 giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) control season.

CRISP annually partners with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to control giant hogweed plants around the Catskills watershed. CRISP staff respond to reports of giant hogweed in the region, and kill the plant when it occurs. This year CRISP staff responded to 13 infestations, and removed approximately 750 stems of this dangerous invasive over the 3.2 million acres of the CRISP region.

Giant hogweed, native to the Caucasus region of Southern Russia, is a highly dangerous invasive plant. It was intentionally introduced to the United States for garden use, and since the 1900’s, has readily spread across the East and West coasts of the United States. This plant has become notorious around the US for its dangerous sap and immense growth form.

Nico Hogweed.jpg

The sap of giant hogweed is famous for causing extreme photodermatitis. It contains a chemical called furanocoumarin, which binds with DNA in skin. After exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun, cell death occurs, which can be expressed as severe burns and blisters. In rare cases, exposed skin can remain sensitive to the sun in this manner for several years. If it is exposed to the eyes, the sap can also cause blindness.

Treatment for exposure involves cleaning the potentially affected skin as soon as possible with soap and water, and keeping subsequent sun exposure to a minimum for a few days. Seek medical advice as soon as possible if inflammation occurs; it is also possible that prescription steroid creams can help reduce the damage.

H. mantegazzianum grows to be roughly 16 feet tall, with large deeply lobed and jagged leaves up to 5 feet wide, though it can take several years to grow this big. Its flowers grow in a large umbrella shape up to 3 feet in diameter. Young hogweed plants can be confused for a native lookalike in cow parsnip (Heracleum maximum). Luckily, you can tell the two apart in several ways. In addition to giant hogweed leaves and flowers growing much larger than those of cow parsnip, hogweed stems will have significant purple splotching, particularly at the leaf nodes, while cow parsnip will typically have a mostly green stem. Giant hogweed will also have conspicuous, coarse white hairs growing at the leaf nodes and undersides of the leaves, while cow parsnip’s hairs will be much finer.

If you think you have seen giant hogweed, or have questions about the plant, please contact dsnider@catskillcenter.org.