The Muckrace is a “Big Day” birding competition within the Montezuma Wetlands Complex.Teams of some of the best birders as well as novice birders from across New York State and beyond, compete in the 24-hour event to see how many species they can identify. In addition to providing some good fun and excitement, the Muckrace raises money to support avian research and conservation within the Montezuma Wetlands complex.

For more information and registration visit: https://friendsofmontezuma.org/projects-programs/muckrace/

Bats of New York Friday, August 26th 7 PM – 9 PM
To register: https://act.audubon.org/a/bats-new-york
NYSDEC Wildlife Biologist Christina Hoh will be leading us through an educational evening of learning all about the bats that call New York State their home. We’ll learn what they eat if they migrate or hibernate, and that they’re not an animal to be afraid of. The program will begin indoors with a presentation detailing the nine species of bats found in NY. Once darkness falls, we’ll head outside for a short hike and demonstration of some of the technical equipment used to survey different bat species. Bring a flashlight and insect repellent! Long sleeves and pants may be desired as well.
-Fee: $5/child, $10/adult, $30/family.
-Suitable for all ages!
Space is limited and pre-paid online reservations are required.
Call 315-365-3588 or email montezuma@audubon.org with questions.

Audubon continues to take necessary precautions to reduce COVID spread, but no public activity can be 100 percent safe. We ask anyone who is feeling unwell or who has had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 to not participate in any in-person program until the risk for infection has passed.
Program Cancellation/Reimbursement Policy:
If the MAC cancels an event, we will initiate a full reimbursement.
If you need to cancel registration for an event, you must call or email the MAC at (315) 365-3588 or montezuma@audubon.org
If you cancel more than a week before the event, we will initiate a reimbursement minus a 10% administrative fee, or credit you for a future event.
No reimbursements are issued for cancellations received less than a week before the date of the event.
Bats flying at night. Photo: Stuart Anthony/Flickr

CONSERVATION FARM OF THE YEAR 2022

 WHEREAS, Youngman Farms, operated by the Youngman Family, as a fourth generation family-owned and operated farm in the Towns of Butler and Wolcott where the farmstead is located on VanVleck and Smith Roads have been named the 2022 Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Conservation Farm of the Year.  This 450 acre farm (300 owned – 150 rented) was originally started in 1946  by Gordon and Barbara Youngman and is now run by their son Allen and his wife Kimberly, along with their son Shawn and his wife Tasha and their children with extra special assistance from Uncle Art; and

 WHEREAS, Youngman Farms began as a fruit farm, then evolved into a dairy operation before transiting into its current beef operation where they focus on all-natural high quality beef. The farm has between a 225 to 250 head of cattle, which consists of Angus, Hereford, Hereford/Angus crosses and some Charolais. The cattle graze on almost 100 acres of pasture that the animals rotationally graze during the season. The farm strives to produce all of the animal’s feed needs on the farm; and

 WHEREAS, Youngman Family have been working strategically to build an operation that provides quality food for their community while addressing water quality as part of the Wolcott Creek Watershed of Port Bay through active planning, management and implementation of conservation systems which include but are not limited to a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan, Prescribed Rotational Grazing System, Livestock Heavy Use Area Runoff Management Systems, Silage Leachate Control and Treatment System, Access Control/Stream Crossing System and Cover Cropping; and

 WHEREAS, Youngman Farms have continued to be stewards and partners within the agricultural community working with both United States Department of Agriculture and Wayne County Soil & Water Conservation District through the New York State Agriculture Environmental Management Program for crop production and management of other natural resource issues; and

 WHEREAS, the Youngman’s’ are very community oriented family, having used the farm for Pasture Walks and other demonstrations on the conservation practices they have implemented on the farm as well as having a store on the farm to sell their products. They are constantly looking for ways to improve the farm environmentally, maintain sustainability and still be financially viable. Their stewardship and enthusiasm are infectious and have been a joy to work with; now, therefore, be it

 RESOLVED, that the Wayne County Board of Supervisors acknowledges and congratulates the Youngman Family as the 2022 Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Conservation Farm of the Year because of their dedication and commitment to protect and conserve the natural resources within our community through the New York State Agricultural Environmental Management Program. 

The Water Quality remains pretty stable across the County with variable storm events that help to create more “flow” in the system which causes water movement and introduces more oxygen thus helping keep balance in the system with weed growth, fish & wildlife heartiness and algal blooms.   As far as water levels go, Lake Ontario predictions are pretty close to date. Upland streams and tributaries need to remain clear. If there are log jams that completely cross a stream system this can cause other flooding problems during storm events. Try and work out how to remove it by lopping it up or sliding it over to the bank.  However, some limbs or tree top branches in the stream create habitat for wildlife, help keep streams cooler and do help in some instances with bank stabilization and erosion.

Need technical assistance? Visit https://waynecountynysoilandwater.org/request-assistance/

Have a question specific question? Email Lindsey@WayneNYswcd.org or Maxine@WayneNYswcd.org

 

Aquatic Vegetation Control (AVC) is a form of nutrient management that is one of several management techniques used to manage non-point source water pollution that is natural but also impacts a balanced ecosystem for water quality. Selective harvesting invasive species and some high concentrations of water weeds verses letting them die off and fertilize seedbeds within a waterbody does three things for the environment:

      1. Removes nutrients from waterbody in specific areas to prevent high growth of stronger weeds;
  1. Reduces the potential for continuous spread of some highly invasive aquatic weeds like Water Chestnut;
  2. Increases flow from the outlets of streams into the waterbody to allow for regular movement of water thus preventing algal blooms.

There are other benefits to this management technique which include pathways for boaters to navigate into open waters, pathways for fisherman to access weed-beds for better fishing and better ascetics for the community. The District’s Aquatic Vegetation Control program subcontracted by Wayne County, began on June 13th and will provide 1 service to specific areas in 2022 through September 9th. The tentative schedule has been posted but is subject to change based on technical review weekly by the staff for addressing water quality impairments. Further schedule updates can be found on the District’s website.

For additional information on Invasive Species Management and the Aquatic Vegetation Control program please go to visit the AVC Program Webpage

New York State Fishing Access Site’s new floating dock system at Port Bay South, June 2022

Water Quality continues to be a concern due to changing weather, and temperatures, through watershed management. Throughout the summer of 2022 until Columbus Day, District staff will be reviewing water quality and positing updates if there are specific concerns on the waterfronts and how to manage them throughout Wayne County.  Watersheds are the entire area that supplies water to a waterbody. This can potentially make up 1000s of acres of land with various topography, and use.  Water quality update reports will include descriptions based on weather patterns, temperature, what you are seeing in the water, invasive species and local water quality projects.

The District monitors water quality across Wayne County throughout the year and tried to address targeted issues that have been brought up by the communities. One of the positives from the COVID response was the District’s Landowner Assistance Program (LAP forms) and Municipal Assistance Program (MAP forms) that are available online to help target and narrow down issues. This form is fillable and allows the landowner or municipal leader to upload a request and photos in real time from our Website.

This report allows us to see where review is needed. The LAP/MAP program is for technical review by trained technicians. It is not a grant program.  The District staff will review the site through technical maps, permitting needs and water quality considerations and then will follow up with the requestor by email or by phone depending on the initial review findings. On a rare case, there may be a request for an on-site visit. This process may take 2-3 weeks depending on the amount of requests that come in at once.

The District’s Technical Staff is made up of 5 people that have made community water quality their professional career. They focus on the “bigger picture” of watershed management while working to address the water quality impacts of the local community.