Author: Mike
• Thursday, January 09th, 2014

This event has been cancelled due to poor conditions. There is no “snow” date. Try again next year!

DRYDEN NY - On Saturday, January 19, 2014, the Cayuga Nordic Ski Club will hold its annual 10k ski race at Hammond Hill State Forest. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has approved this race and course grooming under a Temporary Revocable Permit. The trails will not be officially closed, but non-racers are asked to preserve the set tracks, yield the trail to racers as they pass, and to follow instructions of course marshals. Cayuga Nordic Ski Club. Sunday, January 19th. Annual 10k Ski Race at Hammond Hill

A map of the race course is here (same as previous years).

Racing will begin at 10:30 AM and all racers are expected to be off the course by 1:00 PM.

The main race will be a 10k Empire State Games qualifier. The general public is invited to participate in a 5k citizens’ race and a 1k kids’ race.

Details and on-line registration are at

Day-of registration is from 8:30 to 10:00AM on January 19.

Thanks for your cooperation on the trails and we hope to see you there on January 19.

Cayuga Nordic Ski Club. Sunday, January 19th. Annual 10k Ski Race at Hammond Hill

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Author: Mike
• Monday, November 11th, 2013

Reminder: Deer hunting season in our area with guns, also known as “regular season” starts Saturday November 16th 2013 and ends Sunday December 8th 2013. Deer hunting continues after that with primitive weapons (archery and black powder). See NYS DEC website link below for exact dates on that. Please; whether you hunt, bike, hike or play: wear fluorescent neon colors (like “hunter orange” or “biker neon yellow”) so we can all see each other. The hunters in our area have an excellent safety record … but (for example) it is just as scary for them to think they hear a deer tromping through the woods only to discover it is a naive hiker wearing brown. So; wear neon! Oh and YES! hunting is permitted at Hammond Hill and Shindagin Hollow and generally all similar NYS forests. Deer hunting is not allowed after sunset. Regulations are stricter in areas designated “parks” such as  Treman or Buttermilk for example. Here is DEC’s web page with hunting dates:

There is a special deer hunting season closer to Ithaca in January 2014. A lot of people are asking about it. Here is the link again. There is a very detailed map, updated for 2014 and full details at this link.

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Author: Mike
• Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Tompkins County will be updating its 2004 Comprehensive Plan by 2014, and needs your input to help develop the scope of the Plan. Please share your ideas through a brief online survey or contact the Tompkins County Planning Department at 607-274-5560 if you would like a paper copy.

Online Kickoff Survey:

Comprehensive Plan Update Website:
Questions/hard copies: please call 607-274-5560 or email

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Author: Guest
• Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

From Richard Pancoe:

Yesterday a couple of people approached our Operations  that were preparing to mow the roadsides, asking that we not mow because of the black berries.  The crew and equipment are there to do some long neglected roadside mowing - maintenance. They will be mowing Red Man Run PFAR (public forest access road) back to the tree line and Canaan Hill back two widths of mower  swaths, essentially mowing  the road side and ditch line of heavy vegetation.

According to good maintenance standards the roadside should be mowed at least once every three years with annually mowing being ideal to favor the establishment of grasses.  We are not looking to maintain grasses along our roadside, but keeping them safe and open for public vehicular traffic. The Canaan Hill PFAR has not been mowed in the seven growing seasons I have been in the district. The vegetation is now into the road and with an ice storm will be in the road. And because of having to mow this advanced growth, the mowing will look rougher for awhile.  Now that the Department has some appropriate equipment for roadside brush mowing we hope to be on a more appropriate schedule of roadside mowing.

We can not schedule around the black berry season. The road maintenance project started with DEC PFARs to the south and west and working their way north and east traveling from forest to forest. Trucking costs and available staffing are at a premium and we absolutely can not afford to jump around.

The periodic mowing helps to maintain succession favoring sustaining the black berry bushes  along that road. The draft Twin Sheds Unit Management Plan called for maintaining the roads.  We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

Richard Pancoe
Forester 2
1285 Fisher Ave.
Cortland, NY  13045-1090
607-753-3095 Ext. 224

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Author: Guest
• Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Hi Friends-

Love Knows No Bounds is sponsoring another service trip to NYC area (Far Rockaways this time) this weekend May 18-19 to help folks clean up, muck out, throw out and start over.  There are a lot of folks who still need help cleaning and rebuilding, it’s hard to believe that this long after the storm there are still folks in need but it’s true.  Many people weren’t able to get insurance money to start the work.  Occupy Sandy has been working relentlessly since the storm, and will continue to do so.

If you would like to donate $10 or more to the volunteers (like me) at LKNB in order to fund this trip as well as future trips, that would be very much appreciated.  The more money we raise, the more people we will be able to transport to the affected areas to help the residents clean and rebuild.  I will be going this weekend to offer my help.  If you are interested in going in future trips, let me know.

Thank you!
Pam Gueldner

[Pam is a regular participant in BikeSki outings ...]

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Author: Mike
• Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

ITHACA NY - Dinner and Bikes - coming to Ithaca Mon May 13 - Submitted by Tad Brennan: “An old friend of ours is a bicycle activist in Portland, OR, who writes about integrating bikes into urban environments and into modern life.  Elly Blue and her crew–four authors, bloggers, film-makers and chefs–are going to be visiting Ithaca on May 13 and putting on one of their signature events, “Dinner and Bikes,” in which they combine a vegan dinner with some talks about bike activism and a documentary film about the bike scene in Portland. A Dinner and Bikes evening includes a gourmet, vegan and gluten-free buffet dinner prepared by Joshua Ploeg, a presentation about transportation equity and the everyday bicycling movement by Elly Blue, and a near-complete excerpt from Aftermass, Joe Biel’s forthcoming documentary about the history of bicycling in Portland. The event is followed by a book signing with all three presenters, and some time to peruse their traveling bicycle and cooking themed bookshop.” Mon May 13th 6-9 pm St Paul’s Methodist Church community dining room, 402 North Aurora St (entrance on Court). $12-20 sliding scale FULL STORY Their website Ithaca Facebook event

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Author: Mike
• Saturday, April 20th, 2013

This is a common occurrence on the public lands around Tompkins County such as Hammond Hill State Forest. New York State has both spring and fall hunting seasons. The spring season is May 01 - May 31 in 2013 and hours are sunrise until noon (all day in the fall). So, don’t be surprised to see hunters dressed in full camo in the mornings during the month of May. Head-to-toe camouflage helps hunters to stay undetected to the turkeys. More information on the NYS DEC website

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Author: Mike
• Monday, April 08th, 2013

SOURCE: CDC WEBSITE - The Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, is spread through the bite of infected ticks. The blacklegged tick (or deer tick, Ixodes scapularis) spreads the disease in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and north-central United States, and the western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus) spreads the disease on the Pacific Coast.

Ticks can attach to any part of the human body but are often found in hard-to-see areas such as the groin, armpits, and scalp. In most cases, the tick must be attached for 36-48 hours or more before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted.

Most humans are infected through the bites of immature ticks called nymphs. Nymphs are tiny (less than 2 mm) and difficult to see; they feed during the spring and summer months. Adult ticks can also transmit Lyme disease bacteria, but they are much larger and may be more likely to be discovered and removed before they have had time to transmit the bacteria. Adult Ixodes ticks are most active during the cooler months of the year.

All about blacklegged ticks

ticks at different life stages

Relative sizes of several ticks at different life stages. In general, adult ticks are approximately the size of a sesame seed and nymphal ticks are approximately the size of a poppy seed.

For more information….please see the lifecycle of blacklegged ticks

Are there other ways to get Lyme disease?

  • There is no evidence that Lyme disease is transmitted from person-to-person. For example, a person cannot get infected from touching, kissing or having sex with a person who has Lyme disease.
  • Lyme disease acquired during pregnancy may lead to infection of the placenta and possible stillbirth; however, no negative effects on the fetus have been found when the mother receives appropriate antibiotic treatment. There are no reports of Lyme disease transmission from breast milk.
  • Although no cases of Lyme disease have been linked to blood transfusion, scientists have found that the Lyme disease bacteria can live in blood that is stored for donation. Individuals being treated for Lyme disease with an antibiotic should not donate blood. Individuals who have completed antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease may be considered as potential blood donors. Information on the current criteria for blood donation is available on the Red Cross website External Web Site Icon.
  • Although dogs and cats can get Lyme disease, there is no evidence that they spread the disease directly to their owners. However, pets can bring infected ticks into your home or yard. Consider protecting your pet, and possibly yourself, through the use of tick control products for animals.
  • You will not get Lyme disease from eating venison or squirrel meat, but in keeping with general food safety principles meat should always be cooked thoroughly. Note that hunting and dressing deer or squirrels may bring you into close contact with infected ticks.
  • There is no credible evidence that Lyme disease can be transmitted through air, food, water, or from the bites of mosquitoes, flies, fleas, or lice.
  • Ticks not known to transmit Lyme disease include Lone star ticks (Amblyomma americanum), the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), the Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni), and the brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus).
Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Bacterial Diseases Branch
    Foothills Campus
    Fort Collins, CO 80521
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
  • Contact CDC–INFO
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Category: Announcements  | Tags:  | 2 Comments
Author: Guest
• Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Written comments will be accepted until April 7, 2013. Please be sure and read the comments on this article.

Dear State Forest Stakeholder:

I am pleased to announce that the Twin Sheds Draft Unit Management Plan, which covers both the Hammond Hill and Yellow Barn State Forests, has been completed and is available on the web at: You may recall that a public meeting was held at Tompkins-Cortland Community College on February 11, 2010 at the beginning of the planning process. I’ve attached the comment summary from that meeting:

Please see the new public meeting notice below.


WHEN: Thursday, March 7, 2013, from 3:30 pm to 5:45 pm, and 6:30 pm to 8:45 pm

WHERE: At the Tompkins-Cortland Community College Forum Room, located at 170 North St., Dryden, New York. Directions to Tompkins-Cortland Community College are available at the following link:

WHAT: To invite and accept public feedback on the Draft Twin Sheds UMP. The draft plan is posted on the DEC’s website at A limited number of copies of the plan are available on compact disk (CD). Please contact the DEC Cortland Lands and Forests office at (607) 753-3095 ext. 217 to request a copy. Two separate public sessions will be held; the first  will be held from 3:30 pm to 5:45 pm; the second  session will be held from 6:30 pm to 8:45 pm.  The first half hour of each session will be an open house format which provides time for the public to informally discuss the draft plan with DEC Lands and Forest  staff.  Beginning at 4 and 7 pm, respectively, DEC  staff will briefly present highlights of the draft plan.  Following the presentation, the public will have an opportunity to comment on the plan. Those unable  to attend the meeting are invited to submit comments to the DEC by mail to:  NYSDEC, Division of Lands and Forests, Attn: John Clancy, 1285 Fisher Avenue, Cortland,  New York, 13045- 1090, or by email  to: Written comments will be accepted until April 7, 2013.

WHY: The Twin Sheds Draft Unit Management Plan was developed to address short and long term state forest land management needs, values and opportunities.

John M. Clancy
Senior Forester, Region 7
NYS DEC Division of Lands and Forests
Bureau of State Land Management
1285 Fisher Ave.
Cortland, New York  13045
(607) 753-3095 or 800-388-8244 ext. 258
FAX:  (607) 753-8532
B.S., M.B.A., Society of American Foresters CF
Serving Since 1991
- Visit the DEC Web Site at:
- DEC Division of Lands and Forests Web Site at:
- DEC Region 7 Web Site at:

- Strategic Plan for State Forest Management
- New York State Conservationist Magazine
Laws change; people die; the land remains.

- Abraham Lincoln

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Author: Mike
• Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

ITHACA NY - Cornell Plantations and the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University are organizing a workshop aimed at training volunteers to identify and report new hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) infestations. This newly arrived invasive insect pest threatens eastern hemlock trees and the biodiversity they support, causing a cascade of environmental changes for some amphibians, fish, invertebrates, and plants in response to the increased light and warmer temperatures. Hemlock woolly adelgids were first reported in the central Finger Lakes region in mid-2008, but now inhabit dozens of local sites. Early detection of new sites is a high priority, and local conservation groups are organizing volunteer surveys as a critical first step in managing this devastating invasive species.

The workshops will feature a presentation by Mark Whitmore on the adelgid’s biology and the threat it poses to local hemlock forests. Participants will visit Beebe Lake to observe hemlock woolly adelgids first-hand and gain experience in detection, monitoring, and reporting protocols. Participants will also have the opportunity to volunteer in the “Adopt-a-Hemlock” program to conduct surveys and report new infestations in local hemlock forests. The workshop will be held on Saturday, March 30h from 1:00 – 3:00 PM at Plantations’ Nevin Welcome Center in the Botanical Garden, located at One Plantations Road on the Cornell campus.

Pre-registration is not required. For more information on hemlock woolly adelgid or to report new occurrences, visit

Cornell Plantations is the botanical gardens, arboretum, and natural areas of Cornell University, and is a member of Ithaca’s Discovery Trail partnership. Plantations is open to the public year-round, free of charge, during daylight hours. The Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11am to 4pm. For more information call 607-255-2400, visit and find us on Facebook at


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Author: Mike
• Saturday, March 02nd, 2013

I am moving the “snow depth pics” … SNOW DEPTH PICS look at most recent (last image on last page of thumbnails) for most current depth image This “snow depth pics” is the album built up from the conditions report on the Bikeski email list. The most current snow depth photo will be the last one: the lower right image on the last page of thumbnails. Sometimes I will link directly to that image in the email newsletter.

Also I put all the outing pics together (about 12 years worth!) here. Check it out!

To subscribe to the outdoor newsletter go here and tell me who you are (first and last name please).

PHOTO GALLERIES PICS :: Community Photo Albums - It’s OK to download individual photos Photo Samples - more photos at links below ...for personal use such as Facebook, but please leave the watermark intact if there is one. If you need higher resolution images, email me, I can sell you non-watermarked high resolution verisons for a reasonable fee. I also may have more of your group. I only tend to post about a third of the images on the web albums. I am available for hire for photographing events or for private photo shoots for webpages, portraits and so forth. Thanks! -Mike :-)

at Cornell Plantations [ 2012 ]
Judy’s Day Cornell Plantations
2011 ]2009 ]2007 ]2005 ]2004 ]
Ithaca Festival Parade 2012 ]2011 ]2010 ]2009 ]2008 ]2007 ]2006 ][ 2004 ]
Other Photo Albums of Michael’s on [ Picasa ][ Google+ ][ Facebook ]
Some assorted, very nice images: mostly Town of Caroline [ Various Photographs ]
Outdoor related Bikeski Group [ Snow Depth ][ Group Outings ]

Thanks! -Mike :-)

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Author: Mike
• Monday, January 07th, 2013

We had a brief discussion about groomed ski trails on the CNSC list serve today. I am NOT a supporter of groomed trails on public lands. Here is my (modified) response to that discussion, briefly explaining why. (1st indent following).  Scroll down for info on ski race.

“I don’t think ski-season grooming of trails with motorized equipment is appropriate in a public forest like Hammond Hill, for a variety of reasons.  It is important to remember these are not “ski trails” but multi-use non-motorized recreational trails for all year round use in a beautiful natural area. Grooming a multi-use trail perpetuates a feeling of exclusionary “skiers only” access on a non-motorized multi-use trail system.

In a multi-use area like HH, skiers expecting nicely groomed trails could be upset by snowshoes, kids, dogs and beginner adult skiers. It also, often enough, requires widening the trails for grooming equipment access, which degrades the summertime single-track experience for cycling, hiking, running and so forth. Widening the trails also opens things up for potential unauthorized motorized access in the summer months. For these reasons alone, grooming is best kept on private lands, where the land owners can collect a fee to cover costs of fuel and maintenance and can legally limit access to the private groomed trails.

Other choices less traveled: There are literally hundreds of miles of seldom used NYS DEC and Federally sanctioned recreational trails in the Finger Lakes area covering a land area of 100,000 plus acres (Hammond Hill is only about 3500 acres) If folks want less traveled trails, they should explore other forests. There are many maps available for other forests on the internet. (Examples, , ) Go ski: go have fun. If you need groomed trails, go to a private resort and pay the deserved fee for that service.” -Mike L

Also … I need to give folks who are on this bikeski list but not on the other outdoor lists a heads up! The Cayuga Nordic Ski Club is hosting a race this weekend at Hammond Hill (Jan 12th Sat morning). This event happens once a year only if snow conditions permit. The racers have a one time special permit to groom tracks for this event. If you are not racing, please avoid the groomed tracks the night before and the morning of the race :-) Here is a map of the race course Read the full description below.

Oh, and here is part of the response on that same grooming thread from Jack Rueckheim, CNSC co-president and race coordinator. (I am passing on mostly the part of the letter relevant to grooming and the upcoming race).

“OK, I guess I’ll chime in here.  The whole discussion of grooming the trails on a regular basis is probably a moot point, since it would have to be done under a DEC permit.  CNSC obtains a permit each year to groom specific trails for its race.  The permit is good for only 1-2 days before the race and race day.  They are not likely to grant a permit for season-long grooming–because they [at Hammond Hill] are multi-use trails.

Sometimes its hard to accept the condition in which other types of users leave the trails, but we do have to tolerate the other users (with the exception of motorized vehicles).  But some of these other users, for example, the equestrians, put big money and work into trail work at HH so its hard to complain about horsehoof postholes.  That being said, it would be considerate to knock the exhaust off the trail.

All that being said, the CNSC WILL be using a snowmobile later this week to groom certain trails for Saturday’s race if all goes according to plan. This is through a DEC permit.  It’ll probably be done late Friday with the race going off on Saturday morning, so the presence of the snowmobile and the tracks will probably be short-lived.” -Jack R.

Cayuga Classic Ski Race Scheduled for Saturday, January 12, 2013 Here is part of the article from the CNSC website. Full article

On January 12, 2013, the Cayuga Nordic Ski Club will hold its annual 5 and 10k ski races at Hammond Hill State Forest. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has approved this race and course grooming under a Temporary Revocable Permit. The trails will not be officially closed, but non-racers are asked to preserve the set tracks, yield the trail to racers as they pass, and to follow instructions of course marshals. It would really be best for all if the public would use alternate trails at least until all racers have started and then to ski in the same direction as the racers.

Racing will begin at 10:30 AM and all racers are expected to have started by 11 AM and to be off the course by 12:30 PM. The general public is invited to participate in either the 10k Empire State Games Qualifier (open to all), the 5k citizens’ race, the 5k scholastic race, or the 1k kids’ race. Details and on-line registration are at  Day-of registration is from 8:30 to 10:00AM on January 12 at the ski hut. The entry fee for the 10k race will be $25 ($5 refunded if you are a NYSSRA member).  Entry fee for the 5k race will be $20, to cover costs and insurance.

Thanks for your cooperation on the trails and we hope to see you  there on January 12th

Club members (and others!) can volunteer to help or you will be press-ganged.  Your choice.  We need some marshals, car parkers, registration table staffers, and start/finish timers.  Contact Ernie Bayles ( or Jack Rueckheim ( for more information.

Happy New Year,
-Mike :-)

Michael Ludgate

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