When people throughout the world hear "New York", the
last thing that most would think of is wildlife. Many will instantly conjure
up thoughts of skyscrapers, subways, over population, hustle and bustle. Although
these superlatives may be true for New York City and a few other large cities;
much of New York State's 49,575 square miles is either rural or remote wilderness.
In fact, nearly 53% of the state is covered by forest.
New York lays claim to the Adirondack Mountains located in the northeastern
section of the
state. The Adirondack Park Preserve, created in 1892, consists of approximately
6 million acres, nearly half of which is State owned, and most is forested wilderness.
Carved from glaciers of the ice age this rugged area is blessed with countless
ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams. Known mainly for its scenic beauty and majestic
mountainous back country, it is also an area abundant with wildlife.
The Western and Finger Lakes regions of the state includes a few major cities
with Buffalo and Rochester being the largest. Once outside these cities one
will find miles of rolling hills, forests, patchwork wood lots, vineyards, orchards
and farmland. New York has over 40,000 farms which average over 200 acres per
farm. These farms with their clearings, wood lots, and crops offer prime habitat
for many wild creatures.
The Catskill Mountains of the southeastern section of the state are part of
the Appalachian Mountain Chain. The Catskills are picturesque with large parcels
of timber and many streams forming the Delaware watershed. These waters, rich
in fly fishing history and tradition, are the life line of the region. A short
drive northeast from New York City, Sullivan County of the Catskills is a fantastic
place to view Bald Eagles. From December to March the eagles can be spotted
fishing the above mentioned waters.
My wife, Kathy, and I live a few miles north of Oneida Lake. We are located
in the Tug Hill Plateau region of New York. Tug Hill is a 2,100 square mile,
rural and remote region of New York State located between Lake Ontario and the Adirondacks.
The region is heavily forested and receives the heaviest snowfall in the eastern United States.
One of Tug Hill's most notable characteristics is its relative lack of people.
We have a little over seventy acres
of forest with a small brook, beaver pond, and mixed hardwood and conifer
ridges. Around our home one will find large tracts of swamp,
marsh land, rolling hills, numerous streams and ponds, and large expanses of
timber as well as a few farms . Many nearby areas are owned by NY State and are open for public use.
Most of these State-owned areas are extremely under-used and we have them to
ourselves most the time. The Tug Hill Region has plenty of relatively remote
areas and plenty of wildlife.
These are only generalizations of a few regions of the state. Other regions
include Long Island with hundreds of miles of ocean front, the Thousand Islands
of the St. Lawerence River, the Hudson River, and the Capital region. Each of
these regions have many mini-ecosystems suitable to specific insects, birds,
animals, and plant life. The diversity of habitat throughout the state produces
an attractive home to many wild creatures. Even in the heart of New York City,
wildlife can find refuge in Central Park.