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Eric Dresser Wildlife Photography

The Empire State
More than Skyscrapers

Adirondack Mountains
Remote wilderness areas

Wild About New York

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 theMe and my Solo canoe, Moose River 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.

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All photos and content Copyright Eric C. Dresser / Eric Dresser Wildlife Photography.

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