The County’s rich biological heritage is also due in part to the fact that Columbia County is located in a “transition zone”, meaning that it provides habitat for both southern species preferring warmer climates and northern species preferring cooler climates. In the County’s woodlands you can find species such as Balsam and Poplar typical of northern forests as well as more southern tree species such as flowering dogwood and black walnut. Changes in elevation and topography throughout the county add to its natural diversity, with the steep slopes of Harvey Mountain rising to over 2,000 feet in elevation and the relatively flat fields of Livingston at elevations closer to sea level. CONTINUE READING
The Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC), the Abode of the Message, John and Brenda Adams, the Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth, Darrow School, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) are working on a project to permanently protect 1,310 acres of land in New Lebanon and Canaan. Potential funding cuts have put this wonderful opportunity in jeopardy. CLC is calling on area residents to contact their Federal representatives and tell them to support the Mount Lebanon Forest Legacy Project.
The project area consists of land in and around the Mount Lebanon Shaker Society National Historic Landmark and the adjacent Shaker Swamp. The land includes scenic beauty, important wildlife habitat, and historically significant sites. It also is a potential boost to both the local forestry and tourism economy. The project supports several goals of Canaan’s Strategic Plan and New Lebanon’s Comprehensive Plan, as well as goals articulated at the state and national level.
Two participants with their bat boxes
11 kids came out to Schor Conservation Area on a snowy October Saturday to build bat boxes. Bats are in alarming decline due to decades of unwarranted human fear and persecution, white nose syndrome, and habitat loss. Building bat boxes provides our local bats with roosting habitats. Fun fact: bats are predators of night-flying insects and often eat half of their body weight in a single night.
The Times-Union has a great article about sheep being used to control invasive species and to encourage biodiversity. The program is a partnership between city of Albany, UAlbany and the state Department of Environmental Conservation. CLC will be bringing the program to Columbia County for a demonstration.
Read the article
The connection between diversity and disease is sufficiently clear and widespread that it lends extra importance to efforts to preserve biological diversity around the world.
Felicia Keesing, Associate Professor of Biology, Bard College and author of Impacts of biodiversity on the Emergence and transmission of infectious diseases (Nature, December 2, 2010)
The science is in: the loss of biodiversity leads to an increase in infectious diseases, including Lyme disease and West Nile. When species diversity declines, the animals that remain tend to be good hosts for pathogens. CONTINUE READING