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Environment

The northern part of  Tifft Nature Preserve on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor has a different look. Just last year it was overrun by acres of invasive buckthorn shrubs. Now, saplings of swamp white oaks, American sycamores, silver maples and other native trees and shrubs grow on the land. It’s part of a $147,000, multiyear project that’s creating native habitat for the ra…

Environment

The destructive European cherry fruit fly was found for the first time in the United States last year on wild honeysuckle plants and cherry trees along the Niagara River. So the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is back in Niagara County this spring surveying for the pest. The service said it will place traps designed to capture…

Environment

A tunnel collapse at the site of Tonawanda Coke may result in increased risks for environmental toxins in the surrounding community, the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York said today. Brian Borncamp, a Clean Air spokesman, said the organization received a call earlier today from a former employee at Tonawanda Coke who said that a waste heat tunnel at the River Road…

Environment

The draining of Como Park Lake earlier this week signals the first phase of a remediation that will include sediment testing and the replacement of two dam gates that regulate the flow of water. Residents who live near Como Park Lake in the Village of Lancaster have watched the steady decline of the manmade lake that once teemed with activity. They see the current em…

Environment

A national nonprofit conservation group petitioned the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service on Monday to list the lake sturgeon as a threatened or endangered species. In its 220-page petition, the Center for Biological Diversity requested the federal designation, citing a 99 percent decline in lake sturgeon populations over the last century due to overfishing, dam construction…

Environment

The abundance of lake trout in Lake Erie might lead you to believe the native fish thrive around here. A state Department of Environmental Conservation survey showed a 30 percent increase from 2016 to 2017. There’s a catch. Lake trout haven’t reproduced in Lake Erie in decades. So, where are they all coming from? Government agencies stock the lake every spri…

Environment

There's another invasive pest to keep an eye out for, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The spotted lanternfly, an invasive species from Asia, feeds on dozens of plants, including tree-of-heaven, maples, grapevines and hops, officials said. The DEC and state Department of Agriculture and Markets confirmed that a single dead spotted lant…

Business

A few dozen Labatt USA employees are getting dirty hands working with Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper. They're fishing for microplastics in area creeks and streams. A pilot project developed by Waterkeeper aims to gauge pollution this summer at 10 spots around the Buffalo area. “It’s a much needed data-set that we don’t have locally,” said Jill Jedlicka, Waterkeeper’s…

Environment

The Wheatfield Town Board voted unanimously Monday night to begin an environmental review of a proposed 23-home subdivision a half-mile north of the old Niagara Sanitation landfill, which once held toxic waste transferred from Love Canal. The town Planning Board has yet to vote on the Aubrey Way subdivision, first proposed in 2015 by Robert Weaver, owner of Bob Weaver M…

Environment

The Western New York Land Conservancy's "Restore the Gorge" plan for the Niagara River Gorge will be assisted with a $25,000 New York State Great Lakes Action Grant, announced Friday by the Department of Environmental Conservation. Measures to control non-native invasive plants in wetlands and adjoining areas will add to the Conservancy's larger multi-year effort to res…

Environment

Lake Ontario has been rising this spring, as usual, but as of Friday, water levels were 17 inches below those that caused significant flooding and erosion last year. The International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence Board, which controls lake outflows, has reduced lake outflows four times since April 28 to reduce flooding risks along the St. Lawrence River. "Flow reduction…

Construction and Growth

Ruth Boczar paid $18 a week for a family cabin on Allegany State Park's Buffalo Trail in 1957. Back then, camping for Boczar's family meant pumping and boiling water and using an old Coleman stove to cook. Today, the 65,000-acre state park in Cattaraugus County looks a lot different. The 97-year-old park this season will add mountain bike trails and two "ninja" playg…

Environment

In mid-March, wildlife biologists from the state Department of Environmental Conservation rousted the den of a dormant mother bear and her three newborn cubs, and tagged them in the name of science. http://buffalonews.com/2018/03/17/into-the-bears-den-biologists-check-out-mother-bear-and-her-three-cubs/ Thanks to a trail camera they attached to a tree near the den be…

Environment

Most little piggies go to market. But Jack and Trevor stayed home, for quite a long time. This week, the Yorkshire male pig siblings were the toast of Don Spoth's farm in Amherst. Each turned the ripe age of 11. That's the equivalent of about 107 in human years. The breed is known for its meat on American farms. But Jack and Trevor escaped that fate on May 1, 2007 – …