In last weekend’s edition of the Highlands Current, the reporting was turned on local Beacon beat reporter Jeff Simms, who normally writes the news for Beacon for the newspaper. His experience landed him front-page treatment. Normally, his own article is in this spot. Last week, however, he himself was in ink (not the ink on his arm, but on the page).
While riding his bike down 9D from Beacon to Cold Spring for their production meeting, Jeff spotted this snapping turtle gradually crossing the street. According to the article, Jeff pulled his bike over and attempted to encourage the turtle to go faster or move away from the road.
May-June is the time for turtles, which are one of 11 native species to New York, to be on the move to lay their eggs in sandy areas or loose soil, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The DEC issued an advisory to motorists to watch out for migrating turtles, who are in decline. "The reptiles lay just one small clutch of eggs each year, which means the loss of a breeding female can have a significant effect on the local turtle population," according to the advisory. Suffice to say, the turtle was on a mission and did not deter.
Jeff’s next move was to call in the professionals - Mark Price - Beacon’s own Director of the Parks and Recreation Department. Together, they moved the turtle by lifting it by either side of its shell, which the DEC recommends if you need to move one (see the DEC's full recommendation on how to move a turtle to safety).
Exciting times for this Tree City! Beacon is an official Tree City, as granted by New York State’s Urban Forestry Program which “fosters comprehensive planning, management and education throughout New York to create a healthy urban and community forest and enhance quality of life,” as stated by their mission.