New York State
Ornithological Association

For the birders and birds of the Empire State

ConservationLast Updated 6/23/16

NYSOA Conservation Actions & Awareness
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Birds  |  Camp Hero  |  CARA  |  CatsClimate Change
Communication Towers  |  Conservation Policy 2009  | EPCAL  | Environmental Reviews
Fort Edward Grasslands  |  Gateway Nat Rec Area  | Government Agencies  | NYSDEC Grasslands Landowner Incentive Program
Lead Ammunition  |  Gas Drilling  |  Mercury Emissions  |  Mongaup Visitor Center  |  Montezuma  |  Mowing
Oil&Gas Exploration  |  Raquette Boreal Forest  |  Seneca Army Depot Biofuel  | Shawangunk NWR
Wakely Mtn  |  West Nile Virus  |  Whip-poor-Will  |  Wind Power

 
The sections below are in reverse chronological order based on the most recent action or publication mentioned in each.


Gateway National Recreation Area (1998, 2001, 2007, 2014, 2015)
NEW 3/18/16 Jamaica Bay West Pond Environmental Assessment Sets Stage For Restoration of this Important Bird Habitat (2016):"The NYSOA Conservation Committee provided comments on the EA during the public comment period. The preferred alternative substantially addresses our concerns that the restoration of the West Pond emphasize re-establishment of a freshwater pond to support a diverse biota, including avian, in the Jamaica Bay ecosystem. The alternative will also provide opportunities for the enjoyment of the West Pond by birders and many others. While the Conservation Committee supports the NPS preferred alternative, we do have some concerns that we believe need to be addressed during the design."

Read the article by Seth Ausubel, a member of NYSOA's Conservation Committee, published in the January 2016 issue of our newsletter, New York Birders.

Fort Tilden (2015): In April 2015, NYSOA, with numerous other organizations, co-signed a letter written by the Birders' Coalition for Gateway to Jennifer Nersesian, Superintendent of the Gateway National Recreation Area. The letter contained comments on the Shoreline Resiliency Environmental Assessment for Fort Tilden.

"Ft. Tilden is a favored destination for many thousands of birds and many hundreds of birders. During spring and summer (April – August), the beach provides vital habitat for beach-nesting and migratory shorebirds and loafing seabirds . The area is especially attractive during the fall (August to November) for migrant land birds and raptors. The location of Ft. Tilden on the barrier island serves to concentrate migrating land birds, which orient to the coastline during their migration."

"Our primary concerns and recommendations about rebuilding Shore Road at Fort Tilden address habitat issues for species of greatest conservation need and safety issues for the birders who enjoy them. 
Read the letter co-signed Seth Ausubel on behalf of NYSOA

Jamaica Bay West Pond Restoration following Hurricane Sandy (2014): "Hurricane Sandy roared through coastal New York on October 29, 2012, causing widespread destruction....The National Park Service, which manages the Gateway National Recreation Area of which the wildlife refuge is a part, is currently considering options for the future of the West Pond. Decisions to be made in the near future will determine whether the pond will be restored to a valuable habitat for birds and wildlife, as it once was, or whether it may be lost forever." Read the article by Seth Ausubel, a member of NYSOA's Conservation Committee, published in the July 2014 issue of our newsletter, New York Birders.

Jet Ski Use at Jamaica Bay (2007): In the fall of 2007, comments were sought by the New York State Department of State on a proposal to allow personal watercraft—jet skis—within the Jamaica Bay Unit of the Gateway National Recreation Area. NYSOA sent a letter to the Department of State stating its strong opposition to the proposal, urging denial of the use of personal watercraft in Jamaica Bay:  "To expose the birds and critical environment of Jamaica Bay to personal watercraft is not in keeping with the recognition the Department of State and others have given this area.  Jamaica Bay is already stressed and threatened from a number of sources—certainly another danger should not be added to this fragile ecosystem."

Jamaica Bay Bikepath (1998, 2001): This issue is discussed at length in a separate article.  At the 1998 Annual Meeting, the council of delegates approved a resolution addressing the Bikepath proposal.


Government Agencies - Programs and Plans Affecting Birds and Wildlife

NYS DEC draft 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan:  NYSOA commented with a number of suggestions for improvement. Read the letter sent July 2015.

Article on NYSDEC budget cuts and their impact on bird conservation programs (2012):  This article highlights the impact of budget cuts on the NYS DEC's programs designed to benefit birds.
Read the article written by Andy Mason.

Article on NYSDEC budget cuts and their impact on bird conservation programs (2012):  This article highlights the impact of budget cuts on the NYS DEC's programs designed to benefit birds.
Read the article written by Andy Mason.


Birds

BALD and GOLDEN EAGLES
NEW 6/23/16 Lead Poisoning a Continuing Threat to Eagles, 2016:   The danger and evidence of lead poisoning in eagles and other scavenging birds continues in NY State, with little change in the state's attitude towards the problem.
Read the article by Andy Mason, published in June 2016.
NYS DEC 2015 Bald Eagle Conservation Management Plan:  NYSOA weighed in with its views on various aspects of the plan. Read the letter sent April 2015.
30-Year Eagle Take Permits to Be Issued to Wind Farms by the US Dept. of the Interior, 2014:  NYSOA expressed great concern about this plan in a letter to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. Read the letter sent February 2014.

BLACK SKIMMER
NYS DEC Draft Black Skimmer Conservation Management Plan:  "On balance, we consider the plan to be a serious and responsible approach to maintaining and hopefully improving the presence of Black Skimmer as a breeding species in New York State." Read the letter sent by Andy Mason August 2014.

BICKNELL'S THRUSH
Bicknell's Thrush: An Endangered Species (article by Joan Collins), published in New York Birders, Spring 2013:  "Bicknell's Thrush, the only endemic bird species in the northeastern United States, is facing a whole series of threats to its short-term and long-term survival. This species, which breeds on restricted "sky-island" habitat at the tops of mountains in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, in addition to a few locations in Canada, will likely be listed under the Endangered Species Act in 2013."
Read the article written by Joan Collins.

DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT
The issue of Double-crested Cormorant population management has been ongoing since the 1990s.

An initial article was published on the FNYSBC (now NYSOA) website, devoted to the issue of Double-crested Cormorant population management.  At the 1998 Annual Meeting, the council of delegates approved a resolution regarding control of Double-crested Cormorants. A more general FNYSBC resolution on bird population management was approved in 2003.

In 2004, the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation began a large-scale effort to reduce populations of Double-crested Cormorants in the state. After five years of this management, DEC has succeeded in lowering cormorant populations, although other factors such as disease and natural population fluctuations also have come into play. However, the agency has not presented any evidence of changes to fisheries, or success of other colonial nesting birds as a result of these actions.

Read Andy Mason's new article published in the October 2009 issue of NY Birders for more details.

Gerry Smith wrote an article on cormorant management that was published in the October 2012 issue of NY Birders.

GOLDEN-WINGED and BLUE-WINGED WARBLERS
Range Changes for Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers (article by John Confer), published in New York Birders, October 2013:  The unusual severity of the GWWA decline, much greater than most shrubland species, can not be explained by habitat loss. In fact, areas where GWWA were recently eliminated still have appropriate habitat: in Virginia only 35 of 863 shrub patches supported GWWA (Wilson et al. 2007), and in New England none of 328 census points in shrubland habitat had GWWA, although Blue-winged Warblers (Vermivora pinus) (BWWA), which followed GWWA into New England, were common.
Read the article written by John Confer.

MUTE SWAN
NYSDEC's Draft Mute Swan Management Plan letter from NYSOA's Board of Directors, February 2014:  NYSOA's Board of Directors wrote a letter in support of the plan. "The growing and expanding population of Mute Swans in NY State and beyond has affected native waterfowl through competition for food and nesting habitat, as well as the swans' aggressive nature toward waterfowl, including nesting birds. Other concerns include water contamination and public safety."
Read the letter sent to the DEC February 2014.

RED KNOT
Proposed change of Rufa Red Knot status to "threatened":  NYSOA strongly supports changing the Red Knot's status to "threatened."
"The dramatic decline in Red Knot populations is well-documented, and certainly provides sufficient cause for providing protection under the Endangered Species Act for this bird. There have been alarming drops in Red Knot numbers in New York and neighboring states which harbor critical stop-over feeding areas for this long-distance migrant."
Read the letter sent to the US Fish & Wildlife Service June 2014.

SPRUCE GROUSE
Spruce Grouse Recovery Plan comments (written by Joan Collins), submitted by NYSOA March 2012:  NYSOA questions the wisdom of the draft plan for a number of reasons.
Read the comments written by Joan Collins.

Spruce Grouse Resolution, July 2011: A resolution calling for increased management for Spruce Grouse in the Adirondacks was put forth by Onondaga Audubon Society at NYSOA's Annual Meeting in Batavia on October 6, 2007.  This resolution calls on the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation to allocate sufficient funds to “ . . . finalize and implement the recovery plan for Spruce Grouse in NYS, and to provide funds for monitoring of recovery efforts.”  The resolution further urges The Nature Conservancy to consider active management techniques to ensure that the Spruce Grouse persists on their lands with Spruce Grouse habitat.

MULTIPLE SPECIES
Resolution, 2003: 
This issue is discussed at length in a separate article.  At the 2003 Annual Meeting, the council of delegates approved a resolution addressing this issue.


NYSDEC Landowner Incentive Program (2009, 2014)

"The Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) began as a federally-funded initiative in 2004. In that year, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) received a grant from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to work with private landowners to protect and manage the habitat of at-risk species. Although private land comprises 85% of the area of the state, there had never before been an initiative of this size to work with private landowners on wildlife conservation."

NYSOA first publicized this NYSDEC program in its quarterly newsletter, New York Birders, in July 2009. Grants are being made available to private owners of 10 or more acres of grassland to encourage the preservation of this important habitat for a number of bird species that are in serious decline.

Read the complete 2009 article by Joan Collins for more details.
Read NYSDEC'S 2014 paper by Marcelo J. del Puerto, including maps and species lists.


Cats (2003, 2010, 2011, 2013)

Article by Andy Mason (NYSOA Conservation Chair), January 2013:  Most recently, the Conservation Committee contacted Parks Commissioner Carol Ash in 2010, asking that the agency revisit the feral cat issue. Commissioner Ash replied that surveys of colonies had shown that free-ranging cats were not as much of an issue statewide as previously thought, although there were colonies, particularly on Long Island, that were of particular concern. She stated that steps were taken to remove cats that were in proximity to at-risk species and habitats. Commissioner Ash also said that guidelines for feral cats were in place, but implementation was limited by Parks Office resources.
Read the complete article by Andy Mason and learn what you can do to help.

Article by Stella Miller (president of Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society), July 2011:  It's 10am. Do you know where Fluffy is? If you are like many people, and allow your cat to roam outdoors, there is a distinct possibility that at this
moment, Fluffy is stalking an unaware bird, ready to pounce with deadly accuracy....Hundreds of millions of birds are killed by cats each year. Bottom line, cats are an invasive and alien species and do not belong in our ecosystem.
Read the complete article by Stella Miller.

Feral Cats, 2003 and 2010: Feral cats, as well as domestic house cats, have a significant impact on wild birds and other small wildlife.  Estimates are that free-roaming cats kill hundreds of millions of birds each year.  These include common species such as Robins and Mourning Doves, but also threatened and endangered species such as Piping Plovers and those in decline, including Wood Thrushes and Black-throated Blue Warblers. FNYSBC/NYSOA sent letters to the Commissioner of the NY State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in 2003 and 2010, urging the elimination of feeding stations for feral cats in state parks.  For more information on the impact of outdoor cats on birds, see the American Bird Conservancy's Cats Indoors website.
Read an article on this subject by Andy Mason, published in July 2010.


Environmental Reviews

Environmental Reviews: A Cautionary Tale (article by Andy Mason), published in New York Birders, October 2013:  Lead agencies can choose to ignore the regulators and approve a project, even if the environmental review is clearly inadequate. NYSOA member organizations are the local experts in their areas. If there is a project near you, please investigate. Monitoring the NYSDEC Environmental Notice Bulletin (ENB) is the best method of keeping aware of public participation opportunities for wind developments and other activities. You can receive an email notification every time the ENB is issued.
Read the article written by Andy Mason.

 


Montezuma

Comments submitted by NYSOA on the Comprehensive Conservation Plan, June 2012:  The plan includes expansion of hunting as a management strategy and reduction in shrubland and grassland habitats. NYSOA is concerned about both of these. In addition, NYSOA is calling for reopening of the public comment period because the time allowed has been too short.
Read the letter written by Andy Mason.


Mercury Emissions Regulation (2006, 2011)

Update - article by Andy Mason, July 2011:  Incredibly, mercury from power plants has been totally unregulated by the Clean Air Act, until now. The US Environmental Protection Agency has announced a significant rule to reduce emissions of mercury—along with arsenic, lead, dioxins, acid gas, and six dozen other toxic chemicals that power plants are now able to freely dump into our air.
However, the coal industry and electric utilities are making every effort to weaken this rule and continue business as usual. It appears they have an ear in Congress, and are using the threat of job losses and economic hardship to make their case, despite the fact that these companies are highly profitable, and that their activities have untold costs in the health of humans and wildlife.
Read the complete article by Andy Mason.

Letter supporting reduced mercury emissions, 2006: Coal-fired power plants discharge mercury into New York State waters.  As a result, several species of fish in the Catskill and Adirondack Parks have been identified as potentially dangerous for consumption.  In addition, Common Loon populations have seriously declined over several decades, possibly, in part, as a result of ingesting fish contaminated by mercury. 

In October 2006, NYSOA sent a letter to NYSDEC supporting the DEC'S proposal to reduce Mercury emission levels by 90% by 2015.  The US EPA only requires a 70% reduction of mercury emissions.  We also urged the DEC to reduce the timeline for compliance and to eliminate the trading of emissions credits.


Oil & Gas Exploration & Drilling (2005, 2009, 2011)

Comments on the Revised Draft SGEIS on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory ProgramThe Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) presents a comprehensive review of ecological effects due to water withdrawal for High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF)....The DEC conclusion that the "… projected water withdrawals and consumptive use of water are modest relative to overall water withdrawals in New York" is misleading and self-deceiving. Unless this perception is changed, we have little reason to believe that our DEC will spend their resources of personnel and money to protect our aquatic resources from the effect of water use by HVHF.
Read the complete article by John L. Confer.

Fracking for Natural Gas Threatens Birds (2010):  Almost all of the habitat in central New York was devastated in the 1800s when the area was deforested. Gas drilling has the potential to become the next large scale devastation. The DEC is scheduled to release its regulations in May 2011. Gas drilling will begin soon after. We should be ready. Any Big Days in May should be well documented and the results put into the public domain. The Big Days of 2011 could become very pivotal data points for future reference.
Read the complete article by Donald A. Windsor.

Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Drilling Project (2009):  New York State is on the verge of major development of an energy source that could have negative impacts on birds in the region. The Marcellus shale formation that underlies much of the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes and Catskill regions is estimated by geologists to contain 168 trillion to 516 trillion cubic feet of natural gas throughout its entire extent, which includes portions of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Although it is not yet known how much gas will be commercially recoverable, to put this quantity into context, New York State uses about 1.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas a year.

Birders and birding organizations will need to be involved in review of the DEC's environmental impact statement regarding this project in order to ensure that potential impacts to birds from drilling are identified and addressed in the document and in any regulations DEC imposes on drillers.

For more details and information on the Marcellus shale gas drilling project, see the separate 2009 article by Andy Mason.

Bear Swamp (2005): The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation issued a proposal to lease state forest lands for oil and gas exploration in Bear Swamp State Forest in central New York. In July 2005, NYSOA sent a letter to NYSDEC strongly urging the Department of Environmental Conservation to recognize the importance of Bear Swamp and remove it from the list of areas under consideration for these activities.


Climate Change and Birds (2010, 2011)

390 Parts Per Million & Rising:  In December 2010, the carbon dioxide (CO2) level in the atmosphere reached 390 parts per million (PPM). By 2014, the CO2 level will pass 400 PPM. By the end of the 21st century, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency projects atmospheric CO2 levels will be at least 535 PPM and possibly as high as 983 PPM. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is directly related to the temperature on Earth. 2010 was just ranked one of the three hottest years on record, within the hottest decade (2001-2010) on record.
Read the complete article by Joan Collins.

Projected Effects of Climate Change on High Elevation Forests: In January 2010, NYSOA published information on the projected effects on montane forest habitats that are crucial to the survival of Bicknell's Thrush.
Read the complete article by Joan Collins.


Lead Ammunition (2010, 2016)

NEW 6/23/16 Lead Poisoning a Continuing Threat to Eagles, 2016:   The danger and evidence of lead poisoning in eagles and other scavenging birds continues in NY State, with little change in the state's attitude towards the problem.
Read the article by Andy Mason, published in June 2016.

NYSOA Council of Delegates Passes Lead Ammunition Resolution, 2010:  An effort is underway to replace a significant source of lead in the environment – hunting ammunition.
Read the complete article by Andy Mason, published in April 2010.
Read Andy's update, published in October 2010.
Read the resolution on Lead Ammunition adopted by NYSOA member club delegates at the Annual Meeting on 10/23/10.


NYSOA Conservation Policy Adopted (2009)

At the April 4, 2009 NYSOA Board of Directors meeting, a policy governing the organization’s involvement with conservation issues was adopted. The policy establishes a bi-level approach for considering issues: those matters brought to NYSOA by members, the board, or the conservation committee should have “...regional, statewide or national relevance to birds.” Issues brought by NYSOA member organizations should “...have potential for local, regional, statewide or national relevance to birds.”

Read NYSOA's Conservation Policy


Fort Edward Grasslands (2009)

In April 2009, NYSOA sent a letter to the Town of Fort Edward Planning Board expressing serious concern regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Killian's View Residential Subdivision: "Species such as Henslow’s Sparrow, Short-eared Owl, Northern Harrier, and others use the area of the proposed subdivision, and surrounding lands, and would unquestionably be negatively affected by construction and the resulting lost habitat. It is essential that the dangers to these already at risk birds be addressed as the highest priority in the environmental review of the project." NYSOA urged the "the Planning Board to fully carry out its responsibilities in the environmental review of this proposal, and ensure that the DEIS is accurate, complete, and that it gives adequate weight and consideration to the significance of this habitat to the birds that depend upon it."


Wind Power (2007-2009)

A separate article summarizes NYSOA's position on this complex issue. At the 2007 Annual Meeting, the council of delegates approved a resolution regarding wind power development.  For a more general discussion on wind power and birds, see Andy Mason's article Birds in the Wind.

In December 2007, the DEC published a draft of Guidelines for Conducting Bird and Bat Studies at Commercial Wind Energy ProjectsNYSOA responded in February 2008, stating that "The introduction to the guidelines refers to the environmental damage related to use of fossil fuels and the merit of developing alternative energy sources. Yet the guidelines fail completely to follow up on this excellent beginning since there is nothing subsequent that assesses the potential adverse effect of wind power in the context of our energy mix for the future....While NYSOA recognizes the need for developing these guidelines, there are major problems with this document. The errors are so fundamental that a revision requires a fundamentally different approach to truly assess the damage to wildlife and to develop appropriate monitoring protocols. NYSOA suggests that DEC hire a panel of outside experts to rewrite these draft guidelines with the goal of providing ecologically meaningful protection for wildlife based on a sound statistical basis assessed in the context of all the other energy-related stresses to our environment."

The NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has issued its final guidelines for conducting bird and bat studies at commercial wind energy projects. Although the final document does not go as far as NYSOA had recommended, it is clear that the threats to bird concentration areas that we pointed out were recognized in the final guidelines.

  • Read DEC's December 2007 proposed guidelines
  • Read NYSOA's comments submitted February 2008
  • Read Andy Mason's article published in the April 2009 issue of NY Birders about the final DEC wind power guidelines.
        

Actions Index Main Conservation page


Shawangunk NWR (2006-2008)

In January 2006, the US Fish & Wildlive Service (USFWS) released a draft of their 15 year management plan for the Shawangunk Grasslands NWR in Ulster County, one of the most important nesting and migratory stop-over sites for grassland dependent birds in NYS. NYSOA urged the USFWS to remove the old runways with as little disruption as possible, to use herbicides judiciously, to allow bow, not gun, hunting of deer and to restore the natural hydrology which the military had filled in for runways. All of these positions were adopted in the final Comprehensive Conservation Plan.
For more details and information on this grassland birding hotspot, see the separate 2008 article by Gail Kirch.


NYSOA Joins EPCAL Coalition (2008)

NYSOA joined with a number of conservation partners in an effort to ensure proper consideration and review of environmental issues, including birds, prior to development of the Enterprise Park at Calverton (EPCAL), a 3000 acre site in Suffolk County in eastern Long Island.  In a letter to Governor Paterson, NYSOA commended the DEC for protecting the Calverton grasslands and insisting that work be halted to allow for an appropriate environmental assessment to be made.
For more details on the Calverton controversy and EPCAL, see the separate 2008 article by Andy Mason.


Whip-poor-will Monitoring Program (2007/2008)

In 2007 and 2008, NYSOA actively supported the Northeast Nightjar Monitoring Program by organizing Whip-poor-will monitoring efforts in New York State.


Seneca Army Depot Lands Biofuel Development/Wetlands Protection (2007/2008)

In March 2007 NYSOA expressed its strong opposition to plans for development of the lands of the former Seneca Army Depot.  The plans called for construction of ethanol and biofuels plants on these lands, and for the conversion of extensive shrubland habitat to row crops supplying fuel for those facilities. In a detailed letter to the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency citing bird surveys conducted on the lands in question and providing species-by-species results, NYSOA called for a full Environmental Impact Statement and explained the errors in the assessment that had been released.

The NYSOA Board of Directors at the 9 February 2008 meeting passed a resolution of support for the DEC regarding their reclassification of wetlands at the former Seneca Army Depot.

Recent mapping of the former base increases the acreage of protected wetlands from about 200 acres to 2,100 acres. The NYSOA resolution commended DEC for its proactive efforts to protect wetlands and their environmental values.
For details, see the separate 2008 article by John Confer.

Actions Index Main Conservation page


Communication Towers (1998, 2007)

FCC Regulations on Communication Towers (2007):  In April 2007, NYSOA sent a letter to the FCC urging the Commission to adopt rules to reduce the threat posed to birds by lighted communication towers, stating that "Research has shown that these changes can significantly reduce bird kills.  Ongoing delay in implementing improvements in tower construction and lighting will only continue the unacceptable mortality to already declining species."

Bird Mortality at Communication Towers (1998): At the 1998 Annual Meeting, the council of delegates approved a resolution addressing bird mortality at communication towers. 

"Survey of Bird Mortality at Communication Towers in Upstate New York", by Bill Evans,  New York Birders, October 1999.

American Bird Conservancy first published a study of towerkills on its website November, 2000 and continues to work on this issue today.


Raquette Boreal Forest Protection (2006)

NYSDEC issued a proposed Draft Unit Management Plan for the Raquette Boreal Area. In October 2006, NYSOA sent a letter to NYSDEC supporting the proposal  to maintain high quality of water, keep soil erosion and compaction to limits that closely approximate the natural erosion process, and plan to manage invasive plant species.  However, we strongly opposed the building of a bridge over the Raquette River that would give motorized vehicles, including ATVs and snowmobiles, access to the sensitive boreal habitat lands east of Carry Falls Reservoir.  NYSOA cited the issue that additional motorized access would cause irreversible damage to the natural environment.

Actions Index Main Conservation page


Conservation Alternative Mowing Plan (2006)

In March 2006, NYSOA wrote a letter to support the use of NYS Wildlife Grant money to fund the proposed Conservation Alternative Mowing Plan, a collaborative effort of the NYSDOT and SUNY Brockport. This proposed project would study the impact on birds of mowing versus non-mowing of the grasslands which border NYS roads.  These grasslands support bird species which have declined as natural grasslands have disappeared.  The NYS Wildlife Grant money is administered by the NYSDEC.


Wakely Mountain / Blue Ridge Wilderness Area (2006)

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation issued a proposed plan to retain the Wakely Mountain Fire Tower, rebuild a helipad, and mount communication equipment on the tower, all of which are at the summit. Not only was this proposal in non-conformance with the Adirondack State Land Master Plan, but also its provisions threatened to fracture critical habitat for Bicknell's Thrush, a species of special concern in New York State.

In February 2006, NYSOA sent a letter to NYSDEC strongly urging the DEC to comply with the State Land Master Plan which dictates that Wilderness and Primitive Areas should be, “protected and managed so as to preserve, enhance and restore, where necessary, its natural conditions.”

Actions Index Main Conservation page


Effects of West Nile Virus on Crow Populations (2003)

American Crows are particularly susceptible to WNV, with many specimens confirmed as infected with the disease by government agencies. Although crow populations have been considered steady or increasing, there is a very real possibility that WNV could dramatically reverse that trend.  In March 2003, the Federation sent a letter to the Director of the NYSDEC Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources inquiring about the Division's assessment of American Crow populations and whether any consideration is being given to changing crow hunting seasons or bag limits in light of this new threat to the species.  For more information about West Nile Virus and Crows, see  Kevin McGowan's website.


Mongaup Visitor Center Needed (2002)

Each year many people visit the the Upper Delaware River Valley on the southern border of New York in order to see Bald Eagles. At its Annual Meeting in September 2002, the Federation passed a resolution urging the establishment of a Mongaup visitor center to educate the public on Bald Eagles.

Actions Index Main Conservation page


Camp Hero (2002)

When Camp Hero had been acquired by the New York State Parks department, the future of the property was unknown.  John Fritz wrote an article that was published in New York Birders urging readers to support making this park land available for public use.  Today (2007), the 415 acre park is open year-round.

Actions Index Main Conservation page


Citizen Support Encouraged for Conservation and Reinvestment Act  (CARA) (2001)
 
CARA – The Conservation and Reinvestment Act – has been reintroduced in the 107th Congress. The International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (IAFWA) sent a letter to the previous supporters of the legislation in the 106th Congress. Already over 100 members of Congress are co-sponsoring HR 701. Please write to your Congressperson and ask them to sign on as a co-sponsor of the CARA legislation HR 701. If they have supported this legislation in the past session – thank them and ask them to continue their support – you can check on their co-sponsorship status at the Thomas Legislative Information website.  Learn about Camp Hero, a New York project that can benefit from CARA passage.  Read or print a sample letter to send to your congressman.

2007 Update:  See the Teaming With Wildlife website for an update about CARA as well as the more recent State Wildlife Grants Program.

 
Actions Index Main Conservation page

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