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New York State Ornithological Association, Inc.

[letter on CAMPs Mowing Management Program]

March 28, 2007

Ms. Amy Kahn
144 Kimbark Road
Rochester, NY 14610

Dear Ms. Kahn:

The New York State Ornithological Association, Inc, (NYSOA) strongly supports the use of New York State Wildlife Grant (SWG) money to fund the proposed Conservation Alternative Mowing Plans (CAMPs) Mowing management Program and Impacts on Nesting Bird Species. This fund is administered by the New York State Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).
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NYSOA has 700 individual members and 48 organizational members for a total of 29,000. The CAMPs proposed project would study the impact of mowing verses non-mowing the grasslands which border New York State roads.  NYSOA members have documented the decline of grassland birds through its second New York State Breeding Bird Atlas, 2000 – 2005. Each species has been compared to the First Breeding Bird Census, 1980-1985. While some species have maintained or increased numbers, the grassland species have shown declines in breeding birds. We are concerned with the decline of grassland habitat and the effect this decline is having on grassland birds.  The NYSDEC lists Horned Lark and Vesper Sparrow and as “Species of Special Concern.”  These birds depend on unmowed grasses to provide them with the habitat they need to successfully nest.

The New York State Ornithological Association strongly supports the collaborative effort of the NYSDOT and SUNY Brockport . This effort can contribute to the further understanding of grassland habitat and the bird species which depend on healthy unmowed grass habitat. NYSOA urges the support for this worthwhile project.

Sincerely,

Gail M. Kirch
Conservation Co-chair

cc:  NYSOA Board of Directors
      John Ozard, NYSDEC


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