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  1. All Bonus DMPs Now Antlerless-Only As a new management tool for deer population control, the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will issue Bonus Deer Management Permits (DMPs) for antlerless-only this fall, a change from either-sex bonus permits of the past beginning Tuesday, October 1. In an effort to support deer population reduction, Bonus DMPs will be issued in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 1C (Suffolk County), 3 S (Westchester County), 4J (eastern Albany County) and 8C (central Monroe County). Bonus DMPs are issued to increase hunter participation and antlerless deer harvest in areas with abundant deer. They are available to hunters who take an antlerless deer on a regular DMP or a Bonus DMP in one of the four units statewide. No fee is charged for a Bonus DMP. In addition, to streamline the issuance process for the hunter and make it more efficient, Bonus DMP applicants will no longer be required to present a deer head or carcass when applying for a Bonus permit. "As deer numbers have grown in specific areas in the state, we need another tool to help reduce the population and changing our Bonus Permit program to concentrate on antlerless deer only is the next logical step," said DEC Assistant Commissioner for Natural Resources, Kathleen Moser. "If the change is successful in accomplishing its objective in these areas of the state, antlerless-only Bonus DMPs could expand in the future to additional units. Offering increasing numbers of traditional DMPs (doe permits) each year has not been effective in reducing deer numbers in many of our units, and an expansion of the Bonus Permit system in the future could be a partial solution, as it focuses on successful hunters." To obtain a Bonus DMP, successful hunters must comply with the following application requirements: Mail or Electronic Application Hunters may send, or present in person, clear photocopies, photos, or scanned images of both sides of their completed DMPs or Bonus tags to the appropriate regional DEC office listed below. An original completed WMU DMP carcass tag may be submitted as proof of harvest; however, hunters are reminded that the actual carcass tag must remain affixed to the carcass until it is prepared for consumption (butchered). Although presentation of a deer head or carcass is not required this year for a Bonus DMP as in the past, properly tagged carcasses brought to the location below at the days and times listed will be eligible. Bonus permits will be processed and sent within two business days. All applicants must include their name, mailing address, and phone number to receive Bonus permits by mail. More information here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/93581.html This post has been promoted to an article
  2. Columbus Day weekend, October 6-8, marked the state’s first youth firearms deer hunt and reports from the field indicate the youth deer hunt was a success for many junior hunters as they learned about New York’s rich deer hunting tradition under the watchful eyes of experienced mentors, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. “The youth deer hunt is a great opportunity for the next generation of New York hunters and is an important step in preserving our hunting heritage while maintaining our ability to manage deer through hunting in the future,” said Commissioner Martens. “We received enthusiastic feedback from parents and excited young hunters who took part of the Columbus Day weekend. These experiences demonstrate the great value of providing this unique opportunity for junior hunters.” During the youth deer hunt, junior hunters (ages 14-15) with a big game hunting license were eligible to take one deer of either sex with a firearm when properly accompanied by a licensed and experienced adult. The number of Junior Hunting license holders who were eligible to participate at least one day of the youth hunt was 12,753. To date, junior hunters have reported taking 486 deer, though hunters have 7 days to report their kill. DEC anticipates the final harvest estimate for the youth deer hunt will be higher after all reports are in and the harvest is calculated. DEC Environmental Conservation Officers and wildlife staff were afield throughout the weekend, monitoring hunter activity and talking with bowhunters, small game and turkey hunters, and junior hunters about their experience during the youth deer hunt. Reports from the junior hunters were overwhelmingly positive, and other hunters reported their hunting was not affected by the ongoing youth deer hunt. Some hunters indicated that while they did not support the youth hunt when it was first proposed, their actual observations over the weekend and seeing what a positive experience it was for so many kids, has changed their minds. Additionally, New York’s junior hunters demonstrated why mentored youth have the greatest safety record of all hunters across the nation; no hunting related shooting incidents were reported during the youth deer hunt. To showcase the success of junior hunters, DEC encourages parents to submit a picture to DEC’s Big Game Hunting Photo Gallery (www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/54055.html). This post has been promoted to an article
  3. The NY DEC is reporting that the Early Bear season for the Northern Zone is off to a successful start. Hunters have already reported in over 140 bears for the season that started on September 15th. Click here to view the article
  4. DEC ANNOUNCES DETAILS FOR COLUMBUS DAY WEEKEND YOUTH DEER HUNT The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has confirmed that junior hunters ages 14-15 will be able to hunt deer during a special youth firearms deer season over Columbus Day Weekend this year, October 6 through October 8, 2012. “Implementation of this youth deer hunt is a hallmark moment for New York hunters and represents continued efforts of DEC to engage more young people in nature and outdoor recreation,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. The youth deer hunt will take place Columbus Day weekend in both the Northern Zone and Southern Zone; a youth hunt was not established on Long Island due to restrictions in the Environmental Conservation Law. Junior hunters (ages 14-15) with a big game hunting license will be eligible to take one deer of either sex with a firearm when properly accompanied by a licensed and experienced adult. Junior hunters may use a Deer Management Permit or Deer Management Assistance Program tag for an antlerless deer or, during the youth firearms season only, they may use their regular season tag to take a deer of either sex. In areas restricted to bowhunting only (Westchester County and parts of Albany and Monroe counties), junior hunters may only use bowhunting equipment to take deer during the youth hunt weekend. “Bowhunting seasons remain open during the youth hunt, but I encourage bowhunters to set your bow aside for the weekend and be a mentor for a youth’s first firearms deer hunt,” Commissioner Martens stated. While there is pending legislation that may impact future youth hunts, until it has been acted on, DEC’s regulations remain in effect. More details of the Youth Firearms Deer Hunt and rules for junior hunters and their mentors are available at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/46245.html. DEC also offers special opportunities for junior hunters (ages 12-15) for waterfowl, wild turkey, and pheasants. See www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/52495.html for information about these other programs. This post has been promoted to an article
  5. The 2012-13 hunting, fishing and trapping licenses and Deer Management Permits (DMPs) may be purchased beginning Monday, August 13, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today announced. “Hunting, trapping and fishing opportunities in New York are fantastic and DEC is committed to helping provide outdoor enthusiasts with numerous recreational opportunities to enjoy the beauty of our state throughout the year,” Commissioner Martens said. “DEC continually works to make improvements to better serve the public and protect our natural resources. Recently, we adopted a new deer management plan, we are developing statewide management plans for black bear and furbearers, and we continue our effort to build and upgrade boat launches.” Licenses and permits can be purchased at one of DEC’s 1,500 license sales outlets statewide. Sporting licenses can also be ordered by telephone or by visiting the DEC website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6101.html. The 2012-13 sporting licenses are valid beginning October 1, 2012. The new Hunting & Trapping and Freshwater Fishing regulation guides are available at all license issuing outlets as well as from the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov. DEC’s Automated Licensing System (DECALS) is New York State’s computerized system for issuing sporting licenses and tracking license sales and revenues. DECALS may also be used for donations to the Habitat Access Stamp Program, Venison Donation Coalition, Conservation Fund and the Trail Maintenance Program. DEC continues to improve and enhance DECALS to better meet the needs of sportsmen and women. For questions regarding license purchases, please call DECALS Call Center at (1-866-933-2257). Hours of operation for the Call Center are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday from August 13 to October 13, 2012. Regular weekday hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. will resume on October 15, 2012. License buyers should have the following items ready when applying: complete name and address information, customer ID number if you have it, proof of residency information (driver's license number or non-driver's ID number with a valid NYS address to qualify for a resident license), and, if purchasing by phone or internet, credit card and card expiration date. Hunting license purchases require individuals to provide proof of hunting education certification or a copy of a previous license, or this information must already be contained in their DECALS file. Sales of all sporting licenses are deposited into the Conservation Fund which is used for the management of New York's fish and wildlife populations and for protection and management of wildlife habitat. New Regulations for 2012-2013 Hunters should be aware of several new laws and regulations in effect for 2012-13: · The Southern Zone bowhunting season and the regular season in Westchester County (bowhunting only) begin on October 1. · A late bowhunting season will run concurrent with the late muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone. · The Northern Zone regular season will now begin on the 2nd Saturday after Columbus Day each year (October 20, 2012 this season). Deer Management Permits (DMPs, “doe tags”) may be used in all seasons in the Northern Zone. DMPs may only be used in the Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) for which they are issued. Mandatory antler restrictions (3 points on one side minimum) are now in effect in WMUs 3A, 4G, 4O, 4P, 4R, 4S, and 4W during all seasons for all hunters 17 years and older. All of Suffolk County will be open for the special January firearms season, subject to local discharge ordinances. A Deer Management Focus Area in central Tompkins County will intensify use of hunting to assist communities in the Ithaca area with the burden of overabundant deer populations. Bear hunting seasons will run concurrently with the newly adjusted deer seasons. New legislation now allows use of rifles for big game hunting in Cayuga County. Deer Management Permits Deer Management Permits (DMPs) will be available at all license issuing outlets and by phone, internet or mail, from August 13, 2012 through close of business October 1, 2012. DMPs are issued through a random selection process at the point of sale, and customers who are selected for DMPs will receive their permits immediately. Chances of selection (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30409.html) in each WMU are available at License Issuing Agent locations, or on the DMP Hotline at 1-866-472-4332. Chances of getting a DMP remain the same throughout the application period - hunters do not need to rush to apply for a DMP on the first day of sale. If a significant number of DMPs are still available in a WMU after October 1, leftover DMP sales will commence on November 1, 2012 and will continue on a first-come/first-serve basis until the end of the hunting season or until all DMPs have been issued in the WMU. Additionally, Bonus DMPs will be available in the bowhunting-only WMUs 3S, 4J, and 8C and in WMUs 1C, 9A and possible others. For information about Bonus DMPs see http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/10001.html. The target DMP allocation for 2012 varies by unit depending on the management objective, but overall DEC intends to issue about 10 to12 percent more DMPs than in 2011. In addition to the Adirondack and Tug Hill units where DMPs are not authorized, WMUs 3A, 4L, 4U, 4Z and 6A will have no DMPs in 2012. Hunters are reminded that DMPs are only valid for antlerless deer in the WMU specified on the permit. Be a Mentor to a New Hunter or Trapper Adult hunters and trappers are encouraged to pass along their traditions and become a mentor for a junior hunter or trapper. The junior hunter and trapper mentoring program allows 14 and 15 year olds to hunt big game with a firearm and 12 to 15 year olds to hunt big game with a bow while accompanied and supervised by an experienced adult hunter. Unlicensed youth less than 12 years of age may also accompany and assist a licensed and experienced adult trapper. More details about these opportunities are available in this year's Hunting and Trapping Laws and Regulations Guide or Junior Hunter Mentoring Program webpage at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/46245.html. Due to pending legislation, it is unknown if the youth hunt (firearms) for deer, tentatively scheduled over Columbus Day weekend, will occur. If legislation is passed for the youth hunt, DEC will publicize this via news release and on the website. Anglers are encouraged to "Take the Pledge" and help grow the sport of fishing in New York State by taking someone new fishing this year. More than 11,000 New York anglers have participated in this joint program of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation and the Department since its inception in 2006. Anglers interested in Taking the Pledge can do so on DEC’s fishing page at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishing.html. The I FISH NY Guide to Freshwater Fishing in New York State features a map/brochure and provides information on over 320 lakes and ponds and 110 rivers and streams recommended by DEC Fisheries staff across the state. The map can be requested by contacting [email protected] (NY FISHING MAP in the subject line). New for 2012 are the interactive maps of public fishing waters and boat launch sites which can be found at www.dec.ny.gov/pubs/42978.html. Additional fishing information can be found at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7832.html. Contribute Via Habitat Stamps, Trail Supporter Patch, or Donation Directly to Support the Conservation Fund or the Venison Donation Program DEC encourages all outdoor enthusiasts to consider purchasing a Habitat/Access Stamp and/or a Trail Supporter Patch. These stamps and patches help support DEC's efforts to conserve habitat and increase public access for fish and wildlife-related recreation and maintain non-motorized trails. Buying a $5 stamp or patch or donating directly to the Conservation Fund is a way to help conserve New York's fabulous wildlife heritage and enhance outdoor recreation in New York State. Additionally, anyone - not just hunters and anglers - can help feed the hungry by contributing to the Venison Donation Program at all license issuing outlets. Individuals should inform the license sales agent that they want to make a donation of $1 or more to support the program. Since 1999, the Venison Donation Coalition has paid for the processing of more than 330 tons of highly nutritious venison, the equivalent of 2.8 million meals served. For more information about the program, go to http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8351.html. This post has been promoted to an article
  6. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today held a ceremonial ribbon cutting at the Rome Fish Hatchery in Oneida County, hailing the renovation of one of the state's largest and most productive hatcheries. "Our hatcheries serve as facilities for rearing fish, but also as a place for the public to interact with DEC staff and learn more about our diverse natural resources," DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. "The renovation of the Rome Fish Hatchery provides a state-of-the-art facility and a new visitors' center to help enhance the hatchery's operations as well as the experiences of the many people who come to see our staff and fish each year." Located just north of the city of Rome, the hatchery was built on the old Black River Canal bed and was acquired by the state in 1932. The hatchery was taken down in 2009, and the new building was completed this year. The old building was actually three structures - a hatchery, a refrigerated storage and an additional building added to connect the two, giving the appearance of one large building. Refrigerated storage of feed is no longer needed. The old structure would have cost too much to repair and was not designed to meet modern fish culture needs. The new state-of-the-art, energy-efficient building houses an early fish rearing area “hatch house”, a visitors’ center, offices, a conference room, a workshop and storage areas. In 2008, as part of several measures to improve hatchery operations, DEC enclosed four series of raceways at the Rome hatchery to reduce fish losses from bird predators. The hatchery’s annual production, totaling nearly 160,000 pounds of brook, rainbow and brown trout, will be handily accomplished in the new facilities. One feature of the new Rome Fish Hatchery is a small visitors' center that will provide information about the fish, as well as opportunities to see the various life stages of fish raised at the hatchery. The facility, like other DEC hatcheries across the state, hosts many school groups, community groups and other visitors looking for insight into the biology and logistics of raising fish. The new visitors' center is expected to house an aquarium and educational materials for the public to enjoy. Senator Joseph Griffo said, "The Rome Fish Hatchery is an important part of our State's world class fishing and has been a wonderful place for so many people, especially school children, to learn about the environment and to be introduced to outdoor sports. The renovation project that has been completed will make this local institution accessible to even more people in the years -- and generations -- to come." Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi said, “This new state-of-the-art facility will help the Rome Fish Hatchery improve operations and provide a valuable service not just to the region but to the state. This facility will provide educational opportunities to our children while also helping drive tourism dollars to our state. These are exactly the types of local projects New York should be investing in to get people back to work and keep Mohawk Valley moving in the right direction.” DEC operates 12 hatcheries, each specializing in raising one or more fish species. Every year, the hatcheries release more than one million pounds of fish into more than 1,000 lakes, ponds, streams and rivers across New York. Fish are stocked for two main purposes: to restore native species and to enhance public fishing. The Rome hatchery is one of DEC's largest and supplies fish for more than 350 public waterways in an 11-county area. Hatchery personnel travel to deliver fish to designated stocking sites and play a major role in providing fish for airplane and helicopter travel to stock remote waters. County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. said, “The Rome Fish Hatchery has long been an important way that the people of Oneida County are able to learn about the environment and the great outdoors. At a time when we need to help our young people learn more about the environment, the new buildings and the new visitor’s center will help schools and families increase their understanding of the importance of protecting the environment, and also introduce them to the sport of fishing. The Adirondacks and the outdoors are large parts of our region’s great quality of life. I want to thank the DEC for this investment in the Rome Fish Hatchery so that more people can experience a blend of education and enjoyment.” Rome Mayor James Brown said, "We are grateful to Governor Cuomo and state representatives today for their efforts and commitment to the Rome Fish Hatchery Project. A special thanks to Commissioner Joe Martens and Regional Director Judy Drabicki for their work and detail in the completion of this project and the significant impact it will have on our City and our region." According to DEC's most recent survey, anglers spent an estimated 18.7 million days fishing New York's freshwaters in 2007. New York's resident and non-resident anglers collectively spent an estimated $331 million at fishing sites, and an estimated $202 million en route to fishing sites. More information about DEC fish hatcheries can be found at the FAQ page and at the fish hatchery main page. DEC’s staff from the Division of Operations in the Design and Construction unit designed the Rome Fish Hatchery and coordinated the project overall. Construction was accomplished through local contractors from Whitesboro, Utica and Oswego. $2.1 million were used to pay for the new facilities, approximately $890,000 was spent from Capital Funds, the remainder was from the 2006 Economic Development Fund allocation for Fish Hatchery Development.
  7. Some of this stuff is just plain common sense, however with our ever increasing bear population this is a great reminder from the NY DEC. With the onset of warmer weather, New York’s black bear population will be on the move. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today issued guidance on how to prevent nuisance bear encounters. Black bears will take advantage of almost any readily available food source, including bird feeders and garbage. To prevent encounters between bears and humans, people should never intentionally feed bears and should take every precaution to discourage bears from seeking out food sources in neighborhoods and other residential areas. Typically, black bears are timid and will avoid all contact with humans. However, bears will become a nuisance and can cause significant damage if they believe they can obtain an easy meal from bird feeders, garbage cans, dumpsters, barbeque grills, tents, vehicles, out-buildings or houses. It is not only illegal to intentionally feed bears, it is also illegal to inadvertently feed them. Specifically, after written notice from DEC, the incidental or indirect feeding of bears through food attractants such as garbage, pet food or bird seed is illegal. DEC has the authority to require the removal of these and other food attractants when bears become problematic. It is in the best interest of both bears and people for bears to get their food solely from wild sources. Once a bear learns to associate certain structures with food, it can become a serious nuisance to people and a threat to itself. Bears that lose their natural fear of humans are much more likely to be illegally shot, hit by an automobile or destroyed under a DEC nuisance permit. Some studies suggest that when a bear is fed (either directly or indirectly), its life expectancy is cut by as much as 50 percent. Once a bear becomes a problem, DEC is often asked to relocate the bear. Contrary to popular belief, bear relocations are rarely effective at solving the problem. Bears are extremely mobile and have excellent homing abilities. Relocated bears often return to their original capture site or maycontinue their bad habits at a new location. If the circumstances that led to the original problem are not corrected, other bears will quickly be attracted to the site and the bear/human conflicts will persist. In addition to being ineffective, bear relocations are extremely time consuming and often dangerous. The heavy door on the bear traps, although not dangerous to bears, presents a potential danger to curious humans and pets. The simplest way to avoid a nuisance encounter is to remove all food sources. Removing the food source will remove the bear. Because virtually all nuisance bear problems are the result of hungry bears being attracted to human food, pet food, bird food or garbage, these problems can be minimized by taking these simple precautions: Never feed bears. It is illegal. If you believe that bears are being fed, please report it to DEC. · Stop feeding birds as soon as the snow melts. Birds do not need supplemental food in the summer, when natural foods are most abundant. Clean up all seed fragments and shells left over from winter feeding as the smell will attract bears. · Dispose of garbage as frequently as possible and store in a secure building prior to disposal. · If garbage is picked up at the curb, put the garbage out just before the scheduled pickup or place it in a roadside bear-resistant container. Do not put garbage out the night before pick-up at the curb. Clean garbage cans frequently with ammonia. Do not burn garbage, it’s illegal and it attracts bears. Do not add meat scraps, bones or melon rinds to your compost pile. · Clean up barbecue grills before night fall, and after they cool down store them inside. · Feed pets indoors and store pet food indoors. If pets must be fed outdoors, take in all uneaten food and dishes before dark. · Turn off kitchen exhaust fans that vent to the outside whenever possible. · When camping, keep food out of sight and secured in the trunk of a hard topped, locked vehicle if one is available. If a vehicle is not available, hang food and garbage from a tree at least eight feet off the ground. Keep picnic tables, utensils, fireplaces and the surrounding areas clean. This post has been promoted to an article
  8. The Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area has expanded by a third with New York state’s acquisition of a 261-acre property in Putnam County that is prized for wildlife habitat and water quality protection, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The property, known as North Hollow, is located within the Great Swamp watershed and was acquired by the state with federal grant money and a private donation. “Adding North Hollow to the Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area will preserve forested and watershed land for use by the public for expanded recreational and sportsmen activities,” Commissioner Martens said. “This acquisition is an example of how New Yorkers can benefit when state, federal, non-for-profit and private entities all work together to achieve a common goal. The preservation of North Hollow will be a valuable addition to a network of protected lands within the Highlands and Great Swamp areas, further protecting one of the largest freshwater wetlands in the state that is home to many plant and animal species.” DEC sought to add the North Hollow property to its 467-acre Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area to further protect the Highlands region for its abundant natural and cultural resources. The Cranberry Mountain WMA now totals 728 acres. Since 2006, DEC and the Trust for Public Land, a national conservation organization, have worked with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the family of the late Gerald Blumberg, a long-time resident of the Hudson River Valley, to conserve the property. North Hollow features steep upland forests protecting the nearby Haviland Hollow Brook, a pristine trout stream. The brook watershed connects with the Great Swamp, Croton River and reservoirs in the New York Highlands that provide drinking water to New York City. The area is used for such recreational activities as hiking, cross-country skiing, hunting, fishing and trapping. A federal Highlands Conservation Act grant for $653,500 was used toward the purchase of the property. The federal program is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is designed to assist Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania with conserving land and natural resources in the Highlands region. The Highlands Conservation Act grant required a non-federal match on a dollar-for-dollar basis. The Blumberg family generously donated half the value of the property to meet the federal match requirement. Marc Matsil, the Trust for Public Land’s New York State Director said: “Completing the conservation of the North Hollow property is a vital addition to the Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area. The Trust for Public Land is grateful to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for its dedication to protecting land in the Highlands and to the New York congressional delegation for their commitment to the Highlands Conservation Act, which made this project possible. This diverse cover type provides superb recreation opportunities and great economic value by enhancing regional ecotourism and builds on the vital work of the State and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection to safeguard drinking water for millions of New Yorkers.” Senator Greg Ball said: “As Chairman of the New York Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and an avid sportsman myself, the expansion of the Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management area couldn’t make me happier. I believe it is vital to protect our watershed, promote strict clean air initiatives, and preserve natural wildlife areas and I look forward to working together to continue to keep Putnam County, and the Hudson Valley as a whole, beautiful by preserving our environment.” Ron Essig, Acting Chief of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Division of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration in the Northeast Region said: “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been pleased to have the opportunity to assist the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in protecting the North Hollow Property by awarding a Highlands Conservation Act grant to the Agency. This project is a great example of the important conservation results that can be achieved with Highlands Conservation Act funding, and illustrates what a difference the Act can make in assisting states with protecting the natural resources of the Highlands Region.” New York City Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland said: “Land acquisition is an important tool for the protection of water quality. The purchase of this 261-acre parcel that sits within the Croton watershed will keep this land unspoiled. Having the Trust for Public Land and the State of New York take steps that are in concert with our own, means a great deal to the nine million New Yorkers who rely on this water source for their daily drinking water needs.” Lawrence S. Blumberg, a New York City attorney and seller of the land said: “My father acquired this land over 50 years ago. During this time, he turned down many offers to develop or sell the property because he was waiting for something special. Several years ago, before his death in 2009 at age 97, he was so happy and gratified to know that we were working with The Trust for Public Land. I know that he would be very proud that his land has been preserved forever.” Jim Utter, Chairman, Friends of the Great Swamp (FrOGS) said: “FrOGS is thrilled this area is protected and thanks Larry and Robyn Blumberg, DEC, TPL, and the Highlands Coalition for making it happen. This parcel is critical in maintaining the exceptional water quality and ecology of Haviland Hollow Brook, a major tributary of the Great Swamp, and the acquisition by DEC ensures it remains pristine. We hope the matching parcel on the south side of the Hollow will also be protected soon.” Raymond Merlotto, Putnam County sportsman and DEC Region 3 representative to the Fish & Wildlife Management Board: “The Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area is an important destination for sportsmen and women from throughout the Lower Hudson. The addition of the North Hollow property to Cranberry Mountain will provide not just expanded opportunities for the region's hunters and anglers, but the acquisition will also provide further protection for the Croton Watershed, the Great Swamp and other important resources in the area that provide habitat vital to the fish and wildlife that thrive there.” This post has been promoted to an article
  9. Just released a few minutes ago, the NY DEC announced that NY DEC officers ticket dozens of poachers over the past few weeks. The full announcement from the DEC and list of locations as well as those involved in the incidents is attached in PDF to this article. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) police officers recently concluded a blanket deer taking enforcement detail in the Capital Region and surrounding areas in conjunction with the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont, DEC announced today. Environmental Conservation Officers (ECO) worked in conjunction with their counterparts in neighboring states to set up saturation patrols to target illegal deer shooting with the use of an artificial light, a practice commonly known as deer jacking. Typically, deer jacking occurs in remote rural areas, throughout the night. During this operation, which took place in late October and the first three weeks of November, ECOs worked long hours and often confronted armed individuals. “The vast majority of hunters pursue and take game legally,” said DEC Law Enforcement Major Tim Duffy. “We work closely with the sporting community to stop individuals from illegally taking game to the detriment of wildlife populations and the legal efforts of honest hunters.” ECOs are out in full force this time of year patrolling, staking out, and observing the lands on which people take deer. They are in uniform and undercover; they are in vehicles and on foot; they are checking licenses and watching over deer decoys. View attachment: 11-29-11 DEC Police Ticket Dozens for Deer Poaching.pdf Click here to view the article 11-29-11 DEC Police Ticket Dozens for Deer Poaching.pdf
  10. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that it has adopted a five-year deer management plan. The final plan, which has been revised based on public comment on a previously released draft version, is now available at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7211.html. “White-tailed deer are an important and valued natural resource for New Yorkers,” Commissioner Joe Martens said. “DEC’s new deer management plan provides strategic direction for our staff over the next five years and will help us focus our efforts where they can best meet the biological and social demands associated with deer. This plan emphasizes the importance of hunting for deer management, and we are particularly excited to create new opportunities for young deer hunters,” Martens said. “We are also cognizant of the significant ecological impacts associated with deer, and we are eager to more fully bring our knowledge of these impacts into the population management process.” The plan describes six primary goals that encompass the current priorities for deer management and the values and issues expressed by the public: • Manage deer populations at levels that are appropriate for human and ecological concerns; • Promote and enhance deer hunting as an important recreational activity, tradition, and population management tool in New York; • Reduce negative impacts caused by deer; • Foster public understanding and communication about deer ecology, deer management, economic aspects and recreational opportunities; • Manage deer to promote healthy and sustainable forests and enhance habitat conservation efforts to benefit deer and other species; and • Ensure that the necessary resources are available to support sound management of white-tailed deer in New York. Public comment on the draft deer management plan was carefully reviewed by the Department, and several notable changes were made in the adopted plan, including: • Changing to a 5-year cycle for evaluating deer population objectives; • DEC removed the proposal to completely discontinue either-sex and antlerless-only tags; • DEC is committing to implementing a youth deer hunting opportunity. Details related to timing and structure of a youth hunt have been removed from the plan so as to allow continued discussion to identify the most appropriate option; and • DEC clarified that a special antlerless-only season for muzzleloader hunters will only occur as the 3rd phase of a multi-phase process, and only in WMUs where additional doe harvest is needed. DEC intends to begin implementing strategies of the deer plan immediately. While many strategies will take several years to develop, DEC expects to begin rulemaking to implement a number of hunting-related aspects of this plan prior to the 2012-13 hunting seasons, including: • Establishing a youth deer hunt; • Starting the Southern Zone bow season October 1st; • Allowing DMPs to be used during the bow and early muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone; and • Expanding mandatory antler restrictions into 7 WMUs in southeastern New York. DEC strives to provide a deer management program that balances diverse public interests and values with the biological needs and ecological relationships of deer, for the benefit of New York’s white-tailed deer herd and the people of New York. The PDF of the complete management plan has been attached to this post. This post has been promoted to an article deerplan2012.pdf
  11. Leftover DMPs In some Wildlife Management Units (WMUs), we issued Deer Management Permits (DMPs) to all applicants during the initial application period, but the DMP target was still not reached. In these units, we will re-open the application process for leftover DMPs beginning tomorrow, November 1, 2011. Leftover DMPs are available for the following Wildlife Management Units (WMUs): 1C, 3M, 3R, 3S, 7H, 8A, 8F, 8G, 8H, 8J, 8N, 9A, and 9F. Hunters may apply for up to 2 additional DMPs in these WMUs. Applications are accepted at license issuing outlets only. You cannot apply by phone, mail or on-line. DMPs are issued on a first-come / first-serve basis until the desired target is reached in each unit. See www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/6399.html for additional details. Bonus DMPs Also, DEC continues to offer Bonus DMPs to successful hunters in WMUs 1C, 3S, 4J, and 8C. New this year, DEC will also be offering Bonus DMPs in WMU 9A. Bonus DMPs are available to hunters who take an antlerless deer on a Deer Management Permit (DMP) or a Bonus DMP in one of these units. To participate, hunters must visit a check station to confirm kill of an antlerless deer and properly filled out DMP. See www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/10001.html for check station information and more details about the Bonus Permit program. There is already a thread discussing this here: http://huntingny.com/forums/topic/6711-2011-leftover-dmps-available-nov-1/ This post has been promoted to an article
  12. The 2011-2012 Southern Zone bowhunting season and Northern Zone muzzleloader season for deer and bear begin at sunrise on Saturday, October 15. The Southern Zone includes most of upstate New York outside of the Northern Zone, except for Westchester County. The Northern Zone, generally includes the Adirondacks, the Tug Hill Plateau, the eastern Lake Ontario plain, and the Champlain and St. Lawrence valleys. “The early seasons are a great time to be in the woods,” said Commissioner Joe Martens. “With recent legislation now allowing 12-13 year olds to purchase a Junior Bowhunting license, we encourage adult hunters to share their passion, experience, and time with a junior hunter this year.” Hunters are reminded of several other changes for the upcoming hunting seasons: Mandatory antler restrictions are in effect during bow and gun hunting seasons this year in a portion of Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 3A in the Catskills (part of Delaware, Sullivan and Ulster counties). The new law, established by the New York State Legislature, covers the portion of WMU 3A that lies south and west of State Route 28 and requires that bucks taken in this part of WMU 3A have at least one antler with 3 or more points that are at least 1 inch long. The law applies to all public and private lands and all hunting seasons in the affected portion of WMU 3A. Only hunters under the age of 17 are exempt and they may take any antlered deer with at least one antler measuring three or more inches in length. See www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27663.html for more information about antler restrictions in New York. Bear hunting has been expanded in eastern New York, from Westchester to Washington County, and is open during the same time periods as deer hunting. For specific bear hunting areas and season dates, visit www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28605.html#Black. Crossbows may NOT be used during the bowhunting or early muzzleloading seasons, but crossbows may be used during the regular firearms and late muzzleloader seasons. See Crossbow Hunting at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/68802.html for more information and the Certificate of Qualification. DEC encourages bowhunters to participate in the Bowhunter Sighting Log www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7193.html. The Bowhunter Sighting Log involves keeping a diary of your bowhunting activity and the number of animals seen. These data help DEC track deer and other wildlife populations. This post has been promoted to an article
  13. Together with state and city officials, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today announced the opening of the Downtown Plattsburgh Boat Launch. “Providing high quality access that can accommodate the increasing needs of bass anglers and other lake users has always been a DEC priority,” said Commissioner Martens. “I’m proud of the hard work and long time dedication of DEC staff along with the City of Plattsburgh’s partnership to open this new site for general use. The new boat launch will add to New York’s diverse fishing opportunities, and bringing anglers and other boaters to the area it will benefit the local economy. Residents and visitors alike will be able to utilize this new site to enjoy boating on Lake Champlain and afterwards partake in all the downtown amenities.” “The City of Plattsburgh was very pleased to partner with DEC officials and staff to bring this project to the downtown area of Plattsburgh,” said Plattsburgh Mayor Donald Kasprzak. “Relationships like this improve public access to Lake Champlain for our residents, visitors, and fishing groups. I truly appreciate partnering with DEC on this project.” The boat launch is located off Dock Street on the shore of Lake Champlain just south of the mouth of the Saranac River. The facility includes three launching and retrieval lanes with docks on each side of the ramp and along the shoreline. There are 31 designated vehicle and trailer parking sites, 12 car-only parking sites and additional parking in the adjacent parking lot. The ramp and docks are built in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Three accessible parking spots have been designated, two spots are for a vehicle with trailer and one is for a vehicle only. The size of the ramp, the number and location of docks, and the ample amount of parking is also ideal for fishing tournaments and boating events held by the City each year. “Lake Champlain is consistently ranked as one of the top bass fisheries in the nation, and the City of Plattsburgh is always a favorite destination for our anglers,” said Kathy Fennel, FLW Outdoors president, Operations Division. FLW Outdoors Foundation is a non-profit organization, designed to connect America’s youth to their natural resources, promote education, conservation, and an active lifestyle. “We are thrilled to see improved lake access, which will allow us to host even more large-scale televised tournaments in Plattsburgh. This commitment to providing quality access to one of the nation's most valuable natural resources will provide economic benefits to the region for many years to come.” DEC staff designed the boat launch and oversaw its construction. State Capital funds were used to pay for construction of the $627,000 facility. The City of Plattsburgh will be responsible for managing and maintaining the boat launch. This post has been promoted to an article
  14. High Peaks & Giant Mountain Wilderness Areas Re-opened; Dix Wilderness Area Remains Closed The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) continues to review and update state trail and campground closures in the Adirondack and Catskill regions, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. Many state trails continue to be impassable or inaccessible due to the current weather conditions. In the interest of public safety, DEC will continue to assess conditions to determine if new closures are necessary and the status on the reopening of state trails and campgrounds. “We know how popular these areas are to hikers and how important hikers are to the local economy,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “We have been able to re-open some of the wilderness areas and much of the trail systems in those areas due to the quick response and hard work of DEC staff and our stewardship partners. I also want to express my appreciation to the public for heeding the closures and allowing us to focus on the trail system. We did not need to respond to any search and rescue calls in the three wilderness areas during the closure.” Unsafe conditions remain in much of the backcountry of the Catskills due to the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and heavy rains which continue to cause flooding, bridge wash outs, trail wash outs, downed trees and other debris. In addition, many local roads are closed or only single lane traffic. As a result, DEC has received local requests to close trail heads in these impacted areas in an attempt to keep the roads open for local residents and emergency vehicles. Heavy rains across central New York and the Southern Tier have caused flash floods in some areas. DEC managed areas may be inaccessible and have not been fully assessed for damage at this time. Plan accordingly and be prepared to turn back when conditions warrant. Campgrounds Many DEC Campgrounds in the Adirondacks and the Catskills experienced significant damage from the storm including flooded areas, road destruction and loss of electric and water service. Campgrounds in the Adirondack Park and in all of the Catskill Preserve are being assessed and evaluated daily and are opening based on their accessibility and safety. Given the weather and imminent return of flooding to the Northern Catskills and beyond, DEC will not reopen the Catskill regional campgrounds this weekend. In addition, all DEC campgrounds in Delaware, Greene, Sullivan and Ulster counties will remain closed until further notice. Seventeen of the 41 Adirondack DEC campgrounds have closed for the season as regularly scheduled. Four campgrounds – Lake Harris, Scaroon Manor, Luzerne and Hearthstone Point – will close on Sunday, September 11. Fall camping is available through Columbus Day weekend at 20 Adirondack DEC campgrounds. Clinton County: Ausable Point. Essex County: Crown Point, Paradox Lake, and Wilmington Notch. Franklin County: Fish Creek, Meacham Lake, and Saranac Lake Islands Fulton County: Northampton Beach Hamilton County: Eighth Lake, Indian Lake Islands, Lake Durant, Lewey Lake, Moffit Beach, and Sacandaga. Warren County: Lake George Battleground, Lake George islands (Glen Island, Long Island, & Narrow Island), and Rogers Rock. Herkimer County: Nicks Lake. A list of open and operational DEC campgrounds is continuously being updated on the DEC's website at http://www.dec.ny.go...blic/76659.html. The public should be aware that many state and local roads may be inaccessible to travel and access to campground areas could be limited. Those planning to visit the Adirondack or Catskill regions this weekend should call ahead or check for road closure information at the Department of Transportation's webpage at http://511ny.org/. Trails Catskills: Trails in the Catskill backcountry have been heavily impacted and the public is advised to avoid the backcountry at this time. Due to damage to roads, many trailheads and other access points to the backcountry are inaccessible. All trails on DEC-managed property in Ulster and Greene counties are closed until further notice. Adirondack Area openings: The eastern zone of the High Peaks Wilderness and Giant Mountain Wilderness areas has been re-opened effective Thursday, September 8. Due to the amount of damage to certain trails, and the continued closure of a section of route 73 and other roads, Dix Mountain Wilderness area and a number of trails in the reopened areas will remain closed. However, the majority of trails are now open for public recreation. Giant Mountain Wilderness: Open trails include all trails starting from the trailheads on Route 9 and Route 9N. Giant Mountain may also be accessed via the Hopkin Mountain trail from the Ranney trailhead. High Peaks Wilderness: Open trails include those starting at the Adirondack Loj trailhead, the Cascade Mountain trailhead, the Garden trailhead, the Rooster Comb trailhead, the Upper Works trailhead, and the East River trailhead. All trails out of the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (Ausable Club) remain closed due to the closure of a section of route 73 and the damage to the trailhead parking lots. The Elk Lake trailhead remains closed. Trails that are not closed still may have bridges washed out and water levels in most rivers and brooks are at spring-high water levels. Crossings may be impassable at this time. These trails may also have blowdown, eroded sections or flooded areas. Pay close attention as many trails have been rerouted to avoid heavily damaged sections and eroded drainages can be mistaken for trails. The ability to navigate with a map and compass is important. DEC is bringing in additional emergency crews and staff to continue to clear and repair trails. The list of closed trails and conditions for open trails are available on DEC’s High Peaks Trail Information web page (www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7865.html). Information on closures and conditions of Catskill Preserve trails can be found at: http://www.dec.ny.go...blic/76659.html. This information will be updated as trails are assessed and reopened. Hikers and campers should expect to encounter flooding, bridge wash outs, trail wash outs and blowdown when entering the backcountry. Hikers are advised to plan accordingly and be prepared to turn back when conditions warrant. This post has been promoted to an article
  15. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has confirmed that approximately 100 white-tailed deer found dead in the Town of Clarkstown, Rockland County, over the last two weeks were killed by Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD). EHD is a viral disease of white-tailed deer that is transmitted by the biting midge in the family Culicoides. The EHD virus does not infect humans and humans are not at risk by being bitten by the infected midge also known as a no-see-um or punkie. DEC wildlife biologists collected a sampling of deer carcasses in Rockland County and submitted them to the Fish and Wildlife Health Unit for necropsy. Tissue samples were then sent to the Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University and the National Veterinary Services Laboratory where the diagnosis of EHD was identified. The EHD virus was last confirmed in New York in 2007 in Albany and Niagara Counties. EHD outbreaks are most common in the late summer and early fall when the midges are abundant. The symptoms of EHD include fever, small hemorrhages or bruises in the mouth and nose, swelling of the head, neck, tongue and lips. A deer infected with EHD may appear lame or dehydrated. Frequently, infected deer will seek out water sources and many succumb near a water source. An infected deer may die within 1-3 days after being bitten by the midge or the disease may progress more slowly over weeks or months. There is no treatment and no means of prevention for EHD. The dead deer do not serve as a source of infection for other animals . EHD outbreaks do not have a significant impact on deer populations. Generally, EHD outbreaks occur in a specific geographic area and about half of the EHD infected deer may die in an outbreak. In the North, the first hard frost kills the midges that transmit the disease and the EHD outbreak ends. Hunters should not handle or eat any deer that appears sick or acts strangely. DEC will continue to monitor the situation. Sightings of sick or dying deer should be reported to the nearest DEC Regional Office or to an Environmental Conservation Officer. For more information on EHD and helpful related links, visit the DEC website directly at http://www.dec.ny.go...als/39767.html. This post has been promoted to an article
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