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January 21, 2011 - Field Notes

Noteworthy News from the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources

Laws and Rule-Making

black bear raiding a cooler
Feeding bears leads to increased
encounters with humans.
~Photo courtesy of Bill Banaszewski~
  • Feeding of Black Bears Prohibited in New York.
    DEC has adopted a rule prohibiting the deliberate and intentional feeding of black bears. The incidental, indirect feeding of black bears is also unlawful after a written warning has been issued by the DEC. In recent years, black bear numbers have increased and bears have become more widespread throughout New York. Since most human-bear conflicts can be eliminated or greatly reduced by removing food attractants, DEC's standard message is "Do Not Feed Bears." Previous regulations only prohibited the intentional feeding of bears that occurred in proximity to certain locations. This new regulation establishes a comprehensive, state-wide prohibition on intentional and incidental feeding of bears as a prudent and reasonable measure to reduce bear habituation to human foods and thereby reduce potential for human-bear conflicts. The regulation also updates the conditions under which hounds can be trained and used to help manage bear problems. The use of bear hounds is one of the most effective tools for reducing bear damage to farm crops, especially corn. The regulation description and public comment summary can be found on the DEC website.

Significant Notes

  • Sneak Peak: 2011 Big Game Hunting Season Dates.
    It's not too early to start making plans for your next deer and/or bear hunting trip this fall. Take a look at the tentative dates for New York's 2011 Big Game Hunting Season (PDF) (71 kb). Definitive dates will be posted online and released in the 2011-2012 Hunting and Trapping Guide in early summer.
  • Time to Order Tree and Shrub Seedlings for 2011.
    The 2011 Saratoga Tree Nursery seedling sale offers a variety of native tree and/or shrub seedlings at an affordable cost. Additionally, schools across New York can receive a free packet of 50 tree seedlings or a mixed packet of 30 wildlife shrub seedlings to use as a great environmental education tool. View the types of plants for sale, detailed plant care instructions, and information on how to order seedlings by visiting the Seedling Sale webpage. Planting native trees and shrubs enhances and protects New York's environment for future generations and provides our wildlife with food and shelter. It is also a great way to launch 2011, which has been announced by the United Nations as the International Year of Forests (link leaves DEC website)!
  • 2010 National Wild Turkey Federation "Officer of the Year Award."
    DEC's Region 6 Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Steven Bartoszewski was honored with the 2010 New York State Chapter National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) "Officer of the Year Award." Officer Bartoszewski was recognized by NWTF for initiating the first youth turkey hunt in the Watertown area. Thanks to his efforts and the collaboration with landowners and local sportsmen's clubs, the youth hunters were instructed on hunter ethics and hunter safety before experiencing target practice and venturing out in the field to hunt turkey. ECO Bartoszewski plans to host another youth turkey hunt in the Watertown area this year.

Did You Know...?

interior of a quahog/hard clam shell
Beads made with the purple part of
the Quahog shell were the most
valuable form of "wampum".
~Photo courtesy of Theresa Hattenrath~

"Wampum" are beads made from the interior part of a Quahog clam and were used as a form of currency by Native Americans to barter with the European traders and settlers. Beads of both purple and white were strung together, with the purple bead having the most value.

Read more facts about the Quahog Clam!

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