Request Natural Heritage Data
New York Natural Heritage makes its data available to inform biodiversity conservation, natural resource management, land protection, land use decisions, and environmental assessment. If you need information on whether a specific proposed development, project, or activity may potentially impact rare or listed species or significant natural communities, see How to Request Information for a Project Site below. If you are engaged in regional or municipal planning, natural resource inventory or management, open space inventory or protection, environmental or biodiversity conservation, or scientific research, please contact NY Natural Heritage at NaturalHeritage@dec.ny.gov or (518) 402-8935.
Note that information regarding the locations of rare species is considered sensitive. The distribution of information which identifies the locations of rare species or their habitats may lead to the collection or disturbance of the animals and plants at those locations. NYSDEC has the legal authority, under New York State Environmental Conservation Law, to restrict access to such information, and has adopted a policy regarding the release of information compiled by the New York Natural Heritage Program. Under this policy, information on the locations and identities of rare species is provided at the level of detail necessary to enable fully informed decision-making while protecting the sensitive resources. Information may be provided to the requesting party for its internal use, with restrictions on the public display and distribution of the data or products derived from it.
How to Request Information for a Project Site
The New York Natural Heritage Program will review locations of proposed projects, activities, and SEQR-subject actions for any records of rare species or significant natural communities in our databases which are in the vicinity and which may be impacted by the project or action.
Before requesting a Natural Heritage review, we recommend that you consult the Environmental Resource Mapper. If your project site does not fall within an area displayed in the Rare Plants and Rare Animals layer, then New York Natural Heritage has no records to report in the vicinity of your project site, and you do not need to submit a request for a project screening. (For a record of your results, use the Identify Tool to click on your project location, and print or save the Identify Results window that opens.)
To request a review of a specific project site, please use our new online Project Screening Request Form (see "Links Leaving DEC's Website" in the column on the right), which allows online submission of information requests. Instructions are at the top of the form.
Alternatively, you may continue to submit requests to our dedicated e-mailbox, NaturalHeritage@dec.ny.gov. Include "info request" in the subject line, and attach a letter and map that provide the following information:
- Why you need the information (e.g., SEQR review, environmental assessment for permit, planning board approval, management plan). If the proposed action is undergoing SEQR review, also include the name of the lead agency.
- Brief description of the proposed project or activity (e.g., residential development, bridge repair, cellular communications tower, landfill siting).
- Brief description of the current land use and habitats at the project site (e.g, wooded, agricultural, developed commercial).
- Name of counties and towns where the proposed project is located, and address or nearest roads.
- Map that includes labeled roads and other features, with the boundary of the proposed project clearly labeled, marked or highlighted. Please do not send architectural or engineering drawings or photographs.
You may also mail requests to the address below.
We strongly encourage you to submit your request during the early stages of a project.
Response time is 3-4 weeks from the date your request is received in our office. Projects extending over large areas or requiring more information may take longer. Requests are processed in the order in which they are received.
We provide a written response to all information requests; therefore, if you have not yet received a response, do not assume we have no data to report.
NY Natural Heritage Program - Information Services
625 Broadway, 5th Floor
Albany, NY 12233-4757
Phone: (518) 402-8935
Fax: (518) 402-8925