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About the BCA Legislation

Legislation establishing the Bird Conservation Area (BCA) program was enacted by the New York State Legislature, and signed into law on September 5, 1997. The features of it are as follows:

  • Creates the Bird Conservation Area Program on state-owned lands and waters to "safeguard and enhance populations of wild birds native to New York State and the habitats therein that birds are dependent upon for breeding, migration, shelter, and sustenance."
  • Designated properties are to be mapped, and copies of all pertinent documents forwarded to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) "for inventory, research, and reference purposes for the general public."
  • A master inventory list and maps of BCAs shall be kept on file by DEC, with duplicates at the New York State Museum and Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.
  • Defines BCAs: waterfowl concentration site, pelagic seabird site, shorebird concentration site, wading bird concentration site, migratory concentration site, diverse species concentration site, individual species concentration site, species at risk site, and bird research site (see BCA Criteria).
  • BCAs to be designated by DEC Commissioner, Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) Commissioner, or Secretary of State, for appropriate properties under their jurisdictions and consistent with their respective missions.
  • Establishes an Advisory Committee - no pay, meet at least two times annually.
  • States the purpose of the BCA Program: to advise as to the designation, management, educational research and utilization of those sites that are individually designated as part of and collectively comprise the New York State Bird Conservation Area Program. Provided, however, the utilization of such sites shall be consistent with the respective missions of the Department, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the Department of State.

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