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ENB - Statewide Notices

Public Notice

Proposed Designation of Bird Conservation Area

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) is proposing the designation of a new Bird Conservation Area (BCA) in accordance with Article 11 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL § 11-0539, 11-2001 and 11-2003). The BCA program provides a comprehensive, ecosystem approach to conserving birds and their habitats on state-owned lands and waters. It also provides for education and research opportunities related to birds and their habitats. Designation of a BCA will not affect existing recreational activities.

Legislative amendments to the BCA law enacted in summer 2002 require public notice of any proposed designations with a 30-day public comment period following publication of the notice. At this time, OPRHP proposes designation of portions of Napeague and Hither Hills State Parks in Suffolk County as the Napeaque BCA. Forty-nine BCAs have been designated since the law was enacted in 1997.

The proposed Napeague BCA is approximately 2,140 acres and meets three of the criteria for designation in the BCA law. It is a pelagic seabird site, diverse species concentration site, and species at risk site. Pelagic birds in the BCA include breeding Least Terns on Hicks Island, Goff Point and Napeague Beach. The diversity of birds in the BCA is due in part to the fact that it is part of one of the largest, relatively unfragmented areas of maritime open space on eastern Long Island. Breeding beach/dune species include Piping Plovers, Least Terns and American Oystercatchers. Species at risk in the BCA include breeding Piping Plovers (state-endangered, federally threatened), Northern Harrier (state-threatened), Least Terns (state-threatened) and Osprey (state-species of special concern), and wintering Short-eared Owls (state-endangered).

OPRHP will accept comments on the proposed BCA during a 30-day public comment period, which ends April 11, 2008.

Comments or questions should be addressed to:
Thomas B. Lyons, Environmental Management Bureau, OPRHP, Agency Building #1, Albany, NY 12238, Phone: (518) 474-0409, Fax: (518) 474-7013, E-mail: thomas.lyons@oprhp.state.ny.us.

Additional information on the BCA program and other sites that have been designated can be found on the DEC website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/25341.html.


Proposed Designation of Bird Conservation Area

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) is proposing the designation of a new Bird Conservation Area (BCA) in accordance with Article 11 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL §11-0539, 11-2001 and 11-2003). The BCA program provides a comprehensive, ecosystem approach to conserving birds and their habitats on state-owned lands and waters. It also provides for education and research opportunities related to birds and their habitats. Designation of a BCA will not affect existing recreational activities.

Legislative amendments to the BCA program enacted in 2002 require public notice of any proposed designations with a 30-day public comment period following publication of the notice. At this time, DEC proposes to designate Catharine Creek Marsh Wildlife Management Area (WMA) as new Bird Conservation Area. Forty-nine BCAs have been designated by DEC and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation since the law was enacted in 1997.

The Catharine Creek BCA, located in the Town of Montour, Schuyler County, is approximately 890 acres in size. The site is a large emergent wetland at the southern end of Seneca Lake, between Watkins Glen and Montour Falls, and one of the last remaining headwater marshes in the Finger Lakes. Once navigable to Montour Falls, the waters of Catharine Creek still feed a remnant section of the Chemung Barge Canal, which runs through the center of the marsh. Queen Catharine Marsh is currently designated an Important Bird Area by Audubon New York. The objective of the BCA designation is to maintain a diversity of waterfowl, shorebird, waterbird and landbirds, and the habitats they require, with an emphasis on aquatic habitats and the birds that depend on these unique ecosystems.

The Catharine Creek BCA meets several designation criteria, including diverse species concentration site, individual species concentration site, species at risk site, and bird research site. The BCA supports American Black Duck, Common Loon, Osprey, Bald Eagle, American Woodcock, Willow Flycatcher, Sedge Wren, Wood Thrush, Blue-winged Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, and Rusty Blackbird. Wetland dependent species which breed here include Pied-billed Grebe, American Bittern, Least Bittern, Virginia Rail, Sora, Marsh Wren, and Swamp Sparrow. Three rare plants, Marsh horsetail, Leiberg's panic grass and Spreading globeflower, one watch list species Swamp agrimony, and six avian species at risk, Bald Eagle (state-threatened), Least Bittern (state-threatened), Pied-billed Grebe (state-threatened), American Bittern (state-species of special concern), Osprey (state-species of special concern), and Common Loon (state-species of special concern), have been documented. Fourteen ecological communities have been documented at the Catharine Creek WMA, including two significant ecological communities, floodplain forest and silver maple-ash swamp.

DEC will accept comments on the proposed BCA during a 30-day public comment period which ends April 11, 2008.

Comments or questions should be addressed to: John Ozard, Nongame and Habitat Unit, NYS DEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754, Phone: (518) 402-8905, Fax: (518)-402-8925, E-mail: jwozard@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

Additional information on the BCA program and other sites that have been designated can be found on the DEC website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/25341.html.



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