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Public Notice

Proposed Designation of Bird Conservation Areas

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proposing designation of two new Bird Conservation Areas (BCAs) 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 designation of Helderberg BCA and South Shore Tidal Wetlands BCA as new Bird Conservation Areas. Twenty-five 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.

1) Helderberg BCA is comprised of four parcels, totaling approximately 6,716 acres in Albany County. The BCA includes Partridge Run Wildlife Management Area (WMA) (4,714 acres), Partridge Run State Forest (880 acres), Margaret Burke WMA (248 acres), and Cole Hill State Forest (874 acres). This BCA meets four of the criteria necessary to be designated as a BCA. It is a migratory concentration site, diverse species concentration site, individual species concentration site, and a species at risk site. Of particular interest are the early successional species which include American Woodcock, Ruffed Grouse, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Towhee, Prairie Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Nashville Warbler, and Blue-winged Warbler. The BCA also supports a wide variety of forest warblers, songbirds, and winter finches.

2) South Shore Tidal Wetlands BCA is comprised of 21 State Tidal Wetland parcels, totaling approximately 1,377 acres, in the South Shore Estuary area of Long Island, in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. These parcels include Inwood, Lido, Babylon Islands, Isbrandtsen, Timber Point, Pickman-Remmer, Pepperidge Hall, Ludlow Creek, Benton Bay, Brown’s River, Namkee Creek, Stillman Creek, Lyman Marsh, Bellport Bay Marsh, Fireplace Neck, John’s Neck, Tuthill Cove, Haven’s Point, Moneybogue, Quantuck, and Shinnecock State Tidal Wetlands. The South Shore Tidal Wetlands BCA meets eight of the criteria necessary to be designated as a BCA. It is a waterfowl concentration site, pelagic seabird site, shorebird concentration site, wading bird concentration site, migratory concentration site, diverse species concentration site, individual species concentration site, and a species at risk site. The BCA supports a wide diversity of wetland dependent and upland species, including several species at risk. Species of interest include Northern Harrier, Common Tern, Osprey, Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow, Seaside Sparrow, Clapper Rail, and Short-eared Owl.

DEC will accept comments on the proposed BCAs during a 30-day public comment period which ends January 23, 2004. Comments or questions should be addressed to Bryan L. Swift, Nongame and Habitat Unit, DEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754, phone (518) 402-8896; fax: (518)-402-8925; e-mail: blswift@gw.dec.state.ny.us

Additional information on the BCA program and other sites that have been designated can be found on the BCA website at: www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/wildlife/bca/index.html

6NYCRR Section 1.40 Notice of Proposed Rule Making

Pursuant to the Environmental Conservation Law, Sections 11-0303, 11-0903, and 11-0905, the Department of Environmental Conservation hereby gives notice of the following:

Notice of Proposed Rule Making for 6NYCRR Section 1.40 relating to a spring youth turkey hunt. This notice will be published in issue 52 of the State Register, dated 12/31/2003.

For further information contact:
Gordon Batcheller, Bureau of Wildlife
Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources
625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754
Telephone: (518) 402-8885
E-mail: grbatche@gw.dec.state.ny.us