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For Release: Wednesday, December 2, 2015

DEC Announces Over 100,000 Downloads of the New York State Fish and Wildlife Smartphone Application

Application Quickly and Easily Locates Places to Fish, Hunt, View Wildlife and Enjoy the Outdoors in New York State

A year and a half after its successful launch, New York has surpassed 100,000 downloads of the free mobile "New York Fish and Wildlife" application (app), State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced. The app provides up-to-date information on fishing, hunting, wildlife watching and other outdoor adventure opportunities in New York State. Launched as part of the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, this milestone highlights the growing interest in outdoor recreation opportunities throughout the state, and the economic importance of fishing and hunting-related tourism.

"New York State is home to a vast array of fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation locations, providing unmatched opportunities to enjoy the outdoors while supporting local economies statewide," Acting Commissioner Seggos said. "This app is one of the successful tools in Governor Cuomo's continuing efforts to enhance tourism and promote New York State as a premier destination for fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation."

DEC developed the app in partnership with Parks By Nature Network® at no cost to the State. The app provides advanced GPS mapping features as well as many other features to maximize any outdoor adventure, including detailed species information, news, advisories and weather alerts, social networking and photo sharing, and cache-able map tiles for offline use.

Brett Melillo, Parks By Nature co-founder and program coordinator, said, "The tremendous success of the New York Pocket Ranger Fish and Wildlife App shows the state's dedication to encouraging a new generation of users to explore and discover all that New York has to offer for outdoor recreation. We applaud Governor Cuomo for his support of this public-private partnership that has provided a robust mobile app that enhances outdoor experiences and raises awareness, interest and participation in New York's outdoor resources."

This app gives both novice and seasoned outdoorsmen and women essential information in the palm of their hand. Powered by Pocket Ranger® technology, the app's advanced GPS feature enables users to easily identify and locate New York's many world-class fishing, hunting and wildlife watching sites. Users also have access to real-time trail data, nearby amenity locations, including boat ramps, parking, restrooms and more. Up-to-date information on the state's current hunting and fishing regulations are also provided through this innovative tool.

The New York Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife app can be downloaded on the Apple App Store website or the Google Play store website, or by going to the Pocket Ranger website. (All above links leave DEC website.)

This effort stems from Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative aimed at improving recreational opportunities for sportsmen and women and boosting tourism activities throughout the state. This initiative includes streamlining fishing and hunting licenses, reducing license fees, improving access for fishing and increasing hunting opportunities in New York.

In support of this initiative, Governor Cuomo has expanded recreational opportunities for residents and tourists, positioning New York State as a recreation destination, connecting communities to state lands, and improving the quality of life. This includes streamlining fishing and hunting licenses, reducing license fees, improving access for fishing and increasing hunting opportunities in New York State. In support of this initiative, last year $10 million in NY Works funding has been dedicated to fish hatchery repairs and 50 new land and water access projects such as boat launches, hunting blinds, trails and parking areas.

Under the initiative, the 2015-16 Enacted Budget included an additional $8 million for state land access projects and an additional $4 million for the state's hatcheries in NY Works funding. The Budget also creates a new capital account which along with federal Pittman-Robertson funds will be used to manage, protect and restore fish and wildlife habitat, and to improve and develop public access for fish and wildlife-related recreation.

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