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For Release: Monday, April 3, 2017

DEC Invites Public Comment on Proposal to Update Habitat Management Activities

Comments Accepted on New Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement through May 1, 2017

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) to update its Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) on Habitat Management Activities for DEC's Division of Fish and Wildlife is now available for public review and comment.

The draft SEIS describes and evaluates habitat management techniques implemented on nearly 234,000 acres of state land, designated primarily as Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and managed for wildlife production and wildlife-dependent recreation. Comments will be accepted through May 1, 2017.

DEC recognized the need to update the state's 1979 PEIS to reflect current practices. DEC uses a variety of methods to manage habitat for wildlife, including controlling undesirable vegetation, maintaining impoundments for waterfowl and wading bird production, planting trees, mowing and removing brush to maintain grasslands, and cutting trees to create openings in the forest.

Updates to the 1979 PEIS include removing practices no longer implemented, adding new practices, analyzing the environmental impact of these practices, considering alternative practices, and selecting preferred practices. Proposed changes include removing autumn olive and multiflora rose as species planted for wildlife habitat; maintaining up to 5,000 acres of agricultural habitats to enhance habitat for wildlife and opportunities for wildlife-related recreation; preparing WMA plans to guide habitat management and public access; and managing forests with even-aged management techniques.

The draft SEIS is available on DEC's website, located at the bottom of the page under "Environmental Impact Statements." Copies are also available upon request in electronic format on compact disc by calling (518) 402-8883.

Comments via e-mail should be submitted to: WildlifeRegs@dec.ny.gov. Please insert the phrase "Comments on Supplemental Habitat Management EIS" in the subject line. Alternatively, comments submitted in writing should be sent to:

Attn: Marcelo J. del Puerto
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Fish and Wildlife
625 Broadway
Albany, New York 12233-4754

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