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For Release: Friday, February 3, 2012

DEC Releases Draft Spruce Grouse Recovery Plan for Public Review

A proposed Spruce Grouse Recovery Plan is available for public review and comment, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced today.

"The spruce grouse is a historic resident of New York state and represents an important and visible animal component of the boreal forest community. Conservation of the spruce grouse and the habitat in which it thrives is important to conserving New York's biodiversity and unique character," DEC Assistant Commissioner Kathleen Moser said. "Recommendations in the plan are intended to stabilize and improve the distribution and abundance of this rare bird species and ultimately increase its population," Moser said.

The spruce grouse is a New York state endangered bird restricted to a handful of lowland boreal (northern) forest habitats in the Adirondack Mountains. The recovery plan provides a comprehensive review of the spruce grouse and proposes a strategy for preventing the loss of this species from the state.

Key provisions of the plan include:

  • Encouraging maintenance of blocks of 20-40 year old spruce-fir forest (preferred habitat for the species) distributed in close proximity throughout the northwest Adirondacks
  • An investigation into the possible introduction of wild birds from other nearby states or Canada to increase the size, distribution and genetic variation of the current population

Although recovery plans are not required for endangered species in New York state, under regulations implementing the New York Endangered Species Law, a recovery plan can be prepared to provide guidance for activities that would result in an improvement in the status of the species and lean toward eventually removing the species from the NYS Endangered Species List.

Additional information on spruce grouse can be found on the NYS DEC website. Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF copies of the Draft Spruce Grouse Recovery Plan may be downloaded from: ftp://ftp.dec.state.ny.us/dfwmr/wildlife/spgr.

DEC will accept comments on the draft plan during the 30-day public comment period, which ends March 1, 2012. Comments or questions should be addressed to: John Ozard, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754, phone: (518) 402-8881, or by email. Use "Spruce grouse plan" in the subject line.

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