For Release: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
DEC Sets Youth Conservation Program Dates on Long Island
Region One's Hunter Safety Course Offered for Youth 12 to 16 Years Old Since 1994
Under Governor Cuomo's Open for Fishing and Hunting initiative, a two-day, hands-on program on hunting safety will be offered on April 26 and 27 by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) Sportsman Education Program, the agency announced today.
"Hunting and fishing are an important part of Long Island's heritage, and we are very fortunate that the region offers a multitude of diverse and rewarding recreational opportunities," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. "The 2014 Youth Conservation Program is the perfect way to introduce the next generation of sportsmen and women to hunting ethics and teach them how to be responsible hunters from the start. These youth education courses fit right in with Governor Cuomo's Open for Fishing and Hunting initiative to expand hunting and fishing opportunities in New York State."
Since 1994 this event has been sponsored by the DEC's Sportsman Education Program, the New York State Conservation Officers Association and the Peconic River Sportsman's Club. The Youth Conservation Program will be held at the Peconic River Sportsman's Club in Manorville.
Each class is limited to 30 participants and selections are made by a panel that reviews a 75-word application. Enrollment in the class is open to all youth between the ages of 12 and 16 who have not yet taken their Hunter Education course. To date approximately 800 students have successfully completed YCP on Long Island.
Participants who successfully complete the program will receive their Hunter Education Training Certificate. This certificate is required in order to purchase a hunting license. For more information or to register for the Youth Conservation Program, contact the DEC Sportsman Education Office at (631) 444-0255.
Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is an effort to improve recreational activities for sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state. This initiative includes the streamlining of fishing and hunting licensing and reducing license fees, improved access for fishing at various sites across the state and increasing hunting opportunities in various regions. This year, Governor Cuomo unveiled the NYS Adventure License, which allows outdoor enthusiasts, boaters, anglers and hunters to consolidate their recreation licenses and benefits onto their New York State Driver's License, and the NYS Adventure License Plates, featuring nine plate designs available for free to those buying new lifetime hunting, fishing or park licenses in 2014.
In support of this initiative, this year Governor Cuomo has proposed creating 50 new land access projects to connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors to more than 380,000 acres of existing state and easement lands that have gone untapped until now. These 50 new access projects include building new boat launches, installing new hunting blinds and building new trails and parking areas. In Long Island this includes projects at Rocky Point Natural Resource Management Area, Underhill Unique Area, Kings Park Unique Area and Otis Pike Preserve.
In addition, the Governor's 2014-15 budget proposes to: include $4 million to repair the state's fish hatcheries; limit the liability of landowners who allow recreational activities on their properties, which could open up vast, untapped resources for additional hunting, fishing and many other recreational pursuits; and allow crossbow hunting once again in New York State.