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Mute Swans in New York

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Notice of Public Comment Hearings
Notice of Public Comment Period

Mute Swans in New York:
A Management Plan to Prevent Population Growth and
Minimize Impacts of a Non-Native Invasive Species (Third Draft)

The mute swan (Cygnus olor) is a non-native, invasive species brought to North America in the late 1800s. Over the past century, swans that escaped or were released established wild populations in downstate New York that now number close to 2,000 birds. A separate population of mute swans became established near Rochester in the late 1980s. Mute swans compete with native wildlife for aquatic food plants and nesting areas. In addition, people are unable to use some water areas where the highly territorial birds nest.

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released prior draft management plans for mute swans in 2014 and 2015. The most recent plan was released in September 2017. The goal of the draft plan is to prevent any further mute swan population growth to minimize impacts to native wildlife and habitats, as well as minimize conflicts with property owners and other outdoor enthusiasts. Property owners will be allowed to implement control measures where necessary to alleviate site-specific conflicts caused by mute swans.

The draft plan outlines DEC's strategies to contain and minimize the impacts of free-ranging mute swans. It describes a three-part, regionalized approach that emphasizes non-lethal management both upstate and downstate. The plan includes public education and outreach to inform the public about the status and ecological impacts of mute swans, efforts to foster responsible possession and care of mute swans, and strategies for managing feral mute swan populations.

Availability of Documents:
The current third revised plan is available on DEC's website.

Public Comment Hearings:
Public comment hearings for the receipt of public comments on the revised draft management plan will be held on the dates and at the locations listed below. The public hearings will commence at 6:00 p.m. All persons, organizations, corporations, or government agencies which may be affected by the proposed plan are invited to attend the hearings and to submit oral or written comments. It is not necessary to notify DEC in advance to speak at the public comment hearings. Equal weight will be afforded to both oral and written statements. Lengthy statements should be in writing and summarized for oral presentation.

The presiding Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) may set reasonable time limits for each speaker to afford everyone an opportunity to be heard. The hearings are fully accessible to persons with a mobility impairment. Interpreter services will be made available to the hearing-impaired at no charge upon written request to the DEC, Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, Chief Administrative Law Judge James T. McClymonds, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-1550, (518) 402-9003 no less than three business days prior to the hearing.

The Public Comment Hearings are scheduled as follows:

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 6 p.m.
Suffolk County Water Authority
260 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 6 p.m.
Braddock Bay Pavilion
199 E. Manitou Road
Hilton, New York 14468

Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 6 p.m.
Region 3 NYSDEC
21 South Putt Corners Road
New Paltz, New York 12561

In addition, the public is encouraged to provide written comments on the revised draft management plan by writing to: Bureau of Wildlife - Mute Swan Plan, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754; or e-mailing (subject line - "Mute Swan Plan"). The public comment period will close on December 6, 2017.

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