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For Release: Monday, February 10, 2020

DEC Announces Youth Conservation Program Dates

Hunter Safety Courses to be Offered in April for Children 12 to 16 Years Old

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Carrie Meek Gallagher today announced that a two-day, hands-on program to encourage youth hunting safety will be offered in April by DEC's Hunter Education unit. The program is part of the state's Youth Conservation Program designed to introduce girls and boys between the ages of 12 and 16 to the basic principles of conservation, hunter education, and the outdoors.

"Hunting and fishing are an important part of Long Island's heritage, and we are fortunate that our region offers a multitude of diverse and rewarding recreational opportunities," Director Gallagher said. "DEC applauds our local outdoors enthusiasts, the Conservation Officers Association, and the Peconic River Sportsman's Club for their tireless work to protect our environment and natural resources. The 2020 Youth Conservation Program is the perfect way to introduce the next generation to hunting ethics and how to be responsible hunters."

The hunting safety course will take place on April 18 and 19, at the Peconic River Sportsman's Club in Manorville. The course is open to young people who have not yet taken DEC's Hunter Education course. Applications must be returned by April 10, and can be found on DEC's Hunter Education Course webpage.

Each class is limited to 30 participants. Participants that successfully complete the program will receive their Hunter Education Training Certificate, which is required to purchase a hunting license.

The Youth Conservation Program is part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's NY Open for Hunting and Fishing initiative. Since 1994, this regional hunter safety event has been sponsored by the DEC's Hunter Education unit, the New York State Conservation Officers Association, and the Peconic River Sportsman's Club. NY Open for Hunting and Fishing Initiative is an effort to improve recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state hunters and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state. It includes the streamlining of hunting and fishing licensing and reducing license fees, improved access for fishing at various sites across the state, and increasing hunting opportunities in various regions.

For more information or to register for the Youth Conservation Program, contact DEC's Hunter Education Office at (631) 444-0255.