The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) says drafts of updates to habitat management policies are now available for public review and comment.
The Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) will update the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS).
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.
DEC says they 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 at http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/28693.html, 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: [email protected]. Insert the phrase “Comments on Supplemental Habitat Management EIS” in the subject line.
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.