Saturday, January 22, 2011

CFAB annual report is out

In the news today:
1. See CFAB Annual Report   
2. Land use comments from the NYSCC
3. Don't feed the bears
4. Assemblywoman Rosenthal digs up the dead, another assault weapons bill for NY


CFAB Please make a special note at the very bottom of the report notice how not one state Senator or Assemblyman on the NYS Environmental committee made not one meeting. See fellow sportsmen, they don't  care about us.




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Good morning:
Below find a summary of some pending UMP's and land use plans developed by the DEC and the APA;  the Final Draft UMP for the Moose River Plains is particularly disappointing.
 
I am going to offer some opinions on the DEC's lack of responsiveness to the sporting community, the examples are countless. For me it is hard to understand how a group, the sporting community, can contribute 53 million dollars a year to conservation efforts in N.Y.S. and have so little impact on land use policy. Along parallel lines The Adirondack Park Agency Review Board recently let it's white paper (paper is an attached)  "Under the Influence and In Need of Detoxification" referring to the Adirondack Park Agency being under the influence of the environmental groups and needing a cleansing. Following the upper level DEC administrations lack of response to tremendous public input from the sporting community on the future of the Moose River Plains and other land use plans,  and their continued propensity to develop plans that seem to favor the agenda of the protectionist groups, (more and more wilderness, shutting down access and more and more roads closed and now actions to protect the wilderness) one has to conclude that some key leadership in the DEC is also under the "influence"  of the green groups as well.  They want our money, but do little to support us!  At this point sportsmen I talk with are feeling taken advantage of !  My opinion new leadership is necessary in the DEC's Office of Assistant Commissioner for Natural Resources.The old saying "a new broom sweeps clean" appears to be a necessary approach to detoxify that office. An equatable approach to working with all stake holder groups has been lacking now for some time!
 
Walt Paul
    
From the desk of Walt Paul –  NYS Conservation Council
                                               Access and Land Use Specialist

This past year has been a busy one regarding sportsmen's access and land use issues. The Counsel has taken an active role advocating for maintaining and expanding sportsman’s access on easement and state lands. The Moose River Plains UMP, the APA/DEC MOA regarding Easement Lands and the  DEC Strategic Plan for State Forest Management all will have a significant impact on our ability to access hunting, fishing and trapping locations. The Status of these plans is as follows:

Moose River Plains - First for the bad news! The Draft Final Plan is out and has been approved by the Adirondack Park Agency. Despite tremendous public opposition to closing the Indian Lake Road (access to some of the best trout fishing in the northeast) and opposition to creating additional wilderness, the DEC has put forward a final plan to expand the wilderness by 14667 acres and shut down two miles of the Indian Lake Road starting at a parking lot which will be created one-half mile from Squaw lake. This means the public will have to walk two and one-half miles to get to Indian Lake to fish, canoe and enjoy nature. It is my understanding that discussions are under way to designate the last two miles of the Indian Lake Road as part of the North Country Scenic Trail, a hiking trail.
The 14667 acres wilderness expansion will be removed from existing wild forest and designated wilderness creating a new wilderness area of 12,270 acres south of the main Cedar River Road. The new wilderness would be formed on the North side of a mountain biking trail that will have Wild Forest designation. The other 2, 397 acres will be added to the West Canada Wilderness area.
Roadside Camping on the Moose River Plains will continue with some adjustments to site locations  As I understand it the designation of an intensive use corridor within the Adirondack Park will require an addendum to the State Land master Plan.  Let us not forget thsi was a preexisting condition and as such we gained very little. It also appears that agreement has been reached where none of the existing sites will be removed until new sites have been constructed. Floatplanes will be allowed. The UMP now goes to the Governor for his approval.

The outcome in general is very disappointing for the sporting community when we consider this land was gifted to sportsmen by a timber company and many of the roads were actually deeded to insure access. The change in classification of the 14,667 acres of wild forest to wilderness requires the approval of the Governor; thus the future of the entire plan hinges on the Governors sign off and approval by the DEC Commissioner. Next steps are being considered.

Adirondack Park Agency / Department of Environmental Conservation MOA regarding Management of Easement Lands has been approved. A major concern was that the APA would be involved and would have to approve use of existing trails and roads for snowmobile and ATV use for sportsmen involved in hunting, fishing and trapping. It appears the DEC recognized that easement lands are private lands and that existing uses should not fall under the APA's purview. Following negotiations it appears APA oversight will be limited to new use and development and when the intensity of use by the public reaches a certain level. The Council provided extensive comments and it appears the comments supported the Department of Environmental Conservations thinking and helped facilitate a positive outcome. It now appears the traditional use of trails and roads on easement lands by sportsmen utilizing trucks, ATV's and snowmobiles will continue, contingent on easement language. The outcome appears positive for the sporting community.  
DEC State Land Use Strategic Plan – A high number of public comments have been received on the plan and the Department of Environmental Conservation is reviewing and preparing responses to the comments. As I understand it the Dec Commissioner must sign off on the plan. At this point it does not appear the plan will be approved during the current administration.  The Council weighted in heavily on access issues pertaining to State Lands. The impact on sportsmen is unknown until the plan is finalized.

Champion Camp Retention – 200 camps occupied by Sportsmen are scheduled to be torn down per the Easement Agreement. Club members and the sporting community have lobbied, litigated and negotiated to see that the camps remain. The DEC after careful deliberation decided to support the camps remaining and is awaiting a final review from the APA. Environmental Groups are opposing the action and it would appear continued pressure from the sporting community is important at this point. The decision will be precedent setting in terms of keeping hundreds of camps on other easement lands. It seems people are realizing that the traditional hunting clubs have been good stewards of the land. Current outcome unknown.

Thank-you - As we conclude the year I would like to thank everyone that took their time to weigh in with Public and Elected Officials on the critical land use and access issues facing the sporting community. Our efforts are yielding some results; visit the Council’s website frequently for action alerts. If you are not a member of the N.Y.S. Conservation Council an application can be accessed at www.nyscc.com  and click on "get involved". 

 Happy New Year! 
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For Release:  IMMEDIATE                                                                        Contact:  Lori Severino
Friday, January 21, 2011                                                                                    (518) 402-8000

STATEWIDE BAN ON FEEDING BLACK BEARS NOW IN EFFECT


Responding to the growing number of conflicts between bears and people across New York State, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced a new state regulation that prohibits the feeding of black bears.

As black bear numbers have increased significantly in recent years and bears have become more widespread throughout New York, the number of interactions between bears and people has grown, often resulting from the intentional or incidental feeding of bears.

Previously, DEC prohibited the intentional feeding of bears in proximity to certain locations. In an effort to reduce bear habituation to human-supplied foods and future human-bear conflicts, DEC’s new regulation prohibits both incidental and intentional feeding of bears statewide.

Specifically, the regulation bans intentional feeding of black bears, and, after previous written notice from DEC, also prohibits incidental or indirect feeding of black bears through food attractants such as garbage, refuse or bird seed. The regulation grants DEC the authority to require removal of these and other food attractants when bears become problematic.

DEC generally encourages discontinuing bird feeding activity in the Spring when bears emerge from their dens and natural foods for bears are not abundant and natural food for birds are becoming more available.

The Notice of Adoption of the new regulation prohibiting black bear feeding is available atwww.dos.state.ny.us/info/register/2011/jan12/pdfs/rules.pdf .

More information about black bears can be found on the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6960.html  or by viewing DEC’s video “Living with New York Black Bears” which is available in public and school libraries throughout the state.

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11-03
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Rosenthal , digging up the dead~AGAIN

New York Assault Weapons Bill 


A bill in New York would redefine “assault weapon” to include many firearms that are commonly used for hunting.
Assembly Bill 1479, introduced by Asm. Linda Rosenthal (D-New York), changes the state’s definition of “assault weapon.”  
Currently, possession of “assault weapons” in the state are generally prohibited. 

 Follow this link for the text of the bill.
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