Wednesday, July 6, 2011

NYS CONSERVATION COUNCIL, INC. 2011 Resolutions

Here is the final list of resolutions that will be discused at the fall meeting.


NYS CONSERVATION COUNCIL, INC. 2011 RESOLUTIONS


Subject: Antler Restrictions / Deer Management / Yearling Buck Protection


1-11 Nassau County

Whereas it is the opinion of the Nassau County Federation that deer populations in New York State, especially buck numbers, are currently substantially down from previous numbers in many areas and the herd must be restored;

Whereas New York’s basic deer management strategies regimes are almost 100 years old, as the 3 inch antler definition of a legal buck was adopted in 1911 and do not reflect recently emerging advances and techniques provided for by scientific deer management;

Whereas the deer herd should be restored in a balanced and biologically sound way by increasing the buck to doe ratio by increasing the numbers and age of the buck population;

Whereas implementation of new deer management techniques and harvest regimes could substantially increase deer hunter participation and satisfaction, and ultimately provide a better and more efficient tool to achieve the levels of annual deer harvest needed for better herd management;

Whereas there is growing interest among New York hunters to refine their role as deer herd managers and expand their hunting opportunities and satisfactions, including the opportunity to pursue and take more mature bucks and create adult sex ratios that are in balance with deer herd health;

Whereas the County Federations have reported from areas such as Ulster County, Sullivan County, Greene County, Schoharie County and other areas have overwhelming support for improving buck hunting in their local area;

Whereas the DEC implemented antler harvest restrictions in 2005 in Ulster County in two units and in 2006 in Sullivan County in two units and sportsmen are happy with the program and would like to expand the program to include additional adjoining counties;

Whereas the expansion to include additional units is also supported by NYSCC members Sullivan County Federation of Sportsmen, Ulster County Federation of Sportsmen, Greene County Federation of Sportsmen, Schoharie County Conservation Association, Dutchess County Federation of Sportsmen, Suffolk Alliance of Sportsmen, Nassau County Fish and Game, NYSWMC, and QDMA;

Whereas improved buck hunting could establish a statewide precedent and have far reaching implications;

Whereas as a large number of the hunters in many of the counties that are requesting antler harvest restrictions are made up of metropolitan hunters (NYC and Long Island) are primarily from long Island such as Unit 3A - 87 of 435 hunters, or 20% total of which 60 of the 87, or 69% are Long Island Hunters, Unit 4G – 99 of 647 hunters, or 15% total, of which 70 of the 99, or 70% are Long Island Hunters, Unit 4R – 154 of 434 hunters, or 35% total, of which 103 of the 154, or 67% are Long Island Hunters Unit 4S – 35 of 328 hunters, or 11% total, of which 21 of the 35, or 60% are Long Island Hunters, Unit 4W – 338 of 899 hunters, or 38% total, of which 217 of the 338 hunters, from the DEC Reported Hunt Activity for 2009 furnished by Div. of Fish, wildlife, and Marine Resources;

Whereas, as a result of informal polling of its member clubs, it is the opinion of the Nassau County Federation that an overwhelming number of those regular season hunters in the other counties who reside on Long Island are in favor of antler harvest restrictions;

Whereas improved buck hunting will benefit all New York hunters who wish to hunt in these areas;

Whereas, although they are not residents, many metropolitan hunters own property in the units in question and they are licensed hunters in NY State that have exhausted all other avenues at their disposal so this issue has now become statewide since they have not been able to effect regulatory change, it may now require legislation to effect a change; and so it is the opinion of Nassau County that members of the NYSCC should support their fellow NYSCC members on this resolution requesting antler harvest restrictions;

Whereas sportsmen with the support of their communities requested the DEC improve buck hunting by implementing yearling buck protection in 2009, the DEC withdrew the proposal and other remedies, including sportsmen, community and political efforts, have not been successful in accomplishing this requested change;

BE IT RESOLVED that the NYSCC position be that an alternative deer harvest strategy that includes antler harvest restrictions needed to achieve greater levels of maturity among the buck segment of the deer population be implemented in wildlife management units that have the support of the majority of local NYSCC member county federations, such as unit 3A, 4G, 4R, 4S and 4W on an unit by unit basis and that NYSCC advocate for and support regulation and legislative change to implement said position including conveying said support in writing to the DEC.

Contact: Charles A. Bevilacqua, 3 Albert Avenue, Syosset, NY 11791 516/921-1429-H

Resolution Committee: The Resolution Committee was evenly split on whether this was a regional issue or one of statewide significance. The committee decided to pass it on to the appropriate topic specific committees for their input.

Big Game Committee: Support – vote: 6 support, 4 oppose

Comments: It was agreed by members of the Big Game Committee that, considering the similarities of the above resolutions, to handle as one issue, rather than five separate initiatives as to save time and debate, as points for and against each measure would be the same.

Supporters of the resolutions state this is a “home rule” issue and should be respected, despite comments from supporters indicating no definition of “home rule” exists (some comments express a county issue, while others derive “home rule” is on a WMU basis.)
Opponents believe this remains a state issue, as, beyond the lack of a “home rule” definition, by state law, wildlife, including deer, are owned by the people of the state (regardless of county the deer may be residing in), with management being the responsibility of the state (as deer can readily cross WMU and County borders).

Support for “AR” as a local issue is largely justified by opinion surveys, designed without involvement of the Big Game Committee (no vetting), yet answers to concerns brought by regions opposed to the rule-making such as validity of stated claims that “AR” will improve hunter numbers, youth involvement and increased appeal to non-resident tourism, remain unaddressed by supporters. Additional questions concerning sustainability of “AR” initiatives, an element demanded by the North American Wildlife Conservation Model, and the lack of
evidence of the biological issues claimed that will be addressed (trickle rut harming herd, State shows no evidence of existence of “trickle rut” to be addressed), further compounds the challenges to making a wise decision.

With sportsmen unity of paramount importance, the road to discovery of essential facts will create more unity than debate over public opinion surveys and personal desire, while aiding in preventing potentially poor decisions, largely made to “keep the peace.”

By vote of the Big Game Committee, the combined resolutions passed by a 6 For, 4 Against margin. It is clear that positions across the State have not changed. However, by vote the committee has chosen to endorse the loosely defined “home rule” aspect.

Recommendation: SUPPORT, however, this issue remains a divisive and contentious issue within the ranks of Big Game Hunters, demanding very careful examination of all information available, to reach the wisest decision possible.



Archery and Bowhunting Committee: Support – vote: 7 support, 2 oppose
The archery committee was strong on this group of resolutions. An overwhelming
number of archery committee members and regions were willing to work with others
sportsmen from the Southeastern Region of the state that have a strong desire and need
for this program. The presentation by Dick Henry before the committee meeting was
outstanding showing how this program can reduce predator populations.

A comprehensive report on yearling buck protection in AR pilot area revealed that
yearling harvest has gone down to only 15% of the harvest and adult bucks now make up
85% of the harvest. Jeremy Hurst, DEC Deer Biologist stated that this is correct and that
this is what we (the DEC) expected from the program. Prior to the ARs the harvest was
57%+ yearling bucks. There has been a steady increase in the harvest of 2.5 and 3.5 year
old bucks since the AR program began. The 3.5 year old harvest is now 36% of the
harvest. This represents a 258% increase in number of 3.5 year old bucks being taken.
For comparison, statewide less than 15% of the bucks harvested are 3.5 years old.
DEC survey, March 2009, showed strong support in the areas submitting resolutions of
67% in favor of Antler Restrictions in the proposed areas. The AR expansion supporters
list presented was extensive showing grass roots community support.

The majority of the committee felt AR resolutions are about supporting fellow sportsmen
who know what is best in their area’s habitat and that the program has demonstrated
positive results.


Legislative Committee: Oppose vote: 0 support, 4 oppose
Comments :
• The Legislative Committee takes the position that this resolution is not based on sound biological science.
• Management control should not go through a legislative process it should be left to the DEC.

2-11 NYS Chapter, Quality Deer Management Association

Whereas it is sound deer biology to have a balanced age structure of bucks in the herd;

Whereas many deer biologists support protecting yearling bucks in order to promote a balanced herd structure and sound deer management;

Whereas New York State buck harvests are comprised of 59% yearlings according to DEC harvest 2009, http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63042.html, one of the highest percentages of any state in the nation, see page 7, QDMA Whitetail Report 2011 http://www.qdma.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Whitetail-Report-2011-low-res.pdf and;

Whereas the NYSCQDMA “we” are confident in the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation deer biologists’ ability to establish a standard that will protect the majority of yearling bucks while making the majority of other age classes available for harvest;

Whereas we are also confident in the abilities of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation deer biologists to objectively monitor the effects of any such program created in New York;

Whereas a Cornell HDRU 2007 survey found that 59% of hunters statewide supported protecting yearling bucks;

Whereas sportsmen such as the federations of Sullivan, Ulster, Greene, and Schoharie counties have requested implementing an antler restriction program of three one inch points on one side that was designed to protect the majority of yearling bucks by DEC biologists in certain areas such as: WMUs 3A, 4G, 4R, 4S and 4W as the DEC stated at http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/arcatskill09.pdf;

Whereas we are comfortable with the levels of support and opposition in each WMU as determined by the spring 2009 hunter surveys, public meetings and public input;

Whereas furthermore we commend the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation willingness to adopt new and progressive strategies to protect the majority of yearling bucks in the above-mentioned WMUs;

Whereas furthermore we offer our assistance to help New York State Department of Environmental Conservation staff to educate and/or inform sportsmen and women on the proposed changes;

BE IT RESOLVED that the NYSCC take any and all steps to assist the DEC to adopt progressive strategies to protect the majority of yearling bucks in the above-mentioned WMUs as requested by NYSCC member county federations and that immediately a letter be sent to the DEC strongly encouraging them to adopt yearling buck protection in requested WMU’s.

Contact: NYS QDMA John Rybinski, john101@windstream.net

Resolution Committee: The Resolution Committee was evenly split on whether this was a regional issue or one of statewide significance. The committee decided to pass it on to the appropriate topic specific committees for their input.

Big Game Committee: Support - vote: 6 support, 4 oppose
See comments for 1-11 Nassau County


Archery and Bowhunting Committee: Support – vote: 7 support, 2 oppose
See comments for 1-11 Nassau County




3-11 Schoharie County

Whereas the white tail deer population in New York State, especially the buck numbers, is currently down from previous years in many areas, and the herd needs to be restored;
Whereas New York State's deer management models are nearly 100 years old as the 3 inch antler definition of a legal buck was adopted in 1911 and may not reflect the recent advances and techniques provided by some newer scientific deer management models;

Whereas the white tail deer herd might be restored by increasing the buck to doe ratio, thereby increasing the number and age of the buck population;

Whereas the proposed implementation of new white tail deer management techniques and harvest programs may increase deer hunter participation and satisfaction, thereby resulting in an improved and more efficient tool to achieve a raised level of annual deer harvest numbers needed for better herd management;

Whereas there is growing interest among New York State white tail deer hunters to participate in deer herd management, and to expand hunting opportunities and raise satisfaction levels, by increasing the opportunity to pursue and harvest mature bucks and create adult sex ratios that are in balance with deer herd health;

Whereas the NYS DEC implemented antler harvest restrictions in 2005 in Ulster County in two WMU units, and in 2006 two WMU units in Sullivan County. The white tail deer hunters report satisfaction with the program in these areas, and would like to expand the program to include additional counties including more upstate counties in Region 4;

Whereas Schoharie County is centrally located in the NYSDEC Region 4 and has overwhelming support for improving white tail deer hunting in their local area; and proposes that WMU 4G, a unit largely within the boundaries of Schoharie' County, be included in the implementation of an antler harvest restriction program;

Whereas the DEC March 2009 survey of hunters that hunt in Unit 4G, including those from outside the area found that 65% supported adopting an antler restriction of 3 points on one side;

Whereas the expansion to include Unit 4G is also supported by several county conservation federations including the Schoharie County Conservation Association, and QDMA. This expansion would provide the first WMU in the upstate area of New York State, affording more upstate area whitetail deer hunters the opportunity to experience hunting in an area with an alternative deer harvest strategy program in place.

BE IT RESOLVED that the NYSCC shall support an alternative deer harvest strategy that may include antler harvest restrictions, to achieve a greater level of maturity and numbers among bucks of certain area deer populations, and that such programs be supported and implemented in the NYSDEC Wildlife Management Units that have the support of the local NYSCC member county conservation or sportsman federations.

Contact: Dave Wood, 518-827-4155, dlwood@midtel.net
Doug Handy, 518-295-7779 dchandy513@aol.com


Resolution Committee: The Resolution Committee was evenly split on whether this was a regional issue or one of statewide significance. The committee decided to pass it on to the appropriate topic specific committees for their input.

Big Game Committee: Support – vote: 6 support, 4 oppose
See comments for 1-11 Nassau County


Archery and Bowhunting Committee: Support – vote: 7 support, 2 oppose
See comments for 1-11 Nassau County

4-11 Sullivan County Improving Buck Hunting


Whereas deer populations in New York State, especially buck numbers, are currently substantially down from previous numbers in many areas and the herd must be restored;

Whereas New York’s basic deer (buck) management strategies regimes are almost 100 years old as the 3 inch antler definition of a legal buck was adopted in 1911 and do not reflect recently emerging advances and techniques provided for by scientific deer management;

Whereas the deer herd should be restored in a balanced and biologically sound way by increasing the buck to doe ratio by increasing the numbers and age of the buck population;

Whereas implementation of new deer management techniques and harvest regimes could substantially increase deer hunter participation and satisfaction, and ultimately provide a better and more efficient tool to achieve the levels of annual deer harvest needed for better herd management;

Whereas there is growing interest among New York hunters to refine their role as deer herd managers and expand their hunting opportunities and satisfactions, including the opportunity to pursue and take more mature bucks and create adult sex ratios that are in balance with deer herd health;

Whereas certain areas such as Sullivan County have overwhelming support for improving buck hunting in their local area;

Whereas the DEC implemented antler harvest restrictions in 2006 in Sullivan County in two units and the sportsmen of Sullivan Federation are happy with the program and would like to expand the program to include the remainder of the county contained in Unit 3A;

Whereas the expansion to include Unit 3A is also supported by NYSCC members Ulster County Federation of Sportsmen, Greene County Federation of Sportsmen, Schoharie County Conservation Association, Dutchess County Federation of Sportsmen, Suffolk Alliance of Sportsmen, Nassau County Fish and Game, NYSWMC and QDMA;

Whereas improved buck hunting could establish a statewide precedent and have far reaching implications;

Whereas improved buck hunting will benefit all New York hunters who wish to hunt in this region;

Whereas sportsmen, with the support of their communities, requested the DEC improve buck hunting by implementing yearling buck protection for unit 3A in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010 and the DEC did not adopt the proposal and other remedies, such as meetings with DEC regional staff, DEC Albany staff, DEC Commissioner Grannis and efforts on our behalf by Senators, Assembly Members and County Legislators, have not been successful in accomplishing this requested change;


BE IT RESOLVED that the NYSCC position be that an alternative deer harvest strategy that includes antler harvest restrictions needed to achieve greater levels of maturity among the buck segment of the deer population be implemented in wildlife management units that have the support of the majority of local NYSCC member county sportsmen federations, such as unit 3A, on a unit by unit basis and that NYSCC advocate for and support regulation and legislative change to implement said position including conveying said support in writing to the DEC.

Contact: David Hartman, PO Box 191, Grahamsville NY 12740 845/985-0087


Resolution Committee: The Resolution Committee was evenly split on whether this was a regional issue or one of statewide significance. The committee decided to pass it on to the appropriate topic specific committees for their input.

Big Game Committee: Support – vote: 6 support, 4 oppose
See comments for 1-11 Nassau County

Archery and Bowhunting Committee: Support – vote: 7 support, 2 oppose
See comments for 1-11 Nassau County

Legislative Committee: Oppose - vote: 0 support, 4 oppose
Comments :
• The Legislative Committee takes the position that this resolution is not based on sound biological science.
• Management control should not go through a legislative process it should be left to the DEC.

5-11 Ulster County

Whereas deer populations in New York State, especially buck numbers, are currently substantially down from previous numbers in many areas and the herd must be restored;

Whereas New York’s basic deer management strategies and practices are almost -100 years old as the 3 inch antler definition of a legal buck was adopted in 1911 and do not reflect recent advances and techniques rapidly emerging from the science of deer management;

Whereas the deer herd should be restored in a balanced and biologically sound way by increasing the buck to doe ratio by increasing the numbers-and age of the buck population;

Whereas implementation of new deer management techniques and harvest regimes could substantially increase deer hunter participation and satisfaction, and ultimately provide a better and more efficient tool to achieve the levels of annual deer harvest currently needed for better overall herd management;

Whereas there is growing interest among New York hunters to refine their role as deer herd managers and expand their hunting opportunities and satisfactions, including the opportunity to pursue and take more mature bucks and create adult sex ratios that are in balance with deer herd health;

Whereas certain areas, such as Ulster County, have demonstrated strong local support for improving buck hunting in their local area;

Whereas the DEC implemented antler harvest restrictions in 2005 in Ulster County in two units and the sportsmen of New York who hunt in the affected WMU's are satisfied with the antler restriction program and furthermore would like to expand the program to include the remainder of the county that includes WMU 3A;

Whereas the expansion to include Unit 3A is also supported by Sullivan County Federation of Sportsmen, Greene County Federation of Sportsmen, Schoharie County Conservation Association, Duchess County Federation of Sportsmen, Suffolk Alliance of Sportsmen, Nassau County Fish and Game, NYS Chapter of the Quality Deer Management Association, Ulster County Farm Bureau, Delaware County Farm Bureau, Sullivan County Farm Bureau and Schoharie County Farm Bureau;

Whereas improved buck hunting could serve to promote hunter participation and enhance long term hunter satisfaction;

BE IT RESOLVED that the NYSCC support an alternative deer harvest strategy that includes antler harvest restrictions needed to achieve greater levels of maturity among the buck segment of the deer population in Wildlife Management Units that have the support of the majority of local NYSCC member county. sportsmen's federations, such as WMU 3A, on a unit by unit basis and NYSCC advocate for and support regulation and legislative change to implement said position including conveying said support in writing to the DEC;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the DEC embrace, coordinate and promptly adopt such strategies.

Contact:
Jay Martin, P.O. Box 275, Accord, NY 12404
845/626-7659 captainjaymartin@yahoo.com
Jim Smiseth, 845/687-0738 vidajimtwc1@aol.com

Resolution Committee: The Resolution Committee was evenly split on whether this was a regional issue or one of statewide significance. The committee decided to pass it on to the appropriate topic specific committees for their input.

Big Game Committee: Support – vote: 6 support, 4 oppose
See comments for 1-11 Nassau County

Archery and Bowhunting Committee: Support – vote: 7 support, 2 oppose
See comments for 1-11 Nassau County


Legislative Committee: Oppose - vote: 0 support, 4 oppose
Comments :
• The Legislative Committee takes the position that this resolution is not based on sound biological science.
• Management control should not go through a legislative process it should be left to the DEC.

Subject: Home Rule

6-11 Dutchess County

Resolution To Introduce An NYSCC Policy To Support and Promote Home Rule

Whereas the New York State Conservation Council, Inc. (hereafter the Council) is a state-wide organization whose member clubs, organizations and individual members, represent are from all nine (9) DEC Regions and nearly all of the state's 62 counties.

Whereas it has been become increasingly apparent that the interests and expectations of the Council members have become more complex and more diverse in recent years.

Whereas it is with increasing frequency that issues being debated in Council meetings and among members could have been more effectively resolved at the local and regional level.

Whereas these debates have distracted the full body of the Council from focusing on issues of state-wide implication and importance.


Whereas the primary purpose of a resolution is to delineate a position for the New York State Conservation Council on matters of STATE-WIDE SIGNIFICANCE, ergo, resolutions should not be entertained by the Council if they have limited application or their adoption would resolve what is a local or regional issue.

Whereas most local issues can be resolved by promulgation of a State Regulation by an appropriate agency, department, authority via a Rule Change as stipulated by State law; or through a Local Law as adopted by a municipal or county government, the Council should encourage the interested parties to resolve the issue without Council involvement and the Council should encourage the interested parties to exercise their fundamental right to Home Rule.

And Whereas when the Council takes a formal position on a local or regional issue it unnecessarily undermines a County's or Region's right to and expectation of Home Rule.

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the Council – by policy – will no longer take a formal position on any issue which can be resolved at the Local or Regional level; and as a matter of policy the Council will no longer entertain Resolutions which do not clearly define the need for Council involvement and at a minimum only resolutions which by necessity would require a change to State Law, Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) or adoption of a State-Wide Regulation, or have an abundantly clear State-wide implication, and lacking such will not be considered by the full body of delegates.

Contact:
Kevin Haight – Dutchess County Delegate NYSCC
William R. Conners – Dutchess County Legislative Vice President

Resolution Committee: Support. The Resolution Committee voted to support this resolution. This resolution strengthens many of the procedures already in place for the resolution process and makes them a formal policy of the NYSCC. It better defines a regional issue verses one of state-wide significance. The committee did have some reservations in that this may limit the ability of the council to support/oppose some resolutions.

Legislative Committee: Legislative Committee: Oppose - vote: 0 support, 4 oppose
Comments:
• It is hard to define local versus state wide issues.
• If this resolution was adopted it could limit the involvement of the NYSCC on issues not clearly defined as a state wide or local issue.


Subject: Coyotes

7-11 Erie County

Coyote Reclassification

WHEREAS Coyote populations in NYS continue to rise, and,

WHEREAS Coyote/ Human conflicts, including coyote attacks on persons and pets, have risen at an alarming rate, as illustrated by recent news stories reported by: MSNBC (6/30/2010)*1, NY Times (7/2/2010)*2 , the Greenwich Times (7/7/2010)*3 , NBCNY (1/27/2010)*4 , UPI (July 1, 2010)*5 , the LA Times (7/20/2010)*6, WIVB-Buffalo (4/16/2009)*7 and,

WHEREAS impacts of Coyote predation on many species of wildlife, including whitetail deer fawns, pheasants, turkeys and other wildlife suggests negative impacts on other wildlife populations, as indicated by SUNY-ESF coyote study*9, Dr. Jacqueline Frair, and,

WHEREAS current classification of Coyote as a protected furbearer acts as a detriment to effective management due to closed season protection, and,

WHEREAS increasing Coyote numbers has also increased health concerns due to increased potentials for rabies exposure to people and their pets, as evidenced by September 8, 2010 Associated Press Article entitled “Rabies found in New York coyote that attacked people in Westchester County”*8, and,

WHEREAS provisions in the NYS Environmental Conservation Law, 11-0523, provides for the taking of destructive or menacing wildlife without a permit
(§ 11-0523. Destructive or menacing wildlife; taking without permit.
1 - Owners and lessees and members of their immediate families actually occupying or cultivating lands, and persons authorized in writing and actually employed by them in cultivating such lands, may take (a) unprotected wildlife other than birds and (b) starlings, common crows and, subject to section 11-0513, pigeons, when such wildlife is injuring their property or has become a nuisance thereon. Such taking may be done in any manner, notwithstanding any provision of the Fish and Wildlife Law, except section 11-0513, or the Penal Law or any other law.
6 - Raccoons, coyotes or fox injuring private property may be taken by the owner, occupant or lessee thereof, or an employee or family member of such owner, occupant or lessee, at any time in any manner.
8. No license or permit from the department is required for any taking authorized by this section.)
with section 6 of this provision specifically identifying coyote as a destructive or menacing species, and,

WHEREAS many eastern states surrounding NY either classify Coyote as “varmint”, or have no closed season or other protections whatsoever, and,

WHEREAS recent alterations in regulations concerning season length, bag limits and pelt sealing have shown ineffective in enhancing Coyote management in NYS,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the NYSCC pursue a change in regulation with the NYS DEC to reclassify the Coyote as an “unprotected wildlife species”, eliminating all protections from this menacing and destructive species in NYS.

Contact for more information:
Rich Davenport, 716-510-7952
Email: rich@weloveoutdoors.com


Coyote info sources/ links:

*1 - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38015001/ns/us_news-life/
*2 - http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/03/nyregion/03coyotes.html
*3 - http://www.greenwichtime.com/local/article/Greenwich-father-and-daughter-shaken-after-N-Y-648606.php
*4 - http://www.nbcnewyork.com/on-air/as-seen-
on/Coyote_Attack_in_Westchester_County_Prompts_Search_New_York.html
*5 - http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2010/07/01/Coyotes-attack-children-in-Rye-NY/UPI-33321278014478/
*6 - http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jul/20/nation/la-na-ny-coyotes-20100720
*7 - http://www.wivb.com/dpp/news/Coyote_attacks_local_man_20090416
*8 - http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2010/09/rabies_found_in_new_york_coyot.html
*9 - http://www.esf.edu/efb/frair/coyote/coyote_main.htm


Legislative Committee: Vote: none
Comment:
• If past it would take management control / authority away from the DEC.

Big Game Committee: Oppose - vote: 4 support, 6 opposed.
Comments: Big Game Committee was split concerning the resolution to re-classify the Coyote and eliminate seasonal protections to allow hunting of this species year-round. Although damage to other wildlife appears on the rise, and human-coyote conflicts are becoming a difficult public safety issue, not enough information exists yet to get behind this initiative. By vote of the Big Game Committee, the measure failed to pass by a vote of 4 support, 6 opposed.
Recommendation: OPPOSED

Archery and Bowhunting Committee: Support – vote: 5 support, 4 oppose
The committee voted in favor of Erie County Coyote reclassification. Members felt that
the coyotes are having a severe impact on the deer and small game populations. It was
shown by Dick Henry, DEC Retired, in his presentation that increasing the number of
bucks on the landscape would help reduce the fawns available to predators such as
coyotes. Perhaps this would have a greater impact on the Coyote population. Gordon
Batcheller of the DEC stated he was against the reclassification stating that Coyotes have
value, apparently speaking on behalf of the trappers. To Committee members Deer have
a much higher value. Committee voted 5 in favor and 4 opposed.



Small Game Committee: Oppose - vote: 2 support, 3 opposed
.There was a discussion on the regulation protecting coyotes in the Spring when their young are born. Some felt that the matter should be left up to the DEC and others reasoned that their numbers were increasing throughout NYS and that a closed season was no longer justified.


Fur Resources Committee: Oppose
We felt the "coyote" resolution made statements that are simply not fact, and also felt the coyote is a resource of value. Listing the coyote as a "varmint" detracts from that status. We also realize that attempting to create a hunting season during a time of the year when coyote pups were being born, may not glean a lot of support from the DEC or others.


Subject: Firearms

8-11 YATES COUNTY

In Support of Amendment of Article 400 of the Penal Law of the State of New York To Provide for a "Shall-Issue” Standard for Pistol Permits in the State-of New York

WHEREAS, Section 400.00 of the Penal Law of the State of New York, entitled "Licenses to carry, possess, repair and dispose of firearms." Is the statute which is applicable to the issuance and administration of pistol permits in the State of New York; and

WHEREAS, Section 400.00 of the Penal Law applies no meaningful objective standard for the issuance of pistol permits to residents of the State of New York as it is presently constituted; and

WHEREAS, each City and County has a separate "licensing officer" who is responsible for processing and issuance of pistol permits; and

WHEREAS, the lack of meaningful objective standards for the issuance of pistol permits has resulted in a patchwork of policies for issuance of permits, with the licensing
officers' various philosophical position on guns often being the controlling criteria in the issuance of pistol permits; and

WHEREAS, the lack of an objective standard for the issuance of pistol permits to residents of the State is a denial of the due process of law; and

WHEREAS, the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America provides that: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed"; and

WHEREAS, recent Federal case law and opinions of the Attorney General of the United States have held that such Second Amendment rights extend to individuals and is not limited collectively to the states; and

WHEREAS, the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America provides that no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the
privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the right to keep and bear arms is such a privilege; and

WHEREAS, the recent Supreme Court rulings in the Heller and McDonald cases have confirmed that the right to keep and bear arms extend to the individual through the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution; and

WHEREAS, Section 400.00 of the Penal Law presently abridges the right to keep and bear arms as a result of the arbitrary and capricious provisions thereof and accordingly appears to be "unconstitutional" pursuant to the standards of the Heller and McDonald• Supreme Court decisions; and;

WHEREAS, the majority of the various states of the United states have adopted "shall issue" legislation applicable to the issuance of pistol permits; and .

WHEREAS, there is vast evidence and statistical data establishing that, in states where "shall issue" standards for pistol permits have been implemented, the incidence of violent crimes has diminished.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, THAT
The New York State Conservation Council initiate and support legislation to amend Section 400.00 of the Penal Law of the State of New York to provide for "shall issue" standards to be applicable to the issuance of pistol permits to residents of the State of New York and provide that pistol permits shall be issued to applicants therefore except when good cause is shown why the applicant should not be issued a pistol permit. Good cause shall be limited to prior felony conviction, serious mental illness, alcohol or substance addiction or other cause of similar magnitude.

Legislative Committee: Support - vote: 4 support, 0 oppose
Comments: None


Firearms & Ammunition Committee: Oppose
1. While we share the frustration of the authors with the sometimes seemingly arbitrary decisions that come out of the pistol licensing system, resolution will be a complex task. This proposal does not clearly state a clearly defined problem nor include a specific solution.

2. It is unlikely that any court will find the section 400 of the NYS Penal Law unconstitutional. While its application in individual cases may be subject to challenge, the overall law appears compliant with the Heller decision. One can argue that the 2nd Amendment is absolute and that any restriction or condition imposed by the state is infringing on a fundamental right. The fact remains, however, that in the political world, under real laws and in real courts, every constitutional right is subject to some level of regulation or restriction. As a matter of law, the 2nd Amendment means what Antonin Scalia wrote in the majority opinion of the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller. Heller did establish that the right to keep and bear arms was an individual not a collective right. Nevertheless, the majority opinion did clearly state that this right is not absolute. Governments can regulate firearms for legitimate state interests; they just cannot do so in a manner that is a defacto a ban.

3. Possession in dwellings or place of business is shall issue and is rarely an issue. Licenses for hunting and/or target use are usually issued but do sometimes reflect some judicial creativity.

4. The question of judicial discretion with respect to the issuance of concealed carry licenses has been litigated multiple times and has been upheld every time under state law. The licensing officer may, and in fact is expected, to make subjective judgments as to the fitness of applicants to receive licenses. The law gives them considerable discretionary authority and this authority has been upheld in litigation. The problem arises when they impose their personal or local political philosophy rather than use the fair and reasonable standards on which these decisions were intended to be based. This has resulted in a lack of consistency in the administration of a system that was intended to function statewide with uniform criteria and administrative procedure.

5. A fully satisfactory solution will require a rewriting of this entire section of the law. This is an issue which has significant ramifications across the criminal justice system. While the Council has an interest and can be expect to contribute, the leadership of this task is not within its scope of its responsibilities.


9-11 NIAGARA COUNTY

WHEREAS, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation restricts the types of implements that can be used to hunt big game to certain locations within New York state, thus preventing New York State hunters from using rifles chambered for pistol cartridges in shotgun only New York State hunting zones;
WHEREAS, New York State hunters are required to use shotgun slugs with increased recoil and decreased accuracy to hunt big game in many hunting zones in New York State;
WHEREAS, New York State hunters are required to purchase more costly shotgun slugs to hunt big game in many hunting zones in New York State;
WHEREAS, younger and smaller New York State hunters are deterred from participating in big game hunting because they are prohibited from using rifles chambered for pistol cartridges which are easier for smaller or younger hunters to handle. Lower recoil levels in rifles chambered for pistol cartridges versus shotguns would enable younger and smaller hunters to participate and become proficient by increased practice and lower cost ammunition.
WHEREAS, using rifles chambered for pistol cartridges in big game hunting in expanded areas of New York State would attract more sportsmen to big game hunting, New York State firearm dealers would gain revenue;
WHEREAS, increased sales of pistol cartridges to hunters that are attracted to big game hunting by the ability to use implements that fit their physical stature would lead to increased excise tax funds available for wildlife research and conservation efforts;
WHEREAS, the flexibility to chose a hunting implement that fits the physical and marksmanship abilities of the individual hunter would increase the number of licensed hunters in New York State;
WHEREAS, the use of rifles chambered for pistol cartridges for big game hunting is allowed in sister states that have established case length restrictions to preclude the use of cartridges with lower power and cartridges with higher velocities, New York State hunters are prohibited from practicing hunting for big game with rifles chambered for pistol cartridges and preparing for a safe hunt in these states;
WHEREAS, under this resolution rifles that would be considered legal must fire a cartridge with a bullet of .357 inch diameter or larger; have a minimum case length of 1.16 inches and a maximum case length of 1.625 inches. These rifles can used only during the deer firearms season. These restrictions preclude the use of cartridges with lower power and also cartridges with higher velocities normally found in what are consider "high power" hunting rifles legal in only portions of NY State.
The following cartridges are examples of those considered legal under this resolution:
.357 Mangum
.41 Magnum
.41 Special
.44Magnum
.44 Special
.44-40 Winchester
.45 Colt
.454 Casull
.458 SOCOM
.460 S&W
.480 Ruger
.475 Linebaugh
.50 Action Express
.500 S&W


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the NYS Conservation Council shall support and seek to amend the big game hunting laws to allow the use of rifles chambered for pistol cartridges for big game hunting in expanded areas of New York State.

Contact:
Kurt Schuler (Member of the Wilson Conservation Club) 3285 Coomer Road
Newfane, NY 14108 716-778-4603

Big Game Committee: Support: - vote: 6 support, 2 oppose, 2 abstentions.
Comments: Big Game Committee concluded this resolution from a Big Game standpoint is supportable, through the vote of 6 For, 2 Opposed, with 2 abstentions. Although no significant issues arose in opposition to this resolution, we believe it would be wise to also defer to the Firearms Committee for additional input, as this is an issue concerning firearms more so than Big Game hunting.

Recommendation: SUPPORT, based upon Firearms Committee recommendations

Legislation Committee : No Position - vote: none
Comment:
• Feel bill would be too confusing for Legislators
• Suggest pursuit of rifle use in Niagara County


Firearms & Ammunition Committee: Oppose
Committee feels that this resolution should be rejected.

1. The resolution repeatedly refers to “pistol cartridges.” While many cartridges are primarily used in pistols, there are no cartridges that are used exclusively for pistol ammunition. This proposal is evidence of that. Shooting and sportsmen’s’ organizations, including the NYSCC, are continually at pains to clarify this fact to legislators who introduce legislation intended to restrict access to “pistol ammunition” to holders pistol licenses. To request the NYSCC to lobby for legislation allowing for the use of pistol cartridges for big game hunting will be contrary to the NYSCC position and undermine ongoing efforts.

2. The definition provided is too complex for practical codification or enforcement. The proposal wishes to define the legal cartridges by a range of case lengths measured to the .001 of an inch. This not practical in a real world situation. ECO’s cannot be expected to carry calipers to verify case lengths. This difficulty is demonstrated by the fact that the authors include in their list of examples a cartridge not legal by the proposed definition ((.460 S&W has a case length of 1.8”).

3. The authors reference other states but provide no specific reference. Other states have different regulations that fit their specific geographic, population and hunter density conditions. They are not necessarily applicable to New York. New York hunters who wish to practice for hunting in other states can do so on shooting ranges. Changing NY hunting regulations to provide practice for other states is not a sound practice.

4. We are unconvinced that the recoil of shotguns legal under currently regulations is excessive for young or small-statured hunters. Shooters twelve (and in other states, younger) fire hundreds of 12 And 20 gauge shells a day in competitive events.

5 A more appropriate path would be to pursue the authorization of rifle hunting in the desired counties. This is certain to be considered a home rule issue and a request from the county legislature.

Subject: Conservation Fund Protection

10-11 Monroe County


State Conservation Fund Utilization
Whereas, there are more than 1.4 million resident sportsmen in the state of New York and
Whereas, the Conservation Fund, through the receipt of license fees, is the primary funding mechanism to support wildlife management in New York and
Whereas, revenue generated from hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation directly support wildlife conservation programs and provide substantial economic benefits to the New York economy, contributing more than $6billion to the state’s economy annually and
Whereas, New York State significantly increased sportsmen license fees in 2009 to generate additional revenue sales to cover fish and wildlife management and law enforcement support through the Conservation Fund and
Whereas, staff reductions and budget cuts at DEC are threatening the continued operations of fish stocking and other wildlife management programs and
Whereas, state budget shortfalls projected at greater than $42billion over the next 3 years have raised questions over the state’s continued commitment and support of wildlife management programs
BE IT RESOLVED that the New York Conservation Council, in support of New York sportsmen and outdoors-related economic interests, secure a commitment from the state legislature and Governor’s office that Conservation Funds be utilized for wildlife management programs only, not state debt relief, and that the state continue to provide adequate investment in its wildlife management programs for the enjoyment of its citizens and economic benefit to the state.
Contact Monroe County Conservation Council President, Dick Habes

Legislative Committee: Oppose – vote: 1 in favor – 4 oppose
Comments
• A law already exist to cover the intent of this resolution to protect the Conservation Fund money.
• Council President in committee has stated that a violation or going against the protection of the conservation fund would generate legal action.

Big Game Committee: Support - vote: 10 support – 0 oppose
Comments: Big Game Committee agreed it is of the utmost importance to protect the Conservation Fund. By vote of the Big Game Committee, we support this resolution with a unanimous 10-0 tally.

Small Game Committee: Support
Recommended that Monroe County resubmit the resolution to address the missing language in the resolution before the fall meeting.

Archery and Bowhunting Committee: Support - vote: 9 support – 0 oppose
Recent comments by politicians that the Conservation Fund was available to be “swept”
for other uses have brought this issue to the forefront. There are also reports that these
funds are not being released to wildlife programs. The archery committee was in full
agreement with the Conservation Funds being used only for fish and wildlife. Keeping a
close eye on funds is very important to sportsmen. Committee voted unanimous in favor.

Conservation Education Committee: Support
Committee support for this resolution unanimously. This resolution resolves to have the NYSCC support Sportsmen interests and secure a commitment from the state legislature and Governor that the Conservation Funds be utilized for wildlife management programs and not of state debt relief. Putting these funds matching Pittman Robertson funds in jeopardy.

Fish, Marine District, Environment Committee:

Fur Resources Committee: Oppose
We agree with it in premise but voted in opposition to the resolution because of wording.

In one of the Whereas; they state the recent license increase was to support law enforcement, and that is simply not true. I was present at the meetings of CFAB, and law enforcement support was not a part of the fee increase.

Also in the Whereas ; the way the resolution is written, it seems as though only wildlife programs would be protected. With modification (adding Fish), the FR Committee would support this resolution.


Habitat/Access & Forest Preserve & Public Lands Committee: Support
voted 8 in support; 1 opposed with a minor revision necessary – to replace all references to “wildlife” with “fish and wildlife”. Dick Habes, author of the resolution will make the appropriate revision.


Waterfowl Committee: - see comments
According to NYS Finance Law (Art. 83), DEC can legally take money from the Conservation Fund for the purpose of fulfilling member item obligations. The question raised is, “Will the dollars have to be replaced?”

One member feels that the resolution uses bad language, i.e. “secure a commitment.” Why “open up a can of worms” by reminding the legislature that we have a dedicated fund?

Nothing in the above quoted law says that no one other than DEC can spend those funds.

We support the intent of the resolution, but what is the next step? There is not a law or change or a regulation mentioned. Is the Council going to get some ball rolling or is it the responsibility of Monroe Co. to do it?

The committee supports “the intent” 3-0, but would like to see it rewritten with more specifics.
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