Sunday, October 11, 2020

DEC Seeks Public Input on Proposed Endangered Species Protections

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is accepting public comment on a revised regulatory proposal to strengthen protections for threatened and endangered wildlife in New York.

The proposal promotes sharing information between landowners and DEC staff during permit reviews for projects on lands where endangered or threatened species may be located, helping improve the pace of permit decisions and to better avoid negative impacts to vulnerable wildlife populations.

Identifying and addressing potential impacts to endangered and threatened species and their habitats early in the project planning process is the most successful way to avoid harmful effects on these critical species during construction and site development. The proposed changes in the revised regulations will help prevent project delays and expedite DEC’s application process by better clarifying criteria needed to determine whether endangered and threatened species are present on a property, and also enhances DEC’s ability to undertake protected species restoration efforts with cooperating landowners, among other changes.

The proposed regulations clarify what permit applicants must provide to DEC when seeking a decision on whether a project located where endangered or threatened species are living could result in impacts to these species. Since first proposed in 2019, DEC revised the proposal to better clarify ongoing federal authority in protecting listed endangered and threatened species.

Also, the proposed regulation revisions allow DEC to establish an experimental population outside the current range for any endangered or threatened species to help enable its recovery. Experimental populations are created by the intentional release of a listed species in an effort to increase their numbers. The regulation revision would enable restoration efforts in protected lands such as Wildlife Management Areas or State Forests without placing a regulatory burden on adjacent property owners. DEC will post proposed experimental population designations for public review and will not remove any species protections already in place.

The revised regulatory proposal is titled “Part 182, Clarifying determination of jurisdiction under the Endangered and Threatened Fish and Wildlife regulations” and is available at DEC’s website. Written comments will be accepted through close of business on Nov. 16, 2020 to: Dan Rosenblatt, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754 or e-mail comments to:; subject line “Endangered Species Regulation.”

DEC also continues to evaluate public comments received from a preproposal to revise the current list of endangered and threatened species and will develop a regulatory proposal based on the feedback received.

Photo: The spruce grouse is an endangered species in NYS. Almanack archive photo.

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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

7 Responses

  1. adkcamp says:

    would be all behind this if the DEC weren’t so careless with current projects. Introduction of the Spruce Grouse in the Kidare/St. Regis region AND building a connector to the Kildare Easement that would increase motorized access to the very SAME woods and logging roads as where the Spruce Grouse are being introduced and closely monitored by DEC staff year round. Spruce Grouse behave in a very TAME and TRUSTING manner. Unlike the Ruffed Grouse that will eventually fly off, Spruce Grouse will sit until its run over, and will allow itself to be approached by a person on foot. If the DEC wants support from tax payers for the protection of endangered species, it needs to get its act together and stop wasting money by increasing human vs wildlife interactions. Waste of effort and tax payer money.

  2. Tim-Brunswick says:

    I agree with adkcamp to a certain extant, but my overall opinion is stop “strengthening” just about everything….for crying out loud NYSDEC is going overboard on just about every darn program they’ve stuck their nose into!!

    The endangered species program is strong enough….leave it alone!! You don’t have enough enforcement to take care of rules and regs right now, so what good will it do to make them stronger anyway!@!!!

  3. Smitty says:

    DEC wants to work with private landowners to strengthen rules!?!?. Talk about “hi, I’m with the government and I’m here to help”. This thing has trouble for the private landowner written all over it!!

  4. sandor says:

    How about ELK reintroduction? Oooooh wait that would cost to much!!!

  5. Balian the Cat says:

    Suppose, just once, we viewed questions like this from something other than an anthropocentric perspective? What if we looked at land, habitat, access from the “whats the bigger picture” point of view? Communities (human and non) come and go in the Adirondacks and have for hundreds of years. Perhaps our forceful relocation of SG (there are thriving populations in Canada and New England) is more about our own pearl clutching than it is ecosystem health. What if we thought about climactic changes and our role in them and the effects that has upon species survival and range? Maybe “access to everywhere” is a shortsighted approach? Maybe non-human species exist for reasons other than their value as game? Maybe a waterfall exists for reasons other than whether I can drive to it or not?


    • Boreas says:

      I agree. I don’t think we should isolate SG as a threatened species in NYS when indeed their preferred habitat is threatened. These rare boreal habitats in the lower 48 have been marching northward since the glaciers retreated. With climate change, they are in double march – and so is the loss of all plant and animal species associated with this biome. Since SG as a species is not endangered, should we not be more concerned with habitat changes and loss due to both development and the climate? Let’s focus on controlling the big picture where we can.

      Numerous species are threatened and going extinct all around us and we don’t even notice – insect, bird, amphibian, and tree species are all being threatened and no one seems too concerned. Let’s not make the tiny Spruce Grouse population in NYS the poster child for habitat change and loss while hundreds of other species in many different habitats are under serious threat. It is akin to re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Instead, let’s patch the holes.

  6. Jeep says:

    Patch the hole in the titanic?? Wow! Weren’t no savin that ship!

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