Public input sought on endangered species plan

A short-eared owl lands at the Clarence Cannon National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri in 2018. In Missouri, the short-eared owl is a Species of Conservation Concern, for its declining numbers, and in New York, the species is listed as endangered. Public comment for a New York Department of Environmental Protection endangered species regulation proposal is open through Nov. 16. Creative Commons photo

ALBANY — The state Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting public comment on proposed changes to threatened and endangered wildlife regulations.

The changes were first proposed in 2019, and largely deal with the permitting process for landowners interested in completing projects that may interfere with endangered or threatened species’ habitat.

“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,” DEC reports. “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 department views the proposal as a means to promote efficiency in the permitting process and improve information sharing between landowners and DEC staff during project reviews.

The proposed changes would also allow DEC to “establish an experimental population outside the current range for any endangered or threatened species to help enable its recovery.” Potential experimental population designations would be subject to public review.

Titled “Part 182, Clarifying determination of jurisdiction under the Endangered and Threatened Fish and Wildlife regulations,” the full proposal is posted to the DEC website.

Comments will be accepted through Nov. 16, and should be directed to Dan Rosenblatt, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754, or emailed to wildliferegs@dec.ny.gov with the subject line “Endangered Species Regulation.”

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(1) comment

Mud Duck

What good would it really do? The fish eating cormorants are here for years and although they certainly are not endangered, very little has been done to control them. A good example of a government agency collecting funds and not acting.

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