Monday, September 29, 2014

à pandora's box for Gateway's Sandy Hhook unit?

Sandy Hook National Seashore has an issue. Gateway National Park Service has OK a facility that will destroy habitat when there is developed areas already available.. Why ?

Read on and comment if you can

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fwd: No casinos in our parks! Tell the NYS Gaming Commission you're against casinos in Sterling Forest & Woodbury

-----Original Message-----
To: prosbird
Sent: Mon, Sep 22, 2014 12:34 pm
Subject: No casinos in our parks! Tell the NYS Gaming Commission you're against casinos in Sterling Forest & Woodbury

No Casinos in Our Parks!
Roulette Wheel
Tell the Gaming Commission not to gamble away our natural resources. (Photo credit: Ralf Roletschek/Fahrradtechnik und Fotografie)

Let the New York State Gaming Commission Know You're Against the Proposed Casinos in Sterling Forest and Woodbury (Harriman State Park) During the Public Comment Day TOMORROW, Sept. 23. The hearing takes place in Poughkeepsie at the Grandview (176 Rinaldi Blvd.) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wear yellow to show your opposition and sign up to speak before the Commission. Find full details here.


Can't Attend? The NYS Gaming Commission is Accepting Written Comments Through Sept. 30. For talking points and contacts for your letter in opposition to Sterling Forest Resort, click here. For talking points and contacts regarding Caesars New York in Woodbury, adjacent to Harriman State Park, click here. You can find a sample letter to Caesars here.


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Friday, September 19, 2014

Fwd: Please Sign Our Petition To Protect Monarch Butterflies

-----Original Message-----
To: Peter
Sent: Fri, Sep 19, 2014 10:56 am
Subject: Please Sign Our Petition To Protect Monarch Butterflies

Take Action Today

Save Monarch Butterflies Sign Our Petition To Help Protect This Iconic Species! Take action today!


Their fluttering migration covers wide swaths of North America. But now their populations are crashing.

Please sign our petition encouraging measures to protect our remaining Monarchs!

Dear Friend,

Monarch butterflies urgently need your help. This iconic, orange-and-black beauty was once common in backyards across the country... but its population has plummeted by 90 percent from the 20-year average.

You can help protect our Monarch butterflies by signing this petition!

These delicate creatures weigh less than a gram, but every year they travel thousands of miles -- from Canada down to Mexico -- in an incredible, multigenerational migration. Generations of schoolchildren have learned about metamorphosis by watching monarch caterpillars transform into butterflies.

But the milkweed that monarchs depend on for survival is now being wiped out by genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant crops, as well as pesticides, human development and climate change

Please sign our petition asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect monarch butterflies under the Endangered Species Act before it's too late. A "threatened" listing (not as dire a listing as "endangered") will allow important research and educational activities to continue while protecting this iconic pollinator for future generations.

Will you sign our petition urging action to protect our remaining Monarchs from the threats that may bring their extiction?

Adding your voice to the effort to protect Monarchs will make a difference. Don't let our Monarch butterflies become only a memory in regions where they were once ubiquitous.

Sign this petition if you agree that our world would be a poorer place without Monarch butterflies.

Thank you for your help-- it really can help make a difference!


Robin McVey

Robin McVey
Public Editor,

Take action today!

P.S. eNature and have teamed up to send periodic updates providing folks ways to help protect America's wildlife. Please get involved by signing our petition today!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fwd: [Ridgewood Reservoir 851] 2014 NYS Open Space Conservation Plan

-----Original Message-----
From: Christina Wilkinson 
To: ridgewoodreservoir <>
Sent: Wed, Sep 17, 2014 3:32 pm
Subject: [Ridgewood Reservoir 851] 2014 NYS Open Space Conservation Plan

From: Panzone, Thomas V (DEC) [] 
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 2:20 PM
Subject: 2014 NYS Open Space Conservation Plan
Dear Colleagues:
For Release:  IMMEDIATE                                                                                                                                            Contact:  Jomo Miller
Wednesday, September 17, 2014                                                                                                                                               (518) 402-8000
Public Comments Accepted Through December 17; Public Hearings to be Held Statewide
                Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) Commissioner Rose Harvey today released the 2014 State Open Space Conservation Plan for public comment.  The plan guides State Environmental Protection Fund investments in open space protection.  Public comments on the draft plan will be accepted from September 17 until December 17 and a series of public hearings will be held across the state from October 21 to October 23.
                The Draft Plan makes recommendations on how open space conservation will help accomplish Governor Cuomo's goals, which include: ensuring clean water, air and land for a healthy public and vibrant economy; greening New York's economy; protecting natural resources and promoting outdoor recreation; increasing and improving the visitor experience; creating a 21st century parks system that is aesthetically compelling, energy and operationally efficient, and built to last; and working to address climate change.
                Building upon the recommendations of Regional Advisory Committees, the Commissioners now ask the public to make recommendations on how open space conservation programs can make the state better prepared and more resilient in preparation of future storms and climate change.  Governor Cuomo created the NYS 2100 commission in response to Superstorm Sandy to generate recommendations to improve resilience and strengthen the state's infrastructure in the face of natural disasters and other emergencies. Many of the open space recommendations included in the 2100 Commission report are integrated into the draft plan.
                "By increasing funding for the Environmental Protection Fund and incorporating resiliency principles in Sandy recovery and NYWorks, Governor Cuomo has demonstrated his commitment to protecting New York's open spaces," DEC Commissioner Martens said.  "New Yorkers and visitors to the state love open spaces and the plan will ensure New York's natural resources are protected and preserved for future generations. Specifically, the draft plan makes a series of common sense policy recommendations that will protect wildlife habitat, protect water quality, provide opportunities for public recreation, protect working farms and forests, and build resiliency and protect property from the effects of storm surges and flooding.  The 137 priority projects identified by Regional Advisory Committees will extend New York's proud tradition of open space protection."
                State Parks Commissioner Harvey said, "New York State parks and public lands remain essential pieces in the building of communities.  These lands offer visitors peaceful or fun-filled getaways, promote healthier lifestyles and serve as important economic drivers for the State and local communities.  New York's abundance of parks and open spaces are reason enough alone for families and business to relocate to New York. We look forward to hearing from the public on the draft plan."
                The draft plan was created through the work of nine Regional Advisory Committees composed of representatives of county governments and people knowledgeable in open space conservation selected by DEC and State Parks.  The nine committees correspond to DEC's nine administrative regions.  Each committee was asked by the Commissioners to review the existing 2009 plan, including the list of priority open space conservation projects, as well as policy recommendations, to make New York's comprehensive open space conservation program stronger in the future.
                The Commissioners invite the public to comment in writing and at the public hearings. Specifically, comments could offer suggestions on:
·         how the state and its partners can promote and enhance existing and new state lands as tourism destinations as part of a comprehensive open space conservation program;
·         how the state can make public lands attractive to a diversity of New Yorkers; 
·         how DEC and State Parks can offer better access for sportsmen and women;
·         how DEC and State Parks can work to provide outdoor recreation opportunities for New Yorkers and visitors of all abilities through Universal Access; 
·         where DEC and State Parks can further develop Universal Access;  and
·         what the state can do to acquire and make more accessible lands near and in urban centers.
                "The draft plan covers a lot of ground," Commissioner Martens added.  "We urge the public to review the draft plan and give us comments that can strengthen the State's Open Space Conservation program in the future."
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "Open space and agriculture are inherently connected.  Farms not only provide an opportunity to grow local products, but a habitat for wildlife and scenic vistas that are a draw for tourists across the state.  Many of the goals of the open space plan such as maintaining critical natural resources and enhancing scenic, cultural and historic resources are made possible in large part due to the existence of working farms and woodlands.  Updating the state's Open Space Plan every three years is a good way to ensure that our existing open space resources are inventoried and enables the state to better plan for future open space protection efforts."
           Public comments can be submitted by email to or mailed to DEC by December 17 to:
                Open Space Conservation Plan
                625 Broadway
                Albany, NY 12233
An electronic version of the draft plan is available at
A SERIES OF PUBLIC HEARINGS WILL BE HELD from October 21 to October 23 throughout the state.   There will be a workshop before each hearing and the public will have an opportunity to attend either an afternoon or evening session.  Please note that hearing times are different for Region 9.
Workshop: 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Afternoon Hearing: 2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Evening Hearing: 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Region 1
October 22, 2014
NYS DEC Region 1 Headquarters
SUNY at Stony Brook
Room B-02
50 Circle Road
Stony Brook, NY 11790
Region 2
October 22, 2014
NYS DEC Region 2 Office - Long Island City
47-40 21st Street
Long Island City, NY 11101
Region 3
October 21, 2014
Bear Mountain State Park
Bear Mountain Inn
Bear Mountain, NY
Region 4
October 21, 2014
New York State DEC Region 4 Office
1130 North Westcott Road
Schenectady, NY 12306
Region 5
October 23, 2014
NYS Region 5 Headquarters
Main Conference Room
Route 86
Ray Brook, NY 12977
October 21, 2014
OPRHP Saratoga Regional Office
Gideon Putnam Room
19 Roosevelt Drive
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Region 6
October 21, 2014
Utica State Office Building
Conference Room A
207 Genesee Street
Utica, NY
Use front door and sign in at the guard desk.
October 22, 2014
NYS Region 6 Headquarters
Dulles State Office Building
First Floor Conference Room
317 Washington Street
Watertown, NY
Region 7
October 23, 2014
State Fair Grounds
The Martha Eddy Room
581 State Fair Boulevard
Syracuse, NY
Region 8
October 22, 2014
NYS DEC Region 8 Headquarters
6274 East Avon-Lima Road
Avon, NY 14414
Region 9
Hearings 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.; and 7 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
October 22, 2014
Concord Town Hall
86 Franklin Street
Springville, NY
                Since 1992, the Open Space Conservation Plan has served as the blueprint for the State's Open Space Program, guiding the investment of land protection funds from the Environmental Protection Fund.  As required by law, the Plan is updated periodically, relying heavily on the work of the nine Regional Advisory Committees, which have worked with staff from both agencies and the public to produce a draft for public hearings and comments in 2014.  Following the public comment period the Plan will be finalized and submitted to Governor Cuomo for approval in 2015.

Thomas V. Panzone, MPA
Regional Citizen Participation Specialist
Office of Communications Services
NYSDEC - Region 2 Office
Hunters Point Plaza
47-40 21st Street
Long Island City, NY 11101
Tel: (718) 482-4953
Connect with us on:
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Fwd: State of the Birds 2014 and New Watch List Released

-----Original Message-----
To: abcorgs
Sent: Thu, Sep 11, 2014 11:05 am
Subject: State of the Birds 2014 and New Watch List Released


State of the Birds 2014 Finds Aridland Habitats Rapidly Degrading

Bird science and conservation groups, and federal agencies have come together to publish State of the Birds 2014—the most comprehensive review of long-term trend data for U.S. birds ever conducted. The full report can be found at


State of the Birds assessed population trends in seven key habitats and finds bird populations declining in arid lands (deserts and sagebrush), grasslands, eastern and western forests. Birds in fragile aridland habitats show the steepest population declines in the nation with a 46 percent loss in the population of these birds since 1968. Habitat loss and fragmentation, energy development, hydrological alteration, overgrazing and conversion to agriculture are the largest threats.


These are also significant threats in the nation’s grasslands, where the report notes a decline in breeding birds, like the Eastern Meadowlark and the Bobolink, of nearly 40 percent since 1968. That decline, however, appears to have leveled off since 1990—a result, the authors say, of the significant investments made in grassland bird conservation.


There are some encouraging signs for many species in grasslands, wetlands and several other key habitats that have benefited from targeted conservation efforts. In general, development is squeezing shorebirds and their habitat along the coasts. However, among the 49 coastal species examined, there has been a steady rise in populations of 28 percent since 1968. This may be a reflection of the establishment of 160 national coastal wildlife refuges and nearly 600,000 acres of national seashore in ten states.


New Watch List Identifies Most Endangered Bird Species


Included in the new State of the Birds report is an updated Watch List of Birds of Conservation Concern available at


The 230 species on the U.S. list are currently endangered or at risk of becoming endangered without significant conservation. Forty-two of them are pelagic (open ocean) species. Birds like the Laysan’s Albatross and Black-footed Albatross are facing increasing levels of oil contamination, plastic pollution and greatly reduced amounts of prey fish due to commercial fishing operations. More than half of all U.S. shorebird species are on the Watch List, including the Piping Plover, Long-billed Curlew and Red Knot. Loss of habitat and uncontrolled hunting in the South America and Caribbean are some of their biggest threats. 


One of the more dire groups on the Watch List is made up of the 33 Hawaiian forest species, 23 of which are listed as federally endangered. The report’s authors have deemed Hawai’i the “bird extinction capital of the world”—no place has had more extinctions since human settlement. Another group on the Watch List will require international cooperation: neotropical migrants. These species that breed in North America but migrate south of the U.S. border in winter hold 30 spots on the Watch List.


State of the Birds Outreach


Webinar - The State of the Birds 2014 Report: Science and Conservation Applications


Learn about the key findings in the 2014 report, the science behind those results, and what it all

means for bird conservation. Speakers include Ken Rosenberg, Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Allison Vogt, AFWA

Ø  When: Wednesday, September 17th from 1:00-2:30pm eastern

Ø  To Join: and call 209-255-1000 with passcode 151959#.   If calling from CAN, dial (605) 562-3115 with passcode 151959# and from MEX dial  +52 (01) 899 274 8400 with passcode 151959#

Webinar - Communicating the State of the Birds: Tools and Tactics for Sharing Messages from the 2014 Report


Presented in conjunction with the Bird Education Alliance for Conservation

Learn about the key findings in the 2014 report along with the communications tools available for your use. Ken Rosenberg, Cornell Lab of Ornithology; other speakers TBA

Ø  When: Wednesday, October 1st  from 1:00-2:30pm eastern

Ø  To Join: call 209-255-1000 with passcode 151959#. If calling from CAN, dial (605) 562-3115 with passcode 151959# and from MEX dial  +52 (01) 899 274 8400 with passcode 151959#

BBC News: Growing threat to American birds, says report


Notable Bird Conservation Success Stories

American Oystercatcher is an example of a conservation success:  U.S. coastal populations have increased 6 percent per year since 1974. Recent population increases and range expansion can be attributed to targeted conservation actions to protect breeding and roosting sites along the Atlantic Coast, supported by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and other partners.


Wood Ducks, Gadwall, and Ring-necked Ducks are among the harvested waterfowl that have increased 2-3 percent per year over the past 45 years, as a direct result of wetland habitat management and restoration under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.


Kirtland’s Warbler—an endangered species that has responded positively to targeted conservation efforts under the Endangered Species Act; its population rebounded from a low of 167 males counted in 1974 to more than 2,000 in 2012, and the range is slowly expanding from its tiny core in Michigan to adjacent areas in Wisconsin and Ontario.


Bald Eagle—recovering at a remarkable rate of 5.5 percent each year since the banning of pesticides such as DDT and the enactment of the Clean Water Act in 1972; they were removed from the U.S. Endangered Species List in 2007. Other fish-eating birds such as osprey, brown pelican, double-crested cormorant, and northern gannet have enjoyed large population increases as well.


Take the Long Way Home: "Green Wave" Explains Bird Migration Routes

By Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Migratory songbirds enjoy the best of both worlds—food-rich summers and balmy winters—but they pay for it with a tough commute. Their twice-a-year migrations span thousands of miles and are the most dangerous, physically demanding parts of their year. 

Surprisingly, for many North American species the best route between summer and winter homes is not a straight line, according to new research published in the
Proceedings of the Royal Society B. In spring, the study shows, birds follow areas of new plant growth—a so-called “green wave” of new leaves and numerous insects. In fall, particularly in the western U.S., they stick to higher elevations and head directly southward, making fewer detours along the way for food. 

"We're discovering that many more birds than anyone ever suspected fly these looped migrations, where their spring and fall routes are not the same," said Frank La Sorte, a research associate at the
Cornell Lab of Ornithology. "And now we're finding out why—they have different seasonal priorities and they're trying to make the best of different ecological conditions."

In a 2013 study, La Sorte and his colleagues discovered that many species of North American birds flew
looping, clockwise migration routes. But they could only partially explain why. For eastern species, it was clear from atmospheric data that the birds were capitalizing on strong southerly tailwinds in spring over the Gulf of Mexico and less severe headwinds in fall. By adding the effect of plant growth, the new study helps explain why western species also fly looped routes.


Birds and Climate Report


A new birds and climate report by National Audubon Society examines the climatic conditions that North American bird species need to survive—and considers how each will fare in a warming world. The report is available at the 588 bird species studied, more than half are likely to be in trouble and models indicate that 314 species will lose more than 50 percent of their current climatic range by 2080.  Of the 314 species at risk from global warming, 126 of them are classified as climate endangered. These birds are projected to lose more than 50 percent of their current range by 2050. The other 188 species are classified as climate threatened and expected to lose more than 50 percent of their current range by 2080 if global warming continues at its current pace.


How Can Individual Citizens Help Protect Birds? 

There are many actions that individuals can take to help birds in their area.  For example: buy Duck Stamps which help fund conservation work; buy Smithsonian Certified Organic Bird Friendly coffee; drink organic half and half in your coffee, as some data are showing very encouraging bird conservation findings associated with organic dairy farms; use fewer pesticides; create more natural habitat in yards; keep cats indoors and don’t let dogs run free; and keep feeders and water sources fresh. 


For more tips, check out these links:

Those interested in more in-depth bird conservation activities might want to consider a host of citizen science opportunities, including:


·        The North American Breeding Bird Survey –

·        The Christmas Bird Count – longest-running citizen science survey in the world

·        Project Puffin partnership –,

·        The citizen science program at Cornell Lab of Ornithology --

·        USA-National Phenology Network: Nature's Notebook –


To be removed from the list, send any message to:




Steve Holmer

Senior Policy Advisor

American Bird Conservancy &

Director, Bird Conservation Alliance

202-888-7490,, ABC on Facebook, ABC Videos




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