July 17, 2024

DEC seeks public input on proposed endangered species protections

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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced acceptance of public comments on a revised regulatory proposal to strengthen protections for threatened and endangered wildlife in New York.

While disclosing this in a statement, DEC explained that the proposal will promote sharing information between landowners and DEC staff during permit reviews for projects on lands where endangered or threatened species may be located.

It added that it will also help 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 statement reads.

“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,” it adds.

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.

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