7/1/2015 Great Lakes Piping Plovers are Back in New York! Exciting news! For the first time since 1984, multiple piping plovers are on Lake Ontario. Two pairs have been observed on state land along the eastern shore of the lake and efforts are being made to ensure that the endangered birds are not disturbed.
6/19/2015 Incidental Take Statements Update The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service (the Services), are finalizing the regulations governing Incidental Take Statements (ITSs) for endangered species. The final rule published in the Federal Register on May 11, 2015, and is effective on June 10, 2015.
More information can be found http://www.fws.gov/endangered/improving_ESA/ITS.html
4/1/2015 Northern Long-Eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis) Protected Under Endangered Species Act Service Protects Northern Long-eared Bat as Threatened Species under Endangered Species Act with Interim 4(d) Rule
More species information
4(d) rule explanation
3/23/2015 Notice of Availability, Draft Restoration Plan Addendum for Cortese Landfill Superfund Site The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), on behalf of the Department of Interior (DOI) as the sole natural resource trustee, announces the release for public review of the Draft Restoration Plan Addendum for the Cortese Landfill Superfund Site (Site). As a result of remedial activities and the offsite migration of Site-related contaminants, wetland and riverine habitat, in the Upper Delaware River watershed, were destroyed and/or degraded. Adversely affected natural resources include waterfowl, wading birds, hawks, woodpeckers, swallows, migratory songbirds, invertebrates, reptiles, and amphibians. In addition, the section of the Upper Delaware River watershed near the Site hosts the largest population of wintering bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in the Northeast. The riverine habitat provides feeding and/or spawning habitat for forage fish, American shad (Alosa sapidissima), striped bass (Morone saxatilis), and American eel (Anguilla rostrata). The funds available from this settlement for restoration activities total approximately $100,000. The restoration project proposed in the Draft Restoration Plan Addendum involves Upper Delaware River stream habitat restoration.
The original 2007 Final Restoration Plan for the Site presented a number of restoration projects and the preferred alternative involved wetland habitat restoration within the Upper Delaware River watershed. However, the project proponent for the preferred alternative is no longer able to conduct the restoration project. The Draft Restoration Plan Addendum presents a preferred alternative consisting of a restoration project that compensates for impacts to natural resources caused by contaminant releases and remedial activities associated with the Site. Written comments regarding the Draft Restoration Plan Addendum must be submitted on or before April 26, 2015. Submit comments to: Amy Roe, Environmental Quality Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New York Field Office, 3817 Luker Road, Cortland, New York 13045 or by email: Amy_Roe@fws.gov
The Draft Restoration Plan Addendum for Cortese Landfill Superfund Site is available here.
2/13/2015 $400,000 Settlement on Superfund Site The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced a $400,000 settlement with Honeywell International, Inc. and Amphenol Corporation to mitigate natural resource damages resulting from the release of hazardous substances at the Richardson Hill Road Landfill Superfund site in the towns of Sidney and Masonville in Delaware County, New York. Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) contributed to fish and wildlife impacts. PCBs were also in Herrick Hollow Creek at levels causing the New York Department of Health to advise residents not to consume fish from that creek. $300,000 will be allotted to restoring and replacing fish and wildlife resources. For more information, read the press release.
2/9/2014 Festival of Fire and Ice Around 750 people joined us for the Festival of Fire and Ice at the NYFO co-sponsored Hands-on-Nature Anarchy Zone! NYFO Supervisor David Stilwell and Outreach Coordinator Andrea Bruns helped plan and facilitate the event, a celebration that invited children of all ages to excavate snow mountains, craft bird feeders, sip hot chocolate, and enjoy an afternoon spent outside. Don't miss these festivities next winter!
Credit: Rusty Keeler
1/15/2015 Endangered Species Act 4(d) Rule Proposed for Northern Long Eared Bat The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a 4(d) rule under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), a species we are considering for protection under the ESA. We are also reopening the comment period on our proposal to list the northern long-eared bat as endangered. Public comments can be submitted through March 17, 2015. More information can be found at the Service's northern long-eared bat website.
7/1/2015 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct Status Review of two NYS species After an initial assessment of 31 plant and animal species petitioned for listing under the Endangered Species Act, Blanding's Turtle and Spotted Turtle along with 19 species found outside of New York are now being reviewed for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
The Service seeks the best scientific and commercial data available from all sources for the thorough reviews. Organizations or individuals can submit information starting July 1 through the following Federal Register dockets: Blanding's turtle (FWS–R3–ES–2015–0041), spotted turtle (FWS–R5–ES–2015–0064)
More information is available in this press release.
6/19/2015 Proposal to Delist Eastern Cougar The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has published a proposed rule to delist the eastern cougar due to extinction. The public comment period is open until August 17, 2015.
5/26/2015 Niagara River Area of Concern Heron and Osprey Nesting Success and Productivity Monitoring Work Plan for monitoring heron and Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) nesting success and productivity and the Year 1 Final Report have been finalized. 2014 was the first of five annual survey events that will be conducted at an intensive level within the NR AOC and represents a full census of every known location that supports nesting Great Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Great Egret, and Osprey species within the AOC. The study provides the baseline on which future survey events will be evaluated and offers a foundation for future comparisons with other studies locally and in the region. Year 2 surveys began in April 2015.
3/27/2015 Recruiting an Outreach Coordinator The New York Field Office is seeking an individual to serve as Outreach Coordinator, a full-time, paid, one-year placement through Conservation Legacy's Environmental Stewards program with the potential for term extension up to another full year. The ideal candidate would have a bachelor’s degree in communications, media arts, writing, or a related area of study and an interest in environmental conservation. This is not an internship, but an opportunity for someone who is prepared to take initiative and who is eager to learn about and develop communication strategies to further public awareness of Federal conservation efforts in New York State.
The full job description is available here.
3/20/2015 USFWS Seeking Comments on Amended NiSource Habitat Conservation Plan The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on a request by NiSource to add the northern long-eared bat to its multi-species, multi-state incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act. The northern long-eared bat is proposed for listing under the Act. Comments are due 4/20/2015. For more information about the NiSource incidental take permit and HCP as well as information about the requested amendment to add the northern long-eared bat, you may call or write, Karen Herrington at Karen_Herrington@fws.gov (phone: (850) 348-6495), or Tom Magnuson at Tom_Magnuson@fws.gov (phone: (612)713–5467). Copies of documents pertaining to the NiSource incidental take permit and habitat conservation plan are available here. Send written comments via U.S. mail to the Regional Director, Midwest Region, Attn: Thomas Magnuson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services, 5600 American Blvd. West, Suite 990, Bloomington, MN 55437-1458, or by electronic mail to permitsR3ES@fws.gov.
2/20/2015 Walleye Spawning Riffle Installed The New York Field Office's Partners for Fish and Wildlife equipment operator Carl Adams, working with Montezuma NWR equipment operator Jeff Graves, installed a spawning riffle for a unique population of walleye on a tributary to Lake Ontario. Work was slowed by sub-zero temperatures with deep snow and thick ice, but the frozen ground helped with access for the trucks delivering rock. Funding for the project and the monitoring was provided by the Fish Enhancement, Mitigation, and Research Fund. The State University of New York - College of Environmental Science and Forestry will conduct the monitoring of the walleye response.
2/12/2015 Bat Survey Biennial winter bat surveys are underway across much of the U.S., including New York! NYFO Biologists Robyn Niver and Justin Ecret joined the survey efforts led by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in order to help collect data at one site. During this winter, biologists quickly and quietly enter sites and take photographs of the bats to count back in the office. By learning more about current bat populations, we will be more prepared to protect our furry friends.
1/7/2015 Monarch 90-day Finding: Federal Register Link.
This finding contains two petitions, an August 2014 petition to list the plexippus subspecies of the monarch butterfly as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and a delisting petition for the California gnatcatcher. Public Comment Period through March 2, 2015.