Welcome to the New York Field Office of Ecological Services website. We are located in Cortland, New York, including the Long Island Field Office located in Shirley, New York. The Ecological Services function of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for the conservation and restoration of fish and wildlife habitat, especially wetland habitat. Field office biologists investigate the effects of contaminants and the measures and costs of contaminant clean-up, help recover threatened and endangered species, review proposals for wetland alterations from construction, and recommend measures to enhance fish and wildlife resources in conjunction with the licensing of power facilities and other Federal projects such as shoreline protection, storm flooding, etc. Our work with private individuals, organizations, and other State and Federal agencies protects and enhances fish and wildlife habitat on private, State, and Federal lands. The Offices also provide public information about the value and benefits derived from the conservation and restoration of fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats.
Now introducing our 2014 Strategic Habitat Conservation Plan (7.4 Mb) to the public! This is a planbook of office events and goals for various focal areas in New York, each containing representative species that we are working to protect and/or enhance.
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.
12/23/2014 SWG Helps Species The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) revised their list of species of greatest conservation need that will help target conservation efforts to improve habitat and maintain healthy ecosystems (see article here). Since 2010, NYSDEC has received $2.2 million from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's State Willdife Grants Program and implemented conservation programs such as Eastern hellbender head starting, where young animals are raised in captivity and released to give them a head-start in the wild. The money also supported efforts to manage grasslands and to restore lake sturgeon in a number of waters, including Oneida Lake, the Genesee River, and St. Lawrence River tributaries.
12/9/2014 Rufa Red Knot Listed as Threatened
The rufa subspecies of the red knot now will receive protection as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, the Service announced today. "Unfortunately, this hearty shorebird is no match for the widespread effects of emerging challenges like climate change and coastal development, coupled with the historic impacts of horseshoe crab overharvesting, which have sharply reduced its population in recent decades," said Service Director Dan Ashe. Read more about the bird and its listing on the rufa red knot species profile.
Credit: Greg Breese, USFWS
10/29/2014: National Bat Week! This week is National Bat Week, a celebration of bats led by the Organization for Bat Conservation with close collaboration from Bat Conservation International and the U.S. Forest Service. To promote public awareness about the current plight of bats, conservation groups are joining forces. The team even found allies in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" cast and crew members Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, and Zack Snyder! For more National Bat Week news and fun, follow us on Facebook!
10/3/2014 Grant to fund monitoring rare turtles by air, land, water: Dr. Peter A. Rosenbaum of SUNY Oswego’s biological sciences faculty has won a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant to lead a multidisciplinary team to monitor elusive bog turtles and their habitats at sites in Wayne and Seneca counties. http://www.oswego.edu/news/index.php/site/news_story/preserving_turtles
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.
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.
12/18/2014 Conservation Easement Gives Karner Blue and Frosted Elfin Butterflies Protected Room to Flourish Conservation efforts throughout the endangered Karner blue butterfly’s range have ramped up in the past couple decades, with New York leading the way. The rare butterfly will now have protected habitat through a 5-acre conservation easement in Queensbury provided by utility National Grid. The easement is part of the company’s 50-year habitat conservation plan, approved by the Service and state in 2012 and the first such plan put forward by a Northeast utility. For further information, read the full press release.
12/7/2014 Habitat Restoration for Karner Blue Butterflies
This winter, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will restore 20 acres of land at the Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park in Saratoga County to suitable Karner blue butterfly habitat. This addition will send the preserve above its half way mark en route to a 320 acre restoration goal. Between the continued addition of habitat and captive management efforts, Karner populations are on their way to recovery in New York State! Read the full story here.
10/3/2014 GLRI continues for another 5 years!
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) was launched in 2010 to accelerate efforts to protect and restore the largest system of fresh surface water in the world — to provide additional resources to make progress toward the most critical long-term goals for this important ecosystem. In 2013, commitment for the next five years, 2015-2019, of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative work was announced. The September 2014 Action Plan provides details on the actions to occur over the next five years: Federal agencies plan to continue to use Great Lakes Restoration Initiative resources to strategically target the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem and to accelerate progress toward long term goals—by combining Great Lakes Restoration Initiative resources with agency base budgets and by using these resources to work with nonfederal partners to implement protection and restoration projects. Read more in our pdf. Also see the EPA GLRI Action Plan II pdf (5 MB)
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
April 29, 2015
All images by FWS unless otherwise noted.