News Archive 2004
Draft Restoration for Love Canal Now Available (Environmental Contaminants):
Please see the draft here.
Comments are due to Anne Secord,
USFWS, 3817 Luker Road, Cortland, NY 13045 by February 15, 2005. Superfund Sites
Addressed by Restoration Plan: Figure
1.jpg, Restoration Projects Under Preferred Alternative: Figure
Wind Power Discussion with ERDA (Federal Permits & Projects):
The NYFO was recently contacted by
the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to participate
in a roundtable discussion among stakeholders concerning wind power development
in the state. Discussion topics will include wind power project development,
potential project locations, identifying data needs and appropriate studies
to assess potential impacts to wildlife. New York State's recently enacted Renewable
Energy Portfolio Standard requires utilities to acquire at least 25 percent
of the state's electricity needs from renewable sources, such as wind, by 2013.
Approximately 1000 to 2000 wind turbines must be erected across the state to
achieve this goal but little data exists for New York State which addresses
potential impacts to wildlife, such as birds and bats, that can be susceptible
to collisions with the structures. The NYFO is excited about being a partner
in the state's efforts to become a leader in developing renewable energy while
protecting its wildlife. Questions regarding New York wind power or this wildlife
initiative can be directed to Tim Sullivan.
Oswego River Hydroelectric Project gets new FERC license (Federal Permits &
On November 30, the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission issued a new license to Erie Boulevard Hydropower for
the Oswego River Hydroelectric Project. The license was consistent with the
settlement which was negotiated by Erie, the Service, NYSDEC, and other entities
in 2003. The license includes base flows, bypassed reach flows, and modified
run-of-river operations that will commence in 2006, along with "fish-friendly"
releases to provide safe downstream fish movement. Ladders for upstream eel
passage and trashrack overlays to protect fish from entrainment mortality will
be installed at each development sequentially from 2006 through 2010. The Service's
Section 18 fishway prescription issued in 1996 and modified in 2001 was modified
slightly to conform with the settlement agreement.
Karner Blue Butterfly Gate Constructed (Endangered Species and PFFW):
the thumbnails in the index to see larger versions of the entire process.
#1 This site in
Saratoga County, NY holds the second largest population of the federally
listed endangered Karner blue butterfly in the state of New York. Trespassing
and illegal dumping have degraded the habitat severely within the last
several years. NYFO’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife and Endangered
Species programs have worked together to decrease the amount of unauthorized
entry onto the site. A simple solution was to install a gate and barrier.
A tremendous amount of time, labor and materials were donated by the New
York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), Palette Stone, Inc.,
and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).
Without these partners, the project would not have been possible.
#2 NYSDOT backhoe
and operator excavate two holes for gate posts.
#3 Endangered Species
biologist assembling plywood concrete forms.
#4 Partners biologist
and NYSDEC biologist work on setting the forms in place.
#5 Partners biologist sets
gate post inside form. Each post is set seven feet below grade.
#6 After both post are set,
NYSDOT equipment operator sets 12 foot gate onto end (hinge) post.
#7 Partners and NYSDEC biologists
backfill around outside of concrete forms.
#8 The gate is locked and
#9 Palette Stone, Inc. of
Saratoga Springs, NY partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and donated
3.2 yards of concrete to anchor the gate posts in place.
#10 Now for the barrier...NYSDOT
guiderail crew installed over 200 feet of “W-beam” guiderail to
stop trespassers from driving around the gate.
#11 The completed gate and
#12 A very hard working
NYSDOT crew relax after the project is complete. Crew foreman proudly displays
a puppet of the endangered Karner blue butterfly. All the partners deserve a
special "thank you" from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s
NYFO’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife and Endangered Species Programs.
Clemson Beaver Dam Pond Leveler Built and Installed (Partners for Fish &
Slide 1. A St. Lawrence County, NY Partners for Fish & Wildlife wetland restoration
project: Beaver have plugged the spillway and this has a negative impact on
the integrity of the earthen dam if not corrected. One possible solution is
to place a Clemson Beaver Pond Leveler through the spillway.
Slide 2. NYFO volunteer, Nelson Babcock, assists Partners biologists in building a Clemson
Beaver Pond Leveler.
Slide 3. The Clemson Leveler in the last phase of construction.
Slide 4. Biologist installing the Clemson Leveler. Note the beaver dam has been removed
Slide 5. Approximately 70 feet of outlet pipe is attached to the 10 foot intake Clemson
Leveler. After the structure is properly set, it is covered with on site material
to hold in place. In this case, the Leveler is placed slightly below the elevation
of the spillway. When the beaver rebuild the dam, water will still pass through
the Clemson Leveler structure, allowing for proper water control.
New NRDA Fact Sheet Available (Environmental Contaminants):
The Hudson River Natural Resource
Trustees have issued a Fact Sheet for the Hudson River Natural Resource Damage
Assessment (NRDA) entitled, "Addressing PCB-Related Losses Along the Hudson
River Through a Natural Resource Damage Claim". The Fact Sheet is intended
to help the public understand the scope and limits of the NRDA process. The
Fact Sheet is available at: http://contaminants.fws.gov/restorationplans/HudsonRiver/HudsonRiver.cfm
Nine Mile Creek Restoration: Syracuse Post-Standard Article part 2 (Partners
for Fish & Wildlife):
interview with NYFO's Carl Schwartz here.
Albany Pine Bush Newsletter Feature (Partners for Fish & Wildlife):
.pdf of the newsletters first page featuring the Albany Pine Bush Habitat
NYFO Assists Fish Hatchery with Spawning Lake Trout (Federal Activities):
the week of October 4-7, 2004, NYFO Biologist Dave Bryson assisted Region
3's Sullivan Creek Hatchery (located on the Upper Peninsula, MI) in spawning
lake trout. Staffing assistance was provided as part of our office's ecosystem
NYPA Transfers Funds to NFWF for Fish Enhancement Fund (Federal Activities):
The New York Power Authority transferred
$24 million to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation on September 30, 2004.
This money represents the Fish Enhancement, Mitigation, and Research Fund that
was negotiated as part of the St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project relicensing settlement.
As soon as the Service organizes a Fishery Advisory Committee (FAC) and establishes
a format for funding requests, the funds will be available for aquatic habitat
projects and related research anywhere in the St. Lawrence River/Lake Ontario
Basin. We expect to be prepared to convene the first meeting of the FAC in mid
to late 2005.
New Data Report for PCB Levels in Avian Eggs (Environmental Contaminants):
The Hudson River Natural
Resource Trustees have released the final "Data Report for the Collection
of Eggs from Spotted Sandpipers, American Woodcock, Belted Kingfisher, American
Robin, Red-Winged Blackbird, and Eastern Phoebe Associated with the Hudson River
from Hudson Falls to Schodack Island, New York," dated September 17, 2004.
This Data Report provides the results of a preliminary investigation of PCB
contamination of select Hudson River avian species conducted in 2002 pursuant
to the NRDA. The report is posted at http://contaminants.fws.gov/restorationplans/HudsonRiver/HudsonRiver.cfm.
Natural resources of the Hudson River have been contaminated through past and
ongoing discharges of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). As a means of evaluating
regional avian contamination, a screening level survey of avian eggs was conducted
from April - June 2002. The investigation entailed collection of eggs from six
primary species: belted kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon), American robin (Turdus migratorius),
Eastern phoebe (Sayornis phoebe), spotted sandpiper (Actitis macularia), red-winged
blackbird (Agelaius phoenicius), and American woodcock (Scolopax minor), along
a contamination gradient in the Upper Hudson River Valley, from Hudson Falls
to Lower Schodack Island, New York. Active nests of these birds in and near
the Hudson River and its floodplain were identified and eggs were collected
for PCB analysis. The collection of egg samples from five additional avian species
was based solely on the opportunities for survey team members to locate the
nests of these species and consisted of:
Eastern screech owl (Otus asio), common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula), northern
rough-winged swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis), barn swallow (Hirundo rustica),
and Eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis). A total of 168 egg samples were analyzed
for 48 selected PCB congeners, PCB homologue groups, total PCBs, percent lipids,
and percent moisture. Total PCB concentrations ranged from 20 parts per billion
(ppb) to about 56,200 ppb (fresh weight basis) and varied by species and collection
The report contains as Appendices
the Work Plan, the Data Quality Assessment Report, and the Avian Egg Data Sheets
for the investigation.
Bradstock Festival Educates Public About Endangered Species (Long Island Field
Island Field Office (LIFO) participated in the annual Bradstock Festival
at the Sayville Maritime Museum on September 5, 2004. Proceeds from the
festival are donated to several local civic (including Island Harvest) and
environmental organizations. This festival, also attended by the Nature
Conservancy, South Shore Estuary Reserve and other local environmental organizations,
provided an opportunity to meet Long Island residents and inform them about
LI’s threatened and endangered plants and animals and their habitats.
From LIFO staff, visitors learned about the piping plover, roseate tern
and seabeach amaranth, which nest or grow on the island’s beaches.
For further information on these interesting creatures, visit http://endangered.fws.gov.
In addition, we coordinated our outreach efforts with the Service’s
Law Enforcement Division in Valley Stream. With their assistance, we were
able to display confiscated skins, mounts and products of U.S. and internationally
endangered species. These materials made our exhibit a very popular attraction.
In fact, the most common question asked was "How much for the tiger
rug?" whereby we explained that tigers are an endangered species under
protection from the U.S. Endangered Species Act and prohibited from commercial
trade by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species(CITES
) Visitors learned firsthand about wildlife trade and the pressures that
these animals experience and the reasons for their protection under the
Endangered Species Act. For more information about wildlife in trade, visit http://international.fws.gov/
Final Study Plan for Avian Investigations for the Hudson River Released (Environmental
The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees' have released the "Final Study
Plan for Year 2004 Avian Investigations for the Hudson River." The Final
Study Plan is posted at http://contaminants.fws.gov/restorationplans/HudsonRiver/HudsonRiver.cfm.
The Final Study Plan describes the activities that constitute the Trustees’
planned approach to conducting investigations of avian species, including a
field study of reproduction of belted kingfisher, spotted sandpiper, and tree
swallow, beginning in Spring 2004, as part of the Hudson River NRDA. The Plan
has been subject to peer and public review, and is being implemented by the
Trustees. Also posted is a Fact Sheet for Avian Investigations (Spring 2004).
New Feedback Page!
our new feedback page for letters and
comments from the public and our partners.
Tibbits Frog project a success!
for Fish & Wildlife):
Carl Schwartz of Partners for Fish & Wildlife recently
finished a wetland restoration in the shape of a frog. See photo at right!
Eel ladders to be constructed on all Oswego River Developments (Federal Projects):
|The NYFO met with the City of Oswego to discuss
the construction of an upstream eel ladder at the High Dam Project. Erie
Boulevard Hydro has filed a settlement with the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission in which they have agreed to install eel ladders on all of their
Oswego River hydro developments, commencing in 2006. The High Dam development
would then represent the only blockage between the Atlantic Ocean and Phoenix,
||American eel migrating
up the St. Lawrence River have declined from over 1 million per year in
the 1980’s to under 3,000 per year. A similar decline has occurred
elsewhere on the East Coast. Eel ladders will improve access to historical
eel habitat in the Oswego River. For more information, contact Steve
Waterloo/Seneca Falls Project Update (Federal Projects):
|The NYFO met with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
(FERC) and Seneca Falls Power Corporation (SFPC) to discuss compliance with
outstanding license conditions at the Waterloo/Seneca Falls Project. A new
license was issued to SFPC by the FERC in 1997, but many of the license
requirements remain unfulfilled. Some progress has been made on several
issues, including dam safety, water level monitoring, recreation, and fish
passage. The FERC stressed the importance of complying with the terms of
the license, and indicated that the requirements at Waterloo/Seneca Falls
are typical of most licenses issued around the country. SFPC agreed on specific
dates to provide outstanding information. The key outstanding environmental
issue is the construction of downstream fish movement facilities, which
should be completed later this year. For more information, contact Steve
Syracuse Post-Standard Article on Nine Mile Creek (Partners for Fish & Wildlife):
Archived link here.
Upcoming Karner blue butterfly events in New York (Endangered Species):
Albany Pine Bush Preserve Karner Blue Butterfly Walk
Saturday July 17, 2004, 11:00am – 1:00pm
Location: 195 New Karner Road (SEFCU) Parking Lot. For more information, go
Preserve and Park Karner Blue Butterfly Walk
Saturday, July 24, 2004, 10:00am.
For more information, go to: http://www.townofwilton.com/wwpp/index.htm
Chittenango ovate amber snail conservation highlights (Endangered Species):
Researchers are conducting
the third and final year of a mark-release-recapture study to estimate the population
size of the Chittenango ovate amber snail. Searches are held every other Wednesday
at the Chittenango Falls State Park throughout the spring, summer, and fall
The Rosamond Gifford Zoo
has created a movie on the Chittenango ovate amber snail that can be viewed
The Chittenango Ovate Amber
Snail Recovery Team received great comments on the Draft Revised Recovery Plan
and continue to work towards finalizing this plan.
Any questions about the
snail? Call Robyn Niver of this office at 607-753-9334.
Sandplain gerardia success on Long Island:
See our newly updated Long
Island Recovery Efforts page!
Oswego County Envirothon a Success:
||The New York Field
Office participated May 7th in the Oswego County Envirothon, held at Camp
Hollis, on the shores of Lake Ontario. Outreach Specialist Fred Caslick,
Ph.D. wrote and administered the aquatics exam to high school students competing
for the right to move on to the Regional Envirothon and possibly a state
Piping Plover Steward Training Class held at the Long Island Field Office (Endangered
On April 22, 2004, the Long
Island Field Office in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, New York State
Department of Environmental Conservation, Town of Hempstead, Citizens Campaign
for the Environment, and the Krusos Foundation held the first Piping Plover
Steward Training Class for 2004. The full day training session covered various
topics including, but not limited to, piping plover biology, population status
and trends, and the basics of field monitoring. An afternoon session provided
an opportunity for class participants to learn how to locate nests, erect symbolic
fencing, and construct and deploy predator exclosures. The Long Island Field
Office is continually encouraged by the interest from local, state, and federal
agencies in this training program, as it provides an opportunity for permanent
staff to sharpen their skills and new seasonal staff to obtain an introduction
to plover biology and management by local experts. The next Piping Plover Steward
Training class will be June 16, 2004. If you are interested in attending this
class, please contact the Long Island Field Office at (631) 753-9334.
Fact Sheet for Preliminary Investigation of Frogs and Sediments (Environmental
The Hudson River
Natural Resource Trustees have initiated a preliminary investigation of frogs
and sediments of the Hudson River, as part of the Hudson River Natural Resource
Damage Assessment. The Hudson River and its surrounding habitat support many
species of amphibians, such as wood frog (Rana sylvatica) and northern leopard
frog (Rana pipiens). These species spend a large part of their lives in contact
with potentially contaminated substances-water, sediment, and soil-and consume
potentially contaminated prey. The Trustees are investigating the feasibility
of using amphibians for an injury determination study through a preliminary
investigation focused on wood frogs and northern leopard frogs, and the habitats
in which they breed. The Fact Sheet describing the preliminary investigation
is posted at our national contaminants site: http://contaminants.fws.gov/restorationplans/HudsonRiver/HudsonRiver.cfm
View the New Jersey Field Office Seabeach
amaranth website, maintained by the New York Field Office.
Upcoming Events to Celebrate the Karner blue butterfly (Endangered Species):
Lupine Festival: Saturday,
May 22, 2004, Albany, New York
Karner Blue Butterfly Festival:
Saturday, July 10, 2004, Black River Falls, Wisconsin
New Hudson River Draft Study Plan for Avian Investigations Released (Environmental
The Hudson River Natural
Resource Trustees' have released a "Draft Study Plan for Year 2004 Avian
Investigations for the Hudson River." The Draft Study Plan is posted at http://contaminants.fws.gov/restorationplans/HudsonRiver/HudsonRiver.cfm.
The Draft Study Plan is being released for public review and comment. The Draft
Study Plan describes the Trustees' currently proposed approach to conducting
investigations of avian species, particularly belted kingfisher, spotted sandpiper,
and tree swallow. The work will begin this year, and will be used to help determine
whether future studies will be performed in the year 2005 and potentially beyond,
and if so, to help in their design. The Trustees are interested in receiving
feedback on this Draft Study Plan, and are asking the public and the party or
parties responsible for the contamination to review the Draft Study Plan and
provide feedback on the proposed approach.
Comment period extended;
comments must be submitted on or before April 29, 2004 to:
Ms. Kathryn Jahn
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
3817 Luker Road
Cortland, NY 13045
Funding to State of New York for Private Landowner Assistance Announced (Endangered
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded the State of New York with 1.3 million
dollars to develop a program to help private landowners conserve and restore
habitats for imperiled species. This grant is part of the Department of Interior's
Landowner Incentive Program and the complete press release can be found here.
Accepting Proposals for Fiscal Year 2004 Private Stewardship Grant Program (Endangered
The Private Stewardship Program provides grants and other assistance on a competitive
basis to individuals and groups engaged in local, private, and voluntary conservation
efforts that benefit federally listed, proposed, or candidate species, or other
We are now accepting grant proposals for the FY 2004 funding period. Proposals
must be received by the appropriate regional office no later than March 8, 2004.
This just in! Proposals now accepted until March 31, 2004. Also, be sure to
read the letter, “Clarification of Eligibility Criteria.” For additional
information please see our National webpage: http://endangered.fws.gov/grants/private_stewardship/index.html
Oswego River Settlement Agreement Filed (Fish & Wildlife Conservation):
On February 18, Reliant
Energy filed the Oswego River Settlement Agreement with the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission. The Service played a major role in resolving complex issues leading
to the Settlement. The Settlement was signed by the Service and other parties
last spring, but filing was held up while Reliant negotiated hydroelectric easements
with the New York State Canal Corporation. When implemented, the Settlement
will improve aquatic habitat in the Oswego River by putting flows in three dewatered
reaches, reducing impoundment fluctuations, providing a base flow downstream
of Varick, providing downstream fish passage on four dams, and providing upstream
passage for American eel at all four dams. The project has been on annual licenses
since the original license expired in 1993, making it one of the oldest uncompleted
licensing actions in the East.
St. Lawrence River/FDR Power Project Technical Advisory Council Meeting:
The NYFO participated in
the inaugural meeting of the Technical Advisory Council (TAC) for the St. Lawrence
River/FDR Power Project. The TAC was set up to develop and oversee the Habitat
Improvement Projects portion of the landmark settlement that became the New
York Power Authority's new 50-year license conditions last October. A variety
of projects to improve habitat for lake sturgeon, northern pike, muskellunge,
Blandings turtles, common loons, osprey, purple martins, grassland nesting birds
common terns, and other species are in the planning stages. In addition, the
TAC will determine how to utilize a fund totalling nearly $4 million that has
been set aside for future habitat improvement projects on the St. Lawrence River
and its tributaries. Other members of the TAC include the New York State Department
of Environmental Conservation, New York Power Authority, New York Rivers United,
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, St. Lawrence County, and St. Lawrence Aquarium and Ecological
Avian Studies in St. Lawrence River Environment - Publications Available:
In conjunction with the
University of Ottawa, Canadian Wildlife Service, and St. Regis Mohawk Tribe,
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has published two new papers on avian work
in the St. Lawrence River environment. For copies, please contact Anne
Secord of the New York Field Office.
Martinovic, B, DRS Lean, CA Bishop, E Birmingham, A Secord and K. Jock. 2003.
Health of Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) Nestlings Exposed to Polychlorinated
Hydrocarbons in the St. Lawrence River Basin. Part I. Renal and Hepatic Vitamin
A Concentrations. J. Toxicol. Environ. Health, Part A, 66:1053-1072
Martinovic, B, DRS Lean,
CA Bishop, E Birmingham, A Secord and K. Jock. 2003. Health of Tree Swallow
(Tachycineta bicolor) Nestlings Exposed to Polychlorinated Hydrocarbons in the
St. Lawrence River Basin. Part II. Basal and Stress Plasma Corticosterone Concentrations.
J. Toxicol. Environ. Health, Part A, 66:2015 - 2029.
USFWS Seeks Proposals for Endangered Species Conservation:
The Service announced the
availability of funds to States for endangered species conservation- Proposals
due May 5, 2004. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking proposals
from states and U.S. territories interested in acquiring land or conducting
conservation planning for endangered species. Congress has appropriated $71
million for fiscal year 2004 to support grants awarded under the Cooperative
Endangered Species Conservation Fund. Last year, the New York State Department
of Environmental Conservation received $347,381 to acquire habitat for the recovery
of the Federally- and State-listed endangered Karner blue butterfly (Lycaides
melissa samuelis). A press release on this year's funding opportunity can
be viewed here.
For complete details on the grants, please visit our endangered species grants
website at http://endangered.fws.gov/grants
New York State Wetlands Forum Conference Coming Soon!
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service is active on the Board of Directors for the New York State Wetlands
Forum, a non-advocacy organization that strives to encourage technical and policy
discussion about wetland issues. Think about attending our upcoming annual conference
on March 31 and April 1, 2004 in Rochester, New York. The title of this year's
conference is "Restoring and Protecting the Health of Great Lakes Wetlands".
For more information, including an agenda and registration form, please visit
the NYS Wetlands Forum website at http://www.wetlandsforum.org
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