Pheasants have existed in parts of New York since 1892. By the 1920s wild, breeding populations of pheasants were successfully established across the state. The state propagation program began in 1910. A commitment was made to continue the State’s pheasant management programs when sporting license fees were increased for the 2009-10 license year and beyond.
The DEC has followed the Environmental Regulations that affect the Pheasant Plan. The DEC pheasant propagation program was specifically described on page 13 of its 1980 programmatic EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) on game species management, and in section 10 of a supplemental SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review) findings prepared in 1994. In 2010, the pheasant plan update concluded that it was a Type II action under SEQR regulations (6 NYCRR 618.2), so no specific environmental assessment was prepared.
Pheasant management has been guided by three previous pheasant plans, the first adopted in 1979, the second in 1999, and the last plan adopted in 2010. A new plan will be adopted in 2020. This plan, like the others, will guide the Pheasant Program for 10 years, (2020 through 2030), provided funding and other resources do not change.
The 2010 Plan included many changes to New York’s Pheasant Program. Fortunately, the DEC developed a very sound plan and most of the changes were wise. Nevertheless, it cannot be assumed that the 2020 plan will be favorable. If the DEC follows the same timeline and system you (might) receive a preliminary “Issues Statement” in Late April of 2019. You will be given instructions and a deadline to meet if you choose to give feedback. If you do, follow the instructions so that your response is deemed substantive. Next, the availability of revised draft plan (might) be announced in late September via press release, the Environmental Notice Bulletin (ENB), and posting on the DEC website, with comments due back around November. Look for these announcements if you want to weigh in. As always: the INSTRUCTIONS may say to keep your comments relevant to something specific, if you want the DEC to consider your comments substantive; then follow their directions. We want to point out and emphasize, that we do not wait for the DEC to solicit public comment when we want something improved. As a matter of fact, we will be sending them this, around the same time you receive it. However – when there is instructions with public comment requests, we follow them.
Many well-reasoned changes that resulted in substantial improvements to the Pheasant Plan were made in the 2010 revision that the DEC Pheasant Plan Revision Team should be commended for. However, there were three changes we did not support:
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