DEC holds off implementing plan to rid birds

There will be more time for people to voice their concerns for mute swans, including those who live near Cassadaga Lakes.

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced Friday the Department of Environmental Conservation will consider changes to the draft “Management Plan for Mute Swans in New York State.”

“The draft plan for management for mute swans received significant public interest and DEC received many thoughtful and substantive comments,” said Martens. “DEC is listening to these comments and concerns and will revise the draft plan and provide an opportunity for the public to comment on the revised plan this spring.”

By revising the management plan for the swans statewide through 2025, the DEC will acknowledge regional differences in status, potential impacts and desired population goals for varying regions of the state in the revised plan. The DEC will also consider non-lethal means to achieve the management plan’s intended goals.

The revised plan will be released this spring for another 30-day public comment period. Prior to finalizing the revised draft, DEC will meet with key stakeholder groups to ensure all potential management options are identified and considered. The DEC will also prepare a summary of comments and provide responses to many questions, concerns and ideas that came up during the initial public comment period.

Mute swans made news locally at a recent Cassadaga Village Board meeting. Residents Sheila Kroon and Chuck Battaglia approached the village board to send letters to the DEC encouraging them to save the swans. About seven swans come to Cassadaga Lake, Battaglia said. Mayor LeeAnn Lazarony was quoted as saying she doesn’t want the swans to leave the local area.

“I want to proclaim the mute swan as our official bird of Cassadaga,” she said.

The initial public comment period closed on Feb. 21. The DEC received more than 1,500 comments on the plan from individuals and organizations as well as more than 16,000 form letters and 30,000 signatures on various petitions.

“We appreciate the strong response that the draft plan received, and it’s clear that New Yorkers recognize the importance of a comprehensive mute swan management plan that balances the interests of a diversity of stakeholders,” said Martens. “The revised plan will seek to balance the conflicting views about management of mute swans in New York.”

For more information about mute swans, visit DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7076.html.

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