FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE06-58
november 17, 2006
Contact: Ian Michaels
Nearly 40,000 Acres of DEP Land to Be Open for Deer Hunting
Commissioner Emily Lloyd of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that 39,543 acres of City water supply lands will be available in 2006 for deer hunting during the season beginning November 18. This includes almost 3,000 acres of land opened to the public for the first time this season.
“The number of hunters on City lands has increased remarkably, from less than 4,500 in 2002 to over 11,000 last season.” said Commissioner Lloyd. “And this year they’ll have more acres available to them than ever before. That follows an expansion of the hunting program earlier this year, when we opened land to small game and turkey hunting for the first time. We look forward to bringing even more recreational opportunities to the watershed next year, when we hope to extend small game and turkey hunting to all areas where deer hunting is allowed. We’ve also made it easier than ever to get a free Access Permit, now available instantly on the Web.”
Included in the almost 40,000 acres open for deer hunting are 15 areas comprising 5,823 acres that will also be open in the West of Hudson watershed for bear hunting—the first time that bear hunting will be allowed on City water supply lands. Applicants for a free DEP Hunt Tag must also have a valid DEP Access Permit, which are available instantly on the Web for the first time at nyc.gov/watershed. Access Permits allow the holders to hike and fish on available City lands, and are also free. All New York State laws and additional DEP conditions apply while on City water supply land. This includes State hunting license requirements and a prohibition on bear hunting east of the Hudson River.
This season DEP will continue its doe harvest incentive and distribution of extra DMAP doe tags, and will try out a quality deer management project in partnership with the Kent Rod and Gun Club in Putnam County. These efforts are all in part to help control overbrowsing. Overbrowsing by deer can greatly affect forest health by removing tree seedlings and other low-growing vegetation, and eventually can lead to reduced water quality. Details of the harvest incentive and other programs are contained in the Guide to Deer Hunting that is sent to each hunter with their DEP Hunt Tag. Last year five hunters who harvested does on water supply lands were selected through a lottery drawing to receive prizes from DEP. This year eight successful hunters will be drawn, one for each watershed county.
To apply for a DEP Hunt Tag, hunters can send their name, Access Permit number and whether they used a DEP Hunt Tag in 2005 by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications can also be submitted by regular mail. Hunters who returned their completed 2005 Deer Hunt Surveys by the due date were sent their 2006 Hunt Tags in early September, provided their Access Permits were still valid. This year’s Hunt Tag is printed on the back page of the Hunting Guide.
Hunt Tags applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications are available at DEP Land Management Offices throughout the watershed, DEP offices in Kingston, Queens and Manhattan, at watershed bait and tackle shops and town halls, and on DEP’s Web site at nyc.gov/watershed. The Web site also has the most up-to-date information on hunting and other water supply recreation opportunities, including hunting conditions, maps of hunting areas, and areas where bear hunting is allowed.
DEP also supports the non-profit Venison Donation Coalition (VDC) for their work in the watershed region. Hunters may donate a deer to the VDC which pays for meat processing and distribution to food banks, soup kitchens, and needy families. For further information see the VDC Coalition website: www.venisondonation.com.
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) manages New York City’s water supply, which is collected from three watersheds comprising nearly 2000 square miles, 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes and provides over one billion gallons of quality drinking water daily serving over half the population of New York State. The DEP manages 14 in-City wastewater treatment plans, as well as nine-treatment plants upstate. DEP’s operations and investments translate into 1833 jobs in the West of Hudson watershed, and DEP pays over $100 million a year in taxes in the watershed.