Ruffed Grouse Society Applauds NYS Senate for Passing

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Ruffed Grouse Society Applauds NYS Senate for Passing Important Conservation Measure

6/13/08

Legislation will provide state match for federal conservation programs

Coraopolis, Pennsylvania -- The Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) applauds the New York State Senate for passing legislation, which would provide an important incentive for private landowners who engage in habitat conservation activities on their property, and urges the New York State Assembly to promptly do the same.

Sponsored by Senator James L. Seward (R/I/C-Oneonta), the Habitat Conservation Tax Credit (S.2179) would give eligible landowners a credit on their income taxes of 25-percent of the property taxes paid on land enrolled in a habitat conservation program.

"The recently released Ruffed Grouse Conservation Plan and the American Woodcock Conservation Plan both identify the need to put millions of acres under active management in order to return the birds to 1970 population levels," said RGS Executive Director and CEO Michael Zagata. "Traditional sources of funding will not be sufficient to meet that need. However, Senator Seward's bill is the right solution for the right time. Tax relief to landowners who manage for wildlife will not only prevent species from becoming threatened and endangered, it will result in an economic boon to rural upstate communities," Zagata continued.

"I am pleased to partner with the Ruffed Grouse Society and Audubon New York in developing legislation that will provide improved habitat for the state's wildlife - both non-game and game species especially that rely on open fields and early successional forest growth," Seward said. "A variety of song birds and upland wildlife, such as the ruffed grouse, are experiencing declines in their numbers due to habitat loss. S. 2179 will move the state forward to encourage management of private property for wildlife."

"Habitat loss is the leading threat to birds and other wildlife in New York, and as the majority of the state is in private ownership, the actions of private landowners will determine the future of our wildlife," said Albert E. Caccese, Executive Director of Audubon New York, the state program of the National Audubon Society. "This bill invests wisely in
wildlife conservation by creating an incentive to landowners to provide an important public service through habitat conservation activities on their own property. We applaud Senator Seward and the State Senate for passing
this critical measure."

Established in 1961, the Ruffed Grouse Society is the one international wildlife conservation organization dedicated to promoting conditions suitable for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and related wildlife to sustain our sport hunting tradition and outdoor heritage.

Information on the RGS, its mission, management projects and membership can be found on the web at: www.ruffedgrousesociety.org .

Media Contact:
Paul F. Karczmarczyk, Regional Wildlife Biologist (802) 758-2701: rgskarz@prodigy.net
 

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