BOS Conservation Efforts

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Conservation Committee (Resurrected)

At the December 8th, 2021 BOS meeting, Marilyn Feuerstein proposed that the BOS resurrect the BOS Conservation Committee. The discussion that followed showed that conservation was still a key concern for the BOS and Marilyn's proposal received immediate support. This action was, in part, due to a response to Gerry Rising's Prothonotary article, "Lone Voices in the Wilderness" in the July issue concerning development of the Buffalo Waterfront, a great concern for many of us.

Two other members joined the committee that night. Shortly after the meeting, Marilyn sent an email inviting the BOS membership to join our conservation efforts and the committee has now grown to 10 members.

The goals of the committee are:

  • to keep BOS members informed of conservation issues that are within the BOS Study Area or issues that could have an impact on the study area
  • to listen to the membership regarding potential conservation issues that may need action
  • to lend our support and voice as a larger group to conservation efforts

The Conservation Committee is currently meeting via Zoom on the first Wednesdays of the month.

Committee Actions and Awareness Items:

  •   5/12/2022: Dim the Lights for Birds at Night   (click for more)
    Saturday May 14, 2022 is World Migratory Bird Day. This year's theme is “The Impact of Light Pollution on Migratory Birds”. https://www.cms.int/sites/default/files/publication/wmbd_2022_campaign_strategy_light_pollution.pdf Birds on the Niagara, North America’s only International Bird Festival, which is held each February, is proud to announce “Lights Out Niagara”. Birds on the Niagara will be hosting a Lights Out Niagara Press Event on this coming Saturday, May 14th at 10am at the back deck of the Tifft Nature Preserve. You are cordially invited. The purpose of this event is to help raise awareness of our emerging Turn Out the Lights Campaign for the International Niagara River Corridor. As you may know, the Niagara River Corridor is recognized as a “Globally Significant Important Bird Area”. Many communities throughout North America, and the Great Lakes, have Lights Out Programs. None in our region do. We need to change this.Read More »
  •   2/24/2022: A Rare Opportunity   (click for more)
    Read an editorial submitted to the Buffalo News by Margaret Wooster. Unfortunately, they didn't publish it. It's a good editorial about how WE, including Brian Higgins' and other early local leadership can work for an Outer Harbor park. This effort goes back to at least 1990.   Read More »
  •   2/11/2022: The Western New York Environmental Alliance   (click for more)

    The Western New York Environmental Alliance (WNYEA) is a coalition of independent organizations that collectively represents the environmental voice for the Western New York Region, creating a virtual town square for all things green in Western New York. With more than 30 member organizations, affiliates and supporters, WNYEA wants to ensure that the environment is the key factor in local and regional planning. The WNYEA particularly looks forward to working with alliance members on local and regional policies and initiatives related to our recently announced overarching campaign, “A Decade of Biodiversity.” For more information, see “Campaigns” on the WNYEA web page (www.wnyea.org).

    If you are interested in serving as a delegate/contact/organizational representative to the WNYEA on behalf of the BOS, please send a message to David Suggs (dsuggs@buffaloornithologicalsociety.org).

  •   1/25/2022: Freshwater Wetlands in NYS need your support!   (click for more)

    After Governor Hochul indicated support, now the legislation is in the NYS Senate awaiting action. Please consider writing or calling your state legislator to support Senate Bill S5116C (Assembly version A7850).

    This bill addresses shortcomings in the current law:

    “for a wetland to be subject to regulation under NY state law, it must be delineated on existing freshwater wetlands maps prepared by DEC after lengthy public comment. Most of these maps have not been updated in over 20 years, making them woefully incomplete, and the amendment process can be time consuming and overly burdensome in administrative costs.This legislation will remove the jurisdictional barriers that these maps have created, and allow DEC to immediately protect and regulate wetlands if they meet the basic scientific definition of these critical habitat areas featuring hydrophilic plants and hydric soils.

    Commissioner Seggos estimated that if this reform was enshrined in law it will be the equivalent of adding 1 million acres of wetland under the state's protection. That number just represents wetlands that are 12.4 acres and larger that were never officially mapped by the state. Existing state law will also allow DEC to identify and protect smaller wetlands of unusual importance that were once encumbered by the state's regressive mapping protocol and never officially recognized.

    The new reforms would preserve DEC’s authority over wetlands 12.4 acres and larger but expand the Departments authority over smaller wetlands of 'unusual importance' that: are class 1 wetlands, or class II wetlands that possess valuable characteristics like: effective for community flood water control, within an urban area, possessing rare plant or animal species, or important to maintaining clean drinking water.”

  •   1/25/2022: NY’s Heritage Wind Decision Aims to Reduce Project’s Impact on Birds   (click for more)

    NYS’s Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) approved Heritage Wind, the first wind energy facility considered under the state’s new renewable energy project review process. It is adjacent to Iroquois Wildlife Refuge and Tonawanda and Oak Orchard Wildlife Management Areas and presents a threat to migratory birds in this IBA (Important Bird Area).

    ORES agreed with conservation groups that the 6 highest risk turbines should be removed or relocated. If found “impracticable” APEX, the developer, is required to minimize impact on birds, including a study to quantify migrating bird use and a plan to halt turbine blades at times of elevated collision risk.

    Read More »
  •   1/5/2022: Good News From Albany!   (click for more)

    Good news soon followed the letter to Albany in Governor Hochul's State of the State Address. Audubon posted Governor Hochul's proposals that will benefit birds, other wildlife, and people. You can read about the key takeaways on NY Audubon's website.

    Read More »
  •   12/15/2021: NYS Freshwater Wetlands Act Reform   (click for more)

    The first act of the Conservation Committee was to endorse, along with 63 other organzations, the NYS Freshwater Wetlands Act Reform, which will help protect more wetlands and habitat for our birds! You can read the letter sent to Albany by following the link.

    Read More »