Funding the preservation of our natural environment and the enhancement of outdoor sporting opportunities is critical to continued fish and wildlife abundance in New York. As the Vice Chair of the New York State Assembly Minority Hunting and Fishing Task Force, I have listened to sportsmen and anglers across the state lamenting the lack of quality outdoor and fishing opportunities in their communities. I am happy to offer both sports enthusiasts and nature lovers an easy way to help solve this statewide problem.
The Department of Environmental Conservationís Habitat/Access Stamp was created in 2002 to raise money to help improve and conserve fish and wildlife habitats, as well as increase public access to public and private lands for sporstmen. The $5 stamp is offered for sale to the public by all vendors of New York state sports licenses (most municipal clerks' offices and many sporting goods stores) and by phone at 1-86-NY-DECALS (1-866-933-2257).
Proceeds raised through purchases of the Habitat/Access Stamp are deposited in the State's Conservation Fund Habitat Account. In April 2005, the DEC announced $96,364 in awards, funding 14 projects conserving habitats and increasing public access from the east end of Long Island to Wyoming County, New York.
A Habitat/Access Stamp is not required for outdoor sports, nor do you have to purchase a sporting license to buy one, but buying a stamp is one easy way you can help ensure that New York remains an outdoor enthusiastís paradise for years to come.
I agree with my fellow sportsmen that increased access to outdoor sports opportunities is essential to increasing the ranks of outdoor enthusiasts, especially our youth, across the state. The Habitat/Access stamp offers everyone the opportunity to do their part to support outdoor sports in New York.