Petitioning New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and 1 other

Don't Kill Mute Swans in New York State - Kill the "Mute Swan Plan"

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Urgent Action Required - HELP SAVE Mute Swans in New York

As you may know, in December 2016, Governor Cuomo signed legislation into law sponsored by Assemblymember Cymbrowitz and Senator Avella to stop the DEC's plan to kill New York's mute swans. The new law established a two-year moratorium on the DEC’s mute swan management plans, and requires the DEC to hold at least two public hearings in areas with mute swan populations. Furthermore, any management plan that the DEC puts forward must: give priority to non-lethal management techniques; fully document the scientific basis for future population projections; demonstrate that the swans have caused actual damage to the environment or to other species; and fully document the scientific basis for current and projected environmental damage.

Nevertheless, now the DEC already appears to be moving forward with a deadly new mute swan management plan. On September 6, 2017, the DEC released the third draft of its proposed Mute Swan Management Plan. The third New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) Mute Swan Control Plan released on September 6 must not be adopted. Under the DEC's new plan, many will be brutally killed or mutilated or penned. While the DEC's plan speaks to an intention for increased reliance on non-lethal management, it is unacceptable that the plan continues to call for the brutal killing of hundreds of mute swans in New York State every year.

Anticipating correctly that the DEC would ignore the requisites of Senator Avella’s bill, some opponents of DEC’s plan commissioned a report by Hudsonia, Ltd., a non-advocacy organization that conducts scientific research on ecological issues. The Hudsonia report establishes that the scientific conclusions upon which DEC uses to justify its program, are seriously deficient.

Hudsonia’s report states:

“In conclusion, our analysis of the scientific literature on mute swan ecology and environmental impacts indicates that some of the negative impacts imputed to mute swans are unsubstantiated or anecdotal, whereas others may be of management concern. There are methodological problems, insufficient hard data, and a lack of distinction between short-lived and long-term impacts associated with some of the research that has been used to justify control programs.”

Read the Full Report

For the reasons cited in Hudsonia’s report, the DEC’s third draft plan fails completely to meet the mandate of the moratorium law.

Mute swans are splendid beautiful birds that have been in our State for more than 150 years and they are beloved by many. They must be allowed to live in their various suitable habitats throughout the State. It is time for the DEC to abandon its attempts to implement this unjustified program, and redirect its time, energy and resources to other environmental programs that are justified and genuinely protective of the environment.

There is no  justification for a statewide program to eliminate wild, free-ranging Mute Swans .

The mute swan population in New York State is approximately 2,000, insignificant when considering the draconian approach to population control proposed by the DEC's plan. The upstate population of the mute swans, a region made up of 50 counties, where the DEC Plan proposes the most severe control measures, is 150 - an average only 3 swans per county. Our demand is that these swans be allowed to live. 

Please sign this petition to tell the DEC that you reject their plan, and to let New York State Senators and Assembly Members know that you are appalled about the DEC's proposal to eliminate mute swans in New York, which is not in accordance with the legislation sponsored and fought for by Senator Tony Avella and Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz which passed overwhelming by the legislature three times and signed into law by Goverenor Cuomo.

Contact Your Senator

Contact Your Assembly Member

In addition, the public is encouraged to provide written comments on the revised management plan by writing to: Bureau of Wildlife - Mute Swan Plan, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754; or e-mailing Wildlife@dec.ny.gov (subject line - "Mute Swan Plan"). The public comment period will close on December 13, 2017.

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