Albany, NY (January 20, 2021) – As part of his SFY 2021-22 Executive Budget, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has unveiled an environmental agenda that will protect New York State's birds and people. The following statement is from Erin McGrath, Policy Manager for of Audubon New York, a state program of the National Audubon Society (full testimony delivered to the New York State Senate and Assembly available here):
"Governor Cuomo's Executive Budget proposal will build toward the future by investing in our environment and New York State's birds and people. During the ongoing COVID-19 and climate crises, we need to make smart choices about investing our resources and reinvigorating our economy – while also taking much-needed steps to restore our environment and improve climate resiliency.
The Environmental Protection Fund and Clean Water Infrastructure Fund have a proven track record of creating positive economic impacts and good-paying jobs while protecting vulnerable wildlife and their habitats. At a time when more and more New Yorkers are going outdoors, it is even more critical that we continue to invest in our natural landscapes. The Parks 100 proposal will also address the growing use of our State Parks, and we are especially excited to work with the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation to create the new Empire State Birding Trail. In New York State, 3.8 billion people watch birds and other wildlife and generate approximately $1.6 billion in ecotourism revenue each year.
The budget also contains important policy proposals. We were pleased to see proposals to expand crossbow hunting and allow twelve and thirteen-year-olds to hunt under an adult's supervision. Over-browsing by deer is having an outsized impact on our forests' health, destroying critical habitat for declining woodland birds such as the Cerulean Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, and Wood Thrush and decreasing our forests’ ability to store carbon. We believe that further steps need to be taken to manage New York State's deer population, and as a science-based organization, we support evidence-based wildlife management that utilizes hunting as an effective management tool.
Audubon New York looks forward to working with Governor Cuomo and the Legislature to ensure these proposals are included in the enacted budget."
Sharon Bruce, Communications Manager, email@example.com
About Audubon New York
Audubon New York, a state program of the National Audubon Society, protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon's state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon's vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more at www.ny.audubon.org.