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DEC to hold wildlife events across the state

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Several sites across the state will host events in preparation for the release of the New York Wildlife Viewing Guide next month by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Among the Watchable Wildlife events to be held in the area are a hike and viewing trip starting at 11 a.m. today at the Wild Center of the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, 45 Museum Drive, Tupper Lake. Other events will be held in East Islip, Queens, Mamakating, Savannah, Honeoye Falls and Depew.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in an emailed statement that the state has a strong conservation tradition and an increasing appreciation for wildlife, a boost for the state’s environment and economy.

“The protection and improvement of our natural environment is more than just an investment in the quality of life for all our citizens; it benefits local economies in all corners of the state,” he said in the statement.

The Outdoor Industry Association of New York reported that each year outdoor recreation generates $33.8 billion in consumer spending and $2.8 billion in state and local tax revenue, along with 305,000 direct jobs and corresponding wages of $12.5 billion.

The DEC’s guide, projected to come out next month, features more than 110 sites across the state, including sites for bird watching, nature walks and animal rehabilitations. The department created the guide with help from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; Empire State Development; Audubon New York, the Nature Conservancy and New York City Department of Parks and Recreation; and the Urban Park Rangers.

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said in the email statement that the guide was an example of cooperation among state agencies to promote its natural resources, which he called the state’s “greatest assets.”

Rose Harvey, state parks commissioner, said that the guide could help deepen the appreciation for places like parks and wilderness areas.

More information about the guide can be found at www.NewYorkWatchableWildlife.org.

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