Oswego County Sportsmen Groups and Local Business Donate Mower to DEC Region 7

Japanese barberry, one of the invasive plant species that will be dealt with using the mower donated to the state DEC.
Japanese barberry, one of the invasive plant species that will be dealt with using the mower donated to the state DEC.

A recent grant and a donation to the Oswego County Sportsmen’s Foundation have enabled the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to purchase a brush mower attachment that will help improve wildlife habitat in the region.

Entergy, the parent company of the James A. Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba, Oswego County, provided a $5,000 grant and the Salmon River Chapter of the National Turkey Federation, provided a $1,600 donation. Together these funds were used to purchase a “Brushcat” that will be used for combating both native and non-native invasive plant species and maintenance of early succession habitats on DEC wildlife management areas (WMAs).

The Brushcat initially will be used at Deer Creek Marsh Wildlife Management Area (WMA) to treat invasive plant species, such as honeysuckle, Japanese barberry and European buckthorn. In addition, the Brushcat will promote early successional habitat management along riparian zones, wetland margins, and upland areas, for coppicing purposes and for removal of native invasive plant species like red maple. Once work is completed at Deer Creek Marsh,the Brushcat will be deployed to other WMAs within Region 7.

The Oswego County Sportsmen’s Foundation, a newly formed non-profit, did an extensive amount of work to see this project completed. They were assisted by the Oswego County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs. The Foundation looks to undertake additional projects in the future dealing with education and conservation and invite anyone interested in helping or having a need to contact them. Visit www.oswegocountysportsmensfoundation.com for more information.

Mike Putnam, DEC Region 7 Wildlife Biologist, said, “DEC truly appreciates all of the hard work of the Oswego County Sportsmen Foundation and the Oswego County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, as well as the generosity of Entergy and the Salmon River Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation which cumulatively resulted in the purchase of the Brushcat. The sportsmen who donated to this cause will enjoy the future ecological benefits that will come from the use of this equipment.

Jennifer Quezergue, Senior Analyst for Corporate Social Responsibility at Entergy, said, “I am glad you were able to attract additional funds to match the Entergy grant and redirect the project to achieve even greater long-term environmental benefits,” said.

For more information about Deer Creek Marsh or other WMAs in DEC’s Region 7, go to http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8279.html. DEC also encouraged outdoor enthusiasts to consider purchasing a Habitat/Access Stamp, an optional stamp that helps support the DEC’s efforts to conserve habitat and increase public access for fish and wildlife-related recreation. Buying a $5 stamp is a way to help conserve New York’s fabulous wildlife heritage. More information about purchasing a Habitat Stamp is available at http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/329.html Individuals can also enhance DEC’s fish and wildlife programs through “Return A Gift To Wildlife” – a voluntary contribution line on the state income tax form to provide every taxpayer with an easy, simple way to support fish and wildlife conservation. Any whole dollar amount may be contributed whether taxes are owed or a refund is due, and all contributions are tax-deductible on the following year’s return. For more information, go to http://www.dec.ny.gov/public/327.html on the DEC website.