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New York Hunters & Fishermen Have Their Day

September 23, 2011

NEW YORK - Plenty of New Yorkers will be headed to local forests and lakes this weekend as the nation celebrates National Hunting and Fishing Day, on Saturday, and some conservationists say it's the perfect time to call attention to the positive role that New York sportsmen and sportswomen play in helping to conserve land, water and wildlife habitat.

Todd Dunham is a local hunter and fisherman, and he directs land protection efforts for the Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. Since the 1970s his group has been active in making more than 150,000 acres available to the public for a wide variety of outdoor activities.

"That includes big lakes like Lake Lila or Lows Lake, big tracts of forest land, and really opened up lots of opportunities for hunters and fisherman in particular, to access lands that were not previously accessible."

Dunham say there is more than just recreation going on this weekend, because the efforts of those same hunters and fisherman also help protect New York's air and water.

The Adirondacks include five major New York watersheds, which provide drinking water for millions.

"I think the best thing in terms of protecting the resource is having people utilizing it and enjoying it; the people who want to hunt and fish are the folks that tend to be most interested in seeing that it remains protected."

If you are wondering what Dunham and his fellow hunters and fisherman will be after in the Adirondacks this weekend, they have plenty of options.

"From the fishing standpoint, trout, bass, pike. On the hunting side, early goose season is open up here, as well as early bear, and archery will be coming on line here soon, as well."

The Santanoni Preserve in Newcomb was the first land to be acquired by the Nature Conservancy in the Adirondacks and turned over to New Yorkers in 1972.

More information is on the web at www.nature.org

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NY