Overview of the New York State Fish and Wildlife Management Act and Board

Statutory Framework: § 11-0501 Environmental Conservation Law

Purpose

The New York State Fish and Wildlife Management Act, established in 1957, has two primary objectives:

  1. To encourage the preservation and development of fish and wildlife resources on privately-owned lands and waters.
  2. To enhance public recreational access to fish and wildlife resources on privately-owned lands and waters.

Fish and Wildlife Management Boards (FWMB)

Structure

  • Regional Boards: Composed of county-appointed representatives from government, landowners, and sports persons in each county of the DEC region.
  • State FWMB: Includes three elected voting representatives from each Regional Board, along with various advisory members.

Board Membership

The State Board consists of a mix of elected and advisory members. Elected members include:

  • Mike Schiavone: DEC Commissioner Designee, Advisory Member
  • Bill Connors: State Board Chair
  • Bill Pike: State Board Vice-Chair
  • Barlow Rhodes: State Board Secretary
  • Tom Ryan: Executive Committee Member
  • Matt Foe: Executive Committee Member
  • Zen Olow: Executive Committee Member

Advisory members from the DEC include representatives from Regions 3 to 9. Additional advisory members represent various state departments and organizations, including Agriculture and Markets, Transportation, Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, among others.

Vacancies and Terms

Each non-advisory member's term on the State FWMB expires annually. Vacancies in the state board, excluding advisory positions, are filled by elections from regional boards for the remaining term.

Compensation

Regional and state board members, including advisory members, are not salaried but are reimbursed for necessary travel expenses incurred while attending board meetings. These expenses are paid from funds appropriated to the department for travel.

Meetings and Minutes

The State FWMB convenes biannually, focusing on issues related to fish and wildlife management, especially from the perspective of private landowners. The board's power lies in advocating its resolutions.

Bi-Annual Meeting Records

Notes and presentations from bi-annual meetings held in 2022, 2019, and 2018 are available in PDF format, providing detailed insights into the discussions and decisions made by the board.

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