Pet Restrictions in Effect March 15 through Labor Day
Dogs/other pets (except for service animals) are not allowed in the wilderness or on any of Fire Island's federally owned oceanfront beaches from March 15 through Labor Day to help protect threatened and endangered beach-nesting shorebirds. More »
Backcountry Camping Permit and Access Procedures
Reservations for required permits must be obtained through www.recreation.gov. Due to the breach at Old Inlet, access to both east and west wilderness camping zones must now be from Watch Hill or points west, and involve a 1½ to 8 mile hike. More »
Attention Watch Hill Ferry Passengers
Due to channel conditions, delay or cancellation of ferry service between Patchogue and Watch Hill may occur. For updated ferry schedule information, please call 631-475-1665.
Public Scoping for Fire Island White-tailed Deer and Vegetation Management Plan
Contact: Paula Valentine, 631-687-4759
NPS Seeks Input for Fire Island National Seashore Deer and Vegetation Management Plan: Newsletter now Available; Public Scoping Period Open from June 17 through July 24, 2011
Patchogue, New York— Fire Island National Seashore Superintendent Chris Soller announced that the National Park Service (NPS) is preparing a White-tailed Deer and Vegetation Management Plan and its Environmental Impact Statement (plan/EIS) for the Seashore. The purpose of the plan/EIS is to address issues associated with the abundance and distribution of white-tailed deer within park boundaries. The issues include impacts from deer on the natural and cultural resources of the Seashore, as well as impacts resulting from deer-human interaction. The process starts with a public scoping period, which will be open from June 17 through July 24, 2011. Information gathered during this time period will help planners progress to the next stage of the process, the development of draft preliminary management alternatives, which are expected to be available for review by early 2012.
A Draft Fire Island National Seashore White-tailed Deer and Vegetation Management Plan/EIS will be published after careful consideration and evaluation of each proposed management alternative, and the NPS preferred alternative will be presented at that time. "Deer management has been a very sensitive issue in many national parks," stated Soller, "and we want to be sure that the decisions we make are respectful of all resources."
No public meetings are planned during the public scoping period for this plan, but a newsletter is available online. Public input is important at this point to ensure that the National Park Service has a strong foundation for the alternatives for this plan. The White-tailed Deer and Vegetation Management Plan will become an implementation plan of the Seashore's more comprehensive General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (GMP/EIS), which is currently being developed.
Public scoping comments about the proposed White-tailed Deer and Vegetation Management Plan may be submitted electronically from June 17 through July 24, 2011 at the National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) web site:
or by mail:
Public meetings will be held after Draft Preliminary Alternatives are prepared for Fire Island National Seashore's White-tailed Deer and Vegetation Management Plan. These meetings are expected to be conducted during 2012.
Additional information about the Seashore's current deer research and monitoring programs is available online at www.nps.gov/fiis/naturescience/deer.htm.
For more information about Fire Island National Seashore, visit the park's web site at www.nps.gov/fiis.
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2-page PDF version of this press release
Did You Know?
Tiny rootlets of the American beach grass (Ammophila breviligulata) and mycorrhyzal fungi hold together the grains of sand that make up sand dunes on Fire Island. You can help protect the dunes by not walking or driving over the beach grass. More...