The East End's grasslands not only add to the region's beauty — they are critical habitats for birds and other wildlife.
And now landowners who act as stewards of grassland ecosystems can be compensated for their efforts by the New York State Department of Conservation, announced Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr., I-Sag Harbor.
The DEC’s Landowner Incentive Program for Grassland Protection and Management, funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, provides grants for projects aimed at aiding the survival of at-risk species.
Landowners can apply for technical advice and financial incentives to conduct prescribed site management, according to Thiele's office. But to participate, applicants must own at least 25 acres of contiguous grassland.
"Grassland acreage in New York State has decreased drastically over the last three decades primarily due to a reduction in pasture and hayfields, reversion of abandoned farmland to forests, and development of farmland," Thiele's office stated. "The East End is still home to some maritime grassland complexes."
More information is available at the DEC website or by calling 518-402-8943.