Grassland Bird Trust Closes on 64 Acres!

ARGYLE Grassland Bird Trust, formerly Friends of the IBA, officially acquired another 64 acres of critical habitat in February. The two-year project was completed on schedule thanks to a $63,000 grant from NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (Parks), a $50,000 grant from the Open Space Institute (OSI) and donations from Grassland Bird Trust members and supporters.

“This purchase wouldn’t have been possible without support from NYS Parks, OSI and the Capital Region Economic Development Council,” said GBT founder and Executive Director Laurie LaFond.

Landowner Harassment Harms Owls

Love owls?  Actions speak louder than words, and the thoughtless actions of a small number of people who've been harassing landowners in the Washington County Grasslands IBA shows a blatant disregard for the owls and their hosts.

FIBA Awarded $63K New York State Grant!

Fort Edward Friends of the IBA (Important Bird Area/FIBA) received a nice surprise just in time for the holidays – a New York State Regional Economic and Community Development grant for $63,191. The grant, awarded through the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, is funded through New York’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the awards Monday, December 19.

Snowy owl released at FIBA Viewing Area!

FORT EDWARD The Snowy owl sprang from the crate and glided across the open field at Friends of the IBA’s (FIBA) Alfred Z. Solomon Grassland Bird Viewing Area. She glanced back once before landing on a fencepost at the edge of the property and sat there checking out her surroundings amidst the falling snow. She seemed relieved to be back in the wild as she took in her surroundings.

The owl was so emaciated when she was found dying of starvation this past May she didn’t react when her rescuer and his dog approached her, said North Country Wild Care rehabilitator Diane Hime.

Other Ways to Give this Holiday Season! #GivingTuesday

Fort Edward, NY – November 13th, 2018

Thank you to all our members and supporters who have contributed time, effort and donations over the past year!

We’ve accomplished a lot this year, from the passage of our “Grassland Bird Bill” to DEC’s addition of 180 acres of critical habitat to the Washington County Grasslands WMA (Wildlife Management Area). We also expect to close on another 64 acres of critical habitat in our AZS viewshed by the end of the year!

We did it! Governor signs Washington County Grassland IBA Bill into law

Albany, NY – August 20, 2018

We did it! Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Washington County Grassland Bill (S.1672 (Little) / A.6759 (Woerner) into law on August 17, 2018. The law requires the State of New York to pay property taxes on State-owned land  in the towns of Argyle, Fort Edward, and Kingsbury in Washington County, NY.

ACTION ALERT: Last Chance to get Grasslands Bill signed into law!

Our bill authorizing New York State to pay taxes on lands it owns in the Washington County Grasslands has been sent to the Governor for his review.  He has 10 days to sign or veto the bill. 
Let's make sure he signs it! 

PLEASE CALL Governor Cuomo today and ask him to sign Bill S-1672/ A-6759 into law!

PHONE:  518-474-8390

(Identify yourself as a Friends of the IBA member and remember to thank him at the end of your message)

DEC adds 180 Acres to Washington County Grasslands WMA!

Snowy owl in 180 acres, photo courtesy Gordon Ellmers

from NYS DEC Press Release, 07-30-18:

$326,000 Acquisition Increases Size of Protected Grassland Habitat to 466 Acres

Legislators Pass Grassland bird bill!

ALBANY Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner (D-Round Lake) announced the passage of legislation in the Assembly on Monday that will benefit grassland birds and the Washington County towns they call home.

The Senate previously passed a companion bill introduced by Senator Betty Little (R-45th Senate District). 

ACTION ALERT: Save NY's Grassland Birds!

Tell New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Ways and Means Chair Helene E. Weinstein to protect critical habitat for endangered and threatened grassland birds NOW!

Tell them to pass Bill #A-6759 so that Short-eared owls and other imperiled grassland birds do not disappear from New York State. Session ends June 20!