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Decision Was Made in Order to Redeploy Resources and Due to Increased Opportunity to Purchase Licenses from Private Sector Vendors

The DEC's Region One Sporting License Office located at the DEC's Regional Office in Stony Brook will permanently close on February 1, 2012, DEC Regional Director Peter A. Scully announced.

"The decision to close this office was not an easy decision," Regional Director Peter A. Scully said. "But it was a decision that had to be made given the state's current fiscal situation and the need to redeploy resources within the regional office."

The Regional Sporting License Office has served as one of the locations where sportsmen and women have traditionally come to purchase hunting and fishing licenses and to secure State Lands Access Permits.

Prior to making the decision to close the sporting license office, Director Scully said, DEC regional staff worked to develop a more effective way to allow hunters and all types of recreational users of DEC's over 20,000 acres of land on Long Island to secure State Lands Access Permits.

A State Land Access Permit is needed to access DEC managed lands on Long Island. DEC processes around 5,000 of these access permits each year.

In the past these access permits had to be filled out and sent into DEC which would then process the applications and send land users cards showing that that they had registered to be on state lands.

This process has now been streamlined so that recreational users of state lands now only need to go online fill out the application and then submit the application electronically to DEC.

"We believe this new application is a much needed change to the way DEC allowed individuals to access state lands," Director Scully said. "In the past, recreational users of state lands had to sometimes wait for extended periods of time for these access permits to be processed. Now they will be able to access state lands on the same day they fill out the application."

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While the Stony Brook Office has been one location where sportsmen and women have traditionally come to purchase, sporting licenses there are currently 37 locations in Suffolk County and 15 Nassau County where licenses can be purchased. The full list of vendors can be found on the DEC website at the link below "How to Purchase a Sporting License" or paper copies are available at the Region 1 office and Ridge Check Station.

"We believe the ample amount of sporting license sale locations in Suffolk and Nassau counties will make this transition relatively smooth," Director Scully said. "Many of these locations are much nearer to individual's homes than the DEC's Stony Brook office and they also have much longer hours of operation than our office here."

Once the Regional Sporting License closes on February 1, 2012, the DEC will maintain the Regional Sporting License Office phone number of (631) 444-0273 for individuals with questions regarding access to state lands or Access Permits. This number will, however, only be monitored on a periodic basis.

To purchase a sporting license over the phone, please contact 1-866-933-2257. For questions about big game tags and other wildlife concerns, please contact 518-402-8843. Individuals with freshwater fishing questions should contact DEC's Freshwater Fisheries (Nassau and Suffolk counties) unit at (631) 444-0280 and individuals with hunting-related questions can contact DEC's Wildlife (Nassau and Suffolk counties) unit at (631) 444-0310.

For additional information please visit the following DEC informational links.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6101.html - How to Purchase a Sporting License

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7780.html - General Information on NYSDEC Managed Lands in Nassau and Suffolk counties (with links to biking and hiking maps)

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40419.html - Regulations for use of NYSDEC Managed Lands in Suffolk County

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7815.html - General Information on NYSDEC State Lands Access Permits for Nassau and Suffolk counties

http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/regions_pdf/newaccessprmt.pdf - NYSDEC State Land Access Permit for NYSDEC managed lands in Nassau and Suffolk counties

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8373.html - Hunting on Long Island

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7951.html - Long Island and NYC Freshwater Fishing
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