On Tuesday, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (D-Sag Harbor) issued the following statement after Governor Hochul vetoed a bill he sponsored to prohibit deer hunting on state lands adjacent to a wildlife rehabilitation center in the Town of Southampton.
Assemblyman Thiele stated, “There can be little doubt that the permitting of hunting adjacent to the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Center has presented a threat to public safety which has existed for years. Most notably, was the incident a year ago when a deer was shot on the Center's property and bullet holes were found in occupied buildings and structures on the Center's property. The State Department of Environmental Conservation refused to eliminate this inherent conflict. Now the State DEC is behind the veto of this common-sense legislation to avoid another life- threatening incident. This bill was not anti-hunting. I have sponsored numerous bills to expand hunting opportunities safely across the State. This legislation only applied to one parcel in the entire state where a public safety risk was clearly demonstrated. Whether it has been ensuring safe hunting, protecting against environmental threats from sand mining, or protecting our water quality, the DEC continues to fail us."