Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced the launch of a free mobile application that provides up-to-date information on fishing, hunting, wildlife watching and other outdoor adventure opportunities in New York state. The new app follows last week’s 2014 New York State Tourism Summit and the kickoff of the summer travel season and celebrating outdoor recreation opportunities throughout the state.
“New York state is home to a vast array of fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation locations, providing unmatched opportunities to enjoy the outdoors while supporting local economies statewide,” Governor Cuomo said. “Tourism is a major industry in New York state, and drawing more visitors to our upstate communities to enjoy the outdoors means new jobs and revenue for local communities. This user-friendly app will build on our efforts to help connect New Yorkers and visitors to opportunities to enjoy our world-class fishing, wildlife and outdoor recreation resources.”
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Martens said: “This app is just the latest development in Governor Cuomo’s continuing efforts to enhance tourism and promote New York state as a premier destination for fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation. These efforts draw more people to enjoy New York’s incredible outdoor assets and for residents to truly explore all regions of the state.”
The application is called the New York Fish and Wildlife app and is part of Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative. DEC developed the app in partnership with Parks By Nature Network at no cost to the state. The New York Fish and Wildlife app is available for free download in the iTunes App Store and the Android Market for use on iPhone and Android devices.
ParksByNature Network, LLC developed the technology Pocket Ranger, a smartphone outdoor mobile guide application as a resource for state park systems and fish and wildlife agencies across the country. The app provides advanced GPS mapping features as well as many other features to maximize any outdoor adventure, including detailed species information, news, advisories and weather alerts, social networking and photo sharing, and cache-able map tiles for offline use.
Brett Melillo, ParksByNature cofounder and program coordinator, said, “The Pocket Ranger Fish and Wildlife App will encourage a new generation of users to explore and discover all that New York has to offer for outdoor recreation. This public-private partnership has provided a robust mobile app that will enhance the outdoor experiences and raise awareness, interest and participation in New York’s outdoor resources.”
This app gives both novice and seasoned outdoorsmen and women essential information in the palm of their hand. Powered by Pocket Ranger technology, using the app’s advanced GPS features, users will be able to identify and locate New York’s many world-class fishing, hunting and wildlife watching sites.
Official Geographic Information System data allows users to access in real-time accurate trail data, user location, sites nearby and amenity locations, including boat ramps, parking, restrooms and more. For hunters and anglers, GIS data will give geographic spatial information, making it easy to identify county borders and units that apply to regulations, permits and licenses for species.
Other outdoor adventure features include:
- Real-time calendar of events
- News, advisories, and weather alerts
- Social networking and photo sharing
- Potentially life-saving alert features
- Cacheable map tiles for offline use
- Advanced GPS mapping features including built in compass
This new app is in line with Governor Cuomo’s unprecedented support announced last Wednesday at his second Tourism Summit, pledging the state’s commitment of $45 million to promote statewide tourism, create jobs and attract even more visitors to the Empire State.
Also, this effort stems from the governor’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative aimed at improving recreational opportunities for sportsmen and women and boosting tourism activities throughout the state. This initiative includes streamlining fishing and hunting licenses, reducing license fees, improving access for fishing and increasing hunting opportunities in New York state.
In support of this initiative, this year’s budget includes $6 million in NY Works funding to support creating 50 new land and water access projects to connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors to more than 380,000 acres of existing state and easement lands that have not reached their full potential. These 50 new access projects include building new boat launches, installing new hunting blinds and building new trails and parking areas. In addition, the fiscal year 2014 budget includes $4 million to repair the state’s fish hatcheries and renews and allows expanded use of crossbows for hunting in New York state.
This year’s budget also reduces short-term fishing licenses fees; increases the number of authorized statewide free fishing days to eight from two; authorizes DEC to offer 10 days of promotional prices for hunting, fishing and trapping licenses; and authorizes free adventure plates for new lifetime license holders, discounted adventure plates for existing lifetime license holders and regular fee adventure plates for annual license holders.