Scope and Content Note

The series consists of subject and correspondence files of Ken Wich, division director of the Department of Environmental Conservation's Divison of Fish and Wildlife. The records reflect many of the director's responsibilities to operate and monitor programs to ensure the fish and wildlife environment, and the division's broad mandate in areas of legislating, developing, and implementing new and controversial programs including those derived from the Environmental Quality Bond Act initiatives; the Clean Water Bond Act; the North American Wetland Conservation Act; the New York State Land Management Plan; various United States Army Corps of Engineers projects as well as activities in which the division and the department's regional offices were involved.

Included in the records are: incoming and outgoing correspondence and memoranda; drafts of letters to the commissioner and governor, and briefing papers prepared by staff for the director; planning and policy documents and reports; regional program plans, preparations, and reviews; minutes of meetings of various committees on which the director or his designee served;

published and unpublished reports of studies by the department and other state agencies, regional commissions, local governments, federal agencies and private environmental organizations; statistical data on fish and wildlife populations, and analytical reports on contaminants (including assessments of lab methods, data, and results); draft legislation; budget and fiscal strategies materials; a few administrative records (monthly reporting procedures, staff meetings, space allocation); press releases; and scattered journals/articles and newspaper and magazine clippings.

The records document the following environmental issues: protection, mapping, and monitoring of wetlands; establishment of standards for surface water; pollution/contamination of water by toxic substances (e.g., PCBs, mercury, acid rain, and liming); management of fisheries and the development and maintenance of fish hatcheries, including anadromous fish stocks (i.e., species that swim upriver to spawn); waterways management, including reservoir regulation/releases, river basin planning studies, dredging and disposition of soils from various rivers within the state, and reports on dredging and winter navigation projects by the Army Corps of Engineers; flood control of rivers, creeks, and lakes; cultivation/suppression of species (e.g., salmon, gypsy moth) and protection of endangered species;

federal programs, policies, procedures, and proposed federal regulations (e.g., pertaining to use of steel shot on waterfowl, wildlife inventories, conservation actions impacting species of fish and game, and hunting restrictions based on distribution and respect for natural habitat zones); hunting and fishing policies, procedures, and regulations; and monitoring of hydro-electric power projects and certification proceedings of nuclear generators, including installation of transmission lines, water diversion, environmental impact, and development of ancillary recreation and fisheries programs.