Owls a monkey wrench for LI ski mountain?

February 7, 2008 3:30:47 PM PST
Some endangered owls could slow down plans to turn an airfield into a water park and an indoor ski mountain on Long Island. The State Department of Environmental Conservation documented the presence of short-eared owls at the Calverton Enterprise Park this week. The birds are only occasionally seen on Long Island.

DEC spokeswoman Maureen Wren says the birds' presence will probably mean an environmental review and might require an endangered species permit for Riverhead Town's plans for the property.

Town Supervisor Phil Cardinale is calling for proof that the owls weren't just stopping by.

Environmentalists and state officials have been tussling with the town over the plans for the 2,900-acre property.