Albany, NY (WIBX) - Residents of New York State are encouraged to voice their opinions regarding a new bobcat management plan proposed by the Department of Environmental Conservation.

According to the DEC, the plan provides for sustainable use and enjoyment of bobcat by the public, while maintaining "viable population levels" throughout the state.

Wildlife Biologist, Andy McDuff, says the public's opinion is needed to help the agency create the best plan going forward.

"We do our best job of preparing what we think the public would want to see," McDuff said. "Their comments kind of reinforce that, or occasionally, they might be able to shed light on something that perhaps we overlooked or paint something in a different light to make us look at things differently."

Among the proposed ideas within the draft are simplified hunting and trapping seasons consistent throughout New York, and plans to minimize any negative bobcat-human interactions.

Comments on the proposal will be accepted until February 16th, after which the DEC will analyze the results and make any needed changes.

For a link to the bobcat management plan, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/9360.html