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Wildlife- Region 7, Central New York

DEC Deer Management Sessions - January 20 and 27, 2016

Public Can Attend in Person in Cortland or Syracuse

a stag in the woods

DEC and Cornell Cooperative Extension will hold a " Deer and Deer Management" webinar for interested citizens on two consecutive Wednesday evenings, January 20, 2016 and January 27, 2016 from 7 p.m. - 8:15 p.m. The program is targeting citizens who live in wildlife management units 7H, 8S or 8J, but the webinar includes important information that is generic across the state and is open to all interested citizens.

The public can participate in the webinars from the comfort of one's home or participate on-site at one of the following five locations, hosted by DEC and CCE.

  • Cayuga County, Aurora, NY- Wells College, Room 212 Zabriskie Hall
  • Cortland County, Cortland, NY- DEC Cortland Office, 1285 Fisher Avenue, Lower Level Conference Room
  • Onondaga County, Syracuse, NY- DEC Syracuse Office, 615 Erie Blvd. West, 2nd Floor, DEC Hearing Room
  • Seneca County, Waterloo, NY- Seneca County DDE Office- 308 Main Street Shop Centre
  • Tompkins County, Trumansburg, NY Village of Trumansburg Office, 56 E. Main Street

These webinars will provide an overview of DEC's new public engagement process for deer management and a discussion of deer impacts in the Central Finger Lakes area. A small stakeholder group will be convened from amongst those who attend the webinar and who live in WMU 7H, 8S or 8J. The group will meet in March for the purpose of identifying and prioritizing the benefits and costs associated with deer and recommending impact priorities for deer population charge. This new process is intended to replace the existing Citizen Task Force (CTF) model for seeking public recommendations on desired deer population levels within individual Wildlife Management Units (WMUs), in place since 1990. You can find a map of the WMUs (PDF, 1.2 MB) to help you locate them geographically.

Recently, see the DEC press release which describes the grouping of the existing 92 wildlife management units (WMUs, administrative boundaries for deer management) into fewer, larger WMU aggregates for deer management that will allow for better use of existing and new data and improved deer population monitoring. Wildlife Management Units 7H, 8S and 8J, which are located in Cayuga, Tompkins, Seneca, Ontario, Wayne, Yates and Schuyler counties, represent the first aggregate WMUs to be formed. This aggregate is called the Central Finger Lakes Management Unit.

The January 20, 2016 session will include an overview of the aggregate wildlife management units, deer natural history, deer management options - what works, and what doesn't work and why -, as well as time for questions and answers. The session on January 27, 2016, will include the positives and negatives associated with deer, deer impacts experienced and actions taken by webinar participants, and the results of a survey DEC conducted in the spring of 2015 for this aggregate WMU. There will also be time for questions and answers at the end of the meeting.

In order to participate in the webinar from home you must have a high-speed internet connection such as LAN, DSL, satellite or cable. Phone modems (dial up service) cannot effectively transit the webinar. If you plan on attending please register on line at Cornell's website by January 15, 2016 (link leaves DEC's website.) If you plan on attending in person in Syracuse or Cortland, no registration is necessary.

falcon chicks in a bucket, Syracuse

Overview of Region 7 Wildlife Program

Region 7 includes Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, Tioga, and Tompkins counties. The Region has a healthy deer and turkey population, as well as a number of black bears in the southern tier. Fox, beaver, muskrat and an occasional bobcat are found in the region. A pair of peregrine falcon nest in Syracuse and have produced over 20 young over the past seven years. Region 7 is the only known location of the endangered Chittenango Ovate Amber Snail, and the Indiana Bat calls Region 7 home. The bald eagle has several nests in the region, and in recent years many eagles have been seen wintering along the shores of Onondaga Lake.

The Region 7 Wildlife Office is located in Cortland and handles wildlife issues for the nine county region. Staff manage many wildlife programs including: the wildlife diversity program, waterfowl program, land management program, sportsman education program, and big game program. Details about the regional programs are available. All questions about region 7 programs should be directed to the Cortland Wildlife Office at 607-753-3095 ext. 247.

Invasive Species

Invasive species are non-native species that can cause harm to the environment or to human health. As a threat to our biodiversity, they have been judged second only to habitat loss. Invasives come from all around the world; the rate of invasion is increasing along with the increase in international trade that accompanies globalization. One of Region 7's chief invasive species is the Eurasian boar.

Hunting in Region 7

The region offers many hunting opportunities. There are 16 wildlife management units (WMU) in the region and an abundance of state lands, both wildlife management areas and state forests/unique areas, are located in these units. Maps for the WMUs are available as are maps and information on each of the WMAs and state forests.

DEC has established a Deer Management Focus Area (DMFA) in central Tompkins County to intensify use of hunting to assist communities in the Ithaca area with the burden of overabundant deer populations. The focus area program (PDF) (1.35 MB)is established to reduce total deer populations within the focus area by providing more time and more tags to hunters who can gain access to huntable land.