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John White Wildlife Management Area

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The primary purposes of John White Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA covers 329 acres.

DEC acquired the property in 1945 to establish the John A. White Memorial Game Farm, named in memory of a former DEC Commissioner and native of western New York. From 1946 to 1999, the game farm was managed for the production of ring-necked pheasants which were stocked throughout New York State to support pheasant hunting. In 1999, DEC's game farm production of pheasants was consolidated at the Reynolds Game Farm in Ithaca. In 2000, the John A. White Memorial Game Farm became the John White WMA. Management on the WMA is now focused primarily on providing grassland habitat for grassland birds and other wildlife, but forest and wetland habitats are also present.

Featured Activities

Hunting and Trapping

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Wildlife Management Unit: 8G

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Youth pheasant hunt at John White

General information on hunting and general information on trapping includes how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules, and regulations.

Hunting and trapping are allowed throughout the property. Please be sure to abide by all game laws (view hunting seasons and trapping seasons).

Hunting on the portion of the WMA west of Alleghany Road/Route 77 is restricted to seniors and people with disabilities. A permit through the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD) is required for motor vehicle access and a permit is required from the local office for hunting. Call 585-948-5182 for more information.

The wetland on the east side of Alleghany Road/Route 77 is a posted Waterfowl Refuge area and waterfowl hunting is not allowed.

Trapping is conducted under a permit system. Permits and trap tags are distributed out of the Iroquois Field Office located within the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters on Casey Road. Call 585-948-5182 for more information.

Fishing

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General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules, and regulations.

Fishing is allowed in the ponds and wetlands on the property.

Hiking

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General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

There are hiking trails through the woods on the west side of Alleghany Road/Route 77. In addition, the administrative road and dikes on the west side and the administrative roads and trails through the grasslands on the east side may be used for hiking. Please stay on the designated trails and administrative roads to protect the diversity and richness of the plant communities found within this area.

Wildlife

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General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

John White WMA includes a large expanse of managed grassland habitat that is used by a variety of grassland-dependent bird species. Many of these species will use these fields for breeding in the spring and summer while others will use them for foraging and roosting through winter. Common wildlife species, such as white-tailed deer and wild turkey, frequently use the fields and forested area on the WMA. Waterfowl and other wetland species are often present in the wetlands.

Use both the Wildlife Management Area Mammal Checklist (PDF, 453 KB) and Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF, 240 KB) as wildlife viewing guides.

Accessible Features

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General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.

Individuals with disabilities can apply for a permit through the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD) to use a motor vehicle on the 0.62-mile John White Access Road to access the property (the route on the west side of Alleghany Road/Route 77). The route ends in a parking lot/turn-a-round, and there is a short accessible trail to an accessible waterfowl hunting blind. The blind can also be used for photography during the spring and summer months.

Directions

John White WMA is located just north of the hamlet of Basom in the Town of Alabama. There are two parcels located on either side of Alleghany Road/Route 77.

All Google links leave DEC website.

  • Judge Road parking area #1 (43.0744019°N, 78.3769989°W) Google Maps.
  • Judge Road parking area #2 (43.074691°N, 78.393713°W) Google Maps. This parking area serves as a snow plow turnaround so parking is not allowed here in the winter.
  • Alleghany Road parking area #1 with spaces available behind the house (43.0796013°N, 78.3907013°W) Google Maps.
  • Alleghany Road parking area #2 (43.0788994°N, 78.3919983°W) Google Maps.

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace Principles (leaves DEC website) when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other users.

All users of John White Wildlife Management Area must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

Activity Rules & Regulations

The following activities are not permitted in John White WMA:

  • Unless specifically stated, using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • motorboats
  • Swimming or bathing
  • Camping
  • Using metal detectors, searching for or removing historic or cultural artifacts without a permit
  • Damaging or removing gates, fences, signs, or other property
  • Overnight storage of boats
  • Cutting, removing, or damaging living vegetation
  • Construction of permanent blinds or other structures such as tree stands
  • Littering
  • Storage of personal property

Outdoor Safety Tips

NOTE: Ticks are active whenever temperatures are above freezing, but especially so in the late spring and early fall. Deer ticks can transmit Lyme and several other diseases. More information on deer ticks and Lyme disease can be obtained from the NYS Department of Health (leaves DEC website).

How We Manage John White Wildlife Management Area

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Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, John White WMA is managed by DEC's Division of Fish and Wildlife for wildlife conservation and wildlife-associated recreation (hunting, trapping, wildlife viewing, and photography). Funding to maintain and manage this site is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration or "Pittman-Robertson" Act, which is acquired through excise taxes on sporting arms, ammunition, and archery equipment.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

Web links below can provide information about other recreation, attractions, and amenities in this area.

State Lands and Facilities

Numerous guide books and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails, and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.

Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions, and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories, or search the internet for listings.

Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (leaves DEC website) for information on outdoor guides.