Fish and Wildlife Management Area
History and Features:
The Galen Wildlife Management Area was purchased in 1980 with funds from the Wetland Preservation category of the 1972 Environmental Quality Bond Act. The main portion of the area has been designated the Ezra and Kate Heit Marsh unit as a memorial at the request of the former owner, William Heit, who partially gifted this tract of land to the people of the state.
The management area provides protection to a portion of the larger Galen Marsh, locally known as the Marengo Swamp. Farming activities and the harvest of forest products have been the predominant human uses of the area since the settlement of the area, and remain to be viable land uses today. Some cottage development along the river, construction of the Barge Canal in the early 1800's and its subsequent use, and some drainage of the marsh has occurred in the past years. The area, because of its rich wildlife resources, has always been a popular hunting, fishing and trapping area, providing recreation, food, and fur to local residents and contributing to the local economy.
* A nature trail can be used as a hiking trail, a hiking trail differs from a nature trails in that a nature trail usually has printed information along the trails and often has a brochure