Department of Environmental Conservation

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Galen Wildlife Management Area

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Galen Wildlife Management Area (WMA) The primary purposes of the Galen WMA is for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA as 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.

Featured Activities

Hunting & Trapping
Galen WMA is located in Wildlife Management Unit 8F. 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. (View hunting seasons and trapping seasons)

Galen WMA is open to fishing, please visit DEC's website for more information about fishing.

Wildlife Viewing

  • wild turkey
  • grey squirrels
  • raccoons
  • waterfowl
  • white-tailed deer
  • raccoon
  • grey fox
  • red fox
  • songbirds


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Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Activity Rules & Regulations

The following activities are not permitted in Galen WMA:

  • Unless specifically stated, using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • motorboats
  • Swimming or bathing
  • Camping
  • Kindling fires
  • 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

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Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Galen WMA is managed by DEC's Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources for wildlife conservation and wildlife-associated recreation (hunting, trapping, wildlife viewing/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.

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.

Tourism Information for Nearby Attractions, Amenities & Activities

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.

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