Keeney Swamp Wildlife Management Area
Size: 708 acres
Keeney Swamp WMA is located in the Town of Birdsall, approximately 13 miles northeast of the village of Angelica and six miles southwest of the Village of Canaseraga, in Allegany County. The area is primarily made up of wetland habitat.
Day Use Activities and Recreational Opportunities
Pond in Keeney Swamp WMA
- Nature Study
A few activities are prohibited: off road vehicular travel (i.e. cars, trucks, snowmobiles, motorcycles and all terrain vehicles), swimming, boating with motors and camping.
Users of the area are likely to encounter a variety of wildlife species. The more common species are beaver, muskrat, mink, raccoon, mallards, wood ducks, black ducks, Canadian geese, deer, ruffed grouse, woodcock, herons and bitterns and a variety of song birds.
The area was purchased in 1978 by the DEC. The area consists of nearly 530 acres of shrub swamp, emergent marsh and wetland open water and approximately 150 acres of brush and grassland. The area was acquired to ensure the permanent preservation of this diverse natural wetland.
Most of Keeney Swamp had been drained for agricultural purposes in the 1800's. By the late 1960's, most of the farms were abandoned. Beaver re-occupied the area and constructed several large impoundments. Around 1990, four of the largest beaver impoundments failed over an eighteen month period. This resulted in a net loss of approximately 300 acres of shallow water impoundment. By the late 1990's, this loss of habitat had decreased the diversity and abundance of many wildlife species, particularly water birds. DEC received requests from birding groups and sportsmen to restore the wetland habitat.
The primary management objective of this WMA is to maintain quality wetland habitat for waterfowl. Large numbers of waterfowl, shorebirds and wading birds have been documented on the area during breeding or migration. In recognition of this, the WMA and Keeney Swamp State Forest, the adjoining state forest, were designated as a Bird Conservation Area (BCA) in 2006.
In 2001, DEC initiated a wetland restoration and enhancement project to improve wetland habitat consisting of emergent, submergent and open water covertypes. A 105 acre impoundment was constructed utilizing an existing abandoned road as a base for the dike. Water levels are controlled by an inline control structure and a heavy sheet piling box inlet drop spillway. Impoundments are periodically drawn down to facilitate establishment of emergent plant species desirable for nesting and migratory waterfowl species.
Habitat management activities include water level regulation and grassland maintenance.
For more information, call or write to:
Region 9 Wildlife Manager
182 East Union Street, Suite 3
Allegany, NY 14706
From Interstate 86: Take Angelica Exit head north on county route 16, then east on county route 15B