Black Creek Marsh Wildlife Management Area
Black Creek Marsh Wildlife Management Area (WMA) consists of about 450 acres of wetland and upland habitat in Albany County. The first purchases here occurred in the 1960's. It is located in the Towns of Guilderland and New Scotland, and some portions are in the Village of Voorheesville. The Black Creek runs through much of the property. The WMA is also bisected by an active railroad line. Parking areas providing access can be found on Meadowdale Rd., School Rd., Hennessey Rd. and at the end of Kling Terrace. This parcel of public land affords multiple uses for outdoor recreation including hunting, trapping, limited angling, birding, and hiking.
Habitat / Ecological Communities
Black Creek Marsh is primarily a freshwater wetland community. Wetland types include cattail marsh, open-water marsh, and flooded red maple swamp. Much of the forested swamp dries sufficiently by early summer to permit hiking and hunting, although beaver activity is increasing water levels in many areas. There are about 150 acres of uplands, including grassy fields, and some apple and pear orchards that adjoin the wetlands.
An assortment of wildlife inhabit the WMA including white-tailed deer, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, gray squirrel, fox, raccoon, fisher, otter, and an occasional bobcat. Black Creek Marsh is one of the premier birding sites in the Capital Region and in 2006 was designated as a Bird Conservation Area. The marsh provides habitat for many wetland-associated birds including Canada geese, wood duck, mallard, black duck, bitterns, rails, herons, and many songbird species. Because of the abundance of wetlands, BCM is an important area for amphibians and reptiles, as well. A few fish can be found in the ponds and streams.
The diversity of habitats and wildlife species found at Black Creek Marsh provides unique opportunities for public use. Many recreational activities, including hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, wildlife observation, and nature photography are allowed and encouraged. Parking areas have been developed to provide access to the area, and as previously mentioned, a substantial trail network is maintained for the enjoyment of WMA users.
Management at Black Creek is designed to maintain important freshwater wetlands and a diversity of habitat types so many species can exist on the site. Habitat improvements include mowing, trail creation, and the placement of nesting boxes. Pear and apple trees found in upland areas are maintained to provide food for wildlife. Mowing is used annually to maintain fields to enhance habitat for grassland nesting birds.
Rules and Regulations
Public use of this WMA is governed by 6 NYCRR §51 (Statutory authority: Environmental Conservation Law, §§ 11-2101).
The following acts are prohibited:
• Use of vessels operated by mechanical power.
• Overnight mooring or storage of boats, canoes and other watercraft.
• Construction of structures, blinds, platforms or stands.
• Swimming or bathing
• Cutting, plucking, severing, damaging or removing trees or other vegetation.
• Camping, littering, damaging or removing gates, fences, signs or other property.
• Use of ATV's, off-road motorcycles, or snowmobiles
All visitors to the WMA must comply with all regulatory signs posted by the Department of Environmental Conservation.