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Louise Keir Wildlife Management Area

Louise E. Keir WMA Locator Map

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The primary purposes of Louise Keir Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA consists of about 187 acres in southern Albany County. While much of the area was historically cleared and farmed in the early 1900s, it has since reverted back to forestland. The initial parcel was donated to the State as a gift in 1978, and additional parcels were purchased in 2004 and 2006.

There are two primary forest types on the Louise Keir WMA. Almost the entire northern half is a relatively young oak forest, while most of the south facing hillside is mixed northern hardwood-conifer forest. White pines are the predominant species here, invading the area when farming ceased and the fields were allowed to re-vegetate naturally. The upper elevations of the property, which reach over 1,000 feet, contain one uncommon natural community: a pitch pine-oak-heath rocky summit. This is a fire-dependent community. Because no fires have occurred in this area for many decades, the pitch pine is being lost and shaded out by the white pine.

Trees in the Louise Keir WMA
Forested area on Louise Keir WMA.

Featured Activities

Hiking

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

Please stay on the designated trails to protect the diversity and richness of the plant communities found within this area.

Hunting and Trapping

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Wildlife Management Unit: 4B

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

This WMA provides opportunities for hunting big game such as white-tailed deer, and more rarely black bear. Wild turkey and gray squirrel provide the most small game hunting opportunity. Trappers can expect to find coyote and other furbearers such as fox, raccoon, fisher, and an occasional bobcat. Please be sure to abide by all game laws (view hunting seasons and trapping seasons).

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.

Deer, turkeys, squirrels, and a host of songbirds frequent the area. Use the Wildlife Management Area Mammal Checklist (PDF, 453 KB) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF, 240 KB) as wildlife viewing guides.

Louise Keir Brown Sign

Directions

Designated parking areas providing access can be found on County Route 103 (Blodgett Hill Road).

All Google links leave DEC website.

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 Louise Keir WMA 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 Louise Keir WMA:

  • Using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes
    • snowmobiles
  • 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
  • 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 Louise Keir Wildlife Management Area

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Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Louise Keir 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.

The primary management objective for the WMA is to maintain the present forest character, and to maintain the presence of the pitch pine-oak-heath rocky summit community. A commercial timber harvest occurred on portions of the WMA in 2007. White pines were thinned to improve stand health and establish diversity in stand age and diversity. This also created openings in the forest canopy and released pitch pines from shading. Additional timber harvests are likely to occur in the future in order to create and maintain young forest habitat. This will benefit a wide variety of species, including deer, turkey, and grouse.

View the Habitat Management Plan for Louise Keir WMA (PDF, 1.24 MB), approved in August 2016, which identifies the WMA-specific target species and habitat goals for the WMA.

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.