Department of Environmental Conservation

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For Release: Friday, August 11, 2017

DEC Announces Public Information Session on Habitat Management Plans for Wildlife Management Areas in Towns of Arkwright and Stockton

Session Scheduled for Wednesday, August 23

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that the agency will host a public information session to provide information and answer questions about recently completed habitat management plans for the Canadaway Creek and Kabob Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) located in the towns of Arkwright and Stockton, Chautauqua County.

The session will take place on Wednesday, August 23, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Stockton Fire Hall at 28 Route 380 in Stockton. An open house will take place from 6:00 - 6:30 p.m., followed by a formal presentation at 6:30 p.m.

"Habitat management plans on our Wildlife Management Areas guide our science-based conservation and protection efforts to benefit wildlife and facilitate wildlife-dependent recreation," said DEC Region 9 Director Abby Snyder. "Wildlife Management Areas provide essential habitat for many birds and other wildlife and the proposed management activities will enhance these special areas."

Active habitat management to benefit wildlife populations is fundamental to wildlife management and has been an important component of New York's efforts for decades. The launch of the Young Forest Initiative in 2015 was the catalyst for starting an in-depth planning process for wildlife habitat management projects. Habitat management plans are being developed for all WMAs and other DEC properties, including select Multiple Use and Unique Areas. These plans guide land use management for a 10-year time period, after which time DEC will assess implementation progress and modify the plans as needed.

DEC's Young Forest Initiative aims to establish a minimum of 10 percent of the forested acreage on WMAs as young forest over the next 10 years, and to manage for young forests in perpetuity. Young forests are an important part of the forest landscape, but they have declined over the past 50 years along with the wildlife that depend on this habitat type. While DEC has been managing forests on WMAs to improve wildlife habitat for many years, DEC is increasing its efforts and raising awareness about this type of habitat management.

In addition to incorporating aspects of the Young Forest Initiative, the habitat management plan incorporates recommendations from various other sources including unit management plans, existing WMA habitat management guidelines, best management practices, New York Natural Heritage Program's WMA biodiversity inventory reports, and bird conservation area guidelines.

DEC will continue active management on Canadaway Creek and Kabob WMAs to benefit wildlife abundance and diversity, promote best management practices for targeted wildlife and habitats, and provide opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation.

The meeting will include a presentation about the history of management on Canadaway Creek and Kabob WMAs, specific activities and locations for the management actions planned for the WMAs, a brief overview of the Young Forest Initiative, and a question and answer period.

The habitat management plans for Canadaway Creek and Kabob WMAs can be found on DEC's website. For more information on this event, please contact Greg Ecker at (716) 851-7010.

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