Department of Environmental Conservation

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For Release: Thursday, July 12, 2018

DEC to Hold Public Information Session on Habitat Management Plan for Happy Valley Wildlife Management Area

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host a public information session to provide information and answer questions about a recently completed habitat management plan for the Happy Valley Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in the towns of Albion, Amboy, Parish, and Williamstown in Oswego County.

The session will take place on Thursday, July 19, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at DEC's Salmon River Fish Hatchery, 2133 County Route 22, Altmar. DEC staff will be available to answer questions from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m., followed by a formal presentation.

"Habitat management plans on our Wildlife Management Areas guide our science-based conservation efforts to benefit wildlife and facilitate wildlife-dependent recreation," said DEC Region 7 Director Matt Marko.

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. Habitat management plans are being developed for all WMAs.

These plans guide land use for a 10-year period, after which DEC will assess progress and modify the plans as needed.

DEC launched the Young Forest Initiative in 2015. Goals of DEC's Young Forest Initiative include establishing a minimum of 10 percent of the forested acreage on WMAs as young forest over the next 10 years, and maintaining young forest habitat on WMAs. An important part of the forest landscape, young forests has declined over the past 50 years along with the wildlife that depend on this type of habitat. While DEC has been managing forests on WMAs to improve wildlife habitat for many years, the agency is increasing its efforts and raising awareness about this type of habitat management.

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

DEC will continue active management on Happy Valley WMA to benefit many wildlife species, particularly ruffed grouse and snowshoe hare, while following best management practices. The improved habitat will also provide opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation, such as hunting and bird watching.

The meeting will include a presentation about Happy Valley WMA, with specific activities and locations for planned management actions and a brief overview of the Young Forest Initiative, as well as a question and answer period. This meeting is wheelchair accessible. For special accommodations or more information, contact Adam Perry at 607-753-3095 ext. 240.

The habitat management plan for Happy Valley WMA can be found on DEC's website.

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