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For Release: Thursday, May 23, 2019

DEC to Limit Vehicle Access to Black Pond Wildlife Management Area

Gate to Interior Parking Lot to Close May 24 through Sept. 3

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that the agency is closing the gate to the interior parking lot at Black Pond Wildlife Management Area (WMA) beginning Friday, May 24. The gate will remain closed through Tuesday, September 3, 2019, to protect the WMA after an increase in unsustainable use and misuse of the area by the public, including overcrowding of parking facilities, misuse of the beach area, and acts of vandalism and damage to the boardwalk.

"DEC acquires wildlife management areas to provide and enhance habitat for a diversity of wildlife and provide opportunities for the public to enjoy wildlife-dependent recreation compatible with the area's ecological integrity. The Black Pond WMA will remain open for visitors. However, the delicate dunes of Black Pond WMA cannot withstand intense use by large numbers of people who come here for swimming, sun bathing, and other activities unrelated to wildlife, and DEC is acting to protect this irreplaceable resource," said Randall Young, Acting Regional Director.

DEC Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Police Officers have expended more than 7,000 hours on enforcement at this WMA since 2012, more than the hours spent on other state lands in Region 6. The Black Pond WMA is a natural wetland complex consisting of dune, open water, emergent marsh, and wooded/shrub swamp. The area is a significant coastal fish and wildlife habitat.

Users of the WMA will be able to access the area by walking from the outer parking lot area to the boardwalk. Qualifying individuals with properly documented access limitations can apply for, and obtain, a CP-3 permit which will allow them to use a vehicle to access the interior parking lot. To learn more about Black Pond WMA visit the DEC website. People with disabilities may obtain a permit to access state lands using a motor vehicle.

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