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For Release: Wednesday, April 14, 2021

DEC to Host Virtual Public Information Session on Habitat Management Plan for Willard Wildlife Management Area

April 28 Meeting to Discuss Habitat Goals and Planned Management Actions

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host a virtual public information session on April 28, to provide information and answer questions about the recently completed habitat management plan for Willard Wildlife Management Area (WMA), town of Ovid, Seneca County.

"DEC is dedicated to maintaining and enhancing wildlife habitats on Willard Wildlife Management Area to benefit declining wildlife species and popular game animals," said DEC Region 8 Director Tim Walsh. "We look forward to engaging with the community about this habitat management plan and continuing to provide opportunities for outdoor recreation."

The session is scheduled for Wednesday, April 28, and will begin at 6:30 p.m. The event will feature a 45-minute presentation that discusses the WMA's history, habitat goals, and planned management actions, followed by a question-and-answer period. This presentation will be recorded and made available to the public after the session. To register for the event, visit DEC's website.

Willard WMA consists of 154 acres and is mostly composed of large fields that provide valuable habitat to grassland-dependent wildlife. Plans intend to increase the amount of grassland and improve grassland quality to benefit associated species, such as bobolink, pheasant, and short-eared owl. A small, 40-acre woodlot on the WMA provides mature forest habitat that is especially important to associated wildlife, such as wood thrush, because the surrounding landscape contains little forest. DEC plans to maintain the mature structure of this forest while implementing timber stand improvement actions to enhance habitat quality. Plans also include maintaining about 10 acres of existing shrubland and young forest, which is important habitat to several species of greatest conservation need in New York, such as American woodcock. Controlling and reducing the extent of non-native invasive plants is also a priority on this WMA, including common reed, honeysuckle, privet, swallow-wort, and tree-of-heaven.

To view the habitat management plan for Willard WMA and register for this event, visit DEC's website. For more information, call (585) 226-5383.

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