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For Release: Thursday, January 20, 2022

DEC Announces Closure of All Target Shooting Activity at Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area

Closure Takes Effect Feb. 1, Follows Recent Regulations Prohibiting Target Shooting on State Wildlife Management Areas

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that beginning Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022, target shooting will be prohibited at Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area (WMA), located in DEC's Regions 8 and 9. The closure will bring the WMA into compliance with recently adopted regulations for WMAs statewide that prohibit target shooting.

DEC adopted statewide regulations following a public comment period last year and is exploring additional options to provide safe and ecologically sound target shooting at alternative locations throughout the state.

DEC is prohibiting target shooting at the WMA's dirt mounds along Owen-Bartel Road in the town of Royalton to protect public safety, reduce lead contamination in the environment, provide additional wildlife habitat, protect down-range power lines, and promote an overall cleaner and safer Tonawanda WMA. DEC will undertake lead abatement activities in the Owen-Bartel Road area after the mounds at Tonawanda are closed.

Tonawanda WMA is located in Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Erie counties and consists of 5,600 acres. The WMA offers hunting, particularly waterfowl, as well as trapping, fishing, hiking, and other outdoor- and wildlife-related activities. Tonawanda and nearby Oak Orchard WMAs were designated as a Bird Conservation Area because of important bird habitat. For more information, go to DEC's website.

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