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 Hanging Bog Wildlife Management Area (WMA) located in the town of New Hudson, Allegany County.
The session will take place on Wednesday, November 2, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Cuba-Rushford Middle/High School Auditorium, located at 5476 Route 305 North in Cuba. 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 Regional Natural Resources Supervisor Paul McKeown. "Hanging Bog provides essential habitat for many birds and other wildlife, and the proposed management activities will enhance this special area."
Hanging Bog WMA has become one of the primary areas for ruffed grouse management in New York State. Current management is to provide a diversity of wildlife habitats including hardwood and conifer forests, young forest habitats, grasslands and shrublands, and management of a bog for which the WMA derives its name.
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, the New York Natural Heritage Program's WMA biodiversity inventory reports, and bird conservation area guidelines.
DEC will continue active management on Hanging Bog WMA to benefit wildlife abundance and diversity, promote best management practices for targeted wildlife and habitats, and provide opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation.