Jul. 3—The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has acquired more than 1,200 acres in two Western New York counties leading to the creation of the new Genesee River and Poverty Hill wildlife management areas.
The parcels in Cattaraugus and Allegany counties will preserve natural habitat essential for wildlife populations and provide new wildlife-related public recreation opportunities such as fishing, hunting, trapping and wildlife viewing.
DEC purchased the properties for $2.12 million using federal funding from the Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program and the State's Environmental Protection Fund.
Located along the Genesee River's west bank in the town of Willing, Allegany County, the Genesee River WMA consists of 310 acres of mature forest, ridges, brushland, wetlands and open fields. Genesee River WMA can be accessed on Route 29 at Yorks Corners bridge and along the west side of River Road in Allegany County.
Poverty Hill wildlife management area is located in the towns of Mansfield and Ellicottville in Cattaraugus County. The broad, 950-acre landscape contains mature forest, wetlands, brushlands and open fields. Poverty Hill WMA is accessible from the north side of Cattaraugus County Route 13 and Poverty Hill Road, south of Hinman Hollow Road.
"Preserving and protecting our natural resource gems is not only crucial to the future of our planet, it's a boost to tourism, jobs and our local economy," Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said. "The Genesee River and Poverty Hill Wildlife Management Areas will preserve natural wildlife areas and provide yet another recreational opportunity for Western New Yorkers to explore the great outdoors."
Added DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos, "DEC is committed to enhancing fish and wildlife habitat and providing quality access for wildlife recreation across New York State and these two wildlife management areas are great additions to State Lands in Western New York. We thank the landowners who partnered with DEC to protect these lands for the public's benefit and welcome everyone to explore and appreciate the new Genesee River and Poverty Hill WMAs."
The diverse natural habitat in the Genesee River and Poverty Hill WMAs will support a significant variety of wildlife species including wild turkey, ruffed grouse, woodcock, white-tailed deer, black bear, beaver, muskrat, raccoon, fisher, red and gray fox, wood ducks and mallards. Both areas will also protect natural habitats that provide critical resting and feeding areas for migratory waterfowl and songbirds, and other wildlife including rare, threatened, or endangered species.
The state will actively manage the two WMAs to provide and protect quality wildlife habitat, foster wildlife reproduction and survival and promote wildlife-dependent public recreation. In addition, non-wildlife dependent recreational activities such as hiking, cross-country skiing, kayaking, and canoeing will be permitted provided these activities do not impede or interfere with the primary wildlife management and public use goals of the area.