The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today released a draft Access and Public Use Plan (APUP) for the John White Wildlife Management Area (WMA) for public review and comment. The comprehensive plan will guide management for wildlife and public access over a 10-year timeframe, after which DEC will assess conditions and needs and update the plan accordingly.
“Connecting New Yorkers to nature by providing public access to DEC lands is a vital component of State land management," Commissioner Seggos said. "The John White Wildlife Management Area is a popular location for hunting, trapping, wildlife viewing, and photography, offering a wide range of recreational opportunities for visitors of all abilities. DEC encourages all interested stakeholders to comment on the plan and looks forward to hearing from the public about how to further improve the John White WMA’s many grassland, forest, and wetland habitats."
John White WMA encompasses 329 acres in the town of Alabama, Genesee County, and is primarily composed of grassland (82 percent), forest (nine percent), and wetland (seven percent). Large expanses of grassland like those on this WMA are uncommon in the region and provide important habitat for grassland-dependent birds, including some species listed as threatened or endangered in New York State. Ring-necked pheasants are also stocked in John White WMA’s grassland fields each year. Recreational activities on this WMA include hunting, fishing, trapping, and wildlife observation.
This draft APUP released for public comment complements the John White WMA’s Habitat Management Plan (HMP) and addresses management objectives for wildlife-dependent recreation, access features, and facility maintenance. Together, the APUP and HMP form a comprehensive management plan for the WMA.
DEC's Bureau of Wildlife oversees WMAs, Multiple Use Areas, Unique Areas, and other properties comprising the WMA system and DEC strives to provide safe, convenient, and ecologically sound public access. The priority public use activity on WMAs is wildlife-dependent recreation, such as hunting, trapping, fishing, and wildlife observation. Other activities may be appropriate if DEC determines the activities are compatible with both wildlife conservation and the primary public use activities.
The public is invited to provide comments on the John White WMA draft APUP for 30 days from Dec. 1, 2023 through Jan. 2, 2024. The draft APUP can be found on DEC's website. Comments can be sent to NYSDEC Bureau of Wildlife, Region 8, 6274 East Avon-Lima Road, Avon, NY 14414, or by email at [email protected] with the subject line “John White WMA draft APUP.”
DEC encourages all visitors to State lands to Love Our New York Lands and practice Leave No Trace Principles™ when recreating to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, minimize impact on natural resources, and avoid conflicts with other users.