The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced a special opportunity for public use of three Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties from Saturday, Aug. 14 through Sunday, Aug. 29.
During the 16-day period, Upper and Lower Lakes WMA in St Lawrence County, including wetland-restricted areas, will be open to visitors.
Wilson Hill WMA, also in St. Lawrence County, will be open to visitors except for areas near the New York Power Authority-sponsored construction projects, as construction activity continues.
For most of the year, these wetlands are off limits to the public to provide feeding and resting areas for migratory waterfowl. The restricted wetland areas are also used by a number of New York State’s endangered, threatened, and rare species including bald eagles, black terns, and northern harriers (marsh hawks), among others. By late August, the nesting and brooding season is mostly complete and the fall migration period has not yet begun, enabling DEC to allow public access.
Upper & Lower Lakes WMA is located about two miles west of the village of Canton along state Route 68 in St. Lawrence County. This WMA, the largest in the region, is an 8,770-acre upland/wetland complex between the Grasse and Oswegatchie rivers.
Wilson Hill WMA is located six miles west of the village of Massena off state Rt. 37. Situated along the St. Lawrence River, the 3,434-acre area consists of several large pools of open water marsh, bordered by a combination of dense cattails, brushy wetlands, forest, and upland meadow.
For additional information, bird lists, and maps, contact DECs Regional Wildlife Office at 785-2261 or visit www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8282.html.