DEC adopts habitat management plan for Doodletown WMA

COPAKE – The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host a public meeting for the Doodletown Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on Tuesday, August 28 at 6 p.m., at the  Copake Park Building/Community Center, 305 Mt. View Road. At the meeting, DEC will provide information and answer questions about the recently adopted habitat management plan for the WMA.

The meeting will include a presentation about the management history on the Doodletown WMA, specific activities and locations for the management actions planned for the WMA, a brief overview of the Young Forest Initiative, and a question and answer period.

The Doodletown WMA consists of 689 acres. Numerous habitat types can be found on the WMA, including forests, freshwater wetlands, and open water. These habitats support a diverse array of wildlife including wild turkey, bobcat, black bear, spotted salamander, muskrat, wood thrush, and scarlet tanager. This property falls within a New England cottontail focus area. Several areas of the WMA provide excellent opportunities for the creation and expansion of young forest/early successional habitat. One of the goals of the planned management is to create habitat within the property and to provide connectivity to neighboring properties to facilitate the dispersal and establishment of New England cottontail populations.

DEC will manage the Doodletown WMA to benefit wildlife abundance and diversity, promote best management practices for targeted wildlife and habitats, and provide opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation such as hunting, trapping and bird watching. To provide suitable habitat for the various species that depend on young forests, DEC will undertake seed tree timber harvests, which leave a varied level of mature trees remaining for cover and a seed source for natural forest regeneration. The creation of openings in the forest canopy will allow a dense understory of grasses, wildflowers, vines, shrubs, and tree seedlings/saplings to be become established, providing young forest habitat required by the target species at Doodletown WMA.

In addition to incorporating aspects of the Young Forest Initiative, the habitat management plan incorporates recommendations from 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.

The habitat management plan for Doodletown WMA can be found on DEC’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/112438.html.

For more information about the meeting or habitat management plan, the public can contact DEC Wildlife Biologist Selinda Brandon at 607-652-7367.

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