Virginia DGIF Acquires Short Hills Management Area

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The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) announced that it has acquired Short Hills Wildlife Management Area, a 4,232-acre tract in Rockbridge and Botetourt counties. The acquisition involved The Wildlife Foundation of Virginia and the Virginia Outdoors Foundation who combined resources to provide interim funding to assist the VDGIF with the acquisition.

VDGIF Executive Director Bob Duncan noted, "Without the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and The Wildlife Foundation of Virginia this acquisition could not have been possible."

The Virginia Outdoors Foundation used a grant from The Virginia Land Conservation Bond Funds to purchase the northern half of the Short Hills tract with the ultimate intention of transferring the property to VDGIF. The Wildlife Foundation of Virginia purchased the southern half of Short Hills using loan funding from The Conservation Fund and held the property until VDGIF had accumulated the necessary funds to purchase the southern tract.

p>VDGIF purchased that parcel for $3 million and closed on the property on July 2, 2010. The remainder of the tract was acquired when the Virginia Outdoors Foundation donated it to the Department in conjunction with the purchase.

The Short Hills WMA consists of an approximately 10-mile long ridgeline, known as Short Hills Mountain, which runs from just south of Lexington south to Natural Bridge. The property contains habitat for game and non-game species including black bear, deer, turkey, ruffed grouse, songbirds, raptors, and rattlesnakes.

A management plan is being developed for the site. Information about public access will be available once that plan is finalized.

For more information about the Department's Wildlife Management Areas and wildlife work in Virginia visit the agency website at www.dgif.virginia.gov.

It is the mission of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to maintain optimum populations of all species to serve the needs of the Commonwealth; to provide opportunity for all to enjoy wildlife, inland fish, boating, and related outdoor recreation and to work diligently to safeguard the rights of the people to hunt, fish and harvest game as provided for in the Constitution of Virginia; to promote safety for persons and property in connection with boating, hunting and fishing; to provide educational outreach programs and materials that foster an awareness of and appreciation for Virginia's fish and wildlife resources, their habitats, and hunting, fishing and boating opportunities.