The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has issued its annual report on the conservation practices used during 2011 at the 86 Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) around the state. The eight-page report is on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com ) under “Items of Special Interest.”
“Hunters, anglers and trappers can be credited with generously providing most of the funding for purchasing and managing Vermont’s Wildlife Management Areas that are enjoyed by countless visitors,” said Vermont Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Patrick Berry. “These special places have been acquired for conservation of important fish and wildlife values and will be managed for those values in perpetuity.”
Ranging in size from 10,826-acre Steam Mill Brook WMA in Walden, Stannard, Wheelock, and Danville to a few that are less than 100 acres, Vermont’s WMAs provide more than 130,000 acres of habitat for fish and wildlife as well as places for hunting, fishing, trapping, wildlife watching, and hiking. Maps and descriptions of most of the WMAs are available under “Maps” on the website.
The WMAs all provide habitat for a variety of wildlife, and some have unique habitats that could have been lost to development if they were not set aside for public ownership. Bird Mountain WMA in West Rutland, for example, was purchased in the 1970s, in part, because it historically was a nesting site for peregrine falcons. Later, when Fish & Wildlife helped return peregrines to Vermont, the falcons chose Bird Mountain as one of their first places to nest.
Dead Creek WMA in Addison, Panton and Bridport has almost 3,000 acres of habitat, much of it as wetlands that provide nesting and resting areas for migrating water birds. In the fall, sections of Dead Creek WMA offer excellent hunting opportunities for Canada geese and snow geese.
“You can learn about Vermont’s Wildlife Management Areas by visiting our website,” said Berry, “and then get out and enjoy them. Vermont’s wildlife resources help make our state a special place to live, and these areas are prime spots to engage our wildlife in a variety of ways.”