August 19, 2020 – The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is offering a series of free educational walks at its wildlife management areas (WMAs) from August through October that will be led by biologists with decades of experience conserving Vermont’s fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats.
Pre-registration for up to 15 participants is required on Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com) with a link on the front page.
Black River Guided Paddle, Saturday, August 22, (Rain date: Saturday, August 29), 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Black River Access Area in Coventry (Route 5 at intersection with Hi-Acres Road).
Bring your own canoe or kayak and join biologist Pete Emerson on a guided tour of the Lower Black River -- home to an intact floodplain forest and many species of fish, birds and other wildlife. Bring a lunch and if you are interested in fishing, bring a fishing rod.
Whipstock Hill Tour, Saturday, August 29, (Rain date: Saturday, September 12), 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Whipstock Hill WMA, Whipstock Road, Bennington.
Join biologist Travis Hart for a guided tour and discussion of wildlife habitat management activities at this interesting WMA. The group will meet at the gate on the landing off Whipstock Road and walk a loop around the property to explore recent habitat improvements. Hiking will be easy to moderate difficulty.
Snake Mountain WMA Walk, Thursday, September 17, (Rain date: September 24), 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Snake Mountain WMA, 2514 Mountain Road, Addison.
Walk to the summit of Snake Mountain with ecologist Eric Sorenson and State Geologist, Jon Kim, to learn about the geologic features and how they influence the unique natural communities and habitats on this special WMA. This walk is recommended for adults and kids age eight and older – children must be accompanied by an adult.
Podunk WMA Tour, Saturday, September 19, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Podunk WMA, Strafford (meet at the WMA parking area off Pennock Road and Maple Hill Road).
Join biologists Tim Appleton and John Austin at the Podunk WMA in Strafford, for a guided tour and discussion about what makes WMAs so unique for fish, wildlife and the people who enjoy them. The discussion will include animal tracks, trees, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, historical resources, management activities, and other curiosities discovered along the way. Participants are asked to wear appropriate clothing and footwear and to bring binoculars if they have them. Participants should also be able to walk one to two miles at a relaxed pace over a relatively flat trail with some steady inclines.
History and Current Management of Dead Creek WMA, Saturday, October 3, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Dead Creek WMA in Addison.
Join biologist and WMA Manager Amy Alfieri for a walking and driving tour of the Dead Creek WMA, where discussion will include how and why the area was developed and its current management strategies and goals. Be sure to bring your binoculars to spot the migrating waterfowl that visit the WMA.
“We’re excited to offer these guided events again in 2020,” said Land & Habitat Program Manager John Austin, “as we commemorate the ownership and conservation of 100 wildlife management areas in 100 years. We hope these events will raise awareness and support for our land conservation efforts, while providing a unique opportunity for Vermonters to get to know our fish and wildlife biologists and the fish, wildlife and habitats we protect and manage. WMAs are special places enjoyed by many Vermonters for hunting, fishing, bird watching, hiking, and more.”
To protect the health and safety of all participants, physical distancing requirements will be in place. All participants must wear face coverings at all times, and temperatures may be taken prior to starting. Masks will not be provided, and participants are asked to bring their own. Participants are encouraged to bring snacks and water, and to dress in footwear and appropriate clothing for each event.
Vermont Fish & Wildlife now owns and manages 100 wildlife management areas for the conservation of natural resources and wildlife-based recreation such as hunting, fishing and wildlife watching. These lands are purchased and managed in part with funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Restoration Program using excise taxes on hunting and shooting equipment, as well as through the sale of hunting and trapping licenses and donations to the Vermont Habitat Stamp program.