Aquatic Resource Education in the Northeast – Effective Programs and Satisfied Participants!
In the Northeast, 11 States and the District of Columbia use Sport Fish Restoration funds for Aquatic Resource Education (ARE). Anthony Ortiz, a student volunteer from the University of Massachusetts, compiled and summarized information about the reach and effectiveness of Northeast State ARE programs. Click below to see the results, which were presented as a poster at the 2014 Northeast Fish & Wildlife Conference in Portland, Maine.
Wildlife Management Areas – Connect with Nature – Conserve Habitat
Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration funds are used to purchase and conduct operations, maintenance and management on a network of lands known as Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) across the country. In the Northeast Region, Wildlife Management Areas were first instituted in the early 1900s by state fish and wildlife agencies for the conservation of fish, wildlife and their habitat, as well as giving people the opportunity to participate in wildlife based outdoor activities. WMA’s provide the public with opportunities for hunting, fishing, trapping, shooting ranges, wildlife observation and photography, environmental education and other outdoor activities. Within Northeast Region states, there are over 1,183 WMA’s that encompass over 3,250,000 acres of habitat. These WMAs range from several dozen acres to over 25,000 acres in size and connect people with nature and provide important wildlife habitat. Collectively, WMAs represent the Northeast Region’s premier network of lands dedicated to wildlife conservation. WMAs have been purchased over time using several funding sources in addition to Wildlife Restoration funds These include hunting license fees, state Duck Stamp funds, North American Wetland Conservation funds, Land and Water Conservation funds, State Bond funds, landowner and partner contributions and other state specific funds as well. Wildlife Restoration excise tax dollars, coupled with state hunting license fees, have been the predominant source of funding for the habitat management and administration of Wildlife Management Areas. WMA regulations vary by state, but they are generally open to hunting, trapping, fishing and other wildlife related outdoor activities. Other uses may require a special use permit or may be prohibited. For more information on individual WMA’s, maps, and public uses click on the corresponding state below.
Providing Access and Management Operations on Wildlife Management Areas
Providing and maintaining public access to Wildlife Management Areas (via road maintenance, culvert replacement, providing parking lots, informational signs, gates, etc…) and active management of wildlife habitat are conducted each year. State fish and wildlife agency uses Wildlife Restoration funds and hunting and trapping license fee revenue to pay for these operations on WMA’s. Types of management performed each year vary, ranging from providing access to these lands (over three million acres) for hunting, fishing and trapping to wetland management or invasive species control. These management techniques require different skill sets and are achieved by a combination of wildlife biologists, technicians, contractors, foresters, engineers, volunteers and other natural resource agencies. The following links connect and describe a sample of various techniques and types of management on WMA’s in the Northeast Region.
Public Shooting Ranges
Among the projects funded by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act is the construction and maintenance of shooting ranges. With safety in mind ,these ranges vary from archery, handgun, shotgun, muzzle loader and rifles. The following are state websites in the Northeast Region that have used PR funds for range construction, improvement or maintenance. Please click on the links for more information on location and the types of ranges they offer on public land.
New Hampshire http://www.wildnh.com/Hunting/hunter_ed_center.htm
West Virginia http://www.wvdnr.gov/Hunting/SRanges.shtm