Transfer of 127-acre West Seneca Parcel to DEC Will Provide Fishing Access to Cazenovia Creek and Preserve Unique Habitat

Lands along Cazenovia Creek in West Seneca, Erie County that were recently transferred to the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will provide additional recreation opportunities for people who enjoy fishing and other outdoor activities, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. DEC will designate the 127-acre tract as the Cazenovia Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and open the property to public use later this year.

"This new Cazenovia Creek Wildlife Management Area builds on Governor Cuomo's efforts to create and expand outdoor recreation opportunities in New York, while also preserving natural resources and important wildlife habitats," Commissioner Martens said. "Providing access to the creek is great news for anglers, who will enjoy exceptional fishing, especially from fall through spring when migratory steelhead from Lake Erie enter this section of Cazenovia Creek."

The Cazenovia Creek WMA, located between East and West Road and Leydecker Road in West Seneca, will support a variety of native wildlife and also features several distinct floodplain habitats, as well as an upland forest located at the top of the creek ridge. People will be able to access trails throughout the parcel to view wildlife in the forest or fish the creek.

The parcel includes 16.9 acres transferred to DEC from state Office of Mental Health and 109.88 acres transferred from state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. Over the next several months, DEC will post the property's boundaries, improve existing trails and perform general cleanup work to make the land and creek easily accessible.

Under Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, the state is improving recreational activities for sportsmen and women and to boost tourism activities throughout the state. This includes streamlining fishing and hunting licenses, reducing license fees, improving access for fishing and increasing hunting opportunities in New York State. In support of this initiative, $10 million in NY Works funding has been dedicated to fish hatchery repairs and 50 new land and water access projects such as boat launches, hunting blinds, trails and parking areas.

The enacted 2015-16 state budget raised the Environmental Protection Fund to $177 million dollars, an increase of 32 percent since Governor Cuomo took office. The $15 million increase will support 14 categories, including land conservation, stewardship, and invasive species control and prevention. The increase includes a new sub-allocation for capacity grants to State Parks friends' groups.

The enacted budget also adds an additional $8 million for state land access projects and an additional $4 million for the state's hatcheries in NY Works funding. The budget also creates a new capital account which along with federal Pittman-Robertson funds will be used to manage, protect and restore fish and wildlife habitat, and to improve and develop public access for fish and wildlife-related recreation.

For more information about the Cazenovia Creek WMA, contact DEC's Allegany sub-office at 372-0645.