After several years of public input, negotiations, and wildlife observations, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has finally received deed to a precious piece of land. This approximately 127-acre property includes about two miles of the Cazenovia Creek in West Seneca, and parts of the West Seneca Development Center along the gorge wall ridge above the creek.
According to a DEC press release last week, the new wildlife management area—located in West Seneca between East and West and Leydecker roads—will be a refuge for native wildlife while also featuring “several distinct floodplain habitats, as well as an upland forest located at the top of the creek ridge,” the DEC reported Monday. The land was transferred to DEC from both the state Office of Mental Health and from the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. In the next few months DEC will post the properties boundaries, improve existing trails, and make the land and creek more easily accessible.
The DEC also said that improved recreation trails at the site will allow visitors to view wildlife in the forest and fish in Cazenovia Creek.
“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,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said.
Birdwatchers and others know the place to be abundant with wildlife including fish, deer, and a wide variety of birds. Bald Eagles, Herons, Great Horned, Screech, and Barred Owls, warblers flycatchers, swallows, shorebirds and hawks are found in some abundance in this area that has a wide variety of habitat.
Cazenovia Creek, which enters the Buffalo River near the Lake Erie and Niagara River shores, begins at headwaters that can be traced to springs in Southern Erie and Wyoming counties. This creek is an important part of our overall watershed that comes into Lake Erie and the Niagara River. Protection and conservation management of these areas help to promote the clean waters and biodiversity that helps moderate climate change and promote human health is a goal made more tangible by this acquisition.
GreenWatch is a collaborative project of the Learning Sustainability Campaign, Western New York ClimateWatch, and the Public.