VA: Do you use Wildlife Management Areas for your outdoor recreation? If so, VDGIF wants to talk with you.

Wildlife Management Area User Study to include workshop meetings
in March

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF)
owns more than 201,000 acres on 39 Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)
located across the Commonwealth. The land was acquired primarily to
conserve wildlife habitat and to provide wildlife-related
recreational opportunities for the public. These areas were
purchased and are maintained using Wildlife and Sport Fish
Restoration Funds derived from excise taxes assessed on hunting and
fishing equipment and supplies; hunting, trapping and fishing
license revenues; and a variety of other funding sources including
grants from partner organizations.

While WMAs were initially purchased by the agency to be used by
hunters and anglers (many WMAs contain public lakes or have access
to public waters), these largely undeveloped lands are also used by
bird watchers, boaters, hikers, horseback riders, participants in
field dog trials, and others. That’s a lot of people who have an
interest in Virginia’s Wildlife Management Areas.

To gain stakeholder input regarding recreational use and land
management of WMAs, VDGIF Bureau of Wildlife Resources staffs and
researchers from Virginia Tech’s Department of Fisheries and
Wildlife Sciences will hold public workshop meetings on five
evenings in March. At the request of VDGIF, Virginia Tech
researchers completed a year-long study in September 2010 that
examined recreational use on WMAs in Virginia. The March workshops
are the next step in a multi-year process of assessing use of and
developing a statewide management plan for Virginia’s WMAs.

Five workshop meetings will be held on weeknight evenings in
mid-March. The dates, times, and locations of workshop meetings are
as follows:

Tuesday, March 8 (7:00-9:00 PM): John Barton Payne Community
Room, 2 Courthouse Square, Warrenton (former Fauquier County
Library Building)

Wednesday, March 9 (6:30-8:30 PM): Virgil I. Grissom Library,
366 DeShazor Drive, Newport News

Thursday, March 10 (7:00-9:00 PM): DGIF Richmond Office, 4010 W.
Broad Street, Richmond

Wednesday, March 16 (7:00-9:00 PM): Augusta Co. Government
Center (South Board Room), 18 Government Center Lane, Verona

Thursday, March 17 (7:00-9:00 PM): Wytheville Community College
(122 Smyth Hall), 1000 East Main Street, Wytheville

The public is invited to attend and to discuss goals and
concerns regarding recreational use and land management on the
WMAs. To help VDGIF plan, please call or email Amy Carrozzino at
Virginia Tech (acarroz@vt.edu, 540-231-0961) if you plan to attend
one of the meetings.

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