CHAUMONT, N.Y. (WWTI) — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has released a draft Access and Public Use Plan for the Ashland Flats Wildlife Management Area.

This WMA is located in Chaumont, New York on Lake Ontario and contains over two thousand acres of open meadows and second-growth and young forests.

The DEC considers Ashland Flats to be one of the most important areas in NEw York for breeding and wintering grassland birds.

The newly released draft Access and Public Use Plan serves as guidance for providing access to wildlife lands and determining public use activities. It complements the existing Habitat Management Plan for Ashland Flats and addresses management objectives.

According to DEC, the main priority at the Ashland Flats WMA is wildlife-dependent recreation such as hunting trapping, fishing and wildlife observation.

Additional public use activities may be permitted if they are determined to be compatible with both wildlife conservation and the primary public use activities.

Future goals outlined in the draft plan, include establishing a parking area for the southern portion off of Ashland Road and installing a small kiosk in the parking near the observation tower.

A public comment period for this plan is now open. DEC will accept comments until June 1, 2022. Comments can be sent to DEC’s Bureau of Wildlife, Region 6, 317 Washington Street, 7th Floor, Watertown, New York, or by email at

The full draft can be read below: