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.
Virginia Wildlife Management 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.
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 WMA workshop meetings will be held in March.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org, 540-231-0961) if you plan to attend one of the meetings.
To learn more about the Department's wildlife management areas, visit www.wgif.virginia.gov