For Release: IMMEDIATE Contact: Stephen W. Litwhiler
Tuesday, June 10, 2008 (315) 785-2252
PARKING TICKETS ARE BEING ISSUED AT BLACK POND WMA
DEC Concerned about Overuse of Sand Dunes and Beach
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
Regional Director Judy Drabicki today announced continuing efforts
involving all law enforcement agencies in Jefferson County, to enforce
parking and other complaints at Black Pond Wildlife Management Area
(WMA). Black Pond WMA is located on Lake Ontario in the Town of
Ellisburg, Jefferson County.
“This beautiful WMA has many attractive features, including an
accessible boardwalk, fishing platform, sand dunes, a barrier beach and
unique wildlife observation opportunities,” Director Drabicki said.
“Unfortunately, the large number of people visiting the area just
for the beach and not using designated parking spots are causing a
potential safety hazard along the entrance road.”
The congestion from illegally parked cars have created dangerous
situations. By constricting the narrow roadway the possibility of
emergency vehicles responding to any call at the beach becomes very
limited. For this reason it is imperative that visitors park only in the
designated spots. DEC Officers, Forest Rangers as well as Jefferson
County Sheriff and State Police have been tasked with responding to
parking and other complaints in the WMA.
In 2001, the DEC completed a boardwalk and trail system that
would allow people with mobility impairments to visit Black Pond and
cross over the dunes to the beach. This area is part of the Eastern Lake
Ontario Bird Conservation Area, a complex of long barrier beaches,
embayments, dunes, marshes, and swamps with cold water streams.
Lakeshore barrier beach and wetland complexes such as this are rare in
New York State. This WMA has significant breeding and over-wintering
habitats, and serves as a critical migratory corridor for birds. WMAs
are specifically purchased and managed by DEC for fish and wildlife and
habitat protection and for people to enjoy activities like birdwatching,
fishing, hunting, nature observation and hiking. Unfortunately, overuse
of the beach area is having negative affects on the wildlife and natural
Since there are no plans for increasing parking capacity at
Black Pond WMA, users who currently visit the area for the beach only
can help alleviate the parking problems by visiting Southwick Beach or
Westcott Beach State Parks instead, especially on busy weekends and
holidays. Currently, three parking areas provide adequate parking for
people enjoying the wildlife-related activities for which the property
is managed. Someone arriving at the area and finding the parking lots
full might also visit the neighboring State Parks.
"Black Pond. 526 acres, upland, wetland, nature trails, parking lot, birdwatching, hunting and trapping. From Watertown, take Route 3 south. Shortly after crossing the Ellisburg town line, make a right onto Bolton Road and continue to the end of the road."