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Improving Land for Woodcock in Ohio and West Virginia

American Woodcock; photo by USFWS.
Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW) created habitat for American Woodcock and other early successional habitat species on Ales Run, Broken Aro, and Ross Lake Wildlife Areas this past year. These areas, with a combined total of ~7,000 acres, are comprised mostly of mature forests of various types, but also contain a mixture of young forest, shrublands and open areas, and wetlands. Through the use of commercial logging companies, 216 acres of young forest were created in the 3 areas and established as habitat demonstration areas in cooperation with Wildlife Management Institute’s (WMI) Appalachian Mountains Woodcock Initiative (AMWI).

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) has also initiated a number of early successional habitat projects though AMWI. Several management plans were completed or are in final draft, and habitat work and woodcock population monitoring are conducted at three demonstration areas. Funding partners for the woodcock demonstration areas include: the Highlands Drummer and Northcentral WV chapters of The Ruffed Grouse Society (as well as the parent organization) and the West Virginia Bird Dog Association. A large forestry mulcher was purchased with assistance from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the WV Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.