The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) regularly holds public site walks to view recent or planned habitat management work, and invites the public to join DFW staff and other natural resource professionals to see and learn about tornado impacts on wildlife habitat at the McKinstry Brook Wildlife Management Area (WMA) (www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/habitat/maps/wma/centralwma/mckinstrybrookwma.pdf
) in Southbridge and Sturbridge on Thursday afternoon, May 3, from 5:00 - 7:30 P.M.
Despite the damage caused by the 2011 tornado and the on-going cost of clearing debris, this dramatic wind event provides a unique opportunity to observe and learn about the historical role of natural disturbances in shaping a diversity of wildlife habitats across the Massachusetts landscape. The human cost of the tornado was high from both emotional and economic perspectives, yet from a wildlife perspective this natural disturbance event created unique habitats. DFW has invited local experts from the natural resource profession to discuss natural disturbance and wildlife habitat, and to be available to answer questions from the public. DFW staff will also talk about on-going efforts to work with neighbors and local fire officials to mitigate potential fire hazard to houses adjacent to the WMA.
This event will take place rain (except for lightning) or shine--dress for the weather. Consider bringing insect repellant, binoculars, camera, sunscreen, leather or cotton gloves, and wearing sturdy boots. Plan on a 15-minute walk on a moderate slope into the impact area. Directions are below. Due to limited parking, participants are strongly encouraged to carpool. All participants will meet at a designated parking area on Pleasant Street in Southbridge and be taken by van to the trailhead for the site walk. In the event of a severe weather forecast on the day of the event, site walk cancellation information will be recorded at (508) 389-6324.