DEEP: Barn Island Wildlife Management Area

Barn Island Wildlife Management Area 

A comprehensive management plan is currently under development
{Barn Island marsh} Background: In 2013, the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) received a Long Island Sound Futures Fund grant to begin the process of developing a comprehensive management plan for Barn Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Stonington. At just over 1,000 acres, Barn Island WMA is Connecticut’s largest, most diverse, and ecologically significant coastal wildlife management area. As a first step, Connecticut College was contracted to gather all of the historic, scientific, management, and public use information available and present the DEEP Wildlife Division with management recommendations/options to consider in addressing the following resource management issues and needs identified for the property:
  1. An inventory, habitat assessment, and management for species of greatest conservation need known or expected to occur at Barn Island, most notably, the New England cottontail;
  2. A forest resources assessment;
  3. How to respond to known threats to habitat quality, such as increasing recreational use, invasive species, and sea level rise;
  4. Coordination of scientific research in ecologically sensitive areas;
  5. Management of unauthorized encroachments along Barn Island’s property boundaries;
  6. Address conflicts among sometimes disparate recreational user groups;
  7. Prioritizing WMA property expansion/acquisitions;
  8. Inventory and management of cultural resources;
  9. Prioritizing facilities improvement needs, including improved access management; and
  10. Fire break area management and maintenance.
The findings and management recommendations/options were presented to DEEP in March 2015 in a report entitled, Management Assessment Report – Barn Island Wildlife Management Area, Stonington, Connecticut (PDF 8 mb, 127 pages).
Your Input Is Needed
{Barn Island viewing sign} The Wildlife Division solicited comments on the Management Assessment Report (PDF 8 mb, 127 pages), as well as any additional information related to Barn Island WMA, from the general public, conservation organizations, and various user groups, including researchers and educators familiar with the property. All comments are being considered by the Wildlife Division in developing a final draft of the management plan. This plan will allow DEEP to more proactively protect any past and future investments dedicated to:
  • Protecting and managing the species, habitats, and cultural resources on the property; and
  • Providing compatible outdoor education and recreation opportunities.
A draft of the management plan will be available for public comment in late fall 2016.
Any questions or comments can be directed to DEEP Wildlife Division Biologist Ann Kilpatrick at:; 860-424-4144; DEEP Eastern District Headquarters, 209 Hebron Road, Marlborough, CT 06447; Fax: 860-295-8175 (Attn: Ann Kilpatrick, Subject: Barn Island WMA).
Content last updated on July 13, 2016.