The state Department of Environmental Conservation has acquired 525 acres in the Town of North Collins for hunting, fishing, trapping and other outdoor recreation.
The property, known as the Clear Lake Wildlife Management Area, includes the 43-acre Clear Lake Reservoir and surrounding area that has mature forest, wetlands, brushland and open fields.
The unused land was transferred from the state Office of Mental Health to be managed by the DEC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife for wildlife reproduction and outdoor recreation.
The lake was constructed in the 1920s as a reservoir to serve the former Gowanda Psychiatric Center. More recently, it provided water for the Collins Correctional Facility.
“The new Clear Lake Wildlife Management Area will provide outstanding wildlife-based recreational opportunities for visitors while protecting important habitat for many local species,” Abby Snyder, director of DEC’s Region 9, said in a prepared statement.
“DEC will continue to work with our public and private partners to conserve critical parcels like this that connect our communities to natural resources,” Snyder said.
The area can be accessed on the north side of Genesee Road in North Collins, west of Route 75. The DEC recently installed two parking areas to improve public access to the site.