Department of Environmental Conservation

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Bureau of State Land Management

Bridge in Chautauqua Gorge State Forest
Chautauqua Gorge State Forest

The Bureau of State Land Management manages more than 780,000 acres of State Forests, which include Reforestation Areas, Multiple-Use Areas, Unique Areas and State Nature and Historical Preserves, throughout New York State. These lands are highly valued for the recreational opportunities they provide and for their contributions to ecosystem health. Over 475 miles of formal recreational trails are available for camping, hiking, mountain biking, snowmobiling, horse riding, snow shoeing and cross country skiing. These properties are also enjoyed by hunters and trappers as well as by orienteering and geocache enthusiasts. On some of these lands, timber management is used as a tool to enhance biodiversity and to create habitat features that might be lacking in the landscape. Other portions are managed to protect and enhance rare, threatened or endangered species.

In addition, the Bureau manages approximately 800,000 acres of Conservation Easements. These easements have been purchased on lands that still remain in private ownership. The purposes of Conservation Easements vary, but can include the protection of open space, public access, working forests, unique habitats, and rare and endangered species.

For a full listing of state-owned public lands, please see the Places To Go web page.

For more information about state forests, please see our State Forests Outside the Forest Preserve webpage.

Tips for Using State Forests

A few basic guidelines for anyone enjoying the use of a state forest. Please observe Tips for Using State Forests, which protect you and the forest environment.

For more information regarding use of state forest lands outside the Preserve contact the appropriate DEC Regional Office responsible for the area.

For Information about the definitions of various state lands including State Forests and Conservation Easements, please see the State Land Classifications web page.