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Lands and Forests- Region 7, Central New York

Three foresters standing in a clearing in the woods.

The Region 7/Central New York Division of Lands and Forests is involved with a great many programs, several of which are unique to the region and directly involve the public. While principally tasked with managing state forests and assisting the public with private land programs, the division also offers a firewood lottery program each spring to those who are able to cut their own timber (on selected state forests), a special Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) at Beaver Meadows State Forest to control deer damage on the forest and the issuance of camping permits at several of the state forests which have heavy use each spring and summer.

Region 7/Central Office Programs

Camping Permits

Unless otherwise noted, primitive camping is allowed on State Forests. Campsites must be at least 150 feet away from the nearest road, trail, or body of water. Camping for more than three nights or in groups of ten or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger.

Several State Forests offer formal camping sites that are popular with the public. From May 1-September 30, camping at the following sites requires a permit from DEC Lands and Forests staff in the Sherburne Sub-office:

Sherburne Sub-office
2721 State Hwy 80
Sherburne, NY 13460
607-674-4017 x 602

Camping at Spruce Pond Camping Area on Morgan Hill State Forest requires a camping permit year-round from DEC Lands and Forests staff in the Cortland Sub-office:

Cortland Sub-Office
1285 Fisher Ave
Cortland, NY 13045
607-753-3095 x 217.

Further information on the campsites, including maps, coordinates and directions can be found on the individual forest webpages linked above.

Deer Management Assistance Permits (DMAP) at Beaver Meadows State Forest

Due to heavy browsing and destruction of seedlings, Region 7 offers a DMAP program at Beaver Meadow State Forest in Chenango County during both the regular and the bow season. This program has all provided the public with more hunting opportunities; an average of 50 deer are taken off the forest each year.

Managing State Forests and Unique Areas

Region 7 Forestry manages 124 state forests/unique areas and 199,000 acres of land. This is the largest holding of state lands outside of the Catskills and the Adirondacks. During the first three quarters of 2014 the region had 29 timber sales on 1766 acres of forest land. The value of theses sales was $1,938,000, representing 66% of all sales during that time period. These figures and percentages are typical for the region due to its large holding of state forests. All of the state forests/unique areas are managed via unit management plans. Draft plans are posted on the DEC website and public meetings to gather input from interested citizens occur before the plans are drafted and between the draft and the final plans. A history of some of the forests is also available.

Private Land Services

The region also has a small program to provide assistance to people who have large tracts of forested land and want to have a tax reduction for managing those lands wisely. This service is available in several counties in the region. Commonly called the 480-A program, there are about 400 properties in this program which includes 51,400 acres of forested land. In addition, the region works with 60 property owners managing 10,000 acres under the forest stewardship program.

The kiosk with map and photos of the Forest

Recreational Opportunities on State Forests and Unique Areas

The state forests/unique areas offer numerous recreational benefits. Camping (both formal and informal), hiking, horseback riding, hunting, fishing, trapping, mountain biking, cross county skiing, and snowmobiling are some of the popular activities that can be undertaken on state forests. A matrix guide (PDF, 196 KB) to recreational opportunities in the region is a helpful resource for those planning a trip to a state forest. Maps, directions, available recreational resources, and general information about each forest is available from the DEC website. The region has been very active in placing informational kiosks at many of the state forests. These kiosk make it easier for the public to use the state lands safely and to understand the important management techniques being undertaken by foresters on the land. Detailed history about some state forests is also available.At-large primitive camping is allowed. Campsites must be at least 150 feet away from the nearest road, trail, or body of water. Camping for more than three nights or in groups of ten or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger.

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    Cortland, NY 13045
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