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ENB - Statewide Notices 09/01/2010

Public Notice

Completion of Draft Strategic Plan for State Forest Management, Positive Declaration, Completion of Draft GEIS and Public Hearings

Lead Agency: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) announces the completion of the Draft Strategic Plan for State Forest Management (DSPSFM) and Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (Draft GEIS). Electronic copies of the Draft Strategic Plan and Draft GEIS are available on the NYS DEC's website at: www.dec.ny.gov/lands/64567.html or by contacting NYS DEC regional offices. This notice has been prepared in accordance with Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law. These hearings will also serve as public hearings on the Draft GEIS pursuant to the applicable SEQR Act (6NYCRR §617.9(a)(4)).

Notice is given that these public hearings will be held in NYS DEC regions 6, 7, 8 & 9 at the locations noticed at the end of this document. Additional hearings will be scheduled in regions 1-5 at a later date. Evening hearings will be scheduled in each region. Hearings in regions 6-9 will be conducted on September 14 - 22 from 7:00 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. NYS DEC staff will be available to answer any questions related to the DSPSFM and Draft GEIS between 6:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. preceding each hearing. The hearing is part of a public comment period beginning with the publication of this notice on September 1, 2010 and continuing until November 26, 2010. All statements received during this period, whether submitted prior to, at, or after the hearings will be assessed. The assessment of public comment that is prepared will be included in the Final Plan and Final GEIS. All those who wish to appear at the hearing to make a statement and who also have a prepared written statement are asked to bring and submit it to the regional DSPSFM contacts hosting the meeting. Lengthy written statements should be submitted and briefly summarized to present verbally at the hearing.

The Draft Strategic Plan has been developed to lead future management of NYS DEC administered State Forests. It establishes statewide management guidelines for NYS DEC staff through a process of public involvement and review. The plan provides a foundation for the development of Unit Management Plans (UMPs), which set forth the specific actions to be undertaken by NYS DEC on individual State Forests. As individual UMPs are developed, this plan will serve as a guide and will be included by reference. This plan will be revised at least once every ten years.

This Plan describes how State Forests will be managed in a sustainable manner by promoting ecosystem health, enhancing landscape biodiversity, protecting soil productivity and water quality. In addition, State Forests will continue to provide the many recreational, social and economic benefits valued so highly by the people of New York State. NYS DEC will continue the legacy which started 80 years ago, leaving these lands to the next generation in better condition than they are today.

Five goals were developed for the management of State Forests. These goals were based on the criteria developed in the Montreal Process and are as follows: Goal 1, to provide healthy and biologically diverse ecosystems; Goal 2, to maintain human-made State Forest assets; Goal 3, to provide recreational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities; Goal 4, to provide economic benefits to the people of the State; and Goal 5, to provide a legal framework for forest conservation and sustainable management of State Forests.

Activities that have the potential to cause significant adverse impacts may include: increased public recreational use, facility development, prescribed fire, silvicultural activities, oil and gas drilling and control of competing vegetation and invasive species. Potential impacts are discussed in the Draft GEIS including soil erosion, damage to vegetation, increased smoke and associated odors, surface and groundwater effects and effects of pesticides on the environment, including non-target species. The draft plan discusses all of these potential impacts and describes recommended management activities and mitigation measures to minimize potential impacts.

Electronic copies of the Draft Strategic Plan and Draft GEIS are available online at: www.dec.ny.gov/lands/64567.html or by requesting a CD by e-mail at: stateforestplan@gw.dec.state.ny.us or by calling the NYS DEC regional offices. Questions or comments on the Draft Strategic Plan will be accepted until 4:45 p.m. on November 26, 2010 via e-mail stateforestplan@gw.dec.state.ny.us or by mailing: Strategic Plan for State Forest Management, NYS DEC - Division of Lands and Forests, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-4255

Public Hearing Schedule

Public hearing times are as followed, unless noted otherwise:

Informal Question and Answer: 6:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Public Hearing: 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

NYS DEC - Region 6
September 22
Location: Lowville Fire Department
5600 Hillside Drive
Lowville, NY 13367

NYS DEC - Region 7
September 14
Location: New York State Fair Grounds
Martha Eddy Room
Syracuse, NY 13209

NYS DEC - Region 8
September 15
Location: NYS DEC - Region 8 Sub-office
7291 Coon Road
Bath, NY 14810

NYS DEC - Region 9
September 16
Location: Ellicottville Public Library
6499 Maples Road
Ellicottville, NY 14731

Additional hearings in regions 1-5 will be scheduled within the following weeks.

Robert Messenger or Justin Perry, NYS DEC - Division of Lands and Forests, 625 Broadway, 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-4255, Phone: (518) 402-9428.

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