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Tioughnioga Unit


The Tioughnioga Unit Management Plan provides a framework for sustaining biological diversity while accommodating compatible public uses on 4,646 acres of State land in Madison County. The Unit includes DeRuyter, Morrow Mountain and Stoney Pond State Forests and Nelson Swamp Unique Area located in the Towns of Cazenovia, DeRuyter, Fenner, Georgetown, and Nelson. These lands are certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (leaves DEC website) and Forest Stewardship Council (leaves DEC website) and are managed for long-term ecological, social, and economic health.

Hardwood forest, conifer plantation and northern white cedar swamp occupy 88% of the unit. Ponds, open wetlands, and fields occupy the unit's remaining land area. These conditions provide habitat for approximately 135 species of breeding birds; 51 species of mammals; and 75 species of reptiles, amphibians, and fish. The endangered striped coralroot and rare spreading globeflower are two plant species found in Nelson Swamp Unique Area, also a DEC recommended Watchable Wildlife Site.

Existing recreational facilities include 28.2 miles of designated recreational trails, Stoney Pond Campground and Boat Launch, and the Nelson Swamp Interpretive Area. Five community-based organizations maintain recreational trails through Volunteer Stewardship Agreements.

The draft UMP proposes management actions on the unit for the next 20 years. It defines goals and objectives for biodiversity conservation, timber production, and public recreation.

Proposed management actions include:

  • Conserve rare and endangered plants species on the unit;
  • Maintain 216 acres of early successional habitat including mowed fields and shrublands ;
  • Promote the development of late successional forest on 1,648 acres;
  • Harvest 2,155 acres of timber over the next 20 years;
  • Construct the Nelson Swamp Trail;
  • Reconstruct Stoney Pond Boat Launch to provide universal access; and
  • Install two new kiosks, one each on Morrow Mountain and DeRuyter State Forests.

The public is invited to comment on the draft UMP until Monday, July 1, 2019. To request more information and/or formally comment on the plan:

  • Attend a public meeting on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 7 p.m. at the Nelson Town Offices, 4085 Nelson Rd, Cazenovia, NY 13035.
  • Email with the subject line "Tioughnioga UMP", call, or send by US Postal mail before July 1, 2019:

Gregory Owens, Senior Forester
2715 State Route 80
Sherburne, NY 13460
(607) 674-4017

Draft Tioughnioga Unit Management Plan

Tioughnioga Unit Management Plan (PDF) (8.04MB)

Additionally, paper copies of the draft plan are available for review at the following locations:

  • NYSDEC, 2715 State Route 80, Sherburne, NY 13460
  • Cazenovia Public Library, 100 Albany Street, Cazenovia, NY 13035
  • DeRuyter Free Library, 735 Utica Street, DeRuyter, NY 13052
  • New Woodstock Public Library, 2106 Main Street, New Woodstock, NY 13122
  • Morrisville Public Library, 83 E. Main Street, Morrisville, NY 13408.

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  • Lands and Forests, Region 7
    Sherburne Office
    2715 State Highway 80
    Sherburne, NY 13460
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