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Salmon River Falls Unique Area

The Division of Lands & Forests within the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (the Department) is responsible for the management of certain public lands in New York State including all of the State forests. It is not practical to develop a separate management plan for each, individual State forest. Instead, the forests are grouped into planning units. A planning unit considers the State lands that share close geographic proximity and common natural resource characteristics. The written plan for a unit is called a Unit Management Plan. This management plan consists of a 112-acre parcel located in Oswego County in the Town of Orwell on the middle reaches of the Salmon River. The Salmon River Falls Unique Area has a breathtaking 110-foot waterfall and a spectacular river gorge making it a popular site for visiting tourists.

It is the policy of the Department to manage State lands for multiple use to serve the People of New York State. This Unit Management Plan is the first step in carrying out that policy. The Salmon River Falls Unit Management Plan addresses the management of this area for the next ten years, with a review and update provided in the tenth year. Unforeseen natural events or human impacts in the future may necessitate deviations from the plan. All deviations will require the approval of the DEC's Regional Forester, and may require additional public review and input. Some management recommendations may extend beyond the 10-year period. Factors such as budget constraints, wood product markets, and forest health problems may necessitate deviations from the scheduled management activities. This management will ensure the sustainability, biological improvement, and protection of the Unit's ecosystems, as well as optimize the many benefits to the public that these State forests provide.

Article 9, Titles 5 and 7, of the NYS Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) authorizes the Department to provide for the management of lands acquired outside of the Adirondack and Catskill Parks. Management, as defined by these laws, includes watershed protection, the production of timber and other forest products, recreational uses, and kindred purposes. The Draft State Forest Land Master Plan provides the overall direction and framework for meeting these legal mandates. The Salmon River Falls Unique Area UMP must conform to the objectives, guidelines, and policies set forth in the Master Plan.

These forests are part of a larger landscape, and so, the effects of each proposed action will be considered from this perspective. This plan is also intended to serve as an educational resource.

Public Input

Public input has guided the development of this plan, beginning with a survey conducted in the Spring of 1995 by the Salmon River Greenway Committee. This committee, comprised of representatives from local, county and state governments and the Tug Hill Commission,surveyed area residents and other interested parties to determine public sentiment regarding future development activities and land protection efforts in the Salmon River corridor. Over one thousand surveys were completed and returned. Characteristics of the river corridor that residents felt were extremely important were clean streams, pure groundwater and wells, wildlife habitat, open space, and the rural character. Recreation and tourism-related facilities were considered important, especially Salmon River Falls (Salmon River Corridor 1995 Citizen Survey Results, 1996). Additionally, a public meeting on the Draft unit management plan was held on April 10, 2003, to allow for further public input.

Unit Management Plan:

Salmon River Falls Unique Area Unit Management Plan - Text of the Salmon River Falls Unique Area Unit Management Plan (PDF) (651 KB)

Salmon River Falls Unique Area Unit Management Plan Appendices (PDF) (827 KB)

Present Assets Map (PDF) (87 KB)

Location Map (PDF) (752 KB)

Soil Survey Map (PDF) (176 KB)

Salmon River Watershed Map (PDF) (332 KB)

Salmon River Falls Plant Communities Map (PDF) (83 KB)

Salmon River Fish and Habitat Survey Sites Map (PDF) (67 KB)

Adjacent State Lands Map (PDF) (91 KB)

Potential Future Acquisitions Map (PDF) (85 KB)

Restricted Areas Map (PDF) (54 KB)

Planned Actions Map (PDF) (67 KB)

Proposed Salmon River Greenway Trail System Map (PDF) (146 KB)