How to Comment on UMPs
Members of the public have a variety of opportunities to suggest issues to be addressed, identify problems, and offer comment on Unit Management Plans. The Department encourages public input through scoping meetings, during plan development and during the formal review of completed draft Unit Management Plans. On an occasional basis, Citizen's Advisory Committees or Focus Groups are used in plan development as well.
Public Scoping Meeting/Open House
Initially, a public scoping meeting may be held to kick off the process of completing a plan. People are encouraged to help in identifying issues that need to be addressed in the plan. Scoping meetings take several different forms. They can be open houses, discussion forums or sometimes can involve small discussion groups or "breakout sessions." Input from the users of public land, local governments, neighboring landowners and anyone else with an interest in the property for which the plan is being developed is encouraged. This can be accomplished through participation in this "scoping session", writing a letter, meeting with a planner, making a telephone call, sending a fax or through email. Regardless of the format of your input; all forms of communication with DEC carry equal weight in the process.
Following the scoping meeting, public input related to plan development continues to be welcome throughout the development of a Unit Management Plan. During this time, Department staff do fieldwork and research related to plan development, drafting the plan document, develop budgets and gather information necessary for compliance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).
Citizens Advisory Committees and Focus Groups
Occasionally the Department determines that a higher level of discussion and debate is necessary to address complex issues, recreational user conflicts or other problems related to Unit Management Plan development. In these instances, a Citizens Advisory Committee may be created to provide a regular discussion forum to assist staff in plan development. Where issues are more limited in scope an issue oriented Focus Group might be created.
Draft Unit Management Plan
Once a draft unit management plan is formally released, public review and comment continues to be important. However, once a draft plan is made public, and is available for comment, timeliness and deadline dates become more formal and important. There are several reasons for this: the noticing and comment requirements related to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA); the need to bring draft plans to a final state in order to begin implementation and; for plans completed for lands in the Adirondack Park, the need to schedule review by the Adirondack Park Agency.
At least one public meeting is held on a draft Unit Management Plan; some time after the formal release of the draft plan. Generally, public comment on a draft Unit Management Plan can be made in writing, by telephone, fax or email up to 30 days after the public meeting. To comment on a specific UMP or to find out whom to contact about a specific UMP, click on the Unit Management Plan link at the top of this page, scroll down to the list of units, and click on the Unit in which you are interested.