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Recreation Management Plans (RMPs)

Recreation Management Plans (RMPs) establish a planned, written management scenario, to implement the State's rights and protect the property rights of the private fee owner, as specified in the Conservation Easement. It is intended that such management documents remain consistent and in effect over time, despite changes in agency personnel or private land ownership. The RMP integrates consideration of pertinent legislation, legal codes, rules and regulations, policies, easement-specific requirements and conditions, and property-specific information into a single document. Provided in the RMP will be a description of the property and past and present uses; relevant public recreation opportunities and limitations; how public access and recreation will be implemented and managed; who will have responsibility for various management tasks; identification of public recreation facilities that may already exist on the property; new public recreation facilities and improvements proposed to be constructed and maintained; and how public access is anticipated to interact with other uses of the property such as active forest management and private leasing programs. The RMP preparation process and resulting document provides a means for discussing and clarifying pertinent issues, clearly stating management goals and mechanisms, review of the proposed public recreation activities and actions, and implementing public recreation on the easement property. Periodically RMPs may be revised, updated, or amended.

RMP Development and Review Process

  1. DEC planner initiates an internal discussion between DEC regional and Central Office (Albany) staff in the development of the Recreation Management Plan (RMP). Staff will determine the following:
    • the public recreation rights purchased in the conservation easement,
    • recreation impacts and influences on the conservation easement property and on any surrounding state lands,
    • the extent of other Department program's involvement and review,
    • review recreation plan content, establish a time-line and discuss the RMP planning process.
  2. DEC planner staff holds a public scoping session (meeting) to:
    • present the public recreation rights to stakeholders, elected officials, property owner representatives, sporting community, lessees and other members of the public,
    • gather input on public recreation interests and concerns, possible user conflicts and other issues.
  3. DEC planner, in consultation with landowner, preparers an initial draft RMP based on the conservation easement public recreation rights and public input.
  4. DEC planner submits initial draft RMP to Central Office conservation easement program staff and DEC ADA Access Coordinator for review.
  5. DEC planner prepares State Environmental Quality Review Act Full Environmental Assessment form (FEAF) documents, unless it has been determined, in consultation with the Lands and Forests State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) Coordinator, that the actions within the recreation management plan are considered to be Type II (these actions do not have significant environmental impact). The FEAF documents, or if Type II, the justification are sent to the Lands and Forests SEQR Coordinator for review. (Do not sign these documents at this time. See step 12.)
    • Planner submits SEQR documents and Initial draft RMP to Lands and Forests SEQR Coordinator for review.
  6. Central Office conservation easement staff, DEC ADA Access Coordinator and Lands and Forests SEQR Coordinator provide comments on the initial draft RMP and FEAF to DEC Planner.
    • DEC Planner completes proposed draft RMP and, if necessary, corrects FEAF.
  7. Adirondack Park only - DEC planner, in consultation with Central Office conservation easement program staff, provide the proposed draft RMP to Adirondack Park Agency (APA) staff for their review of the plan's consistency with:
    • The Adirondack Park Agency Act (Section 814),
    • New York State Freshwater Act,
    • The New York State Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers System Act.
  8. Adirondack Park only - DEC planner reviews APA comments and develops draft RMP.
  9. DEC planner submits draft RMP and Executive Brief to their Regional Land Manager (i.e.: Natural Resources Supervisor and/or Regional Forester) for review. Submittal includes response to APA Comments (Adirondack Park only).
  10. Regional Land Manager submits draft RMP and Executive Brief to Central Office CE Coordinator.
  11. Central Office Conservation Easement Coordinator initiates DEC Executive review and approval to release draft RMP for a 30 day public comment opportunity. 
    • DEC regional staff prepares and submits a press release announcing a public comment opportunity for DEC Executive approval.
  12. DEC planner sends notice to Lands and Forests SEQR Coordinator for publication in the Environmental Notice Bulletin (ENB) and releases draft RMP for public comment.
    • DEC regional staff (in consultation with Central Office conservation easement program staff) determine a need for public meeting and, if necessary, schedules one.
    • DEC regional staff issue press release.
  13. After public comment period closes, DEC planner reviews public comments and prepares a public comment "responsiveness" summary, an Executive Brief, and completes final RMP. SEQR FEAF documents are signed by DEC planner and forwarded to SEQR Coordinator.
  14. DEC planner submits final RMP, public comment "responsiveness summary" and Executive Brief to Central Office CE Coordinator for Director of the Division of Lands and Forests approval.
  15. Central Office CE Coordinator provides the RMP and Executive Brief to the Director of the Division of Lands and Forests for approval.
  16. CE Coordinator sends final RMP to DEC Regional Forester. Regional Forester provides final RMP to Landowner for approval.
  17. DEC regional staff prepares and submits a press release announcing that Department has finalized and adopted the RMP.
  18. Central Office conservation easement staff develop and submit a "Green Flag" to DEC Executive prior to the press release going out.
  19. DEC Central Office conservation easement staff forward notice to Lands and Forests SEQR Coordinator for publication in the ENB that the RMP and SEQR FEAF have been finalized.
  20. DEC Central Office staff sends a memo to the Town Supervisor(s) within the recreation management planning area notifying them that the Department has adopted the final RMP and finalized SEQR review.

Recreation Management Plans

    Region 5

    Region 6

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