State Forests Accomplishment Report
Annual Summary for Inventory, Maintenance and Treatment
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) - Bureau of State Land Management oversees the management of 450 State Forests throughout New York. "State Forests" consist of three types of State-owned land including Multiple Use Areas (23), Unique Areas (33), and State Reforestation Areas (394). The specific designation refers to the type of funding authorized to purchase the land and how that land should be managed. In general, all State Forests are devoted to "reforestation and the establishment and maintenance thereon of forests for watershed protection, the production of timber and other forest products, and for recreation and kindred purposes." (State Reforestation Law - Hewitt Reforestation Bill, Chapter 195 of the Laws of 1929)
The area of all State Forests amounts to 785,000 acres (as of 2007); with over 6,700 miles of boundary line requiring a mapped survey, permanent marking (usually with yellow paint and posted signs) and periodic maintenance. Additionally, DEC maintains thousands of miles of roads and trails throughout every State Forest. Much of this access system also serves multiple purposes including various recreational opportunities such as:
- Over 1,000 miles of biking trails
- Over 1,100 miles of cross-country ski trails
- Over 900 miles of horse trails
- Over 1,000 miles of snowmobile trails
- Over 1,700 miles of foot trails
Finally, 99% of State Forests, all State Forests in DEC Regions 3 - 9 (that's 762,000 acres!), are Green Certified, which means they meet strict environmental, social and economic standards established by both the Forest Stewardship Council (www.fscus.org) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (www.sfiprogram.org).
As you can imagine, DEC Foresters have a considerable responsibility to maintain a diversity of opportunities for the many environmental and public demands on State Forests. The ultimate goal is to meet this demand today without compromising future generations. There are a number of indicators that can be tracked to help demonstrate the sustainable management of this important resource. The following chart summarizes some of these indicators on a yearly basis. For more information about inventory, maintenance and treatments on State Forest please call the Bureau of State Land Management at (518) 402-9428.
(April 1st to
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