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Bryant Hill State Forest

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Bryant Hill State Forest locator map

Bryant Hill State Forest, also known as Cattaraugus Reforestation Area # 21, is a small state forest of 509 acres. This state forest is located in Cattaraugus County in the town of Franklinville. The most common recreational uses of this area are hunting and camping.

State Forests are managed for multiple uses. They provide raw material for New York's forest products industry, which provides employment and income for many people. They are managed for wildlife by creating and maintaining various habitats for many species such as deer, rabbit, grouse and turkey. In addition, forest management is important for providing recreational opportunities and protecting watersheds.

History

In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) carried out projects at Bryant Hill State Forest. The CCC, established by the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, provided employment opportunities for young men during the Great Depression. Projects included the planting of thousands of pine, larch and spruce trees in the open areas on the property.

This property was mostly farm land at one time. A pipeline crosses the property that predates state ownership.

Field Notes

Sign at entrance to Bryant Hill State Forest

This area has been managed to provide young forest habitat. The unit contains a mix of sizes and species of trees. Management for a variety of habitats will continue.

Timber Management

Conifer - The stands of pine were planted in old farm fields as they need open areas with direct sunlight to thrive. These will be converted to hardwoods by removal of the conifer overstory and allowing the hardwood seedlings that usually exist in these stands to grow into a new hardwood forest. Since much of this property was old field planted to conifer, there have been some major conifer removal projects on this property. These will continue as rapidly as possible.

Hardwood - Hardwood trees are not usually planted as they spread vast amounts of seed and naturally regenerate. Thinning of the forest through the sale of forest products gives the residual trees more growing space. This helps to keep the forest healthy and provides openings for new seedlings. It also provides a revolving supply of food and cover for wildlife and future crop trees. Some stands will contain large trees, giving an illusion of old growth, but in almost all cases they are not old growth. Prior to state ownership, smaller trees in the stand were harvested, and during state ownership, the stand has been managed to favor large trees. Many other stands are mature and ready to regenerate. This is usually done by thinning the stand to promote regeneration of new seedlings, followed by an overstory removal. Forest stands that are dominated by species that require direct sunlight for reproduction are managed this way. Forest stands that contain oak species may require the use of fire or other types of disturbance to maintain the forest type.

Recreation

Bryant Hill State Forest offers a number of opportunities for recreational enjoyment.

Hiking

No approved trails exist on this property.

Hunting and Trapping

Hunting and trapping are permitted on the property in accordance with all game regulations, unless otherwise posted. Traps may not be set on public road right of ways. Body gripping traps set on land must be at least 100 feet from public trails.

More information can be obtained from your local DEC office by calling 716-372-0645.

Skiing and Snowshoeing

All roads may be used.

Mountain Biking

This is not a major activity on this property. There are no designated trails.

Horseback Riding

This is not a major activity on this property. There are no designated trails.

Camping

Camping logoCamping is permitted on the property, there is one designated camp site on Smith road. Also Individuals may set up camp at any location which is at least 150 feet from water bodies, streams, roads or trails. Camping for more than three nights or in a group of ten or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger (see contact information below).



Geo-caching

Geo-caching is allowed, although caches must be marked with the owner's contact information and may not be placed in dangerous or ecologically sensitive locations. See the February 2005 article in Conservationist Magazine for more information on geo-caching.

Access for People with Disabilities

No accessible facilities exist on this property. Individuals with disabilities can apply for a Motorized Access Permit (MAPPWD) to use a motor vehicle on designated roads. The permit is available from the Accessible Recreation page by clicking the MAPPWD link in the right column.

Tips for Using State Forests

Anyone enjoying this property must observe rules which protect people and the forest environment.

Directions

From Ellicottville, take County Road 71 to Sommerville Valley Road. Go northwest to Smith Road and drive to the end. The access from the north off Dooley Road is blocked to traffic. The Clare Valley Road from the south has been abandoned as well.

Important Numbers

Allegany Sub-Office (M-F 8-4 p.m.): 716-372-0645

For emergencies, search and rescue, wildfire, or state land rules and regulation enforcement, call a Forest Ranger:

(716)771-7191
(716)771-7199
(716)771-7156

Or you can reach the Forest Ranger general dispatch number at: (877) 457-5680

General Emergencies: 911