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East Otto State Forest

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East Otto State Forest locator map

East Otto State Forest also known as Cattaraugus Reforestation Area #15 is a forest of 1,354 acres. This state forest is located in Cattaraugus County in the towns of Otto & East Otto. The most common recreational use of this area is hunting and camping.

State Forests are managed for multiple uses. Forest management provides raw materials for New York's forest products industry, a source of employment and income for many New Yorkers. They are managed for wildlife by creating and maintaining various habitats for species such as deer, rabbit, grouse and turkey. They are also managed for recreational opportunities and watershed protection.

History

In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) carried out forestry projects on this property. The CCC, established by the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, provided employment 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 cheese factory, which was common place before the invention of refrigeration, was located on this property as well. The transportation of milk over great distances was not routine as it is today. In order to bring milk to market, it was made into cheese, which was easier to transport and store.

Field Notes

Pond on Kriedeman Forest Road in East Otto State Forest
Pond on Kriedeman Forest Road in East Otto
State Forest

This area has been managed to provide young forest habitat. This unit contains a mix of sizes and species of trees. It also has manmade ponds and wetlands. Management for a variety of habitats will continue. One area had a small forest fire that changed habitat in that area.

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 removing the conifer overstory and allowing the hardwood seedlings that usually exist in these stands to grow into a new hardwood forest.

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, a revolving supply of food and cover for wildlife, and future crop trees. Some stands will contain large trees that appear to be old growth. This is almost always not the case. These stands were harvested prior to state ownership or managed during state ownership to favor large trees. Many other stands are mature and ready to regenerate. Thinning stands and removing the overstory promotes regeneration of new seedlings. Forest stands that are dominated by species that require direct sunlight for reproduction are managed in this way. Some small experimental clear cuts were done on this property. The regeneration of the experimental clear cut area was successful. It has been proven that this regeneration method will work on this state forest. Forest stands that contain oak species may require the use of fire or other types of disturbance to maintain this forest type.

Recreation

East Otto State Forest offers a number of opportunities for recreation.

Hiking

No formal trails exist on this property but old skid trails and farm roads provide some hiking.

Hunting, Trapping and Fishing

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.

Stickney Pond on Kriedeman Road and Utley Brook are used for fishing.

Skiing and Snowshoeing

All roads and old skid trails may be used.

Mountain Biking

This is not a major activity on this property, but forest roads may be used.

Horseback Riding

This is not a major activity on this property, but forest roads may be used.

Camping

designated tent site disk

Camping is allowed at 14 designated tent sites along Kriedeman Forest Road that are available at a first come first serve basis. These sites are numbered and have a primitive fire ring. These sites are also marked with a yellow camp disk. There are no out house facilities. This area receives heavy camping activity during the summer months, so camping is allowed only at designated sites to reduce environmental impact to the area. Parking is allowed at the entrance to each site but not beyond that. On other parts of the property, 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 phone numbers below).

Access for People with Disabilities

No 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 both them and the forest environment.

Directions

From East Otto, take County Route 12 west to Utley Road, turn right (north) on Utley Road, then left (west) onto Traffic Street. From Brooklyn, take Hammond Hill to Utley Road. The culvert on Traffic Street is out of service, so access is best from the east end of Traffic Street.

Important Numbers

Allegany Sub-Office 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