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Hemlock-Canadice UMP

The Hemlock-Canadice Unit Management Plan (UMP) covers the 6,684-acre Hemlock-Canadice State Forest located in Livingston and Ontario Counties. (Hemlock Park, the water treatment facilities and parking field for the fairgrounds are not part of the Hemlock-Canadice State Forest, and are not included in this UMP.) In addition, the fishing access sites along the Springwater Creek, Limekiln Creek, etc., are not included.

map of Hemlock-Canadice UMP
Map of the Hemlock-Canadice Unit

The purpose of a unit management plan is twofold: 1) to define management goals and objectives for state land and, 2) to prepare a ten-year plan of action to achieve those objectives.

Please remember that this is a very sensitive area because Hemlock and Canadice Lakes are a direct source of public water for the City of Rochester and other communities, as a result special regulations apply to Hemlock-Canadice State Forest.

Viewing the Plan

A PDF of the final Hemlock Canadice Unit Management Plan can be downloaded at the bottom of this web page. Paper or CD versions are not currently available, but after printing they will be available in limited numbers at the Bath NYS DEC office, located at 7291 Coon Rd, Bath, NY. In addition, copies will be placed at the Honeoye, Livonia and Wayland Public Libraries.

Information on the plan

The unit management plan provides general information on the unit's history, an inventory of resources, summary of identified issues, policy and law considerations for managing the unit, and describes the goals, objectives and actions. Topics covered include; geography, climate, taxes, timber and vegetation management, significant plants and communities, fish and wildlife habitat, threatened, endangered or special concern species, public recreation and use, roads and trails, wetlands and water resources, minerals resources, facilities management, archeological and historic resources, and land acquisition.


The vision of this plan is to ensure the biological integrity, improvement and protection of the Hemlock-Canadice Unit. This shall be done within the multiple use concept of management, which strives to serve the needs of the people of New York State by providing a broad based, biologically diverse ecosystem. Management will be considered over a broad geographical area, not only to ensure the biological diversity and protection of the ecosystem, but also to optimize the many benefits to the public that these lands provide, including the protection of the public drinking water for the City of Rochester and other communities.

This plan sets the stage for the Department to reach these ambitious goals by applying the latest research and science, with guidance from the public, whose land we have been entrusted to manage.

The legal mandate enabling the Department of Environmental Conservation to manage state forests for multiple use is located in Article 9, Title 5, of the Environmental Conservation Law. Under this law, state forest lands shall be "forever devoted to reforestation and the establishment and maintenance thereon of forests for watershed protection, the production of timber, and for recreation and kindred purposes".

Goals, Objectives and Actions

The goals, objectives and actions for managing the unit are located in the Goals and Objectives chapter of the Hemlock-Canadice Unit Management Plan.

As previously stated, protecting water quality is the most important function of this property. Furthermore, In December 2014 the Governor and the Commissioners of the Department of Health (DOH) and DEC announced that the DOH had completed its public health review of NYS DEC's SGEIS on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program and recommended that high-volume hydraulic fracturing should not move forward in New York State. Therefore, consistent with the reason for state acquisition of the property, and the findings enumerated in the SGEIS, no drilling for oil or gas will be allowed on Hemlock-Canadice State Forest for the duration of this UMP.

Some of the goals of the plan include:
  • Watershed protection is one of the most basic goals of the state forest system, and Hemlock and Canadice Lakes are a source of public water for the City of Rochester and other communities.
    • Utilize Best Management Practices (BMP's) for water quality on timber sales, recreation facilities, and any other construction;
    • Stabilize the Canadice Haul Road creek crossing. The "do nothing" option would result in the loss of use of the road, which is a very popular hiking/biking destination.
  • Maintain a balance of vegetative types and vegetative stages, the purpose of which is to enhance species diversity and abundance;
    • Enhance and monitor wildlife species diversity and protect rare and endangered species of plants and animals, including monitoring of bald eagle nesting site(s) and continue to have a floating sanctuary around the active nest site(s);
    • Stock pheasants and fish for public hunting/fishing in suitable habitat.
    • Maintain current 130 acres of grassy openings, create 28 acres of open grass/brush, regenerate 177 acres, thin 481 acres, maintain 206 current acres of grass/brush, 1,477 acres have inadequate access to treat, 3,147 acres designated as protection forest in the 2010 inventory.
  • Connect New Yorkers to Nature by providing suitable opportunities for the public enjoyment of compatible recreational pursuits in a natural setting;
    • Comply with Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines for any future increase in recreational facilities;
    • Place and maintain kiosks or signs at high use parking areas and boat launches. Provide brochures and maps for users at kiosks, NYS DEC offices, and NYS DEC web page;
    • Add North and South Hemlock Haul Roads to the list of roads open to Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD), car/truck use only, no ATV (per 6NYCRR 190.26)
    • Enhance visual appeal by promoting a litter-free environment by promoting carry in/carry out policy and removing any litter, additional boats or other personal property.
    • Improve the parking lots along Canadice Lake Road.
    • Possibly move the South Hemlock Boat Launch farther north, if resources allow.
  • Work in partnership with interested organizations such as;
    • Maintain communications and partnership with City of Rochester Water Supply staff;
    • The Nature Conservancy, Hill and Valley Riders, local towns/villages, schools, youth programs, and other state agencies;
  • Support the following proposed amendments to 6NYCRR 190.26 (link leaves DEC website,) which is specific to this property:
    • Subsection (b)(4) add "SCUBA dive and float" to the list of prohibited activities
    • Subsection (b)(12) add "and kept out of the water except when lawfully hunting game" to the requirements for possessing domestic animals on the property
    • Add new subsection (b)(15) "Wade, except when accessing a boat/kayak/canoe or when wearing wader/hip boots" to the subsections denoting prohibited activities.
  • Acquire additional land parcels, from willing sellers, if they:
    • improve access;
    • consolidate public ownership by eliminating in holdings;
    • enhance recreational opportunity;
    • protect significant ecological areas, especially within Forest Matrix Blocks;
    • are scenically important;
    • contain threatened or endangered species;
    • are of exceptional historical or cultural importance;
    • improve watershed protection; or
    • resolve other issues.
  • Avoid any activity which may disturb any historical and/or archaeological resources.

Public Comment

The first preliminary public meeting for this Unit Management Plan was held October 26, 2010 at the Springwater Firehall, to gather any comments or concerns regarding the management of the Hemlock-Canadice Unit, at that time the revised plan had not yet been drafted. The second public meeting was held March 14, 2013 at the Springwater Firehall to present the draft plan and receive comments on it. Public comments were accepted until April 15, 2013. Comments were weighed against law, regulations, Commissioner Directives and other public comments before changes are made to the draft plan. Following the end of the 30-day public comment period, any modifications based on public comment have been made and a responsiveness summary has been inserted in Appendix A. In addition all comments received on the Draft Hemlock-Canadice Unit Management Plan have been placed in a new Addendum to the Hemlock-Canadice Unit Management Plan and on the CD versions of this document, but will not be printed as a paper copy by NYS DEC. Any comments received after April 15, 2013 were not included in the final.

Full Plan

Hemlock-Canadice Unit Management Plan (PDF) (259 page, 12.6 MB)

Addendum to Hemlock-Canadice Unit Management Plan (PDF) (2.1MB). All the public comments received on the plan.

Plan in Parts

Hemlock-Canadice UMP - Cover through Appendix K (PDF, 2.0 MB)

Hemlock-Canadice UMP Appendix L Part 1 (PDF, 3.2 MB)

Hemlock-Canadice UMP Appendix L Part 2 (PDF, 3.7 MB)

Hemlock-Canadice UMP Appendix M: Maps (PDF, 4.3 MB)