East Branch of Fish Creek Conservation Easement
Tug Hill Region Easement Lands
All of the approximately 30,000 acres of former Hancock lands south of the G & W Road purchased are subject to a conservation easement held by the DEC on the behalf of the people of New York State. Of these 30,000 acres, 22,000 acres will be available at specific times of the year for different types of public recreation.
The easement grants the DEC the right to allow public use of the lands for certain recreational purposes including, but not limited to, camping, non-motorized boating, cross-country skiing, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, picnicking, trail bicycling, trapping, snowshoeing, wildlife observation, snowmobiling on designated trails, motorized vehicle use on designated roads, and other dispersed pedestrian uses. However, during certain times of the year in certain areas of the easements, specific uses are not allowed. Here is a summary of selected public use limitations.
- The public is not allowed east of the East Branch of Fish Creek State Forest, except for the designated corridors along or through it.
- The public is not allowed to use ATV's on these easement lands.
- The public is limited to motor vehicle and snowmobile use on designated corridors at specific times of the year as designated on signs posted along the routes.
- The public is not allowed to hunt west of the East Branch of Fish Creek State Forest between September 1 and December 31 of each year through 2017, except for three (3) specifically designated parcels.
- The public is not allowed west of the East Branch of Fish Creek State Forest during big game (rifle) season through 2017, except for three (3) specifically designated parcels.
- The public is excluded at all times from specifically posted zones of up to 5 acres in size, surrounding the leased camps on the property.
- The public can be excluded from designated zones closed for logging, for specific periods of time.
A Recreation Management Plan (RMP) has been developed to describe the designation of public uses on these lands. The RMP can be accessed by clicking the first link in the right column of this page.
Various signs are being used along easement roads and boundaries. Some boundaries and access points are difficult to tell from private lands, so please take the time to read the information posted on the signs. This unique easement has signs posted to help the public determine what activities are allowed during the different times of the year. If in doubt, contact our Lowville office at 315-376-3521. Normal office hours are Monday - Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.