Tug Hill Region Public Conservation Easements
East Branch of Fish Creek Project
GMO Lands Open to Public Recreation
All of the approximately 30,000 acres of former Hancock lands south of the G & W Road purchased by GMO is 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 list of selected public use limitations.
- The public is not allowed on the GMO lands 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 anywhere on the 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 on the GMO lands west of the East Branch of Fish Creek State Forest between Sept. 1st and Dec. 31st until 2017, except for 3 specifically designated parcels.
- The public is not allowed on the GMO lands west of the East Branch of Fish Creek State Forest during big game (rifle) season until 2017, except for 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 GMO lands.
- The public can be excluded from designated zones closed for logging, for specific periods of time.
- A Public Recreational Plan is being developed to describe the designation of such uses on these lands and provides for future possible opportunities.
Various signs are being used along the 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 new and unique easement is still having 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.