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Leaflets Issue #8, February 2013

In This Issue:

  • Acquisition of the Essex Chain of Lakes
  • Time to Order Your Seedlings
  • Protection of Pouch Camp
  • Revision of the State's Open Space Conservation Plan
  • State Forests Updates
  • Sandy Response by DEC Staff
  • Office of Invasive Species Coordination brought into Division of Lands and Forests
  • New Trail at Moose River Plains Wild Forest
  • Did You Know?

Acquisition of the Essex Chain of Lakes

Essex chain of lakes

Acquisition of the Essex Chain of Lakes located between the towns of Newcomb and Indian Lake, is phase one of a multi-phase initiative to acquire 69,000 acres of the former Finch Pruyn and other Nature Conservancy lands throughout the Adirondacks. The full acquisition will be the largest single addition to the Adirondack Forest Preserve in more than a century.

With 11 lakes and ponds interconnected or within portaging distance of each other, the Essex Chain will provide a seven-mile canoe route. A long history of fish stocking that includes brook trout and landlocked salmon will provide outstanding fishing. A 5-mile stretch of the Hudson River runs along the east side of the Essex Chain Parcel, completing an uninterrupted, "forever wild" stretch of river over 20 miles in length. Read more.

Time to Order Your Seedlings

Annual Seedling Sale Under Way

beach plum, native to coastal areas thrives in sandy soils

Order your tree and shrub seedlings now! The State Tree Nursery specializes in native and New York-sourced plants so you know they are hardy. Restore stream banks and previously flooded areas with these seedlings, which are small, lightweight and easy to plant. They also provide food, shelter and safe travel corridors for wildlife and help keep streams cool for fish.

School Seedling Program

The State Nursery provides free tree seedlings to schools and school-sponsored organizations. Teachers can use the planting process to discuss the benefits trees provide, while including many subjects that their classes are studying. As seedlings mature, the young trees can be a continuing, personalized way of relating what they've learned in books to visible, living examples. Read more about free seedlings for schools and school sponsored organizations.

Protection of Pouch Camp

The Department worked with the Trust for Public Land and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to acquire a 43-acre conservation easement on BSA's Pouch Camp property on Staten Island. This camp, along with Lake Orbach as its centerpiece, is an integral part of the Staten Island Greenbelt. This is the first of a multistage project to preserve the undeveloped character of the camp and to provide the public with certain recreation rights.

Revision of the State's Open Space Conservation Plan

Cover of the NYS Open Space Conservation Plan

The NYS Open Space Conservation Plan serves as a blueprint for the State's land acquisition and Open Space Conservation Program implemented by the Department, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and other State agencies. The plan was developed and revised multiple times, pursuant to 1990 legislation, through a grassroots process involving local government officials and citizens as members of Regional Advisory Committees, and an extensive public comment process. In the next few months, Regional Advisory Committees will hold meetings to discuss open space conservation projects and policies in each of the nine DEC regions. Contact your DEC regional office or look for a regional press release for dates and times of these meetings, which are open to the public.

State Forests Updates

New State Forest

map of new state forest near Forestport

DEC recently purchased more than 500 acres of land along the foothills of the Adirondacks in Oneida County. The land runs almost a mile along the Black River and is characterized by year-round springs, bogs, forested wetlands and undeveloped forests of northern hardwoods and conifers. Because no other state forests border this property, it will receive its own name. The acquisition, paid for by the Environmental Protection Fund, helps protect the Black River Valley Corridor, a priority conservation project in the NYS Open Space Conservation Plan. It will also increase opportunities for outdoor recreation, enhance conservation of unique wildlife and plant species, and add protection for the Town of Forestport water wells and water supply. Read the press release.

DEC State Forests Recertified as "Green"

Recently, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) - two organizations internationally recognized for establishing forest management standards have renewed DEC's Green Certification for more than 770,000 acres of State Forest lands. This certification means DEC employs scientifically, environmentally, socially and economically sustainable forestry practices to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. This is accomplished by practicing a land stewardship ethic, which integrates reforestation, growing, and harvesting of trees for useful products with the conservation of soil, water quality, wildlife and fish habitat, historical significance, recreation and aesthetics.

Sandy Response by DEC Staff

Lands and Forests staff cutting limbs off a damaged treeLands and Forests staff cutting limbs off a fell tree

Among other divisions in the Department, Lands and Forests staff traveled to areas hit by super storm Sandy to aid in the recovery. Twenty foresters with chainsaw training traveled from around the state to Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. They cut downed and hazard trees in public parks and along streets. Resident response was very positive toward our chainsaw crews.

Office of Invasive Species Coordination brought into Division of Lands and Forests

The Office of Invasive Species Coordination has been incorporated into the Division of Lands and Forests (DLF) Bureau of Division Direction and renamed the Invasive Species Unit (ISU). The ISU serves as a single point of contact and ensures coordination among multiple State entities and nongovernment partners in addressing the environmental and economic threats of invasive species, in statewide, inter-state, national and even international settings. The ISU works to support the Invasive Species Council, with input from the Invasive Species Advisory Committee.

New Trail at Moose River Plains Wild Forest

A 12.8-mile multiple use trail connecting the communities of Inlet and Raquette Lake through the Moose River Plains Wild Forest in Hamilton County is now open for public snowmobile use. The trail will provide four seasons of recreational opportunities for the public to snowmobile, hike and bike in Hamilton County. The trail connects the community of Raquette Lake in the Town of Long Lake to the towns of Indian Lake and Inlet. The new trail is joined with the current Moose River Plains Wild Forest trail system which is the center of a trail system that connects to Newcomb in Essex County and Old Forge in Herkimer County. Read the Press Release.

Did You Know?

boy in front of a young white pine

The eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) has the distinction of being the tallest tree in the eastern U.S. In pre-colonial times it was reported to grow up to 230 feet tall but now reaches no more than 200 feet. The height, strength and relative lightness made eastern white pine the choice material for ship masts in the late 17th and 18th centuries. England's Royal Navy needed the best masts to remain a powerful world force. Since all of New England was considered "Crown Land," the King took control of the largest white pines. The colonists' anger by this "taking" of their property was one of the factors leading to the American Revolution.

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