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Essex Chain Lakes Management Complex - Draft Unit Management Plan

In February 2014, Governor Cuomo approved a State Land classification package for approximately 42,000 acres, including several tracts that have been recently added to the Forest Preserve. These recently acquired tracts, including the former Essex Chain Lakes Tract and Indian River Tract, were purchased from the Nature Conservancy and formally owned by the Finch Pruyn Company. Some surrounding existing Forest Preserve lands were also reclassified, including a large addition to the Blue Mountain Wild Forest.

The Department is currently developing a Unit Management Plan (UMP) for the Essex Chain Lakes Management Complex (ECLMC) that includes the following areas:

  • Essex Chain Lakes Primitive Area
  • Pine Lake Primitive Area
  • Recently classified portions of the Blue Mountain Wild Forest
  • Three State Administrative Areas<

Draft Scope

A Draft Environmental Impact Statement ("DEIS") is being prepared pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act ("SEQRA") to analyze the relevant areas of environmental concern resulting from the adoption of the Essex Chain Lakes Management Complex UMP.

This Scoping Document is intended to define the scope of information to be included in the DEIS, to be prepared in accordance with the New York State Environmental Conservation Law [ECL § 8-0101 et seq.], and its implementing regulations found in Part 617 of Title 6 of the Official Codes, Rules and Regulations (6 NYCRR Part 617).

Public Comment Opportunity

The Department will be accepting public comments on the Draft Scope until April 24, 2015. Please submit comments to:

Josh Clague, Natural Resources Planner
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, 5th floor
Albany, NY 12233-4254

Download the Draft Scope

Draft Scope for the Essex Chain Lakes UMP/EIS - PDF (112 KB)

2014 Stewardship Plan

In order to facilitate appropriate public access and natural resource protection of the ECLMC prior to the release of a full UMP, the Department released a Stewardship Plan authorizing the implementation of certain recreational uses and facilities. These include the creation of primitive tent sites, designation of equestrian trails and facilities, seasonal hunting access on portions of the Chain Lakes Road South and Camp Six Road, designation of parking at the Outer Gooley, and motorized access to the "tube" (between Fourth and Fifth Lakes) for people with disabilities.

Download the Stewardship Plan

Essex Chain Lakes Management Complex Stewardship Plan - PDF (2 MB)

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