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For Release: Tuesday, February 9, 2016

DEC Issues Final Vienna Woods Unit Management Plan

Plan Outlines Actions to Improve Recreational Access, Provide Information on Available Outdoor Recreational Activities and Protect Natural Resources

The final Vienna Woods Unit Management Plan (UMP) outlining the improved recreational access and the management of two state forests and 12 parcels of detached Forest Preserve in southwestern Oneida County has been issued, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.

"This UMP outlines a strong plan to improve recreational access and enhance tourism through improved public information on available outdoor recreational activities and protecting natural resources," Acting Commissioner Seggos said. "The plan will advance sustainable forest management while promoting a healthy ecosystem, enhancing landscape biodiversity and protecting soil productivity and water quality."

The UMP addresses DEC's management of 1,299 acres on Stone Barn State Forest and Fish Creek State Forest located in the Oneida County towns of Annsville, Camden and Vienna. The UMP also covers 12 nearby parcels of detached forest preserve lands, ranging in size from six to 166 acres, located in the towns of Annsville and Vienna in Oneida County.

These lands provide many recreational opportunities, including: hiking, hunting, fishing, trapping and birdwatching, and are also an important source of forest products. The UMP identifies management actions on the unit, including improvements to infrastructure and timber management, with a 10-year schedule for implementation that will enhance recreational opportunities by:

  • establishing a motorized route on the north end of Fish Creek State Forest to provide hunting and wildlife observation opportunities for people with mobility disabilities with a DEC Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD) permit;
  • relocating a snowmobile trail offroad and onto Stone Barn State Forest; and
  • installing kiosks on both of the State Forests to provide information about the properties and recreational opportunities available on those lands.

The goals of the UMP are to provide a healthy, sustainable and biologically diverse forest, enhance forest-based recreational opportunities, increase economic benefits to local communities and the state, and advance sound forest stewardship. DEC developed the plan with considerable public input which helped assess the natural, physical, social and recreational resources of the unit's state forests. Information obtained and reviewed through the planning process helped build a solid foundation to support the goals, objectives and management actions.

The UMP builds on Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, an effort to improve recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state. This initiative includes the streamlining of hunting and fishing licensing and reducing license fees, improved access for fishing at various sites across the state, and increasing hunting opportunities in various regions. Governor Cuomo has allocated over $22 million through the New York Works program in the past two years to improve access to state lands and make necessary repairs to the state's 12 fish hatcheries.

The Vienna Woods Unit Management Plan is available for viewing or downloading on DEC's website.

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