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For Release: Wednesday, September 28, 2016

DEC Releases Draft Recreation Management Plan For Upper Hudson Woodlands - Sacandaga Block Conservation Easement Lands

Public Meeting October 12 at Northville Central School

The Draft Recreation Management Plan (Draft RMP) for the Upper Hudson Woodlands - Sacandaga Block Conservation Easement Lands is now available for public review and comment, New York State Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. The plan will increase public access to the area.

The Upper Hudson Woodlands ATP Conservation Easement lands consist of approximately 6,393 acres in the towns of Mayfield and Bleecker in Fulton County, and the towns of Edinburg and Greenfield in Saratoga County.

"This Draft Recreation Management Plan for the Upper Hudson Woodlands - Sacandaga Block Conservation Easement Lands outlines a variety of recreational opportunities, including skiing and snowmobiling," Commissioner Seggos said. "Governor Cuomo is committed to expanding opportunities for people to enjoy New York's outstanding natural resources and making sure these recreation spots are accessible. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) worked cooperatively with private landowners and land managers to develop public access on these lands while protecting natural resources and retaining timber industry jobs."

A public meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on October 12 at Northville Central School,131 South 3rd Street, Northville. The meeting will provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about the proposed management actions in the Draft RMP and comment on the proposals. The meeting facility is wheelchair accessible. Please provide any requests for specific accommodations to 518-897-1361 at least one week in advance. DEC will accept comments on the Draft RMP until November 11.

The Nature Conservancy purchased the lands of the Upper Hudson Woodlands ATP Conservation Easement from Finch, Pruyn and Company, Inc. in 2007. The State of New York purchased a conservation easement on the lands in 2010 which included development rights, sustainable forestry requirements and specific public recreation rights. Upper Hudson Woodlands ATP purchased the lands in fee the same year.

DEC developed the Draft RMP to facilitate and manage public recreational use of the easement lands and complies with the terms and conditions of the easement. DEC consulted with the landowner and its forest management consulting firm in developing the proposed plan. In addition, DEC obtained input from a variety of stakeholders including local governments, snowmobile clubs, sports men and women, hikers and private lease club members.

Proposed management actions include:

  • Dennie Road Tract
    Just outside of the Mayfield town center, recreation rights on this parcel will provide approximately 7 miles of groomed cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. A parking area and associated kiosk will have trail information and a map. Use is limited to skiing and snowshoeing.

  • Jackson Summit West Tract
    This tract provides access to Bernhardt Mountain. A snowmobile and non-motorized trails will reach the top of Bernhardt Mountain and a fishing spot (Lynus Vly). The total trail distance on this tract will be approximately 3 miles.

  • Hohler Road Tract
    The recreation rights proposed on this parcel will provide a shorter snowmobile trail linking the communities of Peck's Lake, Caroga, and Mayfield.

  • Benson Road Tract
    The Benson Road recreation rights allow permanent snowmobile access on a primary corridor linking the communities of Caroga Lake and Mayfield. The proposed northern route and parking will provide improved motor vehicle access to West Stony Creek and adjacent Forest Preserve.

  • Gordon's Creek Tract, Johnny Cake Lake Tract, and Desolation Road Tract
    These rights to snowmobile trails are part of the larger New York State snowmobile trail network. The community connector trails C8 and C8A traverse over approximately 13 miles of land addressed in this plan.

Hunting, fishing, and trapping are not permitted on the easement tracts, with the exception of the Desolation Road Tract. ATV use is not permitted on any of these lands.

Currently, a parking area, four tent sites, and car-top boat launch accessible to persons with disabilities have been developed adjacent to the shore of Archer Vly. The entire tract is now open to the public for non-motorized recreation. A groomed and maintained snowmobile trail (C8A) traverses the tract using existing logging roads.

The Draft UMP is available for public review at DEC's Region 5 sub office in Northville and at the town offices of Mayfield, Bleecker, Edinburg, and Greenfield. The complete document is available on the DEC website. Copies are available in electronic format for distribution on compact disc and may be requested by calling DEC at 518-897-1361. A limited number of printed copies are available, as well.

Written comments may be sent to Allison Buckley, Natural Resources Planner, NYSDEC, PO Box 1316, Northville, NY 12134, or e-mailed to r5.ump@dec.ny.gov until November 11.

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