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For Release: Tuesday, November 1, 2016

DEC to Prepare Management Plan for Fulton County State Forests

Public Meeting Scheduled for November 15 in Johnstown

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will develop a Unit Management Plan (UMP) for 5,850 acres of public lands in the Fulton County State Forests, DEC announced today.

The Fulton County State Forests include the state forests of Lassellsville, Peck Hill, and Rockwood. The lands are located in the towns of Ephratah, Oppenheim, and Johnstown.

"DEC is seeking public input on how to best manage these lands and provide access for outdoor recreational activities, including hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, camping, wildlife watching, and other activities," said Region 5 Director Robert Stegemann.

A public meeting will be held at the Johnstown Town Hall (2753 NY Route-29) in Johnstown on November 15 beginning at 5:30 p.m. The facility is wheelchair accessible. Please provide any requests for specific accommodations in advance to DEC at (518) 897-1248.

The meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to meet with DEC staff informally and share thoughts, ideas, and suggestions regarding management of State lands within this unit. This will be the first of several opportunities for the public to be involved in the planning process.

Natural features in the Fulton County State Forests include Timmerman Creek, Rockwood Lake, and Willie Wildlife Marsh. The primary recreational uses are hunting, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, camping, fishing, and bird and wildlife watching. The snowmobile trails in Lassellsville and Peck Hill State Forests and the cross-country ski trails in Rockwood State Forest are often used by the public.

Management issues under consideration by DEC's planning team include public recreational access, habitat management, forest management, and forest product sales. Upon review of public comments, the Fulton County planning team will prepare a draft UMP. The completed draft plan will be widely distributed for public review and comment and a public meeting will be scheduled to discuss the draft.

Proposed management actions will be guided by DEC's Strategic Plan for State Forest Management, which focuses on ecosystem health and diversity, economic benefits, recreational opportunities, forest conservation, and sustainable management.

Any interested individual or organization wanting to submit comments may contact Forester Seth Thomas by mail at 701 South Main St. Northville, NY 12134; by telephone at 518-863-4545 ext.3006; or by email at r5.ump@dec.ny.gov.

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    P.O. Box 296
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