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For Release: Tuesday, December 13, 2016

DEC Issues Final Westward Waters Unit Management Plan

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

The final Westward Waters Unit Management Plan (UMP) outlining the improved recreational access and the management of 13 state forests, seven parcels of detached Forest Preserve, eight Fishing Access Sites, and two Fisherman Parking Areas in Lewis County has been issued, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.

"The Westward Waters Unit Management Plan is designed to improve recreational access and enhance tourism through improved public information on outdoor recreational activities and protecting natural resources," 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 Westward Waters Unit Management Area includes a Demonstration Area at the Lowville Office, the Otter Creek Horse Trail Complex, Lake Bonaparte and Eatonville campsites, and several fishing access sites, including Crystal Creek, Burdick's Crossing, Castorland, Beeches Bridge, Lowville, Glenfield, Denley Dam, and Deer River. The unit contains more than 39,430 total acres of state-owned parcels in the Lewis County towns of Croghan, Diana, Greig, Lyonsdale, New Bremen, and Watson. These lands provide recreational opportunities, including hiking, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, horseback riding, trapping, and bird watching, and are also an important source of forest products.

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 Westward Waters Unit Management Plan is available to view or download on DEC's website.

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