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For Release: Wednesday, February 8, 2017

DEC Seeks Public Input on The Northern Chenango Unit Management Plan

Public Meeting to be Held March 2nd; Comment Period Runs through May 2nd

A public meeting to accept comments on the draft Northern Chenango Unit Management Plan (UMP) will be held on Thursday, March 2, at 7:00 p.m., the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. The meeting will be hosted by the Friends of Rogers Environmental Education Center located at 2721 State Highway 80, Sherburne, Chenango County. Public comments are being accepted until May 2.

Located in northwest Chenango County and southwest Madison County, the Northern Chenango Unit includes Beaver Meadow, Otselic, Buck's Brook, Lincklaen, Earlville, Lebanon, and Texas Hill State Forests and covers approximately 15,800 acres of land in Chenango and Madison counties. The draft UMP has been developed to address management activities on these state properties. DEC staff will briefly present highlights of the draft plan at the public meeting, and the public will have an opportunity to comment on the plan.

"Building from the first Lebanon Hills and Northern Chenango Highlands Unit Management Plans, the updated plan will support the goals of the original plans with newly developed objectives and management actions," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "The goals of the unit are to provide healthy, sustainable and biologically diverse forests; forest-based recreational opportunities; economic benefits; and sound stewardship."

The seven state forests covered by the Northern Chenango Unit offer many recreational opportunities including snowmobiling, hiking, mountain biking, camping, bird watching, fishing, hunting, trapping, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and limited all-terrain vehicle (ATV) access for people with mobility impairments.

Proposed actions relating to existing recreational facilities and opportunities in the plan include:

  • Continue to partner with five local groups to provide and maintain more than 12 miles of snowmobile trails and nine miles of hiking trails on the Unit;
  • Continue maintenance of an ATV Access Route for people with qualifying disabilities; and
  • Install three information kiosks on the forests describing the recreational opportunities of the unit including trails, access points, and rules and regulations for state lands.

The UMP also addresses forestry activities on the unit. Proposed actions relating to forestry include:

  • Identification of sensitive areas designated to protect historic sites, water quality, and other specific natural resources;
  • Use of timber harvesting to increase the amount of young forest on the unit to improve wildlife habitat;
  • Implementation of a variety of actions to enhance fish and wildlife habitat; and
  • Proposals for management of the forests using a variety of methods to provide an average timber harvest of 361 acres per year.

A copy of the plan is available on DEC's website. The plan is also available for public review at the following locations:

  • DEC Region 7 Sub-office, 2715 Route 80, Sherburne, NY, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Earlville Free Library, 4 North Main St., Earlville, NY
  • Smyrna Public Library, 7 East Main St., Smyrna, NY
  • DeRuyter Free Library, 76 Utica St., DeRuyter, NY
  • South Otselic Town Hall, 133 County Rd. 13, South Otselic, NY

Copies are available in digital format on compact discs from the Sherburne office and may be requested by calling (607) 674-4036 ext. 613. Information on the individual forests included in the plan can be found on DEC's website.

Comments may also be submitted by mail to: NYSDEC, Division of Lands and Forests, Attn: Andrew Blum, 2715 State Highway 80, Sherburne, New York, 13460 or alternatively by e-mail to: andrew.blum@dec.ny.gov Written comments will be accepted until May 2, 2017.

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