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For Release: Wednesday, June 26, 2019

DEC Seeks Input on Draft Treaty Line Unit Management Plan

Public Comment Hearing Scheduled for July 31

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host a public comment hearing to provide information, answer questions, and accept public input on the draft Treaty Line Unit Management Plan (UMP). Highlights of the plan include maintaining 208 acres of high conservation value forest, 18,050 acres of forest landscape connectivity corridors, and more than 28 miles of designated recreational trails.

The Treaty Line Unit consists of 19,186 acres of State lands located within portions of Broome, Chenango, and Delaware counties, including Artic-China, Barbour Brook, Beals Pond, Columbia Lake, Kerryville, Melondy Hill, Michigan Hill, Pine Hill and Steam Mill State Forests. The draft UMP was developed to guide management activities on these properties.

Recreational activities currently available on the unit include hiking, camping, snowmobiling, hunting, trapping, fishing, picnicking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, bird watching, wildlife viewing, and limited all-terrain vehicle (ATV) access for people with mobility impairments.

DEC manages State Forest lands for multiple benefits to serve the people of New York State in a relatively undeveloped setting. The draft Treaty Line UMP proposes to: a) address overall management and maintenance activities on these State Lands; b) maintain unfragmented, healthy, sustainable, and biologically diverse ecosystems; and c) provide continued opportunities for forest product sales, recreational use, environmental education, and research. The complete draft plan and additional information are available on DEC's website.

DEC recently received an independent proposal advocating for the development of a public trail riding area for motorized vehicles. The proposal seeks to designate and develop over 20,000 acres of State-owned public lands for ATV and motorcycle use, including six State Forests within the Treaty Line Unit, two additional State Forests outside the unit, and the Oquaga Creek State Park. Oquaga Creek State Park is administered by the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The proposal was received after the creation of the draft UMP and is not currently included in the draft.

A public comment hearing will be held on Wednesday, July 31, at 6:30 p.m. in the Sidney Junior/Senior High School Auditorium, 95 West Main Street, Sidney, NY 13838. The hearing will begin with a brief presentation, followed by an open house forum to discuss ideas and issues directly with DEC staff. There will also be a formal opportunity to provide verbal comments. Verbal and written comments will be considered equally during the UMP process and meeting attendance is not required to submit input on the plan.

DEC will open an extended comment period on the draft UMP that lasts until Nov. 1, 2019. DEC will review all collected comments and provide written responses in the final UMP. To submit written comments, send an email with the subject line "Treaty Line Unit" to R7.UMP@dec.ny.gov, by U.S. Mail, or phone to: Jason Schoellig, Senior Forester, NYS DEC, 2715 State Route 80, Sherburne, NY 13460, (607) 674-4017 ext. 607; or Nathan Funk, Senior Forester, NYS DEC, 65561 State Route 10, Stamford, NY 12167, (607) 652-3694.

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