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For Release: Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Public Comment Period on Draft Management Plan for 14 Chautauqua County State Forests Nears Completion

Public Comment Welcomed Through October 15

Earlier this summer, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released a Draft Unit Management Plan (UMP) for 14 state forests located in Chautauqua County for public review and comment. As the comment period nears completion, DEC continues to welcome public input on the plan and reminds the public that the comment period will conclude on October 15.

"Input received on the draft plan will help to guide future management of these unique state forest lands in Chautauqua County and provide for healthy, sustainable and biologically diverse forest ecosystems," said DEC Regional Director Abby Snyder.

The Chautauqua Unit State Forests include approximately 17,199 acres of forest land in the towns of Chautauqua, Sherman, Clymer, Harmony, North Harmony, Busti, Stockton, Charlotte, Cherry Creek, Gerry and Ellington. Fourteen state forest properties are included under 12 forest names in the Unit: Boutwell Hill State Forest, North Harmony State Forest, Mount Pleasant State Forest, Panama State Forest, Chautauqua Gorge State Forest, Stockton State Forest, Brokenstraw State Forest, Harris Hill State Forest, Hatch Creek State Forest, Whalen Memorial State Forest, Hill Higher State Forest and Wellman State Forest.

New horse and bike trails are among the new recreation opportunities proposed in the Draft UMP. The Draft UMP is available for download on DEC's website. Copies are also available in electronic format on compact disc and may be requested by calling Melissa Milligan at (716) 372-0645.

Public input gathered by mail or email will be used as DEC works to finalize a UMP for the Chautauqua State Forests Unit. Public comments on the Chautauqua Unit Draft UMP can be emailed to r9ump@gw.dec.state.ny.us or sent to the address below. Public comments must be received by October 15, 2012. Questions or comments regarding the Draft UMP can be addressed to:

Keith Carrow
NYS DEC, Division of Lands and Forests
178 Point Drive
North Dunkirk, NY 14048
(716) 363-2052

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