For Release: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Statement on Hemlock-Canadice State Forest
Statement from Emily deSantis, Director of Public Information:
The State purchased the Hemlock-Canadice State Forest to protect the City of Rochester's drinking water and to preserve and protect the land from development. The draft SGEIS and regulations would not allow high-volume hydraulic fracturing surface drilling on state lands and it is unlikely any other drilling would occur on the lands in Hemlock-Canadice State Forest given its many unique characteristics. Based on these factors, the state has no intention of allowing any sort of drilling in the Hemlock-Canadice State Forest.
The State has a clear and well established process for evaluating and reaching decisions about all activities on state land, including leasing and drilling operations. The UMP process, to be fair to all interested members of the public, typically waits to make definitive statements about planned uses of a state forest until all comments on the draft plan are received, evaluated and responded to.
DEC is required to follow a process to determine which lands could be up for lease nomination that includes evaluating the geology and topography of the area. The Hemlock-Canadice State Forest includes steep slopes, the lakes that serve as the City's water supply, state and federally regulated wetlands and recreation opportunities. In addition, in some locations around the lakes, state lands do not extend beyond a reasonable setback from the shore, disqualifying those areas from drilling activity