For Release: Thursday, February 21, 2013
DEC Seeks Public Input on Two Draft Unit Management Plans
Public Meeting Scheduled on March 11, 2013 in Truxton, Cortland County
Public comments are being accepted on two draft unit management plans (UMPs), Hill and Hollow and Taylor Valley, and a public meeting will be held on Monday, March 11 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Homer Central School District's Hartnett Elementary School Gymnasium, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. The school is located on Academy Street in Truxton, New York.
"DEC recognizes the importance of the public participating in the UMP process and is asking for comments and ideas on the draft plan," DEC Regional Director Ken Lynch said. "Community-based forestry is a participatory approach to forest management that seeks to strengthen the relationship between local residents and nearby forest resources. The Draft Plan proposes to advance community-based forestry through public programs, increased participation in DEC's Adopt-A-Natural Resource program and maintaining a dialogue with local governments about State Forest management."
The UMPs cover 17,613 acres on seven state forests, one unique area and one multiple use area in Cortland and Onondaga counties. The Hill and Hollow UMP (7,346 acres) consist of Morgan Hill State Forest, Kettlebail State Forest and Labrador Hollow Unique Area. The Taylor Valley UMP (10,267 acres) includes: Taylor Valley State Forest, Hoxie Gorge State Forest, Baker School House State Forest, Donahue Woods State Forest, Gee Brook State Forest and Papish Pond Multiple-Use Area.
The Draft UMPs have been developed to address management activities on these state forests. It is DEC's policy to manage State lands for multiple benefits to serve the people of New York State. The proposed UMPs will help maintain healthy, sustainable and biologically diverse ecosystems for fish and wildlife while providing continued opportunities for forest product sales, recreational use, environmental education and research.
The State lands covered by the proposed plans currently offer many recreational opportunities including: hiking, hang gliding, camping, picnicking, nature observation, boating, fishing, hunting, trapping, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and all terrain
vehicle (ATV) access for people with mobility impairments. New or major changes to existing recreational facilities proposed in the plans include:
Hill and Hollow UMP
- The construction of 10 to 15 miles of new single track mountain bike trails on Morgan
Hill State Forest.
- The designation of the North Country National Scenic Trail on the unit as foot travel only
(hiking, snowshoeing and skiing).
- The construction of a 1.7 mile ATV trail expansion for people with qualified accessibility
needs on Morgan Hill State Forest.
- The construction of Tinker Falls sustainable trail project.
- The development of three universally designed campsites for people with accessibility
- The designation of six to eight additional campsites on Morgan Hill State Forest.
- The installation of informational kiosks.
Taylor Valley UMP
- The construction of 5.3 miles of new hiking trail on Hoxie Gorge State Forest.
- The designation of the Finger Lakes Trail/North Country National Scenic Trail on the
unit as foot travel only (hiking, snowshoeing and skiing).
- The construction of three parking areas with one each on: Taylor Valley State Forest;
Hoxie Gorge State Forest; and Papish Pond Multiple-Use Area.
- The construction of a 0.5 mile ATV trail loop expansion for people with qualified
accessibility needs on Hoxie Gorge State Forest.
- The construction of a lean-to on Taylor Valley State Forest.
- The designation six drive-up campsites, two of which will be upgraded to provide
camping opportunities for people with disabilities on Taylor Valley State Forest and one
drive-up site on Baker School House State Forest.
- The designation of four walk-in campsites, one at Papish Pond Multiple-Use Area and
three on Gee Brook State Forest.
- The installation of informational kiosks.
The UMPs also contain proposed maintenance projects for roads and boundary lines. A
detailed schedule of other activities such as natural resource inventories, mowing, forest product
sales, and survey requests are included in the UMPs.
The public meeting will begin with an open house format, which will allow the public to meet informally with staff, discuss their concerns and provide written comments. Beginning at 7:00 p.m., there will be a formal presentation by state foresters offering an overview of the two UMPs. This will be followed by an official public comment period beginning at approximately 7:30 p.m. Those unable to attend the meeting may submit comments by mail to: DEC, Division of Lands and Forests, 1285 Fisher Avenue, Cortland, NY 13045.
See the plans online. The plans are also available, for public review, at the following locations:
- DEC Region 7 Headquarters, 615 Erie Blvd. West, Syracuse
- DEC Region 7 Sub-office, 1285 Fisher Ave., Cortland
- Peck Memorial Library, East Main St., Marathon
- Cortland Free Library, 32 Church St., Cortland
- Lamont Memorial Library, 5 East Main St., McGraw
- Kellogg Free Library, 5681 Telephone Rd., Cincinnatus
- DeRuyter Free Library, 735 Utica St., DeRuyter
- Tully Free Library, 12 State St., Tully
Copies are available in digital format on compact discs from the Cortland office and may be requested by calling (607)753-3095 ext. 217. Comments on the plans will be accepted until April 11, 2013.
If Hartnett Elementary School is closed for adverse weather conditions the meeting will take place on Monday, April 8, 2013, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Hartnett Gymnasium. If the weather appears inclement, please check local TV and radio stations or the Homer Central School District's website .