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For Release: Friday, February 22, 2013

DEC Invites the Public to Comment on the Twin Sheds Unit Management Plan

A public meeting to accept comments on the draft Twin Sheds Unit Management Plan (UMP) will be held Thursday, March 7, in the Forum Room at the Main Campus Building at Tompkins-Cortland Community College, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. Public comments are being accepted until April 7.

To help accommodate the public, two separate public sessions will be held; the first will be from 3:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. and the second will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. The first half our of each session will be an open house format which provides time for the public to informally discuss the draft plan with DEC Lands and Forest staff. Beginning at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. respectively, DEC staff will briefly present highlights of the draft plan. Following the
presentation, the public will have an opportunity to comment on the plan.

Located in New York's Central-Southern Tier region, the Twin Sheds Unit includes Hammond Hill and Yellow Barn State Forests and covers more than 5,000 acres of land in Tompkins County.

"Unit management plans provide a framework to address the past, present and future management of forest ecosystems, wildlife habitat and recreational trails," DEC Regional Director Ken Lynch said. "Unit management plans also provide strategies to conserve, protect and enhance the many values, products and ecosystem-based services that State Forests provide for the public."

During development of the draft plan, DEC invited public participation and assessed the natural, physical, social and recreational resources of the unit's state forests. Information obtained and reviewed through the planning process helped build a solid foundation to support goals, objectives and management actions. The goals of the unit are to provide: a healthy, sustainable and biologically diverse forest; forest-based recreational opportunities; economic benefits to local communities and to the State of New York; and sound stewardship.

The two State Forests covered by the Twin Sheds unit offer many recreational opportunities including: hiking, mountain biking, camping, bird watching, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, trapping, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and all terrain vehicle (ATV) access for people with mobility impairments. New recreation-related facilities proposed in the plan include the following.

On the Hammond Hill State Forest

  • Seek to acquire, on a voluntary basis, a conservation easement across private land to
    maintain and improve access from the town parking lot on Hammond Hill Road.
  • Collaborate with the Finger Lakes Trust, Cayuga Trails Club and other DEC Adopt-Antral-
    Resource (AANR) partners to build a one-mile pedestrian connector trail that
    provides access to Six Mile Creek from the town of Dryden public parking lot on
    Hammond Hill Road.
  • Continue to collaborate with the Friends of Hammond Hill to inspect and maintain the
    multiple-use trail network, clear brush and deadfall and maintain trail markers.
  • Build up to 20 vernal pools 300 to 3,000 square feet in size.
  • Design, develop and install a two or three-panel kiosk with input from AANR partners.
  • Build a new two-car parking lot for the motorized access program for people with
    disabilities trail off of Star Stanton Hill road.
  • Build and install three heavy duty gates to help restrict ATV and 4 x 4 traffic.
  • Grade, smooth, resurface or reroute 2,200 feet of recreational trail.

On the Yellow Barn State Forest

  • Collaborate with the Finger Lakes Land Trust and other conservation partners to establish
    a connector trail from the Hammond Hill State Forest to the Yellow Barn State Forest.


The draft plan is available on the DEC's website . Copies of the plan on compact disk (CD) are also available for public review at the following

  • DEC Region 7 Sub-office, 1285 Fisher Ave., Cortland (607.753.3095 ext. 217)
  • DEC Region 7 Headquarters, 615 Erie Blvd. West, Syracuse (315.426.7400)
  • Caroline Community Library, 2668 Slaterville Road., Slaterville Springs (607.539.6400
    ext. 5)
  • Southworth Library, 24 West Main St., Dryden, NY 13053 (607.844.4782)
  • Tompkins County Planning Department, 121 East Court St., Ithaca (607.274.5560)
  • Tompkins County Public Library, 101 East Green St., Ithaca (607.272.4557)
  • Town of Caroline, Town Hall, 2668 Slaterville Rd., Slaterville Springs (607.539.6400)
  • Town of Dryden, Town Hall, 93 East Main St., Dryden (607.844.8888)

In the event of inclement weather, the meeting will be held at the same location and time on Thursday, March 14. Directions to Tompkins-Cortland Community College are available .

Those unable to attend the meeting are invited to submit comments to the DEC by mail to: NYSDEC, Division of Lands and Forests, Attn: John Clancy, 1285 Fisher Avenue, Cortland, New York, 13045-1090 or alternatively by e-mail . Written comments will be accepted until April 7.

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