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For Release: Thursday, October 24, 2013

DEC Releases Draft Washington County State Forests Management Plan for Public Review and Comment

Public Meeting Scheduled for November 6th in Cambridge; Comments Will Be Accepted Until December 6th

A draft plan for management of 4,476 acres of State land, five State Forests and one Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Washington County is available for public review and comment, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today.

The draft plan, called the Draft Northern Piedmont Unit Management Plan (Draft UMP), proposes management activities for the following State land units: 446-acre Carter's Pond Wildlife Management Area, in the Town of Greenwich; 1,724-acre Mt. Tom State Forest and 801-acre Chestnut Woods State Forest, both in the Town of White Creek; 515-acre Eldridge Swamp State Forest and 535-acre Batten Kill State Forest, both in the Town of Jackson; and 456-acre Goose Egg Mountain State Forest in the Towns of Jackson and White Creek.

"This draft UMP promotes outdoor recreation, connects communities to New York's magnificent outdoor resources, and would also ensure the productive use and preservation of working forests," Commissioner Martens said. "The plan advances Governor Cuomo's commitment to creating additional outdoor recreational opportunities and protecting and enhancing our state's natural resources, which will benefit the local and regional economy."

A public meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 6, at Cambridge High School, on Route 22, just south of the traffic light on Main Street in the Town of Cambridge. The meeting will provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about the proposed management actions in the Draft UMP and to provide comment on the proposals. Directions can be obtained by calling Cambridge High School at 518-677-8527. The meeting facility is wheelchair accessible. Please provide any requests for specific accommodations to 518-897-1291 at least two weeks in advance. DEC will accept comments on the draft UMP until December 6, 2013.

The Draft UMP proposes a number of management actions, including:

  • Providing better public access to the lands by constructing or improving parking lots, specifically:
    • Constructing a 2-3 car parking lot at the south end of Chestnut Woods State Forest;
    • Constructing a 2-3 car parking lot at Goose Egg State Forest;
    • Paving, hardening or otherwise improving other parking lots; and
    • Constructing parking areas, trails and other infrastructure to improve access for people with disabilities
  • Providing improved and additional public use and recreation opportunities:
    • Constructing a multiple-use trail in Mt. Tom State Forest;
    • Seeking volunteer groups or individuals to maintain trails and other infrastructure; and
    • Providing more information on recreational opportunities through maps, brochures, signs and trail kiosks.
  • Harvesting timber to provide a sustainable yield of forest products and managing vegetation to maintain various stages of forest succession and promote healthy ecosystems.
  • Maintaining and enhancing habitat for fish and wildlife species to improve recreational opportunities for hunting, fishing, trapping, wildlife viewing and other wildlife related activities.
  • Improving aquatic, wetland and riparian habitats to enhance fish and wildlife populations and to improve natural flood management and protection.

The Draft UMP is available for review at the DEC headquarters in Albany, DEC Region 5 headquarters in Ray Brook and the DEC Region 5 office in Warrensburg. CDs and paper copies of the plan are also available for review at the Village of Cambridge Clerk, Town of Jackson Clerk and Town of Greenwich Clerk. The Draft Northern Piedmont UMP can also be viewed and downloaded from the DEC website.

Comments may be provided in writing to Senior Forester Benjamin Thomas, NYSDEC, 232 Golf Course Road, Warrrensburg, NY 12885 or by email.

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    NYSDEC Region 5
    1115 State Route 86
    P.O. Box 296
    Ray Brook, NY 12977
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