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For Release: Wednesday, November 6, 2013

DEC Release Draft Shawangunk Ridge Unit Management Plan for Public Review and Comment

Public Meeting Scheduled for November 14th in Ellenville

The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host a public meeting on Thursday, November 14th to discuss the draft Shawangunk Ridge Unit Management Plan (UMP). Public comments on the proposed plan are being accepted until December 15, 2013.

The public meeting will be held at the Ellenville Public Library, 40 Center Street, Ellenville, NY from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The first half hour will be an open house format to provide time for the public to informally discuss the draft plan with DEC Lands and Forest staff. At 7 p.m., DEC staff will briefly present highlights of the draft plan. Following the presentation, the public will have an opportunity to comment on the plan.

"The draft UMP focuses on developing recreational access to forest lands, increasing public awareness of outdoor opportunities on the Shawangunk Ridge, and ensuring sustainable forest management," said DEC Regional Director Martin Brand. "Under the UMP, DEC would manage these state forest lands to promote a healthy ecosystem, enhance landscape biodiversity, protect soil productivity and water quality, and provide additional recreational opportunities in the region."

Governor Andrew Cuomo is committed to expanding recreation opportunities throughout the state, which will attract more visitors and boost regional businesses that benefit from people utilizing outdoor recreation facilities."

The Shawangunk Ridge UMP consists of 10 different DEC properties totaling more than 6,000 acres along the Shawangunk Ridge in Ulster, Sullivan and Orange counties. This UMP addresses the use, history, inventory of resources, budget, and management actions on each of the properties. The properties include the Huckleberry Ridge, Graham Mountain, Wurtsboro Ridge, Roosa Gap and Shawangunk Ridge State Forests, Witch's Hole Multiple Use Area, Shawangunk Multiple Use Area and three detached parcels of Forest Preserve lands. The draft plan includes increased public access with the proposed construction of 17 new parking areas capable of holding 91 vehicles, 16 facility identification signs, and 12 kiosks. Currently, the properties include two parking lots, two facility identification signs and one kiosk.

Those unable to attend the meeting are invited to submit comments to the DEC at the following address: NYSDEC, Division of Lands and Forests, Attn: Matt Paul, 21 South Putt Corners Road or by E-mail. Written comments will be accepted until December 15, 2013.

Additional Information

The draft Shawangunk Ridge UMP was developed in accordance with DEC's Strategic Plan for State Forest Management, which can be found on the DEC website.

The draft Shawangunk Ridge UMP is available on the DEC's website. Hard copies of the plan are also available for public review at the following locations:

Ellenville Public Library, 40 Center Street, Ellenville, NY
Port Jervis Public Library, 138 Pike Street, Port Jervis, NY
New Paltz Public Library, 93 Main Street, New Paltz, NY
NYSDEC Region 3 Office, 21 S. Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, NY

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