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For Release: Wednesday, November 20, 2013

DEC Invites The Public To Comment On The Draft Tug Hill North Unit Management Plan

Public Meeting to Be Held December 4 2013, at the Copenhagen Central School

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will hold a public meeting on the draft Tug Hill North Unit Management Plan (UMP) Wednesday, December 4, 2013, the agency announced today. Public comments on the draft plan will be accepted at the meeting. Comments must be submitted by December 20, 2013.

The meeting will be held in the Copenhagen Central School cafeteria, 3020 Mechanic Street, Copenhagen, NY 13626 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The first half hour will be an open house format to allow people to informally discuss the draft plan with DEC staff. At 7 p.m., there will be a brief presentation of the draft plan highlights. Following the presentation, the public will have an opportunity to comment on the plan.

The Tug Hill North Management Area is comprised of eight state forests and one wildlife management area. The unit is a patchwork of state-owned parcels located west of Lowville, South of Copenhagen and east of Adams in Lewis and Jefferson counties.

The following list of state lands are all included in this UMP:

  • Sears Pond SF- 5,708 acres
  • Grant Powell Memorial SF - 8,137 acres
  • Cobb Creek SF - 2,203 acres
  • Lookout SF - 3,996 acres
  • Granger SF - 737 acres
  • Pinckney SF - 2,166 acres
  • Tug Hill SF - 12,306
  • Gould's Corners SF - 2,043 acres
  • Tug Hill Wildlife Management Area - 5,112 acres

During development of the draft plan, DEC encouraged 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 specific goals, objectives and management actions. The goals of the unit are to provide: a healthy, sustainable and biologically diverse forest; opportunities for forest-based recreation; economic benefits to local communities and residents and sound stewardship.

The Tug Hill North Unit Management Plan creates a detailed inventory and management strategy for the natural resources present on the Unit. The Unit is home to seven beautiful gulfs that have been carved over thousands of years and provide breathtaking views. The forests of the unit help to buffer and protect the 9,470 acres of classified and unclassified wetlands and 180 miles of classified and unclassified streams. Hunters, trappers and anglers enjoy the many acres of suitable habitat to pursue their interests. Recreationists can use the developed multi-use trails; 54.6 miles of foot trails, 48.2 miles of cross country ski trails, 39.6 miles of bike trails, 18.1 miles of equestrian trails and 120.6 miles of snowmobile trails. While no major changes are proposed for the management of these resources, the plan addresses them to ensure they are maintained at least at their current level.

The UMP has identified a few additional opportunities on the Unit that may enhance the resources and the public's access to these state forests.

  • Landscape forest management that will hold dense forest canopy cover in the core of the Unit while allowing more early successional habitat management in the northern portion of the Unit.
  • Create an additional snowmobile trail that will take the trail off of Nichols Road and move it onto state forest.
  • Install a gate on the Adams Road off Pitcher Road in Sears Pond State Forest to only allow motorized access to the right-of-way holder and the DEC for administrative purposes. Foot traffic access for the public will still be allowed.
  • Develop trails into each of the scenic gulfs on the Unit.
  • Look for opportunities to develop a mountain bike trail system on Pinckney State Forest or another suitable location.

The UMP contains proposed maintenance projects for roads, boundary lines and other facilities. A detailed schedule of other activities such as timber harvest schedules, mowing, survey requests and facilities inventories are also included in the plan.

The draft plan is available on the DEC's Tug Hill North Unit webpage. Copies of the plan on compact disk (CD) are also available for public review at the following locations:
DEC Region 6 office at 317 Washington Street, Watertown (315-785-2263),
or DEC Lowville Sub-office at 7327 State Hwy 812, Lowville, New York 13367.

Those unable to attend the meeting are invited to submit comments to the DEC by mail to: Andrea Mercurio at DEC 7327 State Hwy 812, Lowville, New York 13367 or e-mail r6ump@gw.dec.state.ny.us . Written comments will be accepted until December 20, 2013.

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