DEC to Prepare a Management Plan on Six State Forests in Northern Oneida and Herkimer Counties - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

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For Release: Wednesday, May 21, 2014

DEC to Prepare a Management Plan on Six State Forests in Northern Oneida and Herkimer Counties

Open House Scheduled to Gather Public Input on Adirondack Foothills Management Unit; Public Comment Period Runs Through June 30

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is preparing a unit management plan (UMP) which will include six state forests, 21 detached parcels of Forest Preserve and one Office of General Services (OGS) parcel located close to but outside the southwest boundary of the Adirondack Park in northern Oneida and Herkimer counties. The public is invited to submit comments for a draft Adirondack Foothills UMP that will guide management of these unique state lands well into the future.

"This UMP will focus on developing recreational access to forest lands, increasing public awareness of outdoor opportunities in this area just outside the Adirondack Park, and ensuring sustainable forest management," said DEC Regional Director Judy Drabicki. "These state lands are widely used for hunting and fishing, hiking and we are looking for input from people who use these areas for ideas where additional parking may be needed and perhaps new trails or significant habitat areas to protect."

The state forests included in the unit are Hogsback, Popple Pond, Punkeyville, and Woodhull in Oneida County and Black Creek and Hinckley in Herkimer County. These state forest lands total 7,252 acres. The Detached Forest Preserve Parcels total 2,025 acres and the OGS parcel is 25 acres in size. The Adirondack Foothills Management Unit lands are located in the Oneida County towns of Boonville and Forestport and Herkimer County towns of Norway, Russia and Salisbury.

DEC is holding an open house to discuss future management of state lands within the Adirondack Foothills Unit scheduled on Tuesday, June 3 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. in the Remsen High School cafeteria, 9733 Main St, Remsen.

During the first half hour of the session, the public will have the opportunity to meet individually with DEC staff in an informal setting. This will be followed by a presentation about the unit and conclude with a chance to make oral comments in front of the group regarding the management of this unit.

The purpose of the meetings is to provide information about the unit, discuss its history, ecology and current uses, such as forest product sales and recreational use, and to exchange ideas about long-term forest management. DEC is seeking the public's input in helping establish a long-range vision and goals for management of these lands.

Public input gathered at the open house, along with input received by mail and email, data collected during forest inventories and other sources of data and information will be used to develop the draft Adirondack Foothills UMP. The draft UMP will be available this fall for public review and comment and another public meeting will be scheduled. 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.

Any person or group who would like to mail input or comments on the future management of this unit can contact Senior Forester Mary Kay Allen at NYSDEC, 225 North Main Street, Herkimer, NY, 13350, or send an e-mail to Region 6 UMP mail box. For additional information call (315) 866-6330. A web page on the unit can be seen at Public comments must be received June 30 to be incorporated into the draft UMP.

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