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For Release: Monday, September 8, 2014

DEC Releases Draft West Mountain State Forest Interim Access Plan for Public Review And Comment

Public Meeting Scheduled for Sept. 10 in Lagrangeville

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host a public meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 10 to discuss the Draft West Mountain State Forest Interim Access Plan (IAP). Public comments on the proposed plan are being accepted until Sept. 30.

The public meeting will be held at the Lagrangeville Town Hall, 249 Duncan Road, Lagrangeville, NY from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The meeting location is accessible for individuals with mobility impairments. Individuals should contact DEC's regional office prior to the meeting date if special accommodations are required.

DEC staff will briefly present highlights of the draft plan and following the presentation, the public will have an opportunity to comment on the plan.

"The Draft IAP focuses on improving public access to West Mountain State Forest, an 830-acre property that DEC acquired by gift in 1999," said DEC Regional Director Martin Brand. "Current public access to this state forest is limited and proposed parking improvements will significantly increase recreational opportunities found on West Mountain State Forest. The proposed changes to interim access plan further Governor Cuomo's efforts to expand recreation opportunities throughout the state, which will attract more visitors and boost regional businesses."

This year's budget includes $6 million in NY Works funding to support creating 50 new land and water access projects to connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors to more than 380,000 acres of existing State and easement lands that have not reached their full potential. These 50 new access projects include building new boat launches, installing new hunting blinds and building new trails and parking areas. In addition, the 2014-15 budget includes $4 million to repair the State's fish hatcheries; and renews and allows expanded use of crossbows for hunting in New York State.

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: Jeff Wiegert, 21 South Putt Corners Road or E-mail us. Written comments will be accepted until October 4, 2014.

The draft West Mountain IAP was developed in accordance with DEC's Strategic Plan for State Forest Management.

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