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Northern Chenango Unit Management Plan

Unit Management Plans (UMPs) guide DEC's activities for a ten‐year period, although a number of goals and objectives in the plan focus on a much longer time period. The planning unit may consist of one or multiple state forest properties. Each plan addresses specific objectives and actions for public use and ecosystem management.

Public Input

Public input is an important part of the UMP development process and is encouraged by DEC. Comments on the draft Northern Chenango Unit Management Plan (UMP) will be accepted at a public meeting on Thursday, March 2nd at 7:00 pm. The meeting will be hosted by the Friends of Rogers Environmental Education Center located at 2721 State Highway 80, Sherburne, Chenango County. This is an opportunity for the public to become engaged with the future use and management of more than 15,000 acres consisting of seven state forests.

Comments may also be submitted by mail to DEC at: NYSDEC, Division of Lands and Forests, Attn: Andrew Blum, 2715 State Highway 80, Sherburne, New York, 13460 or alternatively by e-mail to: Written comments will be accepted until May 2, 2017.

This draft plan is available for public review at the following locations:

  • DEC Region 7 Sub-office, 2715 Route 80, Sherburne, NY, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Earlville Free Library, 4 North Main St., Earlville, NY
  • Smyrna Public Library, 7 East Main St., Smyrna, NY
  • DeRuyter Free Library, 76 Utica St., DeRuyter, NY
  • South Otselic Town Hall, 133 County Rd. 13, South Otselic, NY

Copies of the draft plan are also available in digital format on compact discs from the Sherburne office and may be requested by calling (607) 674-4036 ext. 613.

The Draft Plan Documents

Draft UMP Background

Located in northwest Chenango County and southwest Madison County, the Northern Chenango Unit includes Beaver Meadow, Otselic, Buck's Brook, Lincklaen, Earlville, Lebanon and Texas Hill State Forests and covers approximately 15,800 acres of land in Chenango and Madison Counties. The draft UMP has been developed to address management activities on these state properties. These sustainably managed forests provide timber resources, wildlife habitat, and a wide range of recreational opportunities for our community including fishing, hunting, trapping, camping, snowmobiling, and hiking.

Building from the first Lebanon Hills and Northern Chenango Highlands Unit Management Plans, approved in 1994 and 2000 respectively, the updated draft plan will continue to support the goals of the original plans with newly developed objectives and management actions. The goals of the unit are to provide: healthy, sustainable and biologically diverse forests; forest-based recreational opportunities; economic benefits; and sound stewardship.

The seven state forests covered by the Northern Chenango Unit offer many recreational opportunities including: snowmobiling, hiking, mountain biking, camping, bird watching, fishing, hunting, trapping, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and limited all-terrain vehicle (ATV) access for people with mobility impairments. Proposed actions relating to existing recreational facilities and opportunities proposed in the plan include the following:

  • Continue partnership with five local groups to provide and maintain over twelve miles of snowmobile trails and nine miles of hiking trails on the Unit.
  • Continue maintenance of an ATV Access Route for people with qualifying disabilities.
  • Install three information kiosks on the forests describing the recreational opportunities of the Unit including trails, access points and rules and regulations for state lands.

The UMP also addresses forestry activities on the Unit. Some of the proposed actions relating to forestry include:

  • Identification of sensitive areas that are designated to protect historic sites, water quality and other specific natural resources.
  • Use of timber harvesting to increase the amount of young forest on the Unit to improve wildlife habitat.
  • Implementation of a variety of actions to enhance fish and wildlife habitat.
  • Proposals for management of the forests using a variety of methods to provide an average timber harvest of 361 acres per year.