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Rules for Using State Forests and Forest Preserve

Anyone enjoying State Forests (including Reforestation Areas, Multiple Use Areas, and Unique Areas) or Forest Preserve lands must observe the following rules which protect both the people and the forest environment, and are based on regulations 6 NYCRR Parts 190-199 (leaves DEC website.)

These types of lands are managed by DEC's Division of Lands and Forests. For more information about these rules, contact the Division of Lands and Forests office nearest to your destination.

  • Use local or heat-treated firewood. A firewood regulation (leaves DEC website) is in place to protect our forests by preventing the spread of invasive pests and diseases.
  • Groups of more than 20 people and certain activities such as weddings, filmmaking, research, etc., are required to get a Temporary Revocable Permit (TRP) from the DEC land manager. Please allow a few days for a TRP to be reviewed and approved after submission.
  • Camping for more than three consecutive nights or in a group of ten or more requires a permit from a DEC Forest Ranger.
  • Camping is prohibited within 150 feet of any road, trail, or body of water except at camping areas designated by DEC.
  • No permanent structures should be established, including tree stands or blinds.
  • Unauthorized cutting of live trees or new trail building is prohibited.
  • Do not litter. Carry out what you carry in. Burying or burning trash is prohibited.
  • If you build a fire, follow fire safety guidelines to prevent risk of wildfires. Use wood from dead and downed trees only. Never leave a fire unattended. All fires must be extinguished with water, and the coals must be raked until cool to the touch.
  • Human waste should be buried in a shallow hole 4-6 inches deep, and at least 150 feet from water, trails, and campsites. Cover with leaf litter and dirt.
  • Motorized vehicles are permitted only on access roads posted as open to motor vehicles. Off road use of motorized vehicles is prohibited, except where specifically permitted by signs, posted notice or by DEC permit.

For rules regarding visits to Wildlife Management Areas, Public Fishing Rights, and certain boat launch and fishing access sites, see Fish and Wildlife regulations (leaves DEC website.)

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  • Lands & Forests
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233
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