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Muller Hill Unit Management Plan

The Muller Hill Unit Management Plan (UMP) advances sustainable forestry to benefit current and future generations of New Yorkers. It is based on the idea that healthy and productive forests are essential for the long term cultural, environmental and economic health of rural communities. The 6,981 acre Unit is located within the Towns of Georgetown and DeRuyter in Madison County; Lincklaen and Otselic in Chenango County and Cuyler in Cortland County. It includes three state forests: Muller Hill, Three Springs and Mariposa State Forests.

The landscape of the Unit is post-agricultural in character, dominated by second growth forest, transitional fields and a network of tributary streams that form the headwaters of the larger Otselic and Tioughnioga watersheds. The 2000 census reported a population of 4,931 or 28 people per square mile within the five towns. Ninety-five percent of the labor force, or 1,646 people, are employed with 25% working in education, health care and social services, 18% in manufacturing, 11% in construction and 8% in farming and forestry. Median per capita income is $14,500 and 13% of the population lives below the federal poverty level. Camp Georgetown, DeRuyter and Otselic Valley School Districts, and the B.F. Gladding Co., a South Otselic-based manufacturer of fishing line, are important local employers.

The Plan defines goals and objectives for conserving biodiversity, enhancing public use and recreation, and strengthening community-based forestry. To conserve biodiversity, management actions will foster the development of diverse ecological conditions, maintain landscape connectivity and protect 1,760 acres of wetlands, riparian zones, natural areas and steep slopes where timber harvesting, road construction and other developments are restricted. Timber will be harvested on approximately 228 acres each year over the next 20 years. Requests to lease for exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas will be considered in an open public process, and restrictions will be established to limit environmental impacts.

Public use and recreation opportunities will be improved to provide safe, enjoyable and stimulating outdoor experiences. A total of 11.4 miles of hiking trails will be designated as part of the larger Madison County Link Trail and Finger Lakes Trail and maintained by two local trail groups through Adopt-A-Natural Resource Agreements (AANRA). A total of 8.2 miles of snowmobile trails will be designated and maintained by three local clubs through AANRAs. A new 7.4 mile horse trail is proposed, and local equestrians will be recruited to maintain the trail through an AANRA. To ensure that people with disabilities have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of State forests, a 1.1 mile motorized access trail will be designated. Qualified individuals may obtain a Temporary Revocable Permit (TRP) to use all terrain vehicles (ATVs) on the designated trail.

The Muller Hill Interpretive Site will be constructed to raise awareness about local natural and cultural history and to improve access to Muller Pond. A 0.50 mile trail accessible to people with disabilities will be constructed to the Pond. The former Muller Mansion site will be reclaimed to establish conditions that references its history. Interpretive signage will be installed, and a platform will be constructed at the Pond to improve fishing and boating access and provide opportunities for wildlife viewing. A total of 11 new parking areas will be constructed to support public use on the Unit. Each area will accommodate three vehicles with the exception of the Muller Hill Interpretive Site which will accommodate six vehicles.

Community-based forestry is a participatory approach to forest management that seeks to strengthen the relationship between local people and local forest resources. The Plan proposes to advance community based forestry through public programs, increased participation in DEC's Adopt-A-Natural Resource and Cooperative Forest Management programs, and by maintaining a dialogue with local governments about State Forest management.

Muller Hill Unit Management Plan- Final- Part 1 (PDF) (108 pages, 4.3 mB)

Muller Hill Unit Management Plan- Final- Part 2 (PDF) (2 pages, 3.9 mB)

Muller Hill Unit Management Plan- Final- Part 3 (PDF) (2 pages, 4.0 mB)

Muller Hill Unit Management Plan-Final-Part 4 (PDF) (1 page, 2.0 mB)

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