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Strategic Plan for State Forest Management

March 2022 - DEC is no longer accepting public comments on the draft 10-year update to the Strategic Plan for State Forest Management. Comments were accepted from February 2 through March 4, 2022. See below for more details.

The Strategic Plan for State Forest Management (SPSFM) and generic environmental impact statement (GEIS) guide the present and future management decisions of the state's more than 807,000-acre State Forests, Multiple Use Areas, Unique Areas and State Nature and Historical Preserves. Wildlife Management Areas, Forest Preserve, Conservation Easements, and State Parks are therefore, not included in the SPSFM. The SPSFM is intended to be updated about every ten years. This 10-year update focuses on continuing the State's mission of sustainably managing the more than 807,000 acres of the State lands under its stewardship, while also providing safe, inclusive areas for people to recreate outdoors, economic benefits for local communities, and protection for sensitive wildlife and their habitats. Ensuring that our State's forests remain resilient in the face of a changing climate was a major consideration for this update as well.

The plan was originally drafted and signed by Commissioner Martens for final approval on July 15, 2011. The draft 10-year update to the plan had a public comment period that ran from February 2, 2022 through March 4, 2022. We'd like to thank our partners and the public for taking the time to submit comments on the draft update. The next step will be to process all of the submitted comments and draft a public response document which will be attached as an addendum to the final version of the plan. For any questions or comments on the continued management and use of State Forest lands, please feel free to reach out to the Division of Lands and Forests Central Office and/or our Regional Field Staff.

2021 Plan Documents for the 10-year Update

The 2021 10-year update to the SPSFM has been broken into four parts to make accessing the file easier. If a full PDF is required please reach out to BFRM Central Office staff by emailing or calling (518) 402-9428.

Part 1 (PDF, 10.25MB)
Part 2 (PDF, 10.51MB)
Part 3 (PDF, 10.51MB)
Part 4 (PDF, 3.5MB)

Executive Summary (PDF) - This is a brief 5-page narrative summarizing the changes from the 2011 SPSFM to the 2021 10-year update to the SPSFM.

2010-2011 Plan Documents

Cover -- Chapter 1 (PDF)
Chapter 2 -- Chapter 4 (PDF)
Chapters 5 -- 7 and Appendices (PDF)

Executive Summary (PDF)
A brief 11-page overview of the original plan.

SPSFM Additional Resources

The following additional resources have been referenced in the strategic plan and are listed according to Chapter and Section of reference.

Chapter 1 - New York State Forests

Management Planning Overview

Please contact BFRM Central Office staff for any additional UMP resources you may require.

Chapter 2 - Ecosystem Management

Landscape Assessment

TNC Ecoregions - full size map (PDF)
Map of The Nature Conservancy Ecoregions and State Forest ecoregional distribution

Active Forest Management

Forest Matrix Blocks and Connectivity - full size map (PDF)
Map of matrix blocks and "least cost path" LCP corridors showing potential State Forest contributions to habitat connectivity across New York's landscape

Program Policy: Retention on State Forests (PDF)
Policy for retention of forest habitat structure and biodiversity on State Forests during forest management activities

Program Policy: Clearcutting on State Forests (PDF)
Policy for clearcutting or conducting other regeneration cuttings on State Forests

Chapter 3 - Resource Protection

Soil and Water Protection

Rules for Establishment of Special Management Zones on State Forests (PDF)
Establishes the Bureau of Forest Resource Management's buffer guidelines to protect water resources and ecological features

Rutting Guidelines for Timber Harvests and TRPs (PDF)
Guidelines to minimize surface impacts during harvesting and TRP activity

At-Risk Species and Communities

NYNHP prepared a new version of the SGCN habitat associations for the 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) update, and is summarized in the Extent and Condition of Habitats for New York's Species of Greatest Conservation Need.

SWAP Terrestrial Habitats (PDF)
This is the full 89-page report of the NY SWAP habitats.

Chapter 4 - Real Property and Infrastructure


DEC Unpaved Forest Road Handbook (PDF)
Establishes standards for the establishment and maintenance of public forest access roads and haul roads on State Forests

Chapter 5 - Public/Permitted Use

Mineral Resources

Current Oil and Gas Leases on State Forests (PDF)
Listing of current leases by DEC region

Management of Mineral Resources (PDF)
Memorandum of Understanding between Mineral Resources and Lands & Forests, along with collected law and regulations pertaining to minerals management

Guidelines for Seismic Testing on DEC Administered State Land (PDF)
Guidelines for the use of seismic exploration to discover natural gas reserves and optimally site the drill location

What is Carbon Capture and Sequestration? (PDF)
Pamphlet explaining the technology

Chapter 6 - Forest Management and Health

Plantation Management

Program Policy: Plantation Management on State Forests (PDF)
Policy providing guidance and procedures for managing plantations on State Forests