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Grass River Conservation Easement

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In 2007, the State of New York purchased a conservation easement on 51,950 acres owned by Rayonier TRS North Timber LLC. The easement is located in the Towns of Clare, Clifton, and Colton in St. Lawrence County. Conservation easement terms limit future development, require sustainable forestry practices, and provide specific public recreation opportunities. The lands subject to a conservation easement are now owned by Molpus Woodlands Group, LLC.

Location and Access

The Grass River Conservation Easement is located in the Towns of Clare, Clifton, and Colton in St. Lawrence County. The easement can be accessed by the public from the Dean Road, located off of County Route 27, between and the Towns of Clare and Degrasse. The Middle Branch of the Grass River crosses Route 27 at this intersection. A smaller acreage of the Grass River Conservation Easement is also located north of Silver Lake, in the Town of Clifton.

These conservation easement lands can be located on the Albert Marsh, Brother Ponds, Cranberry Lake, Degrasse, Stark, Tooley Pond, and West Pierrepont 7.5"x15" USGS topographic maps. Maps are available in many book and outdoor stores or directly from USGS.

Public Recreation

  1. All public access and recreation on this property is subject to the pending Recreation Management Plan.
  2. Please respect camp leases on the property.
  3. Motor Vehicles may only be driven on designated roads. Roads may be closed as necessary.
  4. Snowmobiles may only be driven on designated trails. Trails may be closed as necessary.
  5. Public ATV use on the property is prohibited.
  6. No public hunting is permitted on the property.
  7. Public fishing and trapping are allowed from December 16 to September 30 each year, subject to established seasons, rules and regulations.
  8. Non-motorized recreation is allowed on the property from December 16 to September 30 each year.


The lands encumbered by the Grass River Conservation Easement have been owned in the past, by a series of timber management companies. Starting in the first half of the 20th Century, owners have included Emporium and Draper Lumber Companies, Hancock Timber Resources Group, GMO Renewable Resources, Rayonier Forest Resources and now Molpus Woodlands Group, LLC. A railroad and tram system was built to facilitate timber management, the bed of which serves as the main haul road for the property today. In addition to forest management activities, the property has historically been and continues to be used for hunting camp leases.

Information Requests and Suggestions

If you would like additional information on the Grass River Conservation Easement or on any other lands administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation, please consult the DEC Supervising Forester at the office below. Normal office hours are Monday - Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm.

In case of an emergency (24 hours/day): Forest Fire, Search and Rescue - (518) 891-0235

The Department of Environmental Conservation welcomes suggestions on how to improve the management of this area. Please send your suggestions to:

Supervising Forester
Lands and Forests
6739 US Hwy 11
Potsdam, NY 13676
(315) 265-3090

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