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For Release: Tuesday, January 24, 2017

DEC to Revise the Unit Management Plan for Hammond Pond Wild Forest

Public Meeting Scheduled for February 7 in North Hudson

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is revising the Unit Management Plan (UMP) for more than 45,500 acres of Forest Preserve lands in the Hammond Pond Wild Forest, DEC Region 5 Director Robert Stegemann announced today. The lands are located in the eastern Adirondacks and contained in more than 50 parcels located in the towns of Crown Point, Elizabethtown, Keene, Moriah, North Hudson, Schroon, Ticonderoga and Westport in Essex County. UMPs assess the natural, physical, social and recreational resources of the landscape and provide a solid foundation for the development of long-term land management goals, objectives and actions.

"DEC is seeking public input on how to best manage these lands and provide access for a variety of outdoor recreational activities," said Director Stegemann. "DEC's goal is to protect the natural resources, provide outdoor recreational opportunities for residents and visitors, and ensure the Forest Preserve is an asset to the communities and a benefit to local economies."

A public meeting is being held at the North Hudson Town Hall on Tuesday, February 7, 2017, at 6:00 pm. The meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to meet with DEC staff and share their thoughts, concerns, and suggestions regarding management of lands in the Wild Forest. This will be the first of many opportunities for the public to be involved in the planning process.

The North Hudson Town Hall is located at 3024 US Route 9, approximately one mile from Exit 29 of the Northway (I-87).The facility is wheelchair accessible. Please provide any requests for specific accommodation in advance to DEC at (518) 897-1248.

The majority of the Wild Forest is located between Lake Champlain in the east, State Route 74 in the south, the Northway in the west, and State Route 9N in the north. There are some parcels located between the Northway and US Route 9 and around the communities of Keene and Keene Valley.

DEC completed a UMP for the Wild Forest in 1988. The UMP and two amendments to the UMP - 1993 Bike Trail Amendment and the 2016 State Route 73/State Route 9N Viewing Area Amendment - can be viewed and downloaded at the Hammond Pond Wild Forest - Unit Management Plan webpage on DEC's website. Since the 1988 UMP nearly 5,500 acres have been added to the Wild Forest. The current Adirondack Park Agency classification package proposes adding another 192 acres to the unit.

Natural water features in the Hammond Pond Wild Forest include portions of the Schroon River, Black Brook, Crowfoot Brook, Split Rock Falls, Hammond Pond, and Moose Mountain Pond. The larger peaks include Bloody Mountain, Peaked Hill, Harris Hill, and Baxter Mountain. The existing recreational uses are hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, camping, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and wildlife viewing.

Management issues under consideration by DEC's planning team include protection of the unit's spectacular natural resources and enhancing public recreational access. Upon completion of a natural resource assessment, an analysis of existing and potential uses and a review of public comments, the Hammond Pond Wild Forest planning team will prepare a draft UMP. The public will have the opportunity to review and comment on the draft UMP.

Proposed management actions will be set forth with the knowledge that this State land unit is Forest Preserve, and must be managed in a manner consistent with Article XIV, Section 1 of the New York State Constitution. All other relevant rules, regulations and policies will also be adhered to. The complete draft UMP will be widely distributed for public review and comment and a public meeting will be scheduled to discuss the draft.

Any interested individual or organization wanting to submit comments may contact Forester Corrie O'Dea by mail at NYSDEC, 232 Golf Course Road, Warrensburg NY 12885; by telephone at (518) 623-1275; or by email at

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