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For Release: Wednesday, March 6, 2019

DEC Issues Draft Unit Management Plan for Fulton County State Forests

Public Meeting Scheduled for March 19 in Johnstown

Deadline for Comments is April 5

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking public input regarding the Draft Unit Management Plan (Draft UMP) for 5,850 acres of State Forest lands in Fulton County, DEC Regional Director Bob Stegemann announced today. This management unit includes Lassellsville State Forest, Peck Hill State Forest, and Rockwood State Forest. These lands are located in the towns of Ephratah, Oppenheim, and Johnstown.

"This draft Unit Management Plan promotes outdoor recreation, connects communities to New York's magnificent outdoor resources, and also ensures the productive use and preservation of working forests," said Director Stegemann. "The plan advances DEC's commitment to creating additional outdoor recreational opportunities and protecting and enhancing our state's natural resources, to the benefit of the local and regional economy."

A public meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on March 19, 2019, at the Johnstown Town Hall at 2753 NY-29 in Johnstown, NY. The meeting facility is wheelchair accessible. Attendees are asked to provide any requests for specific accommodations to 518-897-1248 at least one week in advance.

The public meeting will provide an opportunity for people to learn more about the proposed management actions in the Draft UMP and to comment on the proposals. Proposed management actions will be guided by DEC's Strategic Plan for State Forest Management, which focuses on ecosystem health and diversity, economic benefits, recreational opportunities, forest conservation, and sustainable management.

Natural features in the Fulton County Unit include Timmerman Creek, Rockwood Lake, and Willie Wildlife Marsh. The primary recreational uses are hunting, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, camping, fishing, and bird and wildlife watching. The snowmobile trails on Lassellsville and Peck Hill State Forests, as well as the cross-country ski trails on Rockwood State Forest, are used often by the public.

Significant management proposals in the Draft UMP include the following management activities:

  • The installation of a steel locking gate on the south side of Rockwood State Forest to prohibit public motor vehicle access by the general public while allowing individuals with a Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities permit to access a designated route;
  • Additional locking steel gates to prevent illegal motor vehicle access on Peck Hill and Lassellsville State Forests;
  • The installation of a privy in Rockwood State Forest to accommodate campers at the nearby primitive campsites;
  • The designation of a primitive campsite in Peck Hill State Forest near the County Rd 101 trailhead;
  • The construction of single-track mountain bike trails in Peck Hill State Forest through a volunteer stewardship agreement with a local mountain bike club; and
  • Commercial timber harvests.

The Draft UMP is available on the DEC's website to view or download. DEC encourages the public to review the Draft UMP to learn about the proposed management actions.

The deadline for public comments is April 5, 2019. The public may provide comment at the public meeting, mail to Forester Seth Thomas, NYSDEC, P.O. Box 1316, Northville, NY 12134, or email. DEC considers all comments equally no matter how they are received.

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