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For Release: Wednesday, January 15, 2020

DEC Issues Final Management Plan for Fulton County State Forests

Plan Advances Recreational Opportunities and Experiences While Protecting Natural Resources

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued the final Unit Management Plan (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 final Unit Management Plan will continue to provide outdoor recreation, social, and economic opportunities by connecting communities to New York's magnificent outdoor resources while ensuring the productive use and preservation of working forests," said Region 5 Director Stegemann. "The plan advances DEC's commitment to managing State Forests for multiple purposes-public recreation, protection of water quality, wildlife habitat, maintenance of forest health and timber production, and for the environmental, social, and economic benefit of the people of New York State."

State Forests on the Fulton County State Forest Unit (FCSFU) will be managed in a sustainable manner by promoting ecosystem health, enhancing landscape biodiversity, and protecting soil productivity and water quality. 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, mountain biking, 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. The new mountain bike trails on Peck Hill State Forest near the County Road 101 trailhead and parking area are becoming a destination for area riders.

Projects included in the 2019 Final Management Plan:

  • The installation of a steel locking gate on the south side of Rockwood State Forest to prohibit public motor vehicle access 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 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.

DEC managed State Forests continue to maintain the mark of sustainable forestry through Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and meet the certification standards of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). DEC is part of a growing number of public, industrial, and private forest land owners throughout the U.S. and the world whose forests are certified as sustainably managed. DEC's State Forests can also be counted as part of a growing number of working forest land in New York that is third-party certified, as well as managed to protect habitat, cultural resources, water, recreation, and economic values, now and for future generations.

The final Unit Management Plan for Fulton County State Forests is available to view and download on DEC's website.

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