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For Release: Friday, July 14, 2023

DEC Seeks Public Comment on Draft Adirondack Foothills Unit Management Plan

Proposed Plan Advances Recreational Opportunities While Protecting Natural Resources on State Lands in Oneida and Herkimer Counties

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is encouraging public comment on the draft Adirondack Foothills Unit Management Plan (UMP). The draft UMP includes six State forests -- Hogsback, Popple Pond, Woodhull, Punkeyville, Black Creek, and Hinckley -- as well as 24 separate parcels of detached Forest Preserve in Oneida and Herkimer counties and will guide management of these properties over the next 10 years. DEC is accepting comments on the draft plan until Sept. 15, 2023.

The draft Adirondack Foothills UMP proposes:

  • Designating approximately one mile of existing snowmobile trail, and 0.8 mile of an existing State Forest access road as connector trails for ATVs on Popple Pond State Forest. These would connect to existing ATV trail systems on Oneida County lands;
  • Formally designating approximately 10 miles of mountain biking trails on Hinckley State Forest;
  • Establishing a split rail fence and warning signs around the existing mine shafts on Forest Preserve detached parcels 22 and 26, site of the former Salisbury Steel and Iron Company, constructing a five-car parking area on Switzer Road for visitors to the site, and installing an interpretive kiosk at this parking area;
  • Relocating a snowmobile trail off River Road in the village of Forestport onto adjacent Punkeyville State Forest;
  • Formally designating a haul road on Popple Pond State Forest as a Motorized Access Route for Persons with Disabilities; and
  • Investigating whether there is an entity interested in constructing and maintaining a picnic area at the former Trout Farm on Punkeyville State Forest through the DEC's Volunteer Stewardship Program.

The draft Adirondack Foothills UMP and a presentation on the draft plan are available on DEC's website. Copies of the draft plan are also available in electronic format on compact disc and may be requested by calling (315) 866-6330. DEC will accept public comments on these documents through Sept. 15, 2023. Submit comments through mail to Herkimer DEC Sub-Office, 225 North Main St., Herkimer, NY 13350, Attention: Scott Healy; or by email to

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