Draft Unit Management Plan for Taylor Valley

  • I just received notification of a March  public meeting in Truxton to discuss the Draft Unit Management Plan for Taylor Valley.  I think it will be important to flood that meeting with concerned citizens from the area.

    Dear Taylor Valley Unit Management Area Stakeholder,

    A draft Unit Management Plan (UMP) has been developed for the Taylor Valley Unit Management Area, which includes Baker School House, Donahue Woods, Gee Brook, Hoxie Gorge, and Taylor Valley State Forests along with Papish Pond Multiple-Use Area. The UMP process, for this Unit began with a public meeting at the McGraw Central School’s cafeteria in February 2010. This meeting was used to gather input from the public with regards to the future management of the Unit.  Input from this meeting along with a long-range vision, the principles of ecosystem management, and the current use were used to develop management activities in the UMP.

    There is a meeting scheduled to gather feedback from the public on two draft UMPs (Taylor Valley and Hill and Hollow). I look forward to receiving feedback from you at the upcoming meeting. The following announcement contains details about the meeting:

      DEC Seeks Public Feedback on Two Draft Unit Management Plans (UMPs): Hill & Hollow and Taylor Valley

    WHEN: Monday, March 11, 2013, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

    WHERE: Homer Central School District’s Hartnet Elementary School Gymnasium located on Academy Street in Truxton, NY.

    WHAT: To receive public feedback on the Draft Hill & Hollow and Draft Taylor Valley UMPs.  Copies of the plans are posted on the DEC’s website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/4979.html .The plans are also available, for public review, at local libraries and DEC offices. Copies of the UMPs are available on compact discs from the Cortland DEC office and may be requested by calling (607)753-3095 ext. 217.

    The meeting will begin with an open house format, to allow the public to meet informally with staff, discuss their concerns and provide written comments. Beginning at 7 p.m., staff will briefly present highlights of the two UMPs.  Following the presentation, the public will be able to provide verbal comments about the UMPs. Those unable to attend the meeting may submit comments (until April 11, 2013) by mail to: DEC, Division of Lands and Forests, 1285 Fisher Avenue, Cortland, NY  13045 or  by email to hcdedric@gw.dec.state.ny.us  for the Taylor Valley UMP and  to mlzubal@gw.dec.state.ny.us forthe Hill and Hollow UMP.


    WHY: The Draft UMPs have been developed to address management activities on State lands. The Hill & Hollow UMP contains Morgan Hill and Kettlebail State Forests as well as Labrador Hollow Unique Area. The Taylor Valley UMP includes: Taylor Valley, Hoxie Gorge, Baker School House, Donahue Woods and Gee Brook State Forests as well as Papish Pond Multiple-Use Area.

    Henry C. Dedrick Jr.
    Senior Forester, Region 7
    NYS DEC, Division of Lands & Forests
    1285 Fisher Ave.
    Cortland, NY 13045
    Phone: (607)753-3095 ext. 218
    1-800-388-8244 ext. 218
    Fax:      (607)753-8532
    e-mail:   hcdedric@gw.dec.state.ny.us


    The following   action by the DEC  is proposed in  the January  2013 Draft Taylor Valley Unit Management Plan (http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/regions_pdf/tayvy1.pdf ).   Is the DEC anticipating a reversal of the decision not to allow surface activity associated with drilling in our state forests?     The final paragraph of page 60 says the following:


    “This prohibition is subject to change if the Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Statements regarding Well Permit Issuance for Horizontal Drilling and High-Volume Fracturing to Develop the Marcellus Shale and Other Low-Permeability Gas Reservoirs is amended during finalization processes.”

    Here’s a more extended quote from the Draft Unit Management Plan:

    b. Consider future requests for oil and gas leasing using an open public process while protecting natural and recreational resources. Prior to leasing lands in this Unit, an open public process must be followed. This process includes coordination with the Division of Mineral Resources to determine: areas that can be leased with full rights granted (100% surface entry and no special conditions required); areas that may require special environmental and safety conditions; and areas that may be leased with no surface-disturbance/entry conditions (non-drilling clause). The following is a summary of the leasing process of State Forest lands:

    Receive requests to nominate specific lands within the Unit for leasing of mineral rights, from interested parties.

    Conduct tract assessments of nominated properties to determine where lands are able to support or accommodate related surface disturbance associated with oil and gas exploration, development, and extraction. Factors considered during the tract assessment process include the proximity to sensitive resources of the Unit. These resources include, but are not limited to certain management strategies, wetland, riparian zones, steep slopes, recreational trails and areas, unique ecological communities, habitat of rare and endangered species, archeological and cultural sites and scenic vistas and view sheds.

    o Apply a hierarchical approach that classifies areas of each State Forest into four categories as part of a tract assessment to be conducted prior to leasing.

    § Category A ‐ Compatible with well pad, road, and utility development. These areas can be considered the least sensitive to surface disturbance and should be considered first for well pad development to limit the overall impact of development. Examples of Category A areas include open fields, conifer plantations, and even-aged management areas.

    § Category B ‐ Uneven-age Management Areas with one well pad per State Forest. These areas are being managed for species that require large blocks of un-fragmented (diameters of temporary openings in the canopy shall be no larger than 2.5 times the height of surrounding trees) forests.

    § Category C ‐ 250-foot stream and designated recreational trail buffers. Not compatible with well pad development; may be compatible with road and utility development.

    § Category D – Infrastructure Exclusion areas. Not compatible with well pad, road, or utility development. These include: ponds, wetlands, spring seeps, and vernal pools with appropriate 250-foot buffers; slopes greater than 15 percent; archeological and cultural concerns; and areas being managed as Natural Areas.

    o Prohibit surface disturbance associated with high-volume hydraulic fracturing. This prohibition is subject to change if the Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Statements regarding Well Permit Issuance for Horizontal Drilling and High-Volume Fracturing to Develop the Marcellus Shale and Other Low-Permeability Gas Reservoirs is amended during finalization processes.

    Is it a coincidence that there has been heavy logging in the state forest next to my home for the past two summers? Well-pad sized sections have been clear-cut or significantly thinned in Kennedy State Forest, and pipeline-width corridors have been cleared of debris.   It could be coincidence,  but this logging activity was well ahead of scheduled logging in the management plan for Kennedy State Forest  (according to conversations I had with the forester).    The clearing areas are congruent with the Department’s 2008(?) published maps of “Areas compatible with drilling. ”  Now the Draft Unit Management Plan  for Taylor Valley  shows that the DEC is planning for a possible reversal of the prohibition against surface activity associated with hvhf.  Has the DEC planned to allow drilling in the state forests all along  -despite claims to the contrary in the revised SGEIS?


    U.S. Geological Survey: Natural Gas Fracking Is Destroying Pennsylvania Forests – Natural Gas Watch.org.

  • Full Report:  https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.naturalgaswatch.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2012%2F10%2FUSGS-fracking-landuse-report.pdf

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