DEC seeks input on management of land in Onondaga and Cortland counties |

DEC seeks input on management of land in Onondaga and Cortland counties |

The following is a DEC press release:
Public comments are being accepted on two draft unit management plans (UMPs), Hill and Hollow and Taylor Valley,

The UMPs cover 17,613 acres on seven state forests, one unique area and one multiple-use area in Cortland and Onondaga counties.

The Hill and Hollow UMP (7,346 acres) consist of Morgan Hill State Forest, Kettlebail State Forest and Labrador Hollow Unique Area.   The Taylor Valley UMP (10,267 acres) includes: Taylor Valley State Forest, Hoxie Gorge State Forest, Baker School House State Forest, Donahue Woods State Forest, Gee Brook State Forest and Papish Pond Multiple-Use Area.

The Draft UMPs have been developed to address management activities on these state forests. It is DEC’s policy to manage State lands for multiple benefits to serve the people of New York State. The proposed UMPs will help maintain healthy, sustainable and biologically diverse ecosystems for fish and wildlife while providing continued opportunities for forest product sales, recreational use, environmental education and research.

The State lands covered by the proposed plans currently offer many recreational opportunities including: hiking, hang gliding, camping, picnicking, nature observation, boating, fishing, hunting, trapping, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and all terrain vehicle (ATV) access for people with mobility impairments. New or major changes to existing recreational facilities proposed in the plans include:

Hill and Hollow UMP
• The construction of 10 to 15 miles of new single track mountain bike trails on Morgan Hill State Forest.

• The designation of the North Country National Scenic Trail on the unit as foot travel only (hiking, snowshoeing and skiing).

• The construction of a 1.7 mile ATV trail expansion for people with qualified accessibility needs on Morgan Hill State Forest.

• The construction of Tinker Falls sustainable trail project.

• The development of three universally designed campsites for people with accessibility needs.

• The designation of six to eight additional campsites on Morgan Hill State Forest.

• The installation of informational kiosks.

Taylor Valley UMP

• The construction of 5.3 miles of new hiking trail on Hoxie Gorge State Forest.

• The designation of the Finger Lakes Trail/North Country National Scenic Trail on the unit as foot travel only (hiking, snowshoeing and skiing).

• The construction of three parking areas with one each on: Taylor Valley State Forest; Hoxie Gorge State Forest; and Papish Pond Multiple-Use Area.

• The construction of a 0.5 mile ATV trail loop expansion for people with qualified accessibility needs on Hoxie Gorge State Forest.

• The construction of a lean-to on Taylor Valley State Forest.

• The designation six drive-up campsites, two of which will be upgraded to provide camping opportunities for people with disabilities on Taylor Valley State Forest and one drive-up site on Baker School House State Forest.

• The designation of four walk-in campsites, one at Papish Pond Multiple-Use Area and three on Gee Brook State Forest.

• The installation of informational kiosks.

The UMPs also contain proposed maintenance projects for roads and boundary lines. A detailed schedule of other activities such as natural resource inventories, mowing, forest product sales, and survey requests are included in the UMPs.

Those unable to attend the meeting may submit comments by mail to: DEC, Division of Lands and Forests, 1285 Fisher Avenue, Cortland, NY 13045 or by email to for the Taylor Valley UMP and for the Hill and Hollow UMP.

Copies of the plans are posted on the DEC’s website .. The plans are also available, for public review, at the following locations:

• DEC Region 7 Headquarters, 615 Erie Blvd. West, Syracuse

• DEC Region 7 Sub-office, 1285 Fisher Ave., Cortland

• Peck Memorial Library, East Main St., Marathon

• Cortland Free Library, 32 Church St., Cortland

• Lamont Memorial Library, 5 East Main St., McGraw

• Kellogg Free Library, 5681 Telephone Rd., Cincinnatus

• DeRuyter Free Library, 735 Utica St., DeRuyter

• Tully Free Library, 12 State St., Tully

Copies are available in digital format on compact discs from the Cortland office and may be requested by calling (607)753-3095 ext. 217.

Comments on the plans will be accepted until April 11, 2013.

If Hartnett Elementary School is closed for adverse weather conditions the meeting will take place on Monday, April 8, 2013, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Hartnett Gymnasium.

If the weather appears inclement, please check local TV and radio stations or the Homer Central School District’s website at

Nature Conservancy Report on Pipelines in PA forest lands:

“Given that Bradford County is less forested than Pennsylvania’s Marcellus region as a whole, we anticipate that the statewide percentage of pipelines built in forest
areas will be higher. A conservative estimate would be that 50 percent of all future pipelines will be built in forest areas, or approximately 5,000 miles in the low Marcellus development scenario, 8,250 miles in the medium scenario, and 12,500
miles in the high scenario. Each mile of a 100‐foot right‐of‐way directly disturbs 528,000 square feet or approximately 12 acres and creates an additional 72 acres of new forest edges.

Therefore, we project that statewide forest area cleared from future
pipeline development could be approximately 60,000 acres in the low scenario, 100,000 acres in the medium scenario, and 150,000
acres in the high scenario over the next two decades. In addition to
these direct impacts, new gathering pipelines will create between 360,000 and 900,000 acres of new forest edges that deprive interior forest
species, such as black‐throated blue warblers, salamanders, and many
woodland flowers, of the shade, humidity, and tree canopy protection that only deep forest environments can provide. We were unable to find any comprehensive plans for new transport lines in Pennsylvania. In general, however, we believe that the length of new gathering lines will dwarf mileage of new transport lines, perhaps by an order of magnitude.”

-Kevin Heatley, Hammondsport 9-15-11

3-Kevin Heatley is a senior scientist at Biohabitats, Inc. and tech consultant for Responsible Drilling Alliance in Wiliamspot, Pa. DA is a grassroots, all-volunteer education and advocacy coalition that seeks to educate its members and the public about deep shale gas drilling and all of its ramifications. Kevin Heatley works as a habitat restorer. His presentation draws on the experience in Louisiana where environmental impacts by the gas and oil industry have been severe, and the cost of remediation externalized. A very animated and passionate speaker, Kevin Heatley discussion of our situation in the Northeast builds upon Bill Belitskus’s discussion of the impacts on the Allegheny National Forest and contiguous Allegheny State Forest in New York. He was the third speaker at the public forum “Fracking the Fingerlakes: The Rest of the Story” held in Hammondsport, NY on September 15, 2011.


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