MAYVILLE - A Draft Unit Management Plan (UMP) for 14 state forests located in Chautauqua County is now available for public review, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. The public is invited to submit input on the draft plan that will guide future management of these unique state forest lands in Chautauqua County and provide for healthy, sustainable and biologically diverse forest ecosystems.
The Chautauqua Unit State Forests include approximately 17,199 acres of forest land in the towns of Chautauqua, Sherman, Clymer, Harmony, North Harmony, Busti, Stockton, Charlotte, Cherry Creek, Gerry and Ellington. Fourteen state forest properties are included under 12 forest names in the Unit: Boutwell Hill State Forest, North Harmony State Forest, Mount Pleasant State Forest, Panama State Forest, Chautauqua Gorge State Forest, Stockton State Forest, Brokenstraw State Forest, Harris Hill State Forest, Hatch Creek State Forest, Whalen Memorial State Forest, Hill Higher State Forest and Wellman State Forest.
New horse and bike trails are among the new recreation opportunities proposed in the Draft UMP. The Draft UMP will soon be available for download on DEC's website at www.dec.ny.gov/lands/22556.html. Copies are also available in electronic format on compact disc and may be requested by calling 363-2052.
Public input on the draft UMP is invited at an upcoming open house that will be held in conjunction with the Chautauqua County Greenway Plan Celebration. Information on the Chautauqua County Greenway Plan can be found at www.planningchautauqua.com/?q=content/greenways-plan.The open house will be held Thursday from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Mayville Park, West Lake Road (Route 394) Mayville.
The purpose of the session is to provide information about the Chautauqua State Forests Unit and its history, ecology and current uses including forest product sales and recreational use, and to exchange ideas about long-term forest management.
Public input gathered by mail or email will be used as DEC works to finalize a UMP for the Chautauqua State Forests Unit. Public comments on the Chautauqua Unit Draft UMP can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent to the address below. Public comments must be received by October 15, 2012. Questions or comments regarding the Draft UMP can be addressed to:
Keith Carrow, NYS DEC, Division of Lands and Forests, 178 Point Drive North, Dunkirk 14048. He can also be reached at 363-2052