The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today encouraged the public to comment on the draft update to the Newfield Unit Management Plan (UMP). The updated UMP that includes two State forests in Tompkins and Schuyler counties will guide management of these properties over the next 10 years. DEC is accepting comments on the draft plan until Sunday, June 5.
Region 7 Director Matthew Marko said, “In addition to exemplifying sustainably managed working forests, these State lands provide year-round public access opportunities for visitors of all abilities, enhance critical fish and wildlife habitat in the greater Ithaca area, and conserve steep gorges to protect water quality in New York’s magnificent Southern Tier.”
Highlights of the plan include:
- maintaining a newly established 0.8-mile trail offering motorized access for visitors with mobility impairments;
- partnering with a snowmobile club to provide 1.4 miles of snowmobile trails;
- installing forest identification signs; and
- implementing sustainable practices for forest management to maintain forest health and improve carbon sequestration.
The draft plan and additional information are available on DEC’s website.
The draft Newfield UMP proposes to:
- address overall management and maintenance activities on these State lands;
- maintain healthy, sustainable, and biologically diverse ecosystems for fish and wildlife; and
- provide continued forest product sales and a variety of opportunities for recreational use, environmental education, and research.
State lands covered by the draft plan offer many recreational opportunities including hiking, camping, snowmobiling, bird watching, boating, fishing, hunting, trapping, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and all-terrain vehicle access by permit for visitors with mobility impairments.
DEC is accepting comments until June 5, 2022, via email with the subject line “Newfield Unit” to [email protected], and by U.S. Mail to: Timothy Day, Forester, NYSDEC, 1285 Fisher Ave., Cortland, NY 13045.
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