DEC Invites Public Comment On The Draft Upper Salmon River Unit Management Plan

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will hold a public meeting on October 2 to discuss the draft Upper Salmon River Unit Management Plan and obtain comments and input from the public.

The meeting will be held from 6:30 to 8:45 p.m. at the Salmon River Fish Hatchery, 2133 County Route 22, Altmar.

The hatchery is an accessible site.

Comments on the draft UMP will be accepted through November 2, 2013.

“DEC recognizes the importance of the public participating in the UMP process and is encouraging people to review and comment on the draft plan,” DEC Regional Director Ken Lynch said. “The Upper Salmon River Unit includes a significant acreage of state-owned forest land and offers numerous recreational opportunities for the public. In addition, the open space serves as an economic engine for the region, and is extremely important in the economy of the area.”

Community-based forestry is a participatory approach to forest management that seeks to strengthen the relationship between local residents and nearby forest resources.  The Draft Plan proposed to advance community-based forestry through public programs, increased participation in DEC’s Adopt-A-Natural Resource program and maintaining a dialogue with local governments about State Forest management.

The public is invited to attend the meeting to express their views and ideas about the draft plan.

The meeting will begin with an open house format at 6:30 p.m., which will provide time for the public to informally discuss the draft plan with DEC forest management staff.

Beginning at 7:05 p.m., DEC staff will present highlights of the draft plan. The presentation will be followed by a public comment session from 7:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

The Upper Salmon River Unit is located in New York State’s Tug Hill Region and is comprised of the Salmon River State Forest, O’Hara State Forest, Hall Island State Forest, Battle Hill State Forest, and West Osceola State Forest, as well as Salmon River Open Space Conservation Easement lands on Huckleberry and Burdick Islands within the Salmon River
Reservoir, and the Jackson Road Boat Launch.

Together, these lands total 9,000 acres. The Unit also includes a portion of a planned land acquisition from the National Grid Company totaling approximately 735 acres adjacent to the Salmon River Reservoir. Covering about 15 square miles, these forests are located in Oswego, Oneida and Lewis counties in the towns of Orwell, Redfield, Osceola and Florence.

This draft unit management plan has been developed to address management activities on these forests and easement areas. State Forests are managed for watershed protection, the production of timber and other forest products, recreation, and kindred purposes. The proposed UMP 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 plan currently offer many recreational opportunities including: hiking, camping, picnicking, nature observation, boating, fishing, hunting, trapping, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and all terrain vehicle access for people with mobility impairments.

The following are some of the new or major changes to existing recreational facilities and resource management proposed in the draft UMP:

• Improving Redfield Island Day Use Area, which includes developing a small parking area, improving the picnic facilities, stabilizing the shoreline bank and developing an ADA compliant platform to access boats.
•Establishing a land management buffer on state lands within 300 feet of the Salmon River Reservoir shoreline and implementing special regulations for this area.
•Designating 20 camp sites within the 300 foot visual protection buffer along the Salmon River Reservoir shoreline.
•Installing informational kiosks at access points along the Salmon River Reservoir as well as at two other State forests on the unit.
•Designating one mile of existing access road for use as an accessible trail.
•Improving the habitat for American woodcock (Scolopax minor) on the Unit.
•Increasing early successional habitats on approximately 312 acres over the next 20 years on the Unit.

Copies of draft Upper Salmon River UMP are posted on the DEC’s website at:  and are also available for public review at the following locations:

•NYS DEC – Region 7 Headquarters, 615 Erie Boulevard West, Syracuse , NY
•NYS DEC Region 7 Sub-Office, 1285 Fisher Avenue, Cortland , NY
•Salmon River Fish Hatchery, County Route 22, Altmar, NY
•Pulaski Public Library, State Route 11, Pulaski, NY
•Redfield Town Hall, 4830 County Rte 17, Redfield, NY
•Orwell Library, 1999 County Rte 2, Orwell, NY
•Digital copies are also available on compact discs from the Cortland office and may be requested by calling (607) 753-3095 extension 217.

Directions to the Salmon River Fish Hatchery can be found at

DEC will consider all comments on the plan as it develops the Final Upper Salmon River UMP.  Comments will be accepted until November 2 and can be sent to: NYSDEC, Division of Lands and Forests, Attn: Dan Sawchuck, 2133 County Route 22, Altmar, New York 13302 or by e-mail to:  [email protected]