DEC ENCOURAGES NEW YORKERS TO COMMENT ON DRAFT EAST OF HUDSON UNIT MANAGEMENT PLAN
Dec. 22 Deadline for Public Comments on Proposed Management Actions. DEC to Host Public Meetings on the Draft Plan Nov. 16 and 22. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced the release of the draft East of Hudson Unit Management Plan for public comment. The plan guides the future uses and management of nearly 6,700 acres of DEC-managed public lands within the East of Hudson Unit in the towns of Amenia, Beekman, Carmel, Cortlandt, Dover, Kent, LaGrange, Milan, Pawling, Philipstown, Pine Plains, Pleasant Valley, Putnam Valley, Stanford, and Union Vale. “This multi-property plan advances DEC’s commitment to protecting our state’s natural resources and enhancing outdoor recreational opportunities for all to enjoy,” said DEC Regional Director Kelly Turturro. “We encourage public feedback on this proposal and look forward to working with communities to implement its objectives. ”The unit management plan includes DEC’s Roeliff Jansen Kill Multiple Use Area, Lafayetteville Multiple Use Area, Stissing Multiple Use Area, Taconic Herford Multiple Use Area, Wassaic Multiple Use Area, West Mountain State Forest, Depot Hill Multiple Use Area, White Pond Multiple Use Area, Nimham Mountain Multiple Use Area, California Hill State Forest, Big Buck Multiple Use Area, Croton Gorge Unique Area, Montrose Point State Forest, and Salt Hill State Forest. Highlights of the draft plan include:
- Construction of an accessible path and fishing pier on Wilbur Pond at Lafayetteville Multiple Use Area and an accessible path and boardwalk over a beaver pond at Stissing Multiple Use Area;
- Development and designation of a multi-use trail system and two designated tent sites at California Hill State Forest;
- A new trail at White Pond Multiple Use Area to improve pedestrian safety on White Pond Road;
- Construction of a parking area and multi-use trail system at Salt Hill State Forest;
- An alternative analysis of management actions proposed for a dam located within West Mountain State Forest;
- An alternative analysis of two trail proposals designed to provide improved access to the Croton River within the Croton Gorge Unique Area;
- A site management plan to address exposure to arsenic contamination at Nimham Mountain Multiple Use Area; and
- Implementation of a sustainable 10-year forest management schedule for all lands within the Unit.
Proposed management actions will be guided by DEC’s Strategic Plan for State Forest Management, which focuses on ecosystem health and diversity, economic benefits, recreational opportunities, forest conservation, and sustainable management.DEC is hosting two public meetings on the draft UMP:
Wednesday, Nov. 16 5 – 8 P.M. Dutchess County Farm and Home Center, 2715 US-44, Millbrook NY 12545
Tuesday Nov. 225 – 8 P.M. Town of Kent Courthouse 25 Sybils Crossing, Carmel NY 12512
DEC staff will be available from 5 to 6 p.m. to one-on-one and answer questions. Starting at 6 p.m., both meetings will include a public presentation of the draft plan, followed by time for public comments. Public comments on the proposed plan will be accepted until Dec. 22, 2022, by mail to DEC Division of Lands and Forests, 21 South Putt Corners Rd. New Paltz, NY 12561, and by email to R3.UMP@dec.ny.gov.