The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will develop a unit management plan for 21,239 acres of public lands in the Northern Franklin County State Forests, DEC Region 5 Director Robert Stegemann has announced.
The Northern Franklin State Forest includes five state forests (St. Regis River, Deer River, Titusville Mountain, Valley View and Trout River), seven detached forest preserve parcels, a state fish hatchery and over 50 miles of public fishing rights. The lands are located in the towns of Bangor, Bellmont, Brandon, Chateaugay, Constable, Dickinson, Malone, Moira and Westville.
“DEC is seeking public input on how to best manage these lands and provide access for outdoor recreational activities including hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, camping, wildlife watching and other activities,” Stegemann said in an announcement to the press.
A public meeting will be held at the North County Community College Campus, Resheketina Hall, Room RH-208 at 75 Williams Street in Malone on Wednesday, December 17th, beginning at 6 pm. The facility is wheelchair accessible. Requests for specific accommodation should be made in advance to DEC at (518) 897-1248.
The meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to meet with DEC staff and share thoughts, ideas and suggestions regarding management of State lands within this particular unit. This will be the first of several opportunities for the public to be involved in the planning process.
Natural features in the Northern Franklin Unit include the St. Regis River, Deer River, Salmon River, Trout River and Chateaugay River; Titusville Mountain, Mount Immortelle and Elephant’s Head; and Huckleberry Marsh. The primary recreational uses are hunting and fishing, hiking, camping, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and bird and wildlife watching. The trails to Elephant’s Head and High Falls on Titusville Mountain State Forest and the campsites on Deer River State Forest are used often by the public.
Management issues under consideration by DEC’s planning team include public recreational access, habitat management, and forest management and forest products sales. Upon completion of a resource inventory, an analysis of current and potential uses, and acquisition of public comments, the Northern Franklin planning team will prepare a draft UMP. The public will have the opportunity to review and comment on the draft UMP.
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. The completed draft plan will be widely distributed for public review and comment and a public meeting will be scheduled to discuss the draft.
Any interested individual or organization wanting to submit comments may contact Forester Ethan Pierce by mail at NYSDEC, P.O. Box 296, Ray Brook, NY 12977; by telephone at (518) 897-1291; or by e-mail at R5.UMP@dec.ny.gov.