Greater public access and more recreational opportunities will be available in the St. Lawrence Flatlands area under its final Unit Management Plan (UMP), according to an announcement by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
“The UMP provides greater land access for hunters, anglers and other outdoor recreationalists in northern St. Lawrence and Franklin counties,” Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement sent to the press. “The plan develops recreational access to forest lands, increases public awareness of outdoor opportunities on these state forests and ensures sustainable forest management.”
The St. Lawrence Flatlands comprises 30,810 acres in 10 state forests located in the Franklin County towns of Bombay and Moira, and the St. Lawrence County towns of Brasher, Madrid, Norfolk and Stockholm. The specific land units are Brasher State Forest, Bombay State Forest, Buckton State Forest, Fort Jackson State Forest, Grantville State Forest, Knapp Station State Forest, Lost Nation State Forest, Raymondville State Forest, Sodom State Forest and Southville State Forest. The UMP also covers six widely scattered parcels of detached forest preserve lands, ranging in size from three to 350 acres, located in the towns of Lisbon, Louisville, Massena, and Waddington in St. Lawrence County.
The lands and waters of the St. Lawrence Flatlands offer many recreational opportunities, including: hiking, skiing, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, trapping, birdwatching, snowmobiling and horseback riding.
The UMP identifies improvements to infrastructure, timber management, and recreational facilities development with a 10 year schedule of implementation. Several new access points along the Deer and St. Regis Rivers, parking areas, kiosks, and trails for persons with disabilities are being developed.
A new multi-use ATV and snowmobile roadway is being developed on 8.7 miles of DEC maintained trails and roads in the Brasher State Forest, which comprises most of the land (about 20,000 acres) included in the St. Lawrence Flatlands. The connector trail will provide for a variety of recreational uses, including hiking, skiing, horse riding, and snowmobiling. Trails and roads are expected to receive improved drainage and surface hardening. St. Lawrence County is planning to add 42 miles of snowmobile and ATV trails to compliment trails on state lands.
State lands in the St. Lawrence Flatlands lie just outside the Adirondack Park and are not part of the Adirondack Forest Preserve.
The Unit Management Pan can be found here.
Map provided by DEC.