Wednesday, February 17, 2016

DEC Issues Final Vienna Woods Unit Management Plan

DEC LogoThe final Vienna Woods Unit Management Plan (UMP) outlining the management of two state forests and 12 parcels of detached Forest Preserve in southwestern Oneida County has been issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

The UMP addresses DEC’s management of 1,299 acres on Stone Barn State Forest and Fish Creek State Forest located in the Oneida County towns of Annsville, Camden and Vienna.

The UMP also covers 12 nearby parcels of detached Forest Preserve lands, ranging in size from 6 to 166 acres, located in the towns of Annsville and Vienna in Oneida County.

The State Forest lands provide opportunities for hiking, hunting, fishing, trapping and birdwatching, and are also logged. The UMP identifies management actions on the unit, including:

  • Establishing a motorized route on the north end of Fish Creek State Forest to provide hunting and wildlife observation opportunities for people with mobility disabilities with a DEC Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD) permit.
  • Relocating a snowmobile trail onto Stone Barn State Forest.
  • Installing informational kiosks on both of the State Forests.

In the general vicinity of the two State Forests already mentioned are 11 parcels, totaling 888 acres, of land categorized as Detached Parcels of Forest Preserve. Three of these parcels (containing 248 acres) are actually under the jurisdiction of the Office of General Services. These lands are in the process of being transferred to DEC as Detached Parcels.

Just prior to the formalization of the State Forest Program, small pieces of land were purchased. Any of these parcels that were located in a Forest Preserve County, but outside the actual Blue Line, were declared Detached Parcels of Forest Preserve. Logging these lands is prohibited. Any development (including roads) is also prohibited. Adirondack Park Agency approval is not required for detached Forest Preserve parcels.

These parcels range in size from 24 acres to 166 acres and have varying levels of access. Most have good access adjacent to major roads. Two pieces have no public access. The character of these pieces of land is similar to the nearby State Forests, except that there are no tree plantations. Major cover types include northern hardwood and hemlock-northern hardwood.

The Vienna Woods Unit Management Plan is available for viewing or downloading on DEC’s website.

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