The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the release of a Recreation Management Plan (RMP) for the Oswegatchie Conservation Easement (CE). The Oswegatchie CE encompasses approximately 16,929 acres in the towns of Croghan and Diana in Lewis County, including more than 14,000 acres within the Adirondack Park.
The property surrounds 3.5 miles of the Middle Branch of the Oswegatchie River, shares 9.6 miles of boundary with forest preserve lands, and one mile of boundary with state forest land. The Oswegatchie CE is primarily accessed from Bald Mountain Road, leading north from Long Pond Road in the town of Croghan.
The RMP proposes public recreational opportunities including, but not limited to:
- Passenger vehicle use on 12.7 miles of road that access the conservation easement, as well as adjacent forest preserve lands;
- A 5.7-mile CP-3 route, subject to the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (leads to a universally accessible campsite);
- Maintenance of six designated parking areas;
- Maintenance of eight designated primitive campsites (one universally accessible campsite);
- Snowmobile trails, including alternative routes to be used during logging operations (17.6-miles total including alternative routes);
- Seasonal ATV use on Bald Mountain Road: ATV use will be administered by Lewis County under a DEC-issued permit;
- Maintenance of 6.1 miles of new hiking trails;
- Public hunting from January 1 through August 31, 2019. Beginning in 2020, public hunting will be allowed year-round, subject to applicable seasons, rules, and regulations; and
- Fishing and trapping subject to applicable rules and regulations.
The RMP is available to view or download on the DEC website. Additional information about the Oswegatchie CE and its nearby units are available on the Watson’s East Triangle Complex page. Copies of the RMP are also available on CD and can be requested by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or from the DEC Region 6 offices in Watertown (315) 785-2263 and Lowville (315) 376-3521.