Saturday, May 18, 2024

DEC Releases Final Recreation Management Plan for Big Moose Tract Conservation Easement

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Plan Maintains and Improves Upon Current Public Recreational Access on Easement Lands

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released the final recreation management plan (RMP) for the Big Moose Tract Conservation Easement in the town of Webb, Herkimer County. The RMP guides public recreation management on the 23,850-acre property, consistent with the encumbering conservation easement.

The Big Moose Tract contains commercially managed forestland, several small ponds, portions of Birch, Fourth, Sunday, and Twitchell creeks, the Independence River, and the west branch of the Beaver River. Under the terms of an RMP, a trail to the Stillwater Mountain fire tower and 12.4 miles of public snowmobile trails are open to the public.

The property borders approximately 18.4 miles of DEC forest preserve lands (Ha-De-Ron-Dah and Pigeon Lake Wildernesses and Fulton Chain and Independence River Wild Forests) and 2.5 miles with the Three Lakes Tract Conservation Easement. Nearly four miles of the Remsen Lake Placid Travel Corridor pass through the property.

The RMP proposes the following actions:

  • The Stillwater Mountain Fire Tower and access trail will remain open to the public except for the period from the second Tuesday in October through Dec. 20 each year (seasonal closure of this trail is a term of the conservation easement);

  • Selective tree cutting will take place around the Stillwater Mountain Fire Tower to enhance scenic views;

  • Conservation Easement snowmobile trails currently located on the property will be maintained by DEC and groomed by a combination of the Brantingham Snowmobile Club and the town of Webb;

  • Alternative snowmobiles trails will be designated or constructed (0.7 miles of new construction) for when main trails are closed due to winter timber harvesting;

  • A visitor survey will be conducted at Stillwater Mountain to inform DEC about visitor experience on the trail and summit; and

  • An interpretive panel highlighting forestry on the Big Moose Tract will be developed and installed.

The RMP (PDF) can be viewed on the DEC website and all questions about the Big Moose Tract Conservation Easement can be directed to the DEC Office in Lowville at 315-376-3521.

Photo at top: NYS DEC website photo.

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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

2 Responses

  1. Roberta Anderson says:

    Please keep the night skies dark. Nothing is more amazing as the stars and moon in a dark sky.

  2. Josh B. says:

    It’s unfortunate that, when using public funds to purchase this easement, “NYSDEC does not own the right to allow public All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) access, bicycle use, paddling, camping, hunting, fishing, or trapping on the BMT.” I guess it’s good for snowmobiling and limited hiking.

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