DEC releases draft five streams unit management plan for state lands in Chenango County for public comment

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From The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation:

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today encouraged the public to comment on the draft update to the Five Streams Unit Management Plan (UMP), that includes three state forests in Chenango County. The updated UMP will guide management of these properties over the next 10 years. DEC is accepting comments on the draft plan until Saturday, July 31. 

Region 7 Director Matthew Marko said, “These State Lands offer many recreational opportunities for visitors of all abilities, year-round. The proposed updates to this Unit Management Plan support DEC’s ongoing efforts to enhance access and encourage visitors to experience the natural beauty and rural character of this part of New York’s Southern Tier, while sustainably managing working forests.”

The Five Streams Unit covers 9,634 acres of state lands in Chenango County, including Five StreamsBalsam Swamp, and Red Brook State Forests.

Highlights of the plan include:

  • continuing routine maintenance of Balsam Pond campground;
  • developing a loop trail around Balsam Pond and renovating Balsam Pond dam;
  • maintaining a trail offering motorized access for visitors with mobility impairments;
  • installing trail map kiosks;
  • partnering with snowmobile clubs to provide over 15 miles of snowmobile trails; and
  • implementing sustainable practices for forest management. 

The draft plan and additional information are available on DEC’s website.

DEC manages State Lands for multiple benefits to serve the people of New York State. The draft Five Streams UMP proposes to:

  1. address overall management and maintenance activities on these state lands;
  2. maintain healthy, sustainable, and biologically diverse ecosystems for fish and wildlife; and
  3. provide continued forest product sales and a variety of opportunities for recreational use, environmental education, and research.

State Lands covered by the draft plan offer many recreational opportunities including hiking, camping, snowmobiling, bird watching, boating, fishing, hunting, trapping, snowshoeing, and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) access by permit for visitors with mobility impairments.

DEC is accepting comments via email with the subject line “Five Streams Unit” to R7.UMP@dec.ny.gov, and by U.S. Mail or phone to: Andrew Blum, Forester, DEC, 2715 State Route 80, Sherburne, NY 13460, or (607) 674-4017.

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