Update – by Andy Mason, Co-President (from The Belted Kingfisher, September 2019)
NYS DEC has proposed an updated management plan for the Treaty Line Unit which consists of several state forests totaling nearly 20,000 acres located in Chenango, Delaware and Broome counties. Over 16,000 acres of this sprawling forestland has been designated as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. The plan calls for protection of at-risk species of wildlife, including birds; modest improvements to recreational access and use of the forest; control of invasive species; watershed protection; maintaining old-growth forest; and acquisition of adjacent lands and inholdings. These are all worthy goals, and support DEC’s mission and vision.
However, there is a proposal from the all-terrain vehicle community, including ATV dealers and state-wide organizations, to open up the forest to off-road vehicles. This point of view was well-represented at a public hearing in July. A similar proposal was rejected by DEC nearly 20 years ago in the existing management plan. ATVs, which already are an illegal problem on state lands, damage soil, vegetation, waterways and other resources where they are used. Disturbance of wildlife, including nesting birds, has been documented, and their presence is incompatible with other, low impact uses, such as hiking, wildlife observation and photography.
What you can do—A public comment period is open until November 1. Let DEC know that off-road vehicles do not belong on our public lands and are a threat to the well-being of state forests. Comments can be sent to Nathan Funk, NYSDEC, 65561 State Route 10, Stamford, NY 12167, or emailed– email@example.com, with subject “Treaty Line UMP”
View additional information from our previous post here: https://doas.us/treaty-line-unit-management-plan/