SARANAC — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is preparing a management plan for nearly 60,000 acres of Forest Preserve and other state-managed lands in the Chazy Highlands Complex.
The lands, spread across 493 square miles in 34 separate parcels in the northeastern Adirondack Park and are located in the towns of Bellmont, Duane and Franklin in Franklin County and the towns of Altona, Black Brook, Dannemora, Ellenburg and Saranac in Clinton County.
Public involvement is essential to development of a complete, accurate and responsive unit management plan (UMP) for the Chazy Highlands Complex, DEC said in the release.
The agency is seeking information and ideas on goals and objectives for the care and stewardship of these public lands.
A public open house for the complex will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at Saranac High School. It will be an opportunity for the public to meet with DEC staff and share their thoughts, ideas and suggestions on management of the land.
This will be the first of a number of opportunities for the public to be involved in the planning process.
The plan will address the management of 34 separate parcels of state land, including 48,362 acres of Forest Preserve lands classified as Wild Forest, 10,214 acres of State Forest lands and 2,331 acres in two Wildlife Management Area lands.
The plan will also include a recreation management plan for about 2,000 acres of the Lassiter Conservation Easement Lands.
The Upper Chateaugay Lake Boat Launch Site will also be included in the management plan.
The plan will not include management for the Sable Highlands and Lyme Adirondack Conservation Easement Lands, except for some aspects where there is direct interaction with the lands in the Chazy Highlands Complex.
Natural features in the Chazy Highlands include Lyon Mountain, Haystack Knob, Norton Peak and Ellenburg Mountain; Upper Chateaugay Lake and Chazy Lake; and Saranac River and Great Chazy River.
The primary recreational uses are fishing and hunting; however the public also participates in hiking, camping, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and wildlife watching on these lands.
Both the trail to the Fire Tower on Lyon Mountain and the Lewis Preserve Wildlife Management Area are often frequented by the public.
A UMP for the Chazy Highlands Complex must be completed before new recreational facilities, such as trails, tent sites and parking areas, can be constructed.
The plan will culminate in a series of management actions to be implemented over a five-year period, including public recreational access and increasing trails and campsites.
Any interested individual or organization wanting to be included on a mailing list for information about development of the unit management plan or wishing to submit comments should contact Planning Coordinator Dan Levy by writing him at NYSDEC, P. O. Box 296, Ray Brook, NY, 12977; calling 897-1291 or emailing email@example.com.