EDWARDS, N.Y. (WWTI) — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is seeking public comment on a draft for a recreation management plan for the Western Lassiter Conservation Easements in the town of Edwards.

The plan consists of the 1,336-acre Beers Lot Conservation Easement and the 834-acre Pine Hill Conservation Easement. The public comment period on the draft plan is open through Nov. 30.

The DEC purchased certain rights on the Beers Lot and Pine Hill tracts as part of a larger acquisition from Lassiter, LLC in 1989. Conservation easements on the tracts ensure the properties will remain as privately owned sustainable working forests, protect natural resources, continue private recreational leases and allow for specific public recreation opportunities, according to DEC.

The landowner/lessee’s exclusive use period expired in the terms of the easement in 2019, creating recreational opportunities for the public. Access to Pine Hill is currently limited, but the roads and trails of the Beers Lot easement are open to the public. The draft plan proposes motorized and non-motorized public recreational opportunities.

Motorized opportunities include:

  • opening the Main Haul Road to public motor vehicle use;
  • designating an ATV route for members of the public who possess a Mobility Access Permit for People with Disabilities; and
  • dreation of a parking area.

Non-motorized opportunities include camping, hunting, trapping, fishing and nature observation.

Public comments can be submitted to DEC through Nov. 30 by email to r6.ump@dec.ny.gov or by mail to:

Peter D’Luhosch, Program Manager
DEC Potsdam Sub-Office
190 Outer Main St Suite 103
Potsdam, NY 13676

A virtual copy of the drafted plan and an online survey to submit comments can be found on the DEC website.