Recreation management plan finalized for Croghan Tract Conservation Easement

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CROGHAN, N.Y. (WWTI) — A final plan for recreation management for over 12 thousand acres of forestland in Lewis County.

The New York State Department of Conservation has released a Recreation Management Plan for the Croghan Tract Conservation Easement. The 12,816-acre plot of private land resides in the towns of Croghan and Watson.

According to the DEC, conservation easements in the state of New York are used to protect properties with natural resources and values such as water quality, habitats, sensitive ecosystems, wetlands, riparian areas, scenic areas, agriculture, working forests and historic sites.

Historically, the DEC purchased the Croghan Tract in 1999 with priorities to protect the site as a “biologically and economically sustainable working forest.” The recent management plan details natural and cultural resources, public use and management, management considerations and proposed recreation actions.

Additionally, in the final plan, an inventory was included to detail natural and man-made resources and public recreation opportunities to be added to the plot.

This included:

  • 11 miles of road and the opening of an additional 5.3 miles of road to access the Croghan Tract and adjacent Forest Preserve lands;
  • Designation and construction of 11 parking areas;
  • Maintenance of 27.2 miles of snowmobile routes, including rights-of-way and secondary trails to serve as alternative routes during logging operations
  • Construction of a 0.6 -mile foot trail to access the Eagle Canyon forest preserve parcel;
  • Designation of nine campsites including two accessible campsites;
  • An accessible car-top boat launch at Soft Maple Reservoir;
  • Access to hunting, fishing, and trapping throughout the property, subject to applicable seasons and regulations; and
  • New informational signage at primary access points

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