Land Acquired Will Protect Wetlands and Create Recreation Opportunities
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has acquired 435 acres in Oswego County from the Conservation Fund that will increase recreation opportunities for the public and help protect wetlands and wildlife habitat, while providing the state with revenue through responsible timber management.
DEC acquired a 337 acre parcel in the town of Redfield for $304,000 that will be added to O'Hara State Forest. In addition, DEC acquired 98 acres in the town of Williamstown for $73,350 that will be added to Kasoag State Forest. DEC purchased both parcels of land using funds from the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).
"The acquisition of the parcels followed the recommendations of the NYS Open Space Plan and the unit management plans for the area," said DEC Regional Director Ken Lynch. "The public will be able to enjoy numerous outdoor pursuits, such as birding, hunting, fishing, trapping and hiking. The addition to O'Hara State Forest protects more than a mile of one of the headwater tributaries of Mad River, and the Kasoag State Forest addition offers the possibility of extending the Indian Camp Brook Trail."
The Conservation Fund, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, focuses on conservation and community, with the belief that environmental protection and economic vitality are inseparable. Working cooperatively with DEC and the Tug Hill Commission, the Conservation Fund facilitated the acquisition of these lands that were formerly owned by the Harden Furniture Company. The parcel in Redfield was known as the Sage Tract and the parcel in Williamstown was known as the Cotton-Hanlon Tract.
These lands, for which the State will continue to pay town and school taxes to the local communities, will be administered and operated by DEC through the unit management plans for O'Hara and Kasoag State Forests. O'Hara State Forest is part of the Upper Salmon River Unit Management Plan which was finalized last year, and Kasoag State Forest will be part of the Fish Creek Unit Management Plan which is currently being drafted and is expected to be released for public review and comment this winter. Additional information on O'Hara State Forest and Kasoag State Forest is available.