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DEC Contact: Nance Arquiett (315) 229-2233 Nance.Arquiett@dec.ny.gov
Watertown Headquarters (315) 785-2239 Information.R6@dec.ny.gov

May 31, 2023


Draft Plan Includes New Recreational Opportunities on Conservation Easement

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking public comment on a draft recreation management plan (RMP) for the Conifer-Emporium Tract Conservation Easement in the towns of Clifton, Colton, and Piercefield, St. Lawrence County. The public comment period for the draft RMP is open until July 14, 2023.

The Conifer-Emporium Conservation Easement (CECE) encompasses approximately 19,600 acres and is part of the Cranberry Lake Complex. The property is wholly contained within the northwestern Adirondack Park, split into eight parcels, and located near New York State Route 3 and the south branch of the Grass River. The CECE shares boundaries with the Grass River Wild Forest, Cranberry Lake Wild Forest, and Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest, as well as additional conservation easements.

The CECE was purchased in 1990, ensuring the property will remain a privately owned sustainable working forest, protecting natural resources, and allowing for the proposal of specific public recreation opportunities.

Motorized opportunities for recreation include:

  • Opening three miles of roads to public passenger vehicles;
  • Construction or improvement of 11 parking areas; and
  • Continued maintenance of 27.3 miles of roads and trails open to public snowmobile use.

Non-motorized opportunities for recreation include:

  • Construction of six miles of non-motorized access trails;
  • Construction of six primitive campsites, including two campsites that meet universal accessibility standards;
  • Addition of a hand launch accessible to people with disabilities to provide non-motorized water access to the south branch of the Grass River;
  • Establishment of a rock-climbing area; and
  • Continuation of hunting, fishing, and trapping permitted throughout the property, subject to applicable seasons and regulations.

A virtual presentation, copy of the draft RMP, and an online survey to submit comments can be found on the DEC website. DEC is accepting public comments through July 14, 2023. In addition to the online survey, comments can also be submitted by mail to Peter D’Luhosch, Program Manager, DEC Potsdam Sub-Office, 190 Outer Main St Suite 103, Potsdam, NY 13676, or by email to r6.ump@dec.ny.gov.


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