BUDGET CRISIS LIMITS LOCAL TRAIL MAINTENANCE CAPACITY
38 State Land Truck Trails Temporarily Closed in Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Counties
Funding reductions to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC’s) Region 9 resulting from the state’s historic budget shortfall and the lack of a current state budget has significantly impacted the agency’s ability to conduct routine maintenance on the over 100,000 acres of state forest lands located in Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties. As a result, 38 truck trails that are normally open to motorized vehicles as the weather warms up will temporarily remain closed.
Routine maintenance activities often centers on the removal of trash and litter left behind by party groups, campers and other recreationalists, but also involves roadside mowing, gravel placement to maintain road surfaces, road grading, culvert replacement and removal of road hazards such as leaning or downed trees.
While truck trails on certain state lands will close to use by motorized vehicles, the State Forests land itself remains open for public and non-motorized use of the roads; foot, bike, and horse traffic is still allowed. As littering in these areas traditionally decreases significantly after Labor Day, it is anticipated that these roads will re-open for the fall hunting seasons.
Closed areas will be clearly marked with signs.
State Forest truck trails closed to motorized vehicles include:
• Gorge Forest Road, Allen Lake State Forest
• Howe Forest Road, Bald Mountain State Forest
• Headwaters Forest Road, Cold Creek State Forest
• Ricketts Forest Road, English Hill State Forest
• Abbey Forest Road, Gillies Hill State Forest
• Pettit Forest Road, Gillies Hill State Forest
• Scholes Road, Jersey Hill State Forest
• Davison Forest Road, Karr Valley Creek State Forest
• Frungillo Forest Road, Karr Valley Creek State Forest
• Gordon Forest Road, Keeney Swamp State Forest
• Emery Forest Road, Klipnocky State Forest
• Marble Forest Road, Klipnocky State Forest
• Palmer’s Pond Forest Road, Palmers Pond State Forest
• Geitner Forest Road, Palmers Pond State Forest
• Stewart Forest Road, Palmers Pond State Forest
• Reddy Forest Road, Plum Bottom State Forest
• Russell Forest Road, Rush Creek State Forest
• Turnpike Forest Road, Turnpike State Forest
• Allen Forest Road, Vandermark, State Forest
• Bird Forest Road, Vandermark State Forest
• Kriedeman Forest Road, East Otto State Forest
• McCarty Hill East Forest Road, McCarty Hill State Forest
• Campsite Forest Road, McCarty Hill State Forest
• Raecher Hill Forest Road, Raecher Hill State Forest
• Eckert forest road, Rock City State Forest
• Salamanca Forest Road, Rock City State Forest
• Arab Hill Forest Road, CHA 7 Section, Boutwell Hill State Forest
• Bailey Hollow Forest Road, Bucktooth State Forest
• Beck Forest Road, Mount Pleasant State Forest
• Brumagin Forest Road, Mount Pleasant State Forest
• Spruce Forest Road, Mount Pleasant State Forest
• Blackman Forest Road, Stockon State Forest
• Sprague Forest Road, Harris Hill State forest
• Hodge Forest Road, Hatch Creek State Forest
• Hill Higher Forest Road, Hill Higher State Forest
CAMPING AT STATE FORESTS
Please note that all camping on State Forests must comply with statewide rules and regulations including:
• Camping is prohibited within 150 feet of any road, trail, spring, stream, pond or other body of water except at areas designated by a “camp here” disk.
• Groups of ten or more persons or stays of more than three days in one place require a permit from the NYS Forest Ranger responsible for that area.
Please carry out what you carry in. Practice “leave no trace” camping and hiking.
DAY USE AREAS TO CLOSE INCLUDE:
• Camp Seneca at Rock City State Forest
• Dobbins Memorial State Forest Recreation Area
Sanitary facilities that were previously provided at sites including Allen Lake, Palmers Pond, and the Route 244 parking area at Phillips Creek State Forest will not be provided. Wildlife Management Areas in the Region such as Hanging Bog, Canadaway Creek and Keeney Swamp will not be impacted.
Other gated truck trails on state forest lands that are not listed above or indicated as closed by signage will remain open for motorized vehicle use. If, however, trash accumulation becomes an issue or circumstances arise that could impact human health and safety occur, additional trails could also face closure.
“Exercising good stewardship of these state lands is the best way to help ensure that we can reopen these trails,” said Russ Biss, Natural Resources Supervisor for DEC Region 9. “One of the primary considerations when closing these trails was the accumulation of trash. Annually crews remove large volumes of trash and litter in these areas that are left behind by party groups and some campers. If you enjoy using these trails, please help us reopen these areas by not littering or dumping, and by reporting illegal camping and littering if you see it.”
To report illegal activities on state land such as dumping, littering, etc, please call DEC’s 24 hour dispatch number at 1-877-457-5680. For questions regarding closure of state land recreational areas or motorized vehicle trails, please call DEC’s Division of Lands and Forests at (716) 372-0645. Detailed information about camping regulations and state land use is available on DEC’s website at New York State Land Camping Rules