The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will hold a public meeting to gather input on a draft amendment to the Windham High Peak Wild Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP) on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at the Windham Town Hall in Hensonville at 6:00 p.m. The town hall is located on Route 296 in Hensonville, approximately 1.4 miles south of its intersection with Route 23 in Windham, Greene County.
(Media-Newswire.com) - The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ( DEC ) will hold a public meeting to gather input on a draft amendment to the Windham High Peak Wild Forest Unit Management Plan ( UMP ) on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at the Windham Town Hall in Hensonville at 6:00 p.m. The town hall is located on Route 296 in Hensonville, approximately 1.4 miles south of its intersection with Route 23 in Windham, Greene County.
The draft amendment proposes to designate approximately 12 miles of multiple use trails for mountain biking, hiking and cross country skiing. Currently there are almost seven miles of existing trails and old roads that are suitable for designation as multiple use trails. Nearly five miles of new trail construction will be required to complete the new multiple use trail proposal.
The popularity of mountain biking has increased locally since the Windham High Peak Wild Forest UMP was adopted in 1994. Interest in developing mountain bike trails has also increased and a proposal to do so was received in early 2006 from local mountain bike enthusiasts. To accommodate the increased interest, DEC is proposing to amend the Windham High Peak Wild Forest UMP and evaluate the proposal and its compatibility with the guidance for developing multiple use trails in a Wild Forest area. .
A public meeting was held in May 2006 as a preliminary step for a Windham High Peak Wild Forest UMP revision that was scheduled to take place. Since that meeting, DEC decided to treat changes in the Windham High Peak Wild Forest UMP as an amendment to the plan rather than a revision. Issues that were raised at the public meeting included the need for multiple use trails, including cross country skiing, mountain biking, trail running and snowmobile. The public also commented that parking at the Big Hollow Road and Peck Road parking lots is inadequate.
In response to the issues raised at the public meeting, DEC is proposing an expansion of the Peck Road parking lot to accommodate five additional vehicles, which should help avoid conflicts between winter season users and snow removal at the area. Additionally, a new parking area is proposed across the road from the snowplow turnaround at the Big Hollow Road trailhead, accommodating 15 additional vehicles.
There are nearly 4,300 acres within the unit. It's the northernmost management unit in the Catskill Park, located in Greene County. It's the namesake of the 3524 foot Windham High Peak located on the Escarpment Range.
Those unable to attend the meeting may write, phone or e-mail their comments to Frank Parks in the Region 4 Forestry office in Stamford. Copies of the amendment are available at DEC's website at www.dec.ny.gov/lands/22612.html or by contacting the Stamford DEC office. The Forestry office is located at 65561 State Highway 10, Suite One, Stamford, NY 12167; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone: ( 607 ) 652-7365. Comments on the amendment will be accepted until May 19, 2008.
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