East Branch of Fish Creek

DEC Releases Draft Recreation Access PlanSummer 2009 Fish Creek Working Group Newsletter – Number 33Fall 2010 Fish Creek Working Group Newsletter – Number 34

The Tug Hill Commission has been working with local people since the mid-1990s to find ways to keep forest lands in the watershed of the East Branch of Fish Creek in productive use for logging, hunting, fishing, watershed protection, and recreation. Virtually all of this work has been done in cooperation with a local advisory committee, called the East Branch of Fish Creek Working Group.

Some of the story of this effort is contained in a report of the National Community Forestry Center (Case Study of the East Branch of Fish Creek Working Group, Tug Hill, New York, February 2001) available from the Center at www.ncfcnfr.net.

The Working Group’s report, Tug Hill’s Eastern Core Forest: Recommendations for the Protection of Jobs, the Environment and Traditional Uses (April 22, 1997), recommending the use of conservation easements as the primary tool for keeping this area of about 100,000 acres as productive forest, is available from the Tug Hill Commission.

In June, 2002, the single largest step toward implementing the Working Group’s recommendations was taken when Governor Pataki announced The Nature Conservancy was buying 44,650 acres of forest land in the watershed owned by Hancock Timber Resource Group. The Nature Conservancy will sell about 30,000 acres of that land to a private timber management company, GMO Renewable Resources, with a conservation easement held by the State of New York. The Nature Conservancy will retain about 13,000 acres of the land, donating a conservation easement to the State. About 1,500 acres immediately along the East Branch of Fish Creek will be sold to the State as state forest land.More information on the transaction announced by the Governor is available through Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust. Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust’s web site also contains information of meeting announcements of the East Branch of Fish Creek Working Group.CLICK HERE for the PDF version of the map.