Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today unveiled 50 proposed new outdoor access projects to connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and other outdoor enthusiasts to 380,000 acres of untapped State-owned lands across New York. The new access points will allow for more than $6 million in projects for access to hunting and fishing, boat launches, and new hiking opportunities.
"Expanding access to more of the beautiful lands that New York has to offer will open recreational opportunities that for too long have not been available to our residents and tourists," Governor Cuomo said. "These projects will enrich the outdoor activity offerings, improve the quality of life in our communities, and position New York State as a recreation destination."
The universally designed projects will provide people of all ages and abilities access to a variety of beautiful natural areas and a range of activities and experiences. In addition to hunting access, boat launches, fishing platforms and hiking trails, there will be improved access to existing recreational trails, additional parking areas, trail maps, signage and kiosks. Many projects will make trails and launches available to persons with disabilities for the first time.
These plans also support the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, which aims to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state by improving recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen. This includes the streamlining of hunting and fishing licensing, reducing license fees, and improving access for fishing and hunting opportunities at various sites across the state.
Additional actions intended to help make New York a world-class destination for year-round recreation include:
- Unveiling the new NYS Adventure License to allow outdoor enthusiasts, boaters, anglers and hunters to consolidate their recreation licenses and benefits onto their New York State Drivers License (please visit the NYS License Center website for more information on licensing or to apply for an outdoor recreational license);
- Debuting the Lifetime Empire Passport, which offers visitors to State Parks the option of paying a one-time fee to experience all that New York State Parks has to offer throughout their lifetime;
- Introducing New York State Adventure License Plates, featuring nine plate designs available for free to those buying new lifetime hunting, fishing or park licenses in 2014; and
- Proposing to limit the liability of landowners who allow recreational activities on their properties, which could open up vast, untapped resources for additional hunting, fishing and many other recreational pursuits;
- Proposing to allow crossbow hunting once again in New York State.
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said, "For generations, New Yorkers and visitors to our state have enjoyed recreational activities in our spectacular forests and scenic trails, and on pristine lakes and rivers. Governor Cuomo's commitment to expanding outdoor access and recreational opportunities builds on New York's rich outdoor heritage and will be benefit hunters, anglers and people of all ages."
The proposed properties are as follows:
- Hand Hollow State Forest new acquisition, Columbia County
- Washington County Grasslands State Forest Area, Washington County
- Saddles State Forest, Warren County
Central New York
- Skaneateles Lake Fishing Access, Cayuga County
- Three Rivers WMA, Onondaga County
- Deer Creek Marsh WMA, Oswego County
- Cleveland Dock Fishing Access Site, Oswego County
- Redfield Island Boat Launch Upper Salmon River, Oswego County
- Sandy Creek Fishing Access Site, Monroe County
- Black Creek Fishing Access Site, Monroe County
- Braddock Bay Fish and WMA, Monroe County
- Fishing Access Sites at Waneta Lamoka Lake, Cayuta Lake, Seneca River, Port Bay West Fishing Access, Schuyler, Seneca and Wayne Counties
- High Tor WMA Bristol Hills Branch of Finger Lakes Trail, Ontario and Yates Counties
- Rocky Point Natural Resource Management Area, Suffolk County
- Underhill Unique Area, Nassau County
- Kings Park Unique Area, Suffolk County
- Otis Pike Preserve, Suffolk County
- Tivoli Bays Wildlife Management Area, Dutchess County
- Lower Esopus Fishing Access Site, Ulster County
- Vernooy Kill State Forest and Sundown Wild Forest, Ulster County
- Stewart State Forest, Orange County
- Huckleberry Ridge State Forest, Orange County
- Mount Tremper Day Use Area, Ulster County
- West Mountain State Forest, Dutchess County
- Black River Wild Forest Mill Creek Road, Herkimer County
- Utica Marsh Trails, Oneida County
- Susquehanna State Forest, Otsego County
- Goodyear Lake, Otsego County
- Colliersville Fishing Access Site, Otsego County
- Looking Glass Pond Schoharie Reforestation Area, Schoharie County
- Hand Hollow State Forest new acquisition, Columbia County
New York City
- North Mount Loretto State Forest, Richmond County
- Mount Loretto Unique Area, Richmond County
- St. Francis Woodlands, Richmond County
- Old Place Creek Fishing Access, Richmond County
- Grass River Conservation Easement, St. Lawrence County
- East Branch of Fish Creek South Easement, Lewis County
- Oswegatchie Waterway and State Forest Access Site at Wegatchie, St. Lawrence County
- Fish Creek WMA, St. Lawrence County
- Vanderwhacker Mt. Wild Forest, Essex County
- Meacham Lake Campground and Debar Mountain Wild Forest, Franklin County
- Township 19 Conservation Easement, Hamilton County
- Blue Ridge, Township 20, Township 33, Somerville road, Lake Desloation Tract Conservation Easements, Hamilton and Essex Counties
- Birdseye Hollow and Moss Hill State Forests, Steuben County
- Sanford Lake Recreation Area, Steuben County
Western New York
- Spicer Creek WMA, Erie County
- Phillips Creek Horse Trails, Allegany County
- Welsville-Addison-Galeton Railroad Trail, Allegany County
- Watts Flats WMA, Chautauqua County
For more information on the specific proposed projects, please see the attached document.
ATTN. TV STATIONS: TV-quality video (h264, mp4) of the Governor announcing 50 new access points in the 2014 State of the State address is available here.