Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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Oct. 28, 2005

Oswego County Delegates Attend Regional Forestry Board Meeting

CORTLAND -- New York State's Forest Practice Board has a long tradition of encouraging good forestry management practices. Established in 1946 under the state Forest Practice Act, the regional boards meet twice a year to encourage good forest management practices and to advise the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on programs and legislation that support that goal.

"New York State has more than 14 million acres of privately-owned forestland. The regional forest practice board can advise landowners on how and where to get help maintaining and improving their tree resources," said Oswego County Legislator Barbara Brown, District 8, Palermo, Hastings, Schroeppel. "More than 80 percent of forestland in the state is owned by non-industrial private landowners."

Brown and Norman Bullard of Minetto attended the recent regional board meeting in Cortland. Connie Smith of Central Square also represents Oswego County on the regional forestry board.

"At our fall meeting, we discussed the declining timber values of the future forest in the region," said Brown. "When timber sales are conducted by high-grading or diameter-limiting cuts, only the sellable trees are removed. The rest are left untouched. This degrades the residual stand by leaving large, deformed or diseased trees to compete with too many younger trees for the available nutrients, moisture and sunlight."

Five foresters are assigned to cover the DEC's Region 7. The region is comprised of Oswego, Onondaga, Cortland, Cayuga, Madison, Tompkins, Chenango, Tioga and Broome counties.

Regional forester David Sinclair told board members that there were many more applicants than available funding to help landowners. According to Sinclair, the state received $161,000, of which $128,000 was allocated for cost sharing, during the 2004 fiscal year. Sinclair said the remaining $16,000 was divided to assist landowners in the nine counties of Region 7.

Board members also reported that New York State Assembly members Dede Scozzafava of Gouverneur and Gary Finch of Auburn were helpful in expressing their support for the regional boards.

Forest landowners who would like more information on assistance available through the DEC may visit the Bureau of Private Land Services section of the DEC Web site at http://www.dec.state.ny.us or call the Region 7 office at (315) 426-7400.

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