(WBNG Binghamton) Maple Hill State Forest in the town of Chemung, Chemung County was impacted by last summer’s tornado that caused numerous trees to be uprooted, snap off and shatter with much of the debris still hanging in the tree tops. In an effort to clear away portions of the damage, DEC is conducting salvage sales of the commercial timber damaged by this storm.
According to a news release from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation:
Commercial logging is currently underway and should be completed by late fall or early winter.
If visitors intend to go to Maple Hill State Forest this fall to hunt or view fall foliage, they should be prepared to see the devastating effects of the storm and use caution when traversing the area. Much of the hanging debris continues to fall to the ground, particularly during windy days. There are also areas where large amounts of downed trees will be encountered.
The forest remains open to recreational uses and all roads are open to normal vehicle traffic. As with all state forests, off road use of motor vehicles is prohibited, except under special conditions. However, a greater degree of caution will be necessary when accessing areas away from the roads. There also may be a significant, although short-term, increase in heavy truck traffic as a result of the commercial sale of damaged timber.
Salvage sales are commonly used to cleanup storm damage and recover a portion of the value of trees which might otherwise go to waste. The timber is sold using a competitive bid process to local sawmills and firewood processors. The money from this sale will be deposited into the Natural Resources account and be available for use on the state forests regionwide.