Neighbors not enamored by Doodletown management plan
Sep 04, 2018 6:00 am
Diane Valden is reporting for The Columbia Paper approximately 50 people attended a public meeting held at the Copake Park Building August 28, to hear representatives of the state Department of Environmental Conservation roll out a 10-year habitat management plan for the Doodletown Wildlife Management Area. The DEC acquired the 689-acre parcel that spans the towns of Ancram, Gallatin and Taghkanic, in 2017 for $2.8 million. The plan, as presented by Region 4 Wildlife Manager Michael Clark and other DEC officials, calls for managing a portion of the area as young forest to promote New England cottontail and ruffed grouse habitat; maintaining the majority of the area as mature forest, along with a small portion as wetlands and open water. As part of its plan, the DEC intends to create 85 acres of young forest, using a seed tree method and includes a 53-acre invasive species removal project, as well. Questions and comments from the public included concerns about the potential use of logging machinery and the impact it might have on Westfall Road, a dirt, one-lane road, and how raptor nests, vernal pools and other sensitive areas will be protected during tree removal. The greatest concern voiced by neighbors was over the use of herbicides to combat the onslaught of invasive species likely to occur with the removal of mature trees. One woman, who said she owns a lot of property in the area, said that while it is nice the DEC wants to help wildlife, she does not need any more rabbits or deer. Near the close of the 90-minute session, Valden writes, one audience member implored DEC officials, “Please don’t poison us.” Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.