ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking public input on a newly developed policy to guide how they evaluate, and review work plans for projects in the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserves. The draft Commissioner Policy is available for public comment until February 27.

“DEC is seeking public input on how best to evaluate proposed projects in the Forest Preserve,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “The Adirondacks and Catskills are much-loved destinations for recreation and experience significant visitor use in some areas. DEC’s goal is to protect these natural resources, provide outdoor recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike, and ensure the Forest Preserve continues to be an asset to future generations. This new policy will serve as a guide for newly proposed projects and the evaluation of their site-specific impacts to the environment and character of the Forest Preserve.”

DEC drafted the policy with the Trail Stewardship Working Group’s input and in collaboration with partners at the Adirondack Park Agency (APA). The Trail Stewardship Working Group includes members from local government, environmental groups, recreation groups, trail builders, and APA staff.

After the public comment period closes, DEC will review the comments and make necessary changes before approving and adopting the policy. Once adopted, the policy will establish administrative procedures for assessing the impacts of construction and maintenance activities within the Adirondacks and Catskills.

Comments can be submitted by email to or snail mail to Peter Frank, NYS DEC – Division of Lands and Forests, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4254. A copy of the draft policy is available below.