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November 6, 2003

Contact: Natalie Millner (718) 595-6600

Local Mills Awarded Forest Management Contracts at the Cannonsville Reservoir in Delaware County

Commissioner Christopher O. Ward of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today the recent awarding of contracts to two Delaware County mills for the harvesting of timber as part of forest management plans at the Cannonsville Reservoir. The successful bidders on the two projects were Schaefer Logging, Inc. of Deposit and Wagner Hardwoods, LLC of Owego.

“The City is unique in the region as a large landowner able to apply conservation principles in the management of watershed forests,” said Commissioner Ward. “While the Catskill Forest Preserve and many land trusts are admirably protecting forest as ‘forever wild’ on the one hand, and private lands are often logged or developed on the other, DEP is able to take a third approach of managing a long-term ‘working forest’ within the framework of overall water quality protection.”

Larry Schaefer, President of Schaefer Logging, commented that, “the bid for the harvest of timber and firewood in the Cannonsville Reservoir watershed area will have a significant economic impact on the local economy and will provide employment for over 30 employees. Harvesting of timber will produce firewood and landscape mulch for homeowners, ash tool handles from local handle factories, wood pallets for shipping, sawdust for farmers, lumber for furniture, chips for composite wood products, and veneer logs that go all over the world. Timber harvests through sustainable forest management provided by the Department of Environmental Protection will help provide long term economic stability in the region.”

New York City owns approximately 80,000 acres of forested land in nine upstate counties, which are managed to include sustainable uses when such uses afford protection of water quality, maintenance or improvement of ecosystem integrity and benefits to local communities.

City foresters manage these areas with four primary goals in mind: protect public health through providing a long term supply of high quality water for the nine million consumers served in New York State; maintain ecosystem integrity by protecting essential ecological processes and allowing the watershed ecosystem to both resist and recover from disturbances; provide community benefits, uses, values, goods and services; and promote the advancement of knowledge through development and application of principles for sustainable management of watersheds.

Matt Karp, Wagner Hardwood forester, certified by the Society of American Foresters said, “We were pleased when we learned we had been awarded the job on the Cannonsville. I believe in sustainable forestry and this job is a fine example.”

The two forest management projects on City lands are designed to regenerate forest areas where overstory trees are declining in overall health. In order to maintain or diversify age, species composition or structure in watershed forests, areas are periodically harvested to encourage the development of a new generation of tree seedlings. The ‘shelterwood’ regeneration strategy being employed in these projects stimulates natural development of seedlings. A partial cover of healthy and vigorous seed trees is retained to provide a seed source while also serving to shade and protect developing trees.

All DEP forest management projects are planned and supervised by certified, professional foresters on the DEP’s staff. The projects are scheduled in phases and are controlled through a detailed contract that is designed to protect land and water quality. Both companies awarded contracts are Cooperating Timber Harvesters listed with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. They abide by New York State’s Timber Harvesting Guidelines which are designed to protect water quality through the application of Best Management Practices.


More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600