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There was a logging operation in the Rensselaerville State Forest during hunting season


Chelsea FC

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On Thursday, Dec. 7, I decided to hunt the Rensselaerville State Forest in Albany County. This is a place I'd never been but was recommended to hunt from members of this website. Late in the afternoon I heard what I initially thought were snow machines, as there are multi-use trails throughout the forest. As I walked further west on one of these multi-use trails, I came upon a clear cut operation and several piles of freshly cut pine tree logs (see pictures attached). There was also a massive pile of pine boughs and logging debris completely blocking one of the trails heading south. The machines I were hearing were actually some sort of front loader or bulldozer and some other large piece of construction equipment that I wasn't able to identify through the trees.

It especially annoyed me because the area that was being clear cut seemed like prime hunting territory. It was along the top of a trail looking down into what WAS a pine forest that sloped gently downwards before bottoming out.

Later on, when hiking out of the forest, I was passed by a fully-laden logging truck with Quebec plates. Also of note is that earlier in the day I was passed by a man driving a side-by-side on these same trails, which specifically forbid the use of ATVs (snow machines are allowed). I'm not sure if he had anything to do with the logging operation but his tracks led to the site.

The whole thing struck me as shady. If it was a conservation/land management operation being conducted by the state, I don't think they would have scheduled it during hunting season. And I can't think of a legitimate reason for a private logging concern to be operating on public land. Does anyone know anything about this? Is this legal? How is it benefiting the public/taxpayers? Why is such an operation occurring during hunting season?

In the attached photos, one is of the aforementioned piles of freshly cut logs, and the other is of the logging debris blocking the trail south. Also attached is a map of the forest denoting where the operation was/is taking place. Both photos were taken from screengrabs of videos I took at the site, which I can share if anyone is interested.

Please let me know if you have any thoughts/comments.

 

RSF logging 1.jpg

RSF logging 2.jpg

RSF logging map.jpg

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The state leases out rights for logging. State usually asks for the pine trees so they can turn them into telephone poles and the loggers keep the hardwoods. You should be happy they are logging though. This is great news for that spot as its only going to get better over the next 10-15 years. I wish they would do more of this in the catskills to bring some money into the area and habitat for all the deer/bear/Turkey and grouse.  

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15 minutes ago, Chelsea FC said:

OK, thanks for the info. But why do it during hunting season? That whole area was unhuntable.

Because of two federally endangered bat species.  No logging until those bags are in their winter hibernaculums. This is very normal for any and all forestry work here in the northeast. It is a very short term negative for many years of positive habitat improvements. 

"A sinking fly is closer to Hell" - Anonymous 

 

https://www.troutscapes.com

https://nativefishcoalition.org/national-board

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17 minutes ago, Chelsea FC said:

OK, thanks for the info. But why do it during hunting season? That whole area was unhuntable.

Probably an oversite by the DEC, or just less concerned about messing up the hunting in one area for one season when the trade off means good hunting for the next 20 years. 

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Also, deer come running to the sounds of chainsaws, especially this time of year when they focus on woody browse. Set up near the outer limits of logging (if area is open) and near any maples or other “softer” hardwoods. The deer will browse on the branch tips now laying on the forest floor. 

"A sinking fly is closer to Hell" - Anonymous 

 

https://www.troutscapes.com

https://nativefishcoalition.org/national-board

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I had a similar experience this deer season and it's still going on.  The utility is having a path cut through the woods nearby for a transmission line.  Ten hours a day we heard a large grinder operating and heavy equipment moving trees they were dropping.   This is likely because they have been doing solar fields all over the place around here. 

Seems they learned that lower population areas have less voices to object to beautiful countryside being spoiled by acres of panels. 

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It's been over 20 years since e I've done any logging. But back then the state foresters would mark timber to be cut for harvest(part of their management plan) and put it out to bid . I  had done a few cuts and dont recall any restrictions on times that one could harvest. 

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Best places to hunt are clear cuts. I wish they would cut down every tree on the lands i hunt. Lol. I have a 2000 acre spot I found back 4 miles off the road that they have been logging for 2 yrs now.  I can't wait till they are done. Where i hunt in PA, they cut everything but the oaks. Because PA is smart lol.  During acorn yrs its a feeding frenzy in the clear cuts till the following spring. Shed antlers everywhere. So i don't  complain.Bite Saying GIF by Eternal Family

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I was always under the impression NYS state lands were designated "forever wild" and could not be logged.  From a strictly forestry and deer habitat perspective, "responsible" logging is a good thing; and IMO, more state land, especially those that are old growth with closed canopies should be logged.

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27 minutes ago, Ncountry said:

It's been over 20 years since e I've done any logging. But back then the state foresters would mark timber to be cut for harvest(part of their management plan) and put it out to bid . I  had done a few cuts and dont recall any restrictions on times that one could harvest. 

A lot has changed. I’ve been running Forestry Stewardship Management Plans here in NJ for maybe 18 plus years. We had no restrictions then, but the first was for a federally endangered bat and they have since added a second bat to the list. They cover large areas of our states and have significantly altered forestry practices from a timing standpoint.  We do all our work from late December until March now if we can get skidders in during winter. It’s a major PITA. 

"A sinking fly is closer to Hell" - Anonymous 

 

https://www.troutscapes.com

https://nativefishcoalition.org/national-board

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12 hours ago, lucky118 said:

Best places to hunt are clear cuts. I wish they would cut down every tree on the lands i hunt. Lol. I have a 2000 acre spot I found back 4 miles off the road that they have been logging for 2 yrs now.  I can't wait till they are done. Where i hunt in PA, they cut everything but the oaks. Because PA is smart lol.  During acorn yrs its a feeding frenzy in the clear cuts till the following spring. Shed antlers everywhere. So i don't  complain.Bite Saying GIF by Eternal Family

It's not technically a clear cut if they leave the oaks. In NY, they take the oaks first. Or they just take everything, truly a clearcut, they leave it looking like the moon. Everything blistered and gone. They dig into the unfertile earth to make a logging header, and never put the topsoil back. They cross trout steams, it's ok for them, not for you...

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12 hours ago, Bucksnbows said:

A lot has changed. I’ve been running Forestry Stewardship Management Plans here in NJ for maybe 18 plus years. We had no restrictions then, but the first was for a federally endangered bat and they have since added a second bat to the list. They cover large areas of our states and have significantly altered forestry practices from a timing standpoint.  We do all our work from late December until March now if we can get skidders in during winter. It’s a major PITA. 

NY is not the same as NJ. Ny does not care about the bats.

I think for responsible loggers (which are few) Dec till March is the best time to log. Ground is frozen and no leaves.

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9 minutes ago, Spysar said:

NY is not the same as NJ. Ny does not care about the bats.

I think for responsible loggers (which are few) Dec till March is the best time to log. Ground is frozen and no leaves.

It’s federal law. Has nothing to do with NJ or NY. Look it up. 

"A sinking fly is closer to Hell" - Anonymous 

 

https://www.troutscapes.com

https://nativefishcoalition.org/national-board

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