The majority of College Camp is comprised of various types of forest that warrant various management techniques. In winter 2012-13 the Camp was surveyed by a state forester from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) who compiled a complete analysis, description, and recommended management plan for the College Camp property based on the goals and mission of College Camp. A copy of the full Forest Stewardship Plan and Appendices can be found at the OAS office. A summary of key points of that Forest Stewardship Plan are given below.
The recommendations put forth in this plan have been prepared using guidelines from the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service – Forest Stewardship Program. The Forest Stewardship Program is founded upon the principle that natural resource management can best serve landowners and the public by taking a multiple resource approach to managing non-industrial private forests. This Stewardship Plan should be considered a living document that may be amended at any time to incorporate changes in landowner goals and objectives and/or the natural process. The Forest Stewardship Plan was constructed with the following goals in mind:
- To maintain the health of the forest.
- To maintain and/or improve the recreation access to the property for walking, hiking, mountain biking and nature and wildlife viewing.
- To manage the timber resource in a low impact and sustainable manner.
- To maintain native species of plants.
- To preserve the aesthetics of the property.
- To protect the soil and water resources.
- To maintain or improve the habitat to encourage a variety of plants and wildlife present on the property.
The Forest Stewardship Plan proposed by the forester from the NYSDEC is based on a ten-year work schedule. Annual activities include maintaining trails, inspection of property boundaries, mowing of fields. Each of the 15 forest stands (sections) should be selectively thinned in approximately 10-year intervals; thinning may be conducted on multiple stands at once for ease of logistics and minimization of time that the Camp is closed to users. Thinning will be conducted to promote the health of the forest and help pay for the operation of College Camp. Every 5 years the property boundaries will be remarked to preserve the integrity of Camp boundaries.
As per recommendation of the state forester and express interested of several stakeholders of College Camp the field areas will be left as open field areas for aesthetic purposes and to provide habitats for additional wildlife species. Management of these areas will be conducted with these two goals in mind. The Forest Stewardship Plan also includes recommendations for dealing with invasive plant species, which will be part of the regular maintenance of the Camp.