Saratoga County has backed off from a plan to log trees from Kinns Road park, a town-managed public park that is owned by the county as part of its forest holdings.
Plans for the county to selectively log the 56-acre property — as it routinely does on dozens of other county-owned forest lands — have drawn a significant amount of opposition from Clifton Park and Halfmoon residents who use the passive recreation park to hike, cross-country ski, and walk their dogs.
On Tuesday, county and town officials confirmed that they are discussing other possibilities.
“The county and the town are working together to come up with a final agreement,” said county Board of Supervisors Chairman Matthew Veitch, R-Saratoga Springs, at a county board meeting Tuesday in Ballston Spa. “At this point we don’t have a final agreement.”
“I look forward to the continued dialogue,” said Clifton Park Supervisor Phil Barrett.
The county has planned to log the property this winter, following a process it uses on other county-owned wood lots, where an independent forester determines what trees to cut and a contractor then cuts the trees. It’s a process that makes money for the county, since loggers pay for the right to take the timber.
The alternative under discussion would have the town remove any dead timber in the park, with the county not doing extensive logging of live trees.
The Kinns Road property, however, is unique. Most of the county’s 3,000 acres of woodland are in northern parts of the county, and Kinns Road is the only one managed by a town for use as a town park.
The lands are all pine plantations planted as federal work projects during the Great Depression, with the lands then given to the county on condition that they not be sold or developed.
Many foresters believe selective logging or thinning is necessary to the health of a managed forest, by allowing new trees to receive sunlight and grow.
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