In 1932 the New Michigan State Forest was established on abandoned farm land to advance conservation principles such as watershed protection and sustained yield timber production. This forest is an integral part of the Chenango Watershed and the larger Susquehanna drainage basin, which eventually flows into the Chesapeake Bay. However, in May of 1998, a tornado destroyed about a 1,000 acres of the 9,000-acre property. The land was cleared of debris and needed to be replanted before competing vegetation was reestablished. American Forests partnered with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to plant 13,600 trees in the spring of 2000. The reforestation of the New Michigan State Forest focused on promoting natural regeneration, reestablishing riparian zones and restoring a conifer component to select sites. Reforestation of this site will benefit interior bird species, such as the red shouldered hawk, protect the watershed and continue to provide recreational activities for the public including hunting, nordic skiing, mountain biking, hiking and wildlife observation.
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