On May 31, 1998 a tornado near Cooperstown, New York destroyed 512 acres on Milford State Forest, and caused extensive blow down on 150 acres of Hartwick State Forest and Arnold Lake State Forest. These sites are in the Otsego Creek Watershed, which is the primary tributary of the Susquehanna River that feeds into the Chesapeake Bay. The forests were originally planted by state and CCC crews in the 1930s. This area provides habitat for deer, turkey, and ruffed grouse and is used extensively for recreation (cross-country skiing, hiking, horseback riding, hunting) by local residents and tourists. About half the damaged area had enough remaining vegetation to be allowed to regenerate naturally. In 2000 American Forests partnered with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to complete the second phase of this three year project. 19,000 Norway spruce were planted on 36 acres, including spot planting of a section where survival had been poor after a 1999 planting.
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