54 Years of Public Grazing
Finger Lakes National Forest, New York
7384 Rt 414 Ovid, NY 14521
Baldwin, Ranch Manager
Hector Grazing Association
5046 Rt1 Searsburg Rd.
Trumansburg, NY 14886
Livestock grazing is permitted under
a lease agreement between the USDA Forest Service and the
non-profit Hector Cooperative Grazing Association. Members
bring their beef and dairy cattle to National Forest pastures
from May 15 to October 15. Public use of the pastures is welcomed
year round, please keep gates closed and avoid cattle during
the grazing season.
to the USDA
Forest Service Hector Grazing info:
The Hector Cooperative Grazing Association is one of the
oldest public grazing facilities in the country. They were
incorporated in April 1946 for area farmers, who utilized
1,700 acres of grazing land of the State of New York. From
1939 through 1971, the cooperative made use of other resources
of the land by harvesting timber, cutting and selling posts,
leasing hay lots, and cutting and selling Christmas trees
1941, sheep were the primary livestock grazed by the Co-op.
The cattle included both beef and dairy and small herds of
horses. The initial numbers of members were 138 but dropped
to 64 in 1992. Currently, there are 35 dues paying members.
the Association grazes 4,500 acres with 35 pastures and 80
miles of fence. The Association is administered under a one-term
grazing permit and manages the allocation of the cattle to
the members. The Association provides the greatest flexibility
and ease of management of the Finger Lakes National Forest.
required range improvements are constructed and maintained
through the utilization of Fee Credits allowed toward the
annual grazing fee in accordance with Forest Plans and Allotment
Management Plans. National Forests and Land Utilization Projects
in the Eastern United States strategically utilize this direction
to maintain needed range improvements and grassland openings.
Each year District Ranger Twarkins and her staff works with
the Association Board of Directors to negotiate the range
improvements to be maintain or constructed and the amounts
of Fee Credit needed. Usually, up to one year of Fee Credit
mowing, ragweed and goldenrod will become dominant. Mowing
is an approved practice. Pastures are mowed to keep invasive
species (ragweed and goldenrod) in check. Without mowing,
ragweed and goldenrod will become dominant. Mowing is coordinated
with the nesting requirements of birds species. A distinct
habitat relationship with upland birds exist with the grass
and forb communities. The mowing of tall-grass forb pastures
was found to be critical for the Henslow's and Grasshopper
sparrows according to Dr. Charles Smith, Cornell University.