This site includes the relatively intact forest surrounding Stissing
Mountain. Dominant trees of the forest community include red oak,
ash, and beech, but the bases of the steep slopes tend towards a hemlockmixed
hardwood system. The site is surrounded by agricultural land.
According to the NY GAP land cover data, approximately 90% of the
site is forested, and includes Appalachian oak-pine, deciduous wetland,
evergreen northern hardwood, evergreen plantation, oak, and sugar
maple mesic forests. The Nature Conservancy owns Stissing Mountain
Preserve (507 acres), but adjoining parcels are privately owned.

Ornithological Summary

The site supports a characteristic community of forest breeders
including the Black-billed Cuckoo, Barred Owl, Eastern Wood-Pewee,
Acadian Flycatcher, Brown Creeper, Winter Wren, Hermit Thrush,
Wood Thrush, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Canada Warbler, Rosebreasted
Grosbeak, and Baltimore Oriole. A pair of Golden Eagles has
regularly wintered here and there is a possibility that the birds may
attempt nesting.

Conservation Issues

Permanent protection and stewardship of private portions of the site are
needed to prevent fragmentation resulting from development. Options
include public or land trust acquisition, purchase of conservation
easements, and sustainable forestry agreements. There is concern that
recreational visitors, including birders, could disturb the eagles. As of
1993, the NYS DEC has posted the southern boundaries of the area
and sought cooperation from The Nature Conservancy and local bird
clubs to protect the birds from disturbance.

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