Tug HIll Plateau

About This Priority Conservation Area

New York State’s Tug Hill Region is a 2,100 square mile area situated between Eastern Lake Ontario and the Black River Valley and includes lands in Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, and Oswego counties. The largely undeveloped area includes important wetland and forested habitats, as well as an abundance of ponds and lakes. Numerous streams and rivers have their headwaters located within Tug Hill, and Tug Hill’s watersheds are important sources of clean water for Oneida Lake and Lake Ontario in addition to themselves providing high-quality aquatic and riparian habitats. Within the larger Tug Hill region lies the Tug Hill Core Forest, comprised of nearly 150,000 acres of nearly contiguous forested lands. This large forested tract provides a variety of recreational opportunities, and managed forestry operations on both public and privately held lands provide employment and help support the area’s rural economy. The core forest also provides valuable habitat for a variety of game species, as well as 29 rare animals and 70 rare plant species.

The Tug Hill Core Forest remains an area dominated by native species with relatively little impact from many invasive species. Due to its pristine nature, an Invasive Species Prevention Zone (ISPZ) was established to monitor and prevent the establishment of high priority invasive species within the Tug Hill Core Forest.

Confirmed Invasive Species Observations

Confirmed observations of SLELO’s tiered invasive species at Black Lake PCA. For more information, visit iMapInvasives

Tier List Species Recorded at This PCA

These invasive species tiers guide management priorities in New York State and are utilized by the Partnership For Regional Invasive Species Management or PRISM Network. The species categorized in each tier are dependent on species distribution, abundance, and management options available, and may vary depending on the region. The species listed below are the species categorized in the SLELO PRISM region. View a full list of tiered species in the SLELO PRISMLearn about New York State Invasive Species Tiers and view a Story-Map

Tier 1 Species

Early Detection/Prevention

The management approach is Early Detection & Prevention. Species are not known to be in the SLELO region but are within 100 miles and an introduction pathway exists. 

Species Recorded at This PCA

No Tier 1 Species were found at this PCA at this time. 

Tier 2 Species


The management Approach is Eradication. Species are known to be present in the SLELO region but are in low abundance with suitable treatment methods available to make eradication feasible with Priority Conservation Areas. 

Species Recorded at This PCA
  • Giant hogweed

Tier 3 Species


The management approach is containment/exclusion Species are too widespread for eradication from the region, but some areas remain unaffected. Targeted management can be used to suppress the population within Priority Conservation Areas. 

Species Recorded at This PCA
  • Japanese knotweed
  • Pale swallow-wort
  • Phragmites

Tier 4 Species

Suppression/Local Control

The management approach is suppression/local control.Species are present and widespread throughout the region with no chance of eradication. Localized management is applied to protect high-priority resources like rare plant habitats or recreation areas. 

Species Recorded at This PCA
  • Glossy buckthorn
  • Honeysuckle spp.
  • Purple loosestrife
  • Wild parsnip

Tier 5 Species


The management approach is to Monitor. Species may or may not be in the region but are difficult to respond to or require more knowledge of distribution, and management options. 

Species Recorded at This PCA

No Tier 5 Species were found at this PCA at this time. 

Species Recorded at this PCA that are not listed in SLELO PRISM's Tiers

  • Himalayan Balsam

Field Reports

Treatment Reports

Images From the Field