If you want to just look at post, you do NOT need an account.
But, if you want to post comments you need to open an account. Please:
Click Here to apply for an account.

OSI & DEC acquire 261 acres on South Mountain

Report or discuss current events in the Catskill Mountains.
User avatar
Posts: 712
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:14 pm
Location: Acra New York

OSI & DEC acquire 261 acres on South Mountain

Unread post by dave »

DEC and Open Space Institute Announce Protection of 261 acres Adjacent to Sundown Wild Forest in Catskills

South Mountain is just north of Ashokan High Peak and west of the Ashokan Reservoir.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the acquisition of 261 acres adjacent to the Catskill Forest Preserve's Sundown Wild Forest. The permanent protection of the land will preserve open space, protect critical drinking water sources that contribute to the renowned quality of the New York City watershed, and expand recreational opportunities to support the local economy. The purchase of the property, consisting of forested land along the east side of South Mountain in the Town of Olive, Ulster County, including a portion of the mountain's summit, was made possible through a partnership with the Open Space Institute (OSI) and $666,500 from New York's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

"Continuing to build upon the progress made in protecting this important natural corridor will help ensure clean drinking water in the New York City watershed while also providing new opportunities for outdoor recreation in the Catskills," Commissioner Seggos said. "We are grateful to our partners at the Open Space Institute as well as Dr. Sam and Delia Adams for their outstanding and ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship and dedication to preserving the beauty of the Catskills for all."

"The Open Space Institute is proud to work with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to protect the South Mountain property and secure long-term access to clean water for millions of New Yorkers," said Kim Elliman, president and CEO, the Open Space Institute. "The power of strategic land conservation and public-private partnerships is invaluable in safeguarding sources of clean drinking water. Through the Environmental Protection Fund and partnerships just like this, New York State continues to invest in land conservation that will benefit New Yorkers for generations to come."

The South Mountain property is located within the Ashokan Reservoir watershed and connects to other lands conserved by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to protect water quality. More than 90 percent of New York City's water supply comes from the Catskill and Delaware watershed, located more than 100 miles north of the city.

The protection of the land also lays the groundwork for the creation of new public access points for two popular hiking destinations from a public road, opening additional wild areas to better welcome and disperse hikers and visitors seeking to recreate in the Catskills. Additional access points, allowing for eastern access to South Mountain from High Point Mountain Road, could be used to relieve pressure on popular trailheads and summits. South Mountain rises 2,190 feet high near the west shore of the Ashokan Reservoir and is connected to the 3,091-foot Ashokan High Point Mountain by a ridgeline.

The new acquisition adds to the 30,100-acre Sundown Wild Forest, which covers a large swath of the southeast Catskills, including several ridges and 10 mountains over 2,000 feet.

OSI initially purchased the newly conserved property in 2019 from Dr. Sam and Delia Adams, whose family owned the land since the Hardenbergh Patent of the 1700s. DEC and OSI worked together to accommodate the Adams' desire to retain their farmhouse and adjacent agricultural fields. The state acquisition includes wooded mountainous portions of the property, resulting in a balance of forest preservation and private ownership of adjacent land that allows the family to carry on the agricultural tradition.

The EPF is a critical resource for environmental programs such as land acquisition, farmland protection, invasive species prevention and eradication, recreation access, water quality improvement, and environmental justice projects. Among the many environmental victories in the 2023-24 State Budget, Governor Kathy Hochul maintained EPF funding at $400 million, the highest level of funding in the program's history. The EPF also provides funding for critical environmental programs such as climate change mitigation, farmland protection, invasive species prevention and eradication, enhanced recreational access, water quality improvement, and an aggressive environmental justice agenda.
Post Reply