2,640 more acres opened for recreation in ’16
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection says 2,640 additional acres of city-owned property across its upstate watershed were opened for recreation in 2016.
All the newly opened land is in Ulster, Greene and Delaware counties, the department said.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) says it now has opened a total of 133,000 acres of land and water in the upstate watershed that can be used for fishing, hiking, hunting and other low-impact activities. And, it says, more than half of the areas can be used without an access permit issued by the department.
“As the city preserved land to protect water quality in its reservoirs, it also kept a promise to open these lands to public access whenever and wherever possible,” department Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said in an email to the media. “Over the past decade, DEP has opened tens of thousands of acres for public recreation, promoted the use of kayaks and canoes on four reservoirs in the Catskills, supported the longstanding fishing access enjoyed by thousands of anglers, and we’ve released an online mapping utility to help the public easily find places to explore.” (The mapping tool can be found at arcg. is/2iM7HYK.)
“The city is committed to working with watershed partners to promote these outdoor opportunities and to enhance recreational access in the future,” Sapienza said.
Among the DEP land opened for recreation last year:
• In Ulster County, 20 acres in the existing Sholam recreational area in Wawarsing, for a total of 262 acres; and 70 acres in the existing South Hill recreational area in Wawarsing, for a total of 539 acres.
• In Greene County, 448 acres in the existing Halcott Center recreational area in Halcott, for a total of 506 acres; and the new Lanes Brook recreational area in Hunter, which comprises 135 acres.
• In Delaware County, 273 additional acres in the existing Fish Hollow recreational area in Walton, for a total of 398 acres; and the new Mill Mountain recreational area in Bovina, which comprises 135 acres.
The department said it also expanded hunting opportunities last year at three recreational areas near Ashokan Reservoir in Ulster County. The Mile Shore, Glenford and Stone Road recreational areas, totaling 1,391 acres, are now open to hunting for anyone with a state hunting license. Previously, these areas were open only to hunters who acquired Deer Management Assistance Program from the DEP.