2,640 more acres opened for recre­ation in ’16

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - Free­man staff

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.

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