FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE00-16
York City Opens More Watershed Lands To Hiking
As part of its Water Week celebrations, the New York City Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP) is opening up 12 new parcels of
land for hiking and fishing in both the East-of-Hudson and West-of-Hudson
watersheds, according to an announcement by DEP Commissioner Joel
A. Miele Sr., P.E.
"These parcels offer a wide range of hiking and fishing opportunities
to the public. When added to those the City opened last year, the
total available for hiking is now 4,809 acres in five watershed counties,"
said Commissioner Miele. "In Putnam County, we are adding 785
acres to the 300-acre Horse Pound Brook Unit in Kent, making a single
parcel of 1,085 acres, and we are opening up a 388-acre West Branch
Headwaters Unit in Putnam Valley. In Ulster County, we are doubling
the amount of land available for hiking and fishing with over 1,800
acres in nine separate parcels in Denning, Olive, Shandaken, Wawarsing
and Woodstock. In Greene County, the 245-acre Westkill Unit in Lexington
is a new addition, making for a total of 461 acres in the County.
In Delaware County, the Murphy Hill Unit of 520 acres in Andes and
Colchester and the 431-acre Weaver Hollow Unit in Andes and Middletown
are the highlights of the 1,089-acre total now open for hiking."
Permits, issued by DEP at no charge this year, are required for access
to lands owned by the City for drinking water quality protection.
The 'hiking' permit allows such activities as, bird-watching, nature
observation and photography, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing,
as well as walking. Additionally, the hiking permit now allows for
fishing on the streams and ponds of newly acquired lands. Special
DEP fishing permits are still required at the reservoirs, however.
Hiking permit applicants will receive maps of the individual parcels
with their permits.
In 1999, DEP opened properties either to deer hunting or to hiking
and fishing. Now, some deer hunting areas will also be available for
hiking and fishing, except during the deer-hunting season. This will
enable hunters to help manage deer herds, but ensure that people can
enjoy other recreational opportunities on these lands throughout the
rest of the year.
"While hikers with permits are welcome to enjoy DEP's Water
Supply lands that are designated for such use," said Commissioner
Miele, "current rules include restrictions on the disposal of
garbage, trash and human waste; on bathing or swimming; on camping,
picnicking and building fires; and on the use of any motorized vehicles.
It is important that visitors observe these rules to demonstrate that
recreational activities on City-owned lands can be compatible with
protection of water quality in the streams and reservoirs of the watershed.
Additionally, to ensure personal safety and to prevent inadvertent
trespass on the private property of neighboring landowners, hikers
are asked to review the site maps carefully whenever they visit any
of these City-owned parcels."
DEP advises that there are no maintained trails on any of these properties
at this time, and hikers with permits enter these parcels at their
own risk. The City is seeking to establish stewardship partnerships
with organizations, towns or groups, who may be interested in developing
and maintaining trails. Parking is limited in all areas and generally
restricted to roadsides. Permitted hikers are asked to exercise caution
when parking along roads, and to adhere to all local and applicable
"As spelled out in the Watershed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA),
DEP has been purchasing lands at fair market prices from willing sellers
to protect the quality of water in the streams, wetlands and reservoirs
of the watershed," said Commissioner Miele. "In keeping
with our commitments under the MOA, we review new acquisitions with
townships, villages and the Sporting Advisory Committees to identify
appropriate recreational activities. As we acquire new properties,
we will continue to make many of them available for a variety of recreational
uses compatible with protecting water quality and public safety."
Prior to instituting the City's Land Acquisition Program under the
MOA of 1997, the City owned 80,275 acres, which include the actual
reservoirs. Traditionally, anglers with City permits have fished at
the reservoirs, while deer hunter have had access to 10,300 acres
at the Cannonsville Reservoir for over 20 years.
As of April 30th, the City had acquired or signed purchase agreements
on 23,118 acres in the eight watershed counties at a cost of over
$67 million. Of the 23,329 acres that the City had reviewed for possible
recreational uses, 14,537 (62%) were deemed potentially appropriate
for access to hiking and fishing opportunities, and 13,564 (58%) for
hunting. Of the total, 2,794 acres (12%) were considered so hydrologically
sensitive that they should be set aside solely for water quality protection
purposes. City ownership of these lands will help to protect and improve
water quality in watershed wetlands and trout streams, as well as
the reservoirs. The City pays taxes on all its properties in the watershed.
Hiking Permit Applications, as well as City Fishing Permit Applications,
may be obtained at DEP's permit offices in the watersheds and in New
York City. Applications may also be downloaded from DEP's Web site
(www.ci.nyc.ny.us/dep), and will be sent by mail to those who phone
1-800-575-LAND (1-800-575-5263). Additionally, applications will be
available at municipal offices of the towns in which lands are located.
Copies of detailed site maps and hiking regulations will be given
to all permit holders.
The City's Hiking and Fishing Permit offices are open from 8:00 AM
to 4:00 PM, Tuesday through Saturday, March 15th through October 15th,
at the following watershed locations:
|Croton System Office
1 Belden Road and Route 6
Carmel, NY 10512
|Catskill District Office
Shokan, NY 12468
|Delaware District Office
Grahamsville, NY 12740
914/985-2524 & 7749
|Delaware District Office
Downsville, NY 13755
607/363-7009 & 7010
The following Hiking and Fishing Permit Offices in New York City
are open during normal business hours, Monday through Friday:
Customer & Conservation Services
1250 Broadway (8th Floor)
New York, NY 10001
One-Stop Center (First Floor)
96-05 Horace Harding Expressway
Corona, NY 11368
LIST OF PROPERTIES OPEN TO HIKING AND FISHING -
|Beetree Hill Unit
|Big Indian Unit
|Blue Hill Unit
|East Mountain Unit
|Herdman Road Unit
|Horse Pound Brook Unit
| Huckleberry Brook Unit
|Mink Hollow Unit
|Murphy Hill Unit
||Andes and Colchester
| Red Hill Knolls Unit
| Sheridan Mountain Unit
|Weaver Hollow Unit
||Andes and Middletown
|West Branch Headwaters Cluster
|West Shokan Cluster
| Yagerville Road Unit