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March 19, 2001

Contact: Geoff Ryan (718/595-6600)

Progress Report On Watershed Model Forest Program

Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP); Brian Fisher, Director of the Watershed Agricultural Council's Watershed Forestry Program (WAC-WFP); and René Germain, Coordinator of the Model Forest Program, reported today on progress with forestry research at the Mink Hollow Model Forest, a 502-acre City-owned property in the Town of Woodstock. The property was acquired in October 1998 under the City's Land Acquisition and Stewardship Program, and is one of four sites selected by WAC to be part of the New York City Watershed Model Forest Program.

"We at DEP are pleased to provide our lands for such beneficial, cooperative research and education initiatives as the Watershed Model Forest Program," said Commissioner Miele. "This partnership project, and others like it, will be of immense value for anyone managing forest resources in the watershed and beyond."

"The Model Forest Program is a component of WAC's Watershed Forestry Program, which provides education and outreach to foresters, landowners, loggers, and other potential stewards about long-term forest management in the watersheds of public reservoirs," according to Brian Fisher of WAC. "The Program is designed to research and demonstrate how environmental quality and protection can be balanced with economic development. As a long-term institutional resource for anyone involved in management of public or private forests, the Model Forests will enable people to become well-informed stewards of forests within the context of a working landscape."

In 2000, a forest inventory crew consisting of students from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry at State University of New York - Syracuse spent two-and-a-half months establishing a continuous forest inventory system at the Mink Hollow Model Forest. With the assistance of a DEP Forest Ecologist and several summer interns, this crew established over 220 forest inventory plots. The inventory system will consist of a 10 percent area sample, using 1/24-acre permanent fixed plots. The sampling protocol is consistent with the federal Forest Service's multi-resource Forest Health Monitoring system and, therefore, will be widely applicable to research efforts in the Catskill Region and in other areas around the state and the Northeast. Inventory work, which will continue this summer, will be followed by a detailed Model Forest Plan and ultimately by individual forest research and demonstration projects.

"Our forest inventory will provide important baseline data by which to monitor changes in forest conditions, both man-made and natural," said Rene¢ Germain, the SUNY-ESF professor directing the project. "This baseline information is critical to our research and education goals. The New York City Watershed Model Forests will serve as working laboratories for studying the impacts of forest management on water quality and for transferring ideas to forest resource managers, as well as the general public."

"We are confident that a well-managed, working forest landscape can contribute significantly to water quality protection and rural economic prosperity," said Mr. Fisher.

"Not only has the City contributed an outstanding site for forestry research," said Commissioner Miele, "it also has made the Model Forest area available for public recreation. Interested parties, who obtain a City Hiking Permit at no charge, are welcome to hike at the Mink Hollow area and 17 other City-owned sites in the watershed. A word of caution to hikers, however, is that Mink Hollow has steep slopes, which can be quite a challenge."

Information about New York City Hiking Permits, as well as Fishing Permits, may be obtained DEP's Web site ( or by phoning 1-800-575-LAND (1-800-575-5263).

Hiking Permits Available

New York City Hiking Permits, as well as City Fishing Permits, may be obtained at DEP's permit offices in the watersheds and in New York City. Applications for Hiking Permits may be downloaded from DEP's Website (; they also will be sent by mail to those who phone 1-800-575-LAND (1-800-575-5263). Applications will also be available at municipal offices of the towns in which lands are located -- Kent, Middletown, Neversink, Olive, Shandaken, Windham and Woodstock. 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
Route 28A
Shokan, NY 12468
Delaware District Office
(Sullivan County)
Route 42
Grahamsville, NY 12740
914/985-2524 & 7749
Delaware District Office
(Delaware County)
Route 30
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


More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600