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December 21, 2017
deppressoffice@dep.nyc.gov, (845) 334-7868

Department of Environmental Protection Announces Temporary Recreation Closure for Lands North of Ashokan Reservoir

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that it will temporarily close some recreation lands on the northern border of Ashokan Reservoir, creating a safe work zone as Ulster County begins preliminary work on a new recreational trail. The temporary closure will begin this month, and DEP expects to reopen the lands early in the spring. Some areas may need to be closed again periodically to allow for construction of the trail. Access to five recreation units will be restricted, and those using adjacent lands should pay close attention for red signs that will mark the closed areas.

The recreation units to be temporarily closed include Bushkill, Sand Hill, Ashokan North, Glenford, and the Ashokan Fishing Access Area.

The temporary closure is needed to establish a safe work zone as Ulster County begins preparatory work on the 11.5-mile rail trail that will run through lands along the northern border of Ashokan Reservoir. The first stages of work include the removal of many dead and dying trees, including ash trees that are in danger of falling because they were killed by the emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle.

More information about the Ashokan Rail Trail can be found on Ulster County’s website by visiting ulstercountyny.gov/planning/ashokan-rail-trail.

More information about temporary closures on DEP land, including a list of the exact recreation units to be close, can be found by visiting nyc.gov/dep/recreation.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of high-quality water each day to more than 9.5 million New Yorkers. This includes more than 70 upstate communities and institutions in Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties who consume an average of 110 million total gallons of drinking water daily from New York City’s water supply system. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and other professionals in the watershed. In addition to its $70 million payroll and $166 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.7 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

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