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April 27, 2005

Contact: Ian Michaels (718) 595-6600

New York City DEP Acquires 193-Acre Parcel in Delhi That will be Opened for Public Access

Commissioner Emily Lloyd of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that the agency has acquired 193-acres in Delhi in Delaware County as part of its watershed protection program. The parcel is located at Peakes Brook and Frank Hafele Roads, and contains portions of Peakes Brook and one of its tributaries.

“This purchase is another example of DEP protecting water quality while increasing recreation opportunities for the public,” said Commissioner Lloyd. “The property was not open to the general public for recreation when in private ownership, but under DEP it will be available for hiking and fishing by permit and possibly hunting. And as always with DEP watershed land purchases, full property taxes will be paid by the City.”

Commissioner Lloyd noted that the acquisition protects nearly half-a-mile of scenic road frontage, a 40-acre agricultural field, and numerous dirt roads and early successional forest stands. Most notably, the purchase will make over 3,000 feet of Peakes Brook and one of its tributaries available for fishing.

DEP will be preparing the site for recreational access this year and will be seeking proposals from local farmers for use of the fields. This Delhi property will be added to the 35,000 acres of watershed land currently offered by DEP for recreational use.

Permits for recreational use are available at no cost. Applicants can visit the DEP Web site at www.nyc.gov/watershedrecreation or call 1-800-575-LAND for more information and to obtain an application. Applications are also available at DEP Land Management offices, town offices, and bait and tackle shops throughout the watershed.

Since 1997, over 700 willing sellers have sold roughly 42,000 acres of land at fair market value and 10,000 acres of conservation easements throughout the watershed to New York City, including 214 landowners in Delaware County. The conservation easement properties – including an additional 10,000 acres of farm easements acquired by the Watershed Agricultural Council – are not owned by the DEP but are still enjoyed privately by their owners under a wide range of uses that are compatible with water supply protection.

As of April 2005, the DEP has made over 35,000 acres available for public recreation, including over 22,000 acres of land acquired under its Land Acquisition Program. Over 84,000 free Public Access permits have been issued and last season nearly 10,000 hunting tags were distributed. Almost 10,000 boat tags have been issued this season for people to use boats for fishing on City reservoirs.


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