[an error occurred while processing the directive] [an error occurred while processing the directive]
[an error occurred while processing the directive]


November 14, 2014


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

Department of Environmental Protection Opened 4,180 Additional Acres of Watershed Property in 2014 for Hiking, Hunting and Other Outdoor Recreation

With New York’s regular hunting season set to begin Saturday, new or expanded access in five counties provides additional opportunities for sportsmen and sportswomen

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that it has opened access this year to 19 new parcels of watershed property totaling 4,180 acres, where outdoor enthusiasts can hike, hunt and participate in other low-impact recreation. With the state’s regular hunting season starting on Saturday, Nov. 15, sportsmen and sportswomen are encouraged to utilize the 89,427 acres of water supply land owned and managed by DEP that are open for hunting. That includes 62,788 acres known as “public access areas” that are open for hiking, hunting, and trapping without a permit. Parcels open for hunting are spread across 313 recreation areas in Delaware, Dutchess, Greene, Putnam, Schoharie, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties. DEP has created 18 new recreation units since last year, but some of the expanded access has also been added to existing recreation areas as the City has acquired land adjacent to them. Many hunters have already started to enjoy this expanded access during the early bow-hunting season that began in October. 

Dense populations of certain animals, including deer, can degrade water quality by stunting the regeneration of forest lands that serve as an important natural filter for surface waters before they enter reservoirs. To help address deer overpopulation, more than 300 hunters entered into a lottery this year for Deer Management Assistance Permits that will allow them to harvest deer on lands immediately adjacent to Ashokan, Cannonsville and Neversink reservoirs.  This effort will help to promote forest regeneration on reservoir buffer lands.

“Expanded access to our water supply lands will help carry on the traditions of hunting, fishing and trapping that are so important in the watershed, while also protecting the source of high-quality drinking water for 9.4 million New Yorkers,” DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd said. “We encourage our neighbors in the watershed to safely enjoy these properties as hunting season begins this weekend.”

The newly opened parcels include land in Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties. Some highlights include:

Recreation Unit

Rec Use





Public Access Area




Holmes Hollow

Public Access Area




Crescent Valley

Public Access Area




Griffin Hill

Public Access Area




Grinch House

Public Access Area




Rusk Mountain

Public Access Area




Red Falls

Public Access Area




Bull Hill

Public Access Area




Trout Creek

Public Access Area




Dancing Rock

Bow Hunt/Hike with free DEP permit




All state hunting regulations – including antler restrictions throughout most of the watershed region – apply on city-owned lands.  Also, those using water supply lands for recreation and hunting should pay careful attention to posted signs that outline what uses are allowed.  Access to some areas may be restricted due to ongoing forestry projects and entering areas marked as closed will be considered trespassing. In addition, some parcels open for recreation require a free DEP access permit, which can obtained through an online permitting system found by clicking here.

Additional information about hunting on City-owned property in the watersheds can be found by going to nyc.gov/dep and clicking on the “Watershed Recreation” link.  A complete list of recreation units can be found by going to this link on the DEP website.  Hunters who are unclear about what activities are allowed in each unit should check the DEP website or call (800) 575-LAND during regular business hours.

Since 2003, DEP has tripled the amount of City-owned water supply lands that are open for recreation to 125,507 acres.  Of those acres open to recreation, roughly 92,000 are land and 33,000 are water.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of high quality water each day to more than 9 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 others professionals in the upstate watershed. In addition to its $70 million payroll and $157 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 with nearly $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/nycwater.

[an error occurred while processing the directive]
 [an error occurred while processing the directive]
[an error occurred while processing the directive]