State Parks, OSI Protect Land Near Fahnestock

Preserves significant land from development

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) and the Open Space Institute (OSI) announced April 24 that two properties totaling 270 acres in Putnam County that had been threatened by development will be added to Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park, expanding outdoor recreational opportunities and open space protection in the Hudson Highlands.

OSI acquired the first of the two properties, 235-acre “Roaring Brook,” which will provide valuable habitat for sensitive plants and animals and further expand the park’s abundant recreational offerings. OSI will hold Roaring Brook until State Parks purchases it, planning to use a combination of funding from the state’s Environmental Protection Fund and from the federal Highlands Conservation Act program.

The Roaring Brook property has been an acquisition priority of State Parks for over a decade. The effort to protect it began over a year ago, when the Roaring Brook Lake Homeowners Association began calling for the conservation of the threatened land. Over the past 20 years, the property, valued at $787,500, has been the subject of various development proposals. The most recent plan, from the spring 2013, proposed 15 residential lots along the property’s ridgeline.

State Parks has also completed the purchase of 35 acres in Putnam Valley, protecting a ridge above Oscawana Lake from the impacts of residential development. The property will allow for the establishment of a public trailhead to facilitate development of trails in the southernmost section of Fahnestock Park, as designated in the park’s 2010 master plan. The acreage was identified by the Hudson Highlands Land Trust as a Legacy Landscape conservation priority. The land was acquired for $414,000 from the Environmental Protection Fund.

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