Mossy Brook, Beaverkill

44 Acres on the Beaverkill River Protected by Open Space Institute Easements

Image Credit: Michael Neil O' Donnell

NEW YORK, NY - November 22, 2006 - On November 16, 2006, Open Space Conservancy (OSC) protected another 44 acres in New York State. The acquisition of a conservation easement on 20 acres of land bordering the Beaverkill River in the Town of Rockland, Sullivan County and the Town of Colchester, Delaware County triggered the donation of another easement on an adjacent 24-acre parcel. The protection will prevent development of this highly visible area in a scenic stretch of the Beaverkill between the covered bridge at the north end of the state campground and the recently protected 1,000-acre Prince Hall property. 

The Beaverkill Valley has long been a focus area for OSC. We have protected some 15,000 acres in the Valley through fee and easement acquisition. The river corridor between the state campground and the Prince Hall property is a high priority for OSC not only due to its unfettered scenic views but for the several important historical landmarks located within it. In close proximity to the Barnes parcels is the Prince Hall Masonic campground, which serves as a camp for inner-city kids during the summer and home to the famous Dundas Castle, the subject of numerous historical articles on the region and currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

The land contiguous to the Barnes parcels, known as Clear Lake, is adjacent to the Beaverkill Campground, the first state-owned campsite in New York. It was completed with Civilian Conservation Corps labor during the Great Depression in the 1930s and today serves thousands of summertime campers in the region. The campground also includes the Beaverkill Covered Bridge, built in 1865, which spans the famous Beaverkill River at Theodore Gordon's prized fishing pool. Gordon, the legendary “father of American fly-fishing,” considered the Beaverkill River a most treasured natural resource. Today, both the covered bridge and Mr. Gordon are honored on this site with State historic markers. Across the River sits the Beaverkill Church, another historic edifice that was built during the 19th Century and today serves as a community gathering place and focal point for local ceremonies throughout the year. 

The acquisition of the Barnes conservation easements furthers the mission of the Open Space Institute, securing critical areas for historic preservation and recreational enjoyment, while it also encourages other landowners in this corridor to join in our conservation effort.

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