OLIVE, NY (Nov. 21, 2019) — The Open Space Institute (OSI) today announced the acquisition of two properties adjacent to the Catskill Park’s Sundown Wild Forest. Permanent protection of the properties, previously owned by the Golden family and located within the Ashokan Reservoir watershed, will help secure long-term access to clean water for millions of New Yorkers for generations to come.
Located in the Town of Olive, Ulster County, the properties total 871 acres and were purchased by OSI from the Golden family, who have owned the parcels since William T. Golden began acquiring land in the Catskills more than 50 years ago.
Additionally, the parcels add to the system of contiguous conserved lands in the region and intact, protected forests that provide a key function in storing and absorbing carbon. A greater amount of carbon is retained in the soil and trees when the land is largely undisturbed.
The newly protected properties have the potential to serve as an eastern access point to the more than 3,000-foot Ashokan High Point hiking trail. Once the “Golden” properties are transferred from OSI to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) as an addition to the Sundown Wild Forest of the Catskill Park, it will be one of the largest additions to the park in recent years.
“The Open Space Institute is proud to continue its work protecting the watershed in this region of the Catskill Park and leveraging forested land as a critical carbon-capturing tool in the prevention of climate change. Strategic land conservation goes hand-in-hand with providing healthy communities safe, reliable drinking water and places to play,” said Kim Elliman, president and CEO of OSI. “And by protecting land in the Ashokan Reservoir watershed, we are securing an incredibly important water source for millions of New Yorkers.”