OLIVE, NY (March 18, 2019) — The Open Space Institute (OSI) today announced the acquisition of land adjacent to the Catskill Park’s Sundown Wild Forest. Permanent protection of the “South Mountain” property, located within the Ashokan Reservoir watershed, will help provide long-term access to clean water for millions of New Yorkers for generations to come.
Located two minutes away from Route 28A in West Shokan, the newly conserved property consists of forested land along the east side of South Mountain, including a portion of the mountain’s summit. The property has the potential to serve as a new, eastern access point to South Mountain from High Point Mountain Road.
“Conserved land serves as a natural filter for cleaning and storing water. That is why strategic land conservation goes hand-in-hand with providing safe, reliable drinking water,” said Kim Elliman, president and CEO of OSI. “By protecting land in the Ashokan Reservoir watershed, we are securing an incredibly important water source for millions of New Yorkers.”
“With today’s announcement, Dr. Sam and Delia Adams have once again demonstrated their outstanding commitment to environmental stewardship and connecting people to the unique history and natural heritage of the Catskills,” said New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos. “DEC congratulates the Open Space Institute on this critically important acquisition that protects critical drinking water sources for millions of New Yorkers and builds upon the state’s efforts to increase public access to the recreational opportunities within the Catskill Forest Preserve.”