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The Open Space Institute Acquires Shawangunk Ridge Land for Bashakill Wildlife Management Area

Photo Credit: Greg Miller

MAMAKATING, NY (May 23, 2018)—For the second time in just two months, the Open Space Institute (OSI) has announced a significant acquisition of property adjacent to the Bashakill Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The 86-acre “Bashakill-South Road” property runs along the WMA’s eastern edge and is easily visible from Route 17. In April, OSI announced the acquisition of a 117-acre property on the Bashakill’s northern edge. 

Conservation of the Bashakill-South Road property will allow for the consolidation of state lands located along the property’s borders, while protecting acreage that drains into the Bashakill WMA. The newly-conserved land safeguards water quality within the Bashakill WMA while protecting scenic views of the southern Shawangunk Ridge. 

The acquisition advances a much larger effort by OSI and other conservation organizations to protect the 50-mile Shawangank Ridge.
The acquisition advances a much larger effort by OSI and other conservation organizations to protect the 50-mile Shawangank Ridge.
Photo Credit: Greg Miller

“The Bashakill Wildlife Management Area is a valuable natural resource and we are proud to partner with the Open Space Institute to conserve this area for future generations to enjoy,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “New York's wildlife management areas provide both excellent opportunities for recreation and serve as economic generators, benefiting local communities and industries, and the state as a whole.”

 “The Rensselaerville State Forest is valuable natural resource and we are proud to partner with the Open Space Institute to conserve this area for future generations to enjoy,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “New York's forests provide both excellent opportunities for recreation and serve as economic generators, benefiting local communities and industries, and the state as a whole.”

 “Any time more property is added to the Bashakill Wildlife Management Area, it is just fantastic,” said Paula Medley, President of the Basha Kill Area Association. “We are extremely grateful to the Open Space Institute for their years and years of protecting the Shawangunk Ridge.”

Acquisition of the Bashakill-South Road property is consistent with New York State’s Open Space Plan, which recommends protecting properties that keep forests intact while sustaining water quality, vital habitat, and scenic views in an area experiencing development pressure along Route 17 and Route 209.

The Bashakill-South Road property acquisition also advances a much larger effort by OSI and other conservation organizations over the last 30 years to protect the 50-mile Shawangank Ridge, which runs from the New Jersey border to Rosendale, NY.

More than 50,000 acres of conserved land, including the Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Mohonk Preserve, the Bashakill WMA, several large units of state forest land, and other conservation holdings, all function as a lengthy and nearly continuous recreational and ecological “greenway” running through Sullivan, Orange and Ulster counties.   

Conservation of the Bashakill-South Road property also builds on land-protection projects OSI has completed in and around the area. For instance, OSI first conserved the Bashakill WMA in the 1970s, as one of its earliest land protection projects, and through subsequent projects increased the Bashakill WMA to its present size of more than 3,100 acres.

A state-designated Bird Conservation Area and popular destination for paddlers and hikers, the Bashakill WMA consists of the largest pristine freshwater wetland in southeastern New York. The WMA features 15 miles of walking trails, four observation towers, and five kayak and canoe launches, along with access to the historic Delaware & Hudson Canal Trail and Ontario & Western Canal Path and Rail Trail. Looking ahead, OSI intends to convey the Bashakill-South Road property to New York State as an addition to the Bashakill Wildlife Management Area.

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