October 29, 2008: Mid Hudson News, Agreement gives public easier access to split 13,000 Catskill acres

Agreement gives public easier access to split 13,000 Catskill acres

ALBANY – New York State and New York City officials Tuesday announced the completion of an agreement to ease recreational access to approximately 13,000 acres of city-owned property in the Catskills.

Under the cooperative agreement, hiking, hunting, fishing and trapping on dozens of city-owned parcels that are adjacent to state Forest Preserve land in the Catskills no longer require a separate city permit.

This is the latest in a series of recent recreational improvements for the Catskills, including opening new areas to mountain biking at Mount Hayden and launching a pilot program for boating at Cannonsville Reservoir.

"This is a significant accomplishment that will boost recreational opportunities in the Catskills, and a sign of the rejuvenated partnership among state, city and local officials," said state DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis.

"DEP is committed to working with its partners in the watershed to improve recreational and economic development opportunities," said New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Emily Lloyd. "It is important that recreational access is expanded while vigilantly protecting the high quality of New York City’s water supply."

For many years, DEP permits have been required for access to city-owned land in the Catskills watershed. Under the new agreement, first outlined a year ago, the applicable DEC hunting, fishing and trapping licenses will be the only permits needed on the land impacted by this agreement. No permit will be necessary for hiking.

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