PUTNAM COUNTY, N.Y. -- The Hudson Highlands Land Trust (HHLT) recently announced its acquisition of three land parcels to permanently conserve more than 350 acres on Granite Mountain in Putnam Valley.
The group secured the land parcels to create a new preserve protecting valuable natural resources and providing public access to the unspoiled space in the heart of town, according to a release from HHLT.
HHLT will work with community partners to develop a management plan for the preserve and identify the infrastructure necessary to facilitate public access, the release said.
More details will be provided to the community on these plans over the coming months.
The group identified Granite Mountain as an important land protection priority through its Legacy Landscapes Project, a comprehensive analysis of conservation values, including natural and scenic resources, on all parcels within the Hudson Highlands region, according to the release.
Granite Mountain is located within the watershed of the Peekskill Hollow Brook, part of both the City of Peekskill and Town of Cortlandt drinking water systems.
It provides important habitat for wildlife, and is listed in the 2007 Town of Putnam Valley Comprehensive Plan as being “of significant interest to the community.”
Granite Mountain is an important part of the Croton-to-Highlands Biodiversity Area, identified by both New York State and the U.S. Forest Service as a conservation priority. For the benefit of area residents and visitors, the parcels contain a network of woodland hiking trails that will facilitate recreational opportunities, the release said.
"Such great news for the New Year!” said Putnam County Valley Town Supervisor Sam Oliverio. “I love the idea of having a functioning conservation park right in the center of town. This is a recreational plus for all of our residents and a tremendous environmental coup for Putnam Valley."
"I am so happy that the Hudson Highlands Land Trust was able to secure these properties and even happier that the property will be open to the public. The environmental protection of these parcels will further enhance our Town's reputation as a jewel within Putnam County."
Michelle Smith, HHLT executive director, said, “Putnam Valley's 2007 Comprehensive Plan noted the lack of large tracts of publicly accessible open space in the southern area of town, where most people live. A decade later, we are excited to meet this need through a large preserve in the center of Putnam Valley, close to many area residents.”