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How We Protect Land

Through gifts, purchases, and voluntary agreements with landowners, the Preserve protects land that is important for ecological and cultural reasons. Any land that we acquire shares a common boundary with the Preserve, is easy to see from the Preserve, or could become part of the Preserve in the future. We focus on key environments, such as:

  • Cliff-and-talus slopes that support ferns, lichens, reptiles, and other rock-dwelling species, and are prime recreational areas for climbers.
  • Ice Caves, where rare alpine plants, bats, and rodents thrive year-round.
  • Ravines, the deep, misty gorges that support hemlock trees and shelter wildlife such as bobcats and coyotes.
  • Pitch pine barrens found on bedrock at high elevations and considered to be one of the most unique and rare types of forest in the world.
  • Historic and prehistoric places. Nestled in the forests of the Preserve are the remains of the Trapps Mountain Hamlet, which is listed on the National and State registries of historic places. Five out of about 20 Native American rock shelters in the northern Shawangunks are located on the Preserve.
  • Bird habitat and migration routes. Protected cliffs allow hawks, falcons, eagles, and vultures to travel and rest during seasonal journeys. Fields, cliffs, and forests support many species of birds, some of which are rare and threatened.
  • Streams, swamps, wetlands, and woodland pools provide habitat for wildlife and recharge groundwater aquifers that provide clean water for area residents.

For more information, contact Julia Solomon, Director of Land Protection, at, 845-255-0919 x1238.

Banner photo by Christy Belardo