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What We Protect

The land we protect is valuable in many different ways. Each piece of land is unique – one property might offer safe harbor for a rare plant or animal, while another enables two trails to be connected, and yet another keeps a scenic view from being marred by inappropriate development.

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 about the land we protect, contact Julia Solomon, Director of Land Protection, at, 845-255-0919 x1238.

Banner photo by Tom Weiner