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Friends of the Shawangunks, along with our land trust, The Shawangunk Conservancy, is dedicated to protecting the Shawangunk Mountains of New York from adverse environmental impacts. Please Join Us.

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Minnewaska Park Preserve Updates

The restoration of Hamilton Point Carriage Road has been completed and the historic road is now open for regular use, including hiking, biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing in season. The project included the restoration of connecting trails between Hamilton Point and other carriage roads.

The construction of the campground along Route 299 is nearing completion. The site contractor continues to clear and fill in the main entrance and parking lot area; the park office and campsites have already been constructed. The project is in the punch list phase, including testing of the water and sewer systems. It is expected to be completed by late November. The construction cost is $2,137,250.

The main entrance to the park will be modified and improved to safely allow more vehicles stacking within the park instead of on State Route 44/55. Vehicle circulation will be improved leading to the parking lots. Barton & Loguidice has started the design and development of the construction drawings which are about 85% complete. Pay station automation will be used for this location and is being incorporated into the design. The project will be submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers for approval. The project is expected to be bid out over the winter, with construction to start in the spring. The construction cost is $750,000.
(Item posted November 8, 2014)

New Threat to Shawangunk Ridge Greenway – Action Requested

  • The following is from a press release by the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference.

    The 110-mile long natural corridor that is the Shawangunk-Kittatinny Ridge, and the Trail Conference project to complete the continuous greenway in New York, is threatened by a high-end housing project in Mamakating known as Seven Peaks.

    Developers are currently putting the finishing touches on their Final Environmental Impact Statement. The Trail Conference and other groups, including the state Department of Environmental Conservation, posed numerous challenges and questions to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project in 2010. A recent workshop session between developers, planners, and representatives of the Trail Conference and the Basha Kill Area Association left the latter two groups dissatisfied with developers’ responses and concerned about the future of the ridge and its environs.

    The Trail Conference’s would like to preserved the entire parcel as open space but, short of that, our position is that the Mamakating Planning Board should not approve the project unless, at a minimum, provision is made for an adequate wilderness corridor along the western edge of the property. This corridor would provide a route for the Shawangunk Ridge Trail for the public to enjoy. The applicants plans currently indicate a narrow corrider, about one-mile long, unconnected to any other trail, and accessible only by being admitted past the community gate.

    The Trail Conference remains willing to work with developers on creating an adequate, feasible plan for a trail through the property that is part of the Shawangunk Ridge Trail.

    The Trail Conference asks for your support of the efforts to protect a natural trail corridor on the Shawangunk Ridge. You can do this by conveying your concerns about the impacts of the Seven Peaks development project to the Mamakating Planning Board by June 1, in order that they be part of the ongoing critique of the Final Environmental Impact Statement. You can email your comments to: Planning Board Chair Mort Starobin and Board Members lindafranck@citlink.net

    The Trail Conference asks that you indicate your support for their vision of a protected Shawangunk Ridge and the Trail Conference Shawangunk Ridge Trail project. The Basha Kill Area Association suggests additional talking points that relate to Seven Peaks’ impact on water in the Basha Kill Wildlife Management Area in Sullivan County and on the Shawangunk Kill in Orange County. For more information on these topics, visit Basha Kill Area Association.
    (Item posted May 15, 2014)

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