Friends of the Shawangunks acts to support, conserve and protect the open spaces of the Shawangunk Mountains.
In pursuit of its mission, representatives of Friends
- appear at public hearings to challenge various proposals and permits affecting development along the Shawangunk ridge,
- conduct public outreach campaigns to inform and educate the public about threats to the Shawangunks, and
- take legal action, when necessary, to stop development in environmentally sensitive lands of the Shawangunks.
We write letters, post signs, and speak out at administrative hearings, all in protest of any encroaching development that would have a negative impact on the unique environment and beauty that is the Gunks. We publish the Shawangunk Watch, a newsletter aimed at exploring the natural resources of the Shawangunks and highlighting the imminent threats to its natural integrity and unmatched scenic character. We continue to push for rigorous land use controls designed to preserve the unique character of the Shawangunks.
Thirty-two years ago, Friends of the Shawangunks, quietly and without fanfare, embarked on a land buying program. In March of 1987, with the fight to save Minnewaska successfully concluded, FOS expanded its capacity to protect the Shawangunk Ridge by forming a land buying affiliate which it named The Shawangunk Conservancy, Inc.
TSC is expanding its parcel acquisition wish list and raising funds for future acquisitions. What makes a particular parcel a good target for acquisition? In determining what to preserve, TSC asks is the parcel an in-holding, is it contiguous to already preserved land, can it be a part of a larger assemblage, will it prevent ecological fragmentation, does it buffer already preserved land, is it part of a stream corridor, does it have cultural or historical significance, is it on a ridge, is it in an iconic view shed, does it have high resiliency (see Shawangunk Watch December 2017). The objective of the small parcel acquisition program is to make small acquisitions that significantly advance the TSC mission, that is, to protect environmentally sensitive lands in the Shawangunk Mountains.
The Shawangunks are a finite land mass with incredibly beautiful vistas and stunning natural features that appeal to mankind’s proclivity to build on the highest point. When properties become available, TSC must be in a position to act quickly or we all risk fractured views, human encroachment, fragmented wildlife habitat and degradation of the area’s resiliency to climate change.
If you wish to donate to the land acquisition program please include a notation that the donation is for land.