OSI takes steps to ensure protection of Wallkill Flats

By Westfair Online

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As efforts continue to enact a long-term protection plan of the agricultural lands located between the village of New Paltz and the Shawangunk Ridge, the Open Space Institute (OSI) will be installing low-impact, agricultural wood post and wire fencing in certain vulnerable road locations in the Wallkill Flats.

The fencing is intended to preserve the agricultural functionality and aesthetic of the land and ensure the protection of certain environmentally sensitive areas located within the property from unauthorized motorized vehicle access. It will also allow for OSI and Mohonk Preserve’s pilot cross-country ski program, successfully initiated this past February, to be explored again should winter conditions allow.  All planned fencing has received the necessary permits from the town of New Paltz and is compliant with local zoning.

“The fencing is another incremental step we are taking to protect the land and ensure the public’s enjoyment of this wonderful landscape,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO, who noted that the fence installation was prompted by on-site staff and adjacent neighbors expressing concern about increased unauthorized use by snowmobiles and other all-terrain vehicles and trucks that have been sited on and around the property.

“This is an important step in managing the land to support the agricultural uses that will continue there and also complement the proposed River-to-Ridge Trail,” said Glenn Hoagland, executive director of Mohonk Preserve. “The fencing program will immediately help to keep agriculture viable, and, if approved, help make River-to-Ridge safer for cross-country skiing, hiking, running and cycling.”


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