ALBANY, NY (12/06/2011)(readMedia)– The Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area has expanded by a third with New York state’s acquisition of a 261-acre property in Putnam County that is prized for wildlife habitat and water quality protection, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The property, known as North Hollow, is located within the Great Swamp watershed and was acquired by the state with federal grant money and a private donation.

“Adding North Hollow to the Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area will preserve forested and watershed land for use by the public for expanded recreational and sportsmen activities,” Commissioner Martens said. “This acquisition is an example of how New Yorkers can benefit when state, federal, non-for-profit and private entities all work together to achieve a common goal. The preservation of North Hollow will be a valuable addition to a network of protected lands within the Highlands and Great Swamp areas, further protecting one of the largest freshwater wetlands in the state that is home to many plant and animal species.”

DEC sought to add the North Hollow property to its 467-acre Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area to further protect the Highlands region for its abundant natural and cultural resources. The Cranberry Mountain WMA now totals 728 acres. Since 2006, DEC and the Trust for Public Land, a national conservation organization, have worked with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the family of the late Gerald Blumberg, a long-time resident of the Hudson River Valley, to conserve the property.

North Hollow features steep upland forests protecting the nearby Haviland Hollow Brook, a pristine trout stream. The brook watershed connects with the Great Swamp, Croton River and reservoirs in the New York Highlands that provide drinking water to New York City. The area is used for such recreational activities as hiking, cross-country skiing, hunting, fishing and trapping.

A federal Highlands Conservation Act grant for $653,500 was used toward the purchase of the property. The federal program is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is designed to assist Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania with conserving land and natural resources in the Highlands region.

The Highlands Conservation Act grant required a non-federal match on a dollar-for-dollar basis. The Blumberg family generously donated half the value of the property to meet the federal match requirement…

Senator Greg Ball said: “As Chairman of the New York Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and an avid sportsman myself, the expansion of the Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management area couldn’t make me happier. I believe it is vital to protect our watershed, promote strict clean air initiatives, and preserve natural wildlife areas and I look forward to working together to continue to keep Putnam County, and the Hudson Valley as a whole, beautiful by preserving our environment.” (READ MORE)

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About Greg Ball

Assemblyman Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) is the Senator for New York State's 40th district. A former Vice President of Exceed International Development Corporation, Ball holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the United States Air Force Academy, is currently completing his Masters Thesis of Liberal Studies in International Affairs at Georgetown University, and received an honorable discharge in 2005 at the rank of Captain after service as an active duty officer in the United States Air Force. View all posts by Greg Ball →
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