The Open Space Institute recently teamed up with Black Rock Forest and the Orange County Land Trust for another land grab as part of an effort to connect and create contiguous pathways between large swaths of protected land so wildlife can roam freely and have a higher chance of surviving in an area which is heavily developed.
Last week the Open Space Institute announced it had acquired two pieces of property totaling 90 acres. Forty-seven acres has been conveyed to the Orange County Land Trust while the other 43 acres is now part of Black Rock Forest.
“It’s our goal to try to find connectors for recreation and habitat,” said Tally Blumberg, chief program officer with the Open Space Institute. “When you look at this in proximity to New York City and the surrounding suburbia, this land is critical. This is very far south in the Hudson River Valley, very close to New York City and surrounding built out areas. To have that kind of protected land, in aggregate 100,000 acres, is incredibly important for the ecosystem, for clean air, for clean water, for recreational purposes, for habitat.”
The two parcels help to protect the corridor between Black Rock Forest and Schunnemunk Mountain.
It took a few years of negotiation, but the Open Space Institute was eventually able to purchase the 90 acres from a private landowner at a cost of $294,000, funded by Black Rock Forest and the Open Space Institute.
The 43-acre parcel will be permanently protected and managed by Black Rock Forest, adding to its 3,800-acre forest preserve.