View Full Version : DEC buys land in Catskills

01-25-2004, 04:34 PM
The DEC just bought 187 acres in Peck Hollow near North Dome, in the town of Lexington. This area looks nice for a bushwack up North Dome from the south.

Here is the link to the article:

Here is a topo map of the area:

Its always nice to hear that the DEC and DEP are buying up land in the Catskills.

01-25-2004, 06:08 PM
Its always nice to hear that the DEC and DEP are buying up land in the Catskills.
HI Mink, yeah they made the press release about 2 weeks ago. It's nice that the State is doing their job, but most of us who live here wish the DEP would just go home and leave us alone.

01-25-2004, 06:30 PM
I agree about the DEP and all the rules involving hunting on their land. Too many rules.
The game wardings are also annoying up there, they always stop you at night when you are on the back roads, or always want to see tags on deer.
I like it when they do their job by buying land to be protected, then leave it alone for us to use, no questions asked.

01-26-2004, 12:42 AM
Thanks for the info and links, Mink. I'll have to try going in there from the south sometime now that its state land. When I climbed North Dome/Sherrill I did it from the west using the first part of the Devils Path. That's a great area, isn't it?

01-26-2004, 06:10 AM
I think Mink has confounded the New York *City* DEP with the New York *State* DEC. These are two completely different entities, but the similar initials confuse a lot of people.

The DEP, or New York City Department of Environmental Protection, is actually charged with enforcing rules to protect the watershed of the City reservoir system, which also happens to be most of the Catskill Mountains. The rules for anything other than fishing (by DEP-issued permit) on DEP-administered NYC reservoir properties are simple: NO! There is no hiking, camping, hunting, photography, meditation, navel-gazing or any other activity allowed on its real estate. The only boating allowed is by permit, for the express purpose of fishing, in a "substantial rowboat". No other recreational boats or activities are permitted on City reserviors. This includes not only power boats, but sailboats, canoes and kayaks as well. For these reasons, and because New York City has historically treated the Catskill Region in a high-handed, imperious manner, it and its representatives have been regarded by many local residents with much the same sentiments that the American colonists must have regarded the English. The DEP, being the prime enforcer for the city and its rules, is a prime target for local ire.
The DEC, or New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which administers the publicly-accessible state lands of the Catskill Forest Preserve, although not universally beloved up here, is generally if grudgingly accepted and respected. It is the DEC that polices hunting and fishing laws, issues camping permits, and saves your cookies when you get in dire straits in the Back of Beyond.

As it directly relates to this thread, and to TomEske's post, here's the basic difference: If the DEP acquires land, that land will not be publically accessible; if the DEC acquires land, it is almost always accessible for recreational use,

porky pine

01-26-2004, 09:53 AM
Porky, the DEP (NYC water company) has recently bought land in the Catskills near several areas that they feel they need to protect because of a proximity to watersheds. On the land away from the reservoirs the do allow hunting, yet with many rules invovled. The link below gives more information about how they are buying land. Just recently they bought quite a bit of land near my property in Schoharie County, right near Huntersfield Mtn.
I could see how you thought I had them confused. I guess this link should clear up any misunderstandings, because even down here where I am the DEP is buying land and allowing hunting on it.

Once the link is up click Watershed Conservation Easements. Once that comes up scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Watershed Protection Update. That is what you want. For some reason I couldnt get the link to that page.

01-26-2004, 11:46 AM
Looking at my 98 edition NY/NJ TC maps, I assume the parcel is the only private parcel, surrounded completely by park land, on the southern flank of Sherrill? and not the private land at the trail head......correct?

01-26-2004, 12:16 PM
Keb, you got it right, its not the land at the trailhead.

Mark Schaefer
01-26-2004, 01:22 PM
keb, I agree with Mink. The newly purchased parcel appears to be the one completely surrounded by state land south of Sherrill. That is the only private parcel shown on map #42 in Peck Hollow that is adjacent to the West Kill Wilderness Area (to which the parcel will be added). It is also just a bit more than a 1/4 square mile which correlates closely with 187 acres. One aspect of the DEC announcement that is a bit ambiguous is that the land is "at the head of Peck Hollow Road" which might indicate the area north of the DEC parking area near the county line. There is a dotted line (old road) from the end of Peck Hollow Road heading toward the isolated parcel, and perhaps it extends all the way. Maybe that is what is meant by the head of Peck Hollow Road.

Has anybody hiked this area? I am curious if it is possible to hike on the roads through the private parcels just north of the county line, or is it necessary to bushwhack from the parking area around those parcels?

On the DEP issue. I also have the DEP pass that Mink mentions. It allows me to hike on all DEP lands except those directly adjacent to the reservoirs (for which a fishing permit is required). I use the pass to photograph waterfalls on DEP lands.

01-26-2004, 03:42 PM
I have hiked in that area. It is high, rolling land with the usual second-growth mixed deciduous forest. When I was there, some five years ago, I found an abandoned schoolbus deep in the woods and almost certainly within the private inholding. It appeared to serve as an inpromptu hunting shack. The find had a chilling effect on me, as I had just finished reading Jon Krakauer's _Into the Wild_, the story of a young man who's corpse was found in just such a schoolbus in the Alaskan wilderness. Anyway, I followed a roughly marked (with yellow paint blazes) jeep trail from there west, closely paralleling Angle Creek and just north of it across state forest land. This trail entered the back yard of a private house on the east side of Route 42, south of the southeastern DEC parking area on that road. Except for the schoolbus, the property was unremarkable,

porky pine

01-26-2004, 03:57 PM
Mark, I to have the permit and it is great. I also have the one for the reservoirs, and if you want to hike by reservoirs or streams that are places where you can only fish just take a fishing pole with you and hike that way, thats what I do at the Ashokan, and while I am there I always take a few cast. At the Ashokan just a few years back I found a small flat rock with fossils of what appears to be some ancient clam. I researched it and found that those fossils are 200-300 million years old.

All I know is that I will climb North Dome from there and take a fishing pole and get some Brook Trout on the way down.

Does anyone have any info on that camp that is right near there, its called Camp Delmar. Its on the map below.http://topozone.com/map.asp?z=18&n=4667217.00012696&e=554528.00000001&datum=nad83