Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area in Patterson has been expanded by 355 acres with the addition of a property called South Hollow.
“This acquisition doubles the size of Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area and is immediately available to the public,” said Martin Brand, Regional Director of NYS Department of Conservation, in the public announcement at Claire’s Garden Center December 6, 2013. South Hollow is perfect for ecotourism pursuits such as fishing, hunting, birding, photography and hiking, he said.
The property, lying just south of Haviland Hollow Road and west of Brimstone Road in the Town of Patterson, consists of woodlands, streams, wetlands and open meadows. It features a large section of Haviland Hollow Brook, touted for its pristine waters and native Brook trout. Access can be gained via a parking area on the west side of Brimstone Road.
The Trust for Public Land and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the family of the late Gerald Blumberg to complete the transaction, the second phase of a conservation easement totaling 616 acres. The first phase, North Hollow, became part of the Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area in 2011.
“There are so many wins,” said Brand. “The New York City water supply, expanded recreational land for the public, the Hudson Highlands, Haviland Hollow, and the critical uplands with rare turtles and bald eagles. All win. It is one piece of the puzzle, but one piece touches so many other pieces.”
The public announcement and reception was hosted by Claire’s Garden Center and Friends of the Great Swamp (FrOGS). The acquisition, explained Dr. Jim Utter, Chairman of FrOGS, will help protect water quality in The Great Swamp, native trout, and habitats for species of special concern in the state. The animals now have a 2,000-acre block protected in a critical north/south corridor, he said.
Brand thanked the Blumbergs, who were “stewards of this property for 50 years. Now,” he said, “your land is our land.”