Greene County tells DEP no more land purchases

According to Mid-Hudson News, CATSKILL – The Greene County Legislature has unanimously adopted a resolution designed to limit the ability of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection to purchase more land in the county.

The resolution adds Greene County to a petition of the Delaware County Board of Supervisors to request specific relief from the state departments of environmental conservation and health, and the New York City DEP, to prevent New York City from encumbering “large sections of stream buffer/corridors with restrictive conservation easements in perpetuity.”

Under a current State Health Department mandate, New York City has the right to annually purchase and preserve up to 56,000 acres of privately owned land to protect the quality of drinking water within its reservoirs throughout the Catskill Mountains.

Greene joins Delaware County in support of a new plan that would replace New York City purchase with leases held by the local municipalities where the land is located.

To date, the city has purchased over 200 square miles under the Land Acquisition Plan, which many residents and municipal officials view as severely restricting any kind of development, both public and private.

“It has always been our mission to be responsible stewards of the natural resources within our communities” says Matt Luvera – acting chairman of the Greene County Legislature. “We are the ones who live, work, and raise families here, and we must have the ability to provide opportunities for, and improve the quality of life of our residents. That’s why we need the DEP to limit its land acquisition and work within a voluntary, municipally approved Stream Corridor Acquisition Program.”

New York City is required to develop a new, Long-Term Land Acquisition Plan to cover the period from 2023 to 2033, and this resolution requests that the City “refrain from entering into new contracts to purchase fee titles and/or conservations easements under the [current] Land Acquisition Program within the County of Greene”.

It also requests that, under the new plan, the Department of Environmental Protection limit its land and conservation easement acquisition to specific areas within the County.

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