The New York City Department of Environmental Protection has announced that it has opened access this year to 2,956 additional acres of water supply land to recreation, including hunting.
According to a media release, the expanded access includes 1,168 acres on nine new parcels of recreation land, and 1,788 acres that were added to existing recreation areas throughout the Catskills and Hudson Valley. About 98,000 acres of water supply land managed by DEP are open for hunting. That includes more than 71,000 acres known as “public access areas” that are open for hiking, hunting and trapping without the need for a DEP Access Permit. Parcels open for hunting are spread across nearly 400 recreation areas in Delaware, Dutchess, Greene, Putnam, Schoharie, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties.
“DEP has long understood that many types of recreation are compatible with our core mission to protect the water supply for millions of New Yorkers,” DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said in the release. “Our neighbors who participate in hunting season are important to the ecological health of our watershed, and we welcome them to make safe and productive use of the water supply lands that we’ve opened for hunting in the Catskills and Hudson Valley.”
The new recreation units that allow hunting include six parcels of land in Delaware County.
DEP has also added new lands open for hunting in 11 existing recreational units in Delaware County
More information about the recreation units — including directions, printable maps and more — can be found by using DEP’s RecMapper utility, an interactive tool that allows users to zoom in and click on highlighted parcels to learn about their location, size, and the recreational uses that are allowed on them, the release said. The RecMapper can be used on any computer or mobile device by visiting www.nyc.gov/dep/recmap. More information about recreation on water supper lands can be found at www.nyc.gov/dep/recreation. Hunters who are unclear about what activities are allowed in each unit may also call (800) 575-LAND during regular business hours.
All state hunting regulations — including antler restrictions throughout most of the watershed region — apply on water supply lands. Also, those using water supply lands for recreation and hunting should pay careful attention to posted signs that outline what uses are allowed. Access to some areas may be restricted because of ongoing forestry projects, and entering areas marked as closed will be considered trespassing. Hunters should also pay careful attention to recreation unit boundaries to avoid venturing onto private properties. Some parcels open for recreation require a free DEP access permit that can be obtained through an online permitting system at https://a826-web01.nyc.gov/recpermitapp/.