TPL Protects Torne Mountain Property

The Trust for Public Land, Palisades Interstate Park Commission, and Rockland County announced today the acquisition of 93.5 acres of Torne Mountain land adjacent to Harriman State Park. The newly acquired land connects with the 493-acre Wrightman Plateau section of Torne Mountain, which The Trust for Public Land (TPL) helped Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC) and Rockland County preserve in 2008. The latest addition was purchased by TPL’s New York office and conveyed to both PIPC and Rockland County. Preservation of the 93.5 acres allows for expanded public access to the popular state park and ends potential development plans for the property.

“The Torne Mountain summit is a spectacular destination, and a great place to see stunning New York wilderness protected by Harriman State Park,” said Leslie Wright, New York State director of The Trust for Public Land. “TPL is proud to add this piece of the puzzle and is grateful for the partnership with the Palisades Interstate Park Commission and Rockland County.”

PIPC will manage the land as an addition to Harriman State Park, which, at 44,000 acres, is their largest state park. Harriman contains 31 lakes, ponds, and reservoirs, and connects to more than 200 miles of trails.

The land overlooks historic Ramapo Pass and is forested habitat for red-tailed hawks, great blue heron, green heron, fox, coyote, black bear, and the protected timber rattlesnake and osprey. The land also encompasses the Ramapo River basin, which provides drinking water for two million people in Rockland County and northern New Jersey.

“We are proud and pleased to work with the PIPC and TPL to preserve this significant piece of land in the Ramapo Highlands,” said Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef, the former president of the Ramapo Land Company. “Preservation of this contiguous parcel of the Torne Mountain is critical to maintaining Rockland’s bucolic landscape and to preserving its precious natural environment.”

TPL assembled funding for the $1.9 million purchase, including $900,000 from the Rockland County Open Space Program, and $1 million allocated in 2008 from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.