West Hook Mountain Will be Preserved (NY)

Clarkstown, NY, 4/29/2003:The Town of Clarkstown’s top open space acquisition priority will be protected, thanks to an agreement by the nonprofit Trust for Public Land and a resolution adopted on January 28 by the Town Board to acquire the property from TPL once the purchase is final. The acquisition will make the land, located on Old Stone Road and route 9W, available to the public for activities such as hiking and wildlife viewing.

“Only when towns make a bold decision to plan for and protect open space, as Clarkstown has done, will there be livable communities for future generations,” said Philip Nicholas, field representative for the Trust for Public Land. “We commend Supervisor Holbrook for being a driving force behind Clarkstown’s open space plan and the efforts to make that vision a reality.”

“This is something for the ages,” said Clarkstown Supervisor Charles Holbrook. “We’ve done something here for all of the generations to come.”

Funds from the town’s $22 million open space bond were used to purchase the $1.7 million property. Clarkstown voters passed the referendum in November 2000 for the acquisition of open space. The West Hook Mountain property was cited as one of the driving forces behind the open space bond referendum. The Trust for Public Land, a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving land for people, supported the town’s efforts to pass the referendum by providing advice and assistance to the local volunteer committee that campaigned for the measure. The organization worked with the town to acquire the 18-acre Kempton property on Hi-Tor Ridge last year.

This project is the top open space acquisition priority for Clarkstown as it preserves the most important and most visible remaining piece of open space in a community with limited public land. The property is in a high growth area and would certainly be developed if it were not acquired for conservation. The mountaintop offers commanding views of the Hudson River, the Tappan Zee, Nyack, Upper Nyack and Hook Mountain State Park.

The acquisition protects the keystone property on West Hook Mountain, an integral part of the Palisades Cliffs, an ancient volcanic rift which rises up from the west bank of the lower Hudson River. Protection of the Palisades has been a focus for New York state communities for decades. The West Hook Mountain property is one of only a half-dozen or fewer properties remaining in private hands in the area. The view of the Hudson Valley that this property provides from its upper plateau is reminiscent of works of nineteenth century American landscape painters. The conservation of this property will protect not only a breathtaking view and landscape, but also an important part of New York State’s heritage.

The Trust for Public Land has long been a protector of land in the Highlands, which span from Pennsylvania to Connecticut. To date, TPL has protected more than 26,000 acres in the New York-New Jersey Highlands, of which West Hook Mountain is a part.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. To date, TPL has protected more than 1.5 million acres nationwide, including more than 61,000 acres in New York.