Putnam County Sanctuary permanently protected
PHILLIPSTOWN – Scenic Hudson and the Hudson Highlands Land Trust have secured a conservation easement on the 48 acre Watergrass Sanctuary owned by the Putnam Highlands Audubon Society.
The acquisition ensures the sanctuary’s permanent protection, guarantees public access to its forests and wetlands, and provides resources for the society’s long-term stewardship of the property.
The wooded land not only is important as a critical habitat for birds and other wildlife but sequesters carbon that contributes to global climate change. It is part of world-class views of the Hudson Highlands from state parks such as Bear Mountain and Storm King, as well as from popular viewpoints at West Point and along Storm King Highway, all in Orange County.
With 2,000 feet of frontage along State Route 9, the preserved land also helps maintain this road’s rural character as it passes through the Highlands. Watergrass Sanctuary is adjacent to 450 acres previously safeguarded by HHLT and the Open Space Institute, partners in Scenic Hudson’s campaign to Save the Land That Matters Most.
PHAS hopes to provide for an extension of the Cedar Ridge Trail across the sanctuary, allowing hikers using this route, which is maintained by the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, to enjoy the property’s scenic landscapes and gain easy access to the trail from Route 9.