Department of Enviromental Protection annouces 2,956 additional watershed acres open for recreation

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From: The Director of Public Affairs

With New York’s regular hunting season starting this weekend, new or expanded access in five counties provides additional opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts

            The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that it has opened access this year to 2,956 additional acres of water supply land where outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy recreation, including hunting.

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.

With the state’s regular hunting season starting this weekend, watershed residents and visitors are encouraged to utilize the approximately 98,000 acres of water supply land managed by DEP that 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.

“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 nine parcels of land located in Delaware, Greene, Putnam and Sullivan counties.

They include the following: 

Rec Unit Recreational uses allowed Acres County
Brower Hill PAA 54 Delaware
Kerrs Creek PAA 57 Delaware
MacGibbon Hollow PAA 288 Delaware
Bigger Hollow PAA 286 Delaware
Valley View PAA 25 Delaware
Prospect Hill PAA 30 Delaware
Beaches Corner PAA 127 Greene
Forest Road Bow Hunt/Hike 61 Sullivan
Dixon Hunt/Hike 240 Putnam

Note: PAA denotes properties that are open for use without the need for a DEP Access Permit. All others require a free permit.

            DEP has also added new lands open for hunting in 18 existing recreational units located in Delaware, Greene, Putnam, Sullivan and Ulster counties. They include the following:

Rec Unit Recreational uses allowed Acres County
East Platner Brook PAA 50 Delaware
Crystal Creek PAA 172 Delaware
Couse Hill PAA 100 Delaware
Bryants Brook PAA 28 Delaware
Elk Creek PAA 146 Delaware
Bussey Hollow PAA 105 Delaware
Red Kill Headwaters PAA 95 Delaware
West Settlement PAA 15 Delaware
New Kingston PAA 134 Delaware
South Dunraven PAA 16 Delaware
Pink Street PAA 47 Delaware
Four Corners PAA 419 Greene
Boyds Corners North Hunt/Hike 212 Putnam
Conklin Brook PAA 39 Sullivan
South Hill PAA 52 Ulster
Sholam PAA 10 Ulster
South Rondout PAA 89 Ulster
Trout Creek PAA 59 Ulster

Note: PAA denotes properties that are open for use without the need for a DEP Access Permit. All others require a free permit. 

More information about each of these recreation units – including directions, printable maps and more – can be found by using DEP’s RecMapper utility.

The RecMapper is 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 RecMapper can be used on any computer or mobile device by visiting

Addition information about recreation on water supper lands can be found at

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 due to 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.

In addition, some parcels open for recreation, including those not listed as PAA above, require a free DEP access permit that can obtained through an online permitting system found by clicking here.

Deer management is an important aspect of protecting and maintaining water quality in New York City’s reservoir system.

Dense populations of deer can stunt the natural regeneration of forest lands that serve as an important natural filter for water as it passes over the land and enters the streams, creeks and rivers that feed the City’s reservoirs.

Hunting on these water supply lands, especially where forestry projects have recently been completed, provides a check on the deer population and gives young trees a better chance to grow.

In turn, this improves the vigor and stability of our local forests by diversifying their age and range of species.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of high-quality water each day to more than 9.6 million New Yorkers.

This includes more than 70 upstate communities and institutions in Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties who consume an average of 110 million total gallons of drinking water daily from New York City’s water supply system.

This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and other professionals in the watershed. In addition to its $70 million payroll and $168.9 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.7 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity.

In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with $20.1 billion in investments planned over the next decade that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter at

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