Eastern and Western Highlands Region (right to left across the Hudson River)
There is a broad swath of lush land that stretches from about 50 to 150 miles inland of the Atlantic Coast and continues south from Connecticut and Northeast New York, westward across the Hudson and through Cornwall, the Schunnemunk Ridge and Valley, Goosepond State Park, and on through New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Not only is it fertile ground for agriculture, it is a major biodiversity corridor and prime property for tourism, those who love outdoor recreation, hiking, fishing and hunting.
Because of the extraordinary beauty along this lengthy swath of wildlife, cliffs, valleys and waterways. these lands have been recognized as the Hudson Highlands Regin and offered protections through various programs such as the "Greenway Corridors". They also criss-cross parts of the region's major trail systems.
View of Eastern New York and Western New York Highland Regions
showing the "V"-shaped notch at left where Blooming Grove is supporting a plan for inclusion.
Looking at the southern edge of the maps of the two major "Eastern and Westersn Hudson Highland" regions, there is a large notch that is not currently included where the Schunnemunk Ridge connecting with the Valley below. This land is a significant portion of the Town of Blooming Grove. It makes sense for this to be included particularly because of the rich contributing resources of the Schunnemunk Ridge and Valley, the Moodna Creek, the Schunnemunk Rail Trail project, and especially because of the significant biodiversity that continues northeast and west of it.
At last week's Blooming Grove Town Board Meeting, Supervisor Rob Jeroloman received a unanimous vote via Resolution by board members for Blooming Grove "To be officially included in the Western Hudson Highlands Region -boundary, as maintained by the US Fish and Wildlife Service for the Highlands Conservation Grant Program,thereby qualifying for Financial and Technical assistance provided by US Congress." Jeroloman said he had spoken last year with Matt Decker of the Land Trust about pursuing this inclusion, the town now able to put forth the official vote of support for the designation.
This is significant not just for the hiking and recreation opportunities, but for the swath as a whole to survive since it functions as a major biodiversity corridor, offers very significant spreading and drainage opportunities for the Hudson River and its numerous tributaries, and hence feeds the agricultural lands along its region as well.
It is very significant in that this designation would open up significant grant and funding opportunities that enable the region to stay "Green".
Some History from the Planners:
The geographic scope of this Green Corridors Plan is the Eastern Highlands region of New York. In New York, the Highlands Region is part of the Appalachian Mountain range. It stretches across the Hudson River, and is part of the traditional lands of the Delaware Tribe, Delaware Nation, (the latter both also known as the Lenape Tribe or Lenape Nation) Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation, and Ramapough Lenape Nation. The Eastern Highlands region of New York lies to the east of the Hudson River and includes all of Putnam County, as well as portions of Dutchess and Westchester Counties.
A similar plan, the Highlands West Trail Connectivity Plan, covers the western portion of the New York Highlands region. The Highlands West Trail Connectivity Plan, was created by the Open Space Institute, Orange County Land Trust, and the New York - New Jersey Trail Conference which can be found here
file://hhltdcfs01/Public/NY%20Highlands%20Network/Green%20Corridors/Plan/open space institute.org/research/highlandswestplan
The Highlands Region was defined by the Federal Highlands Conservation Act of 2004. The region includes the majority of the forested Appalachian Mountains corridor that runs through four states: Pennsylvania New Jersey New York Connecticut
As stated in the Highlands Conservation Act, the Highlands region’s waters, forests, agricultural areas, wildlife, recreational Above: Four-state Highlands Region's opportunities, and cultural resources are of national significance.
For more information on the importance of the New York Highlands Region, including the New York Highlands Network, please visit hhlt.org/programs/new-york-highlands-network.
This is just a small snippet of an extensive document about the Eastern and Western Hudson Highlands and their conservation plans. The document begins with the extensive Eastern Highlands Greenway Corridor plan which was addressed earlier, and then continues, describing how to use that as a model for the Western Greenway Corridor which will focus more on recreation and trails. The means and methods in the Greenway Plan are incredibly intricate and precise. Readers might be well advised to tackle a section at a time.
Greenway Grant Opportunities are outlined here
The full length of the Hudson Highland Regions