Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

October 01, 2009

Jim Hall

Minnewaska State Park Preserve Public Hearing Scheduled

Draft Master Plan/Draft EIS ready for public review and comment

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission have completed a Draft Master Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Minnewaska State Park Preserve. A public hearing will be held on Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 7:00pm in the Lecture Center, Room 100 at SUNY New Paltz, New Paltz, NY.

The master plan outlines OPRHP's vision for potential capital improvements, operational enhancements and natural and cultural resource stewardship within Minnewaska State Park for the next ten to fifteen years. Factors such as the availability of funding, the need to invest in rehabilitation of existing park infrastructure, and other pressing needs in the entire state parks system will influence the possibility and the timing of the improvements.

Copies of the Draft Plan/DEIS are available for review at the Preserve Office, at the offices of the agency contacts and at the Elting Memorial Library, 93 Main Street, New Paltz, New York 12561 and the Ellenville Public Library, 40 Center Street, Ellenville NY 12428. The online version of the DEIS/FEIS is available at the following publically accessible web site:

If you are unable to attend the meeting, comments may be submitted by Nov. 13 to:

Fred Williams, Deputy Director, Palisades Interstate Park Commission, Administration Headquarters, Bear Mountain NY 10911-0427 (Phone 845 786-2701);

Thomas B. Lyons, Director, Environmental Management Bureau, OPRHP, Agency Building 1, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12238 (Phone 518 474 0409); or

By e-mail to:

The draft plan includes proposals for resource protection and for recreation use including expansion of hiking, biking, equestrian and climbing opportunities, reuse of the former Phillips house as the Preserve Office and Visitor Center, rehabilitation of the existing maintenance facility, and improved parking lot design. The plan recognizes the continuing importance of natural resource protection and management including participation in ridgewide efforts focused on fire management, deer impacts on biodiversity and invasive species control. The plan recommends that the entire park continue to be designated a State Park Preserve and that a large portion of the park be designated as a NYS Natural Heritage Area and as a NYS Bird Conservation Area. The DEIS describes potential environmental impacts and mitigation of those impacts. Areas that have been evaluated with respect to impacts include: transportation/access, land, recreation/open space, water resources, biological resources/ecology, cultural resources, scenic/aesthetic resources and public health.

For more information about New York State Parks, please visit our web site at