• Protecting Special Places

    For centuries people have been inspired by the splendor of our region. Many have made a life here. Protecting what you hold dear is what we do. WLC owns key lands and partners with area landowners who want their properties to stay as they are – as forests, farms, verdant meadows, and coursing streams.
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    First time in the Eastern Catskills? Visiting friends and family? Looking for some R&R after a busy week in the City? You’ve found your source for experiencing Woodstock and the Eastern Catskills. With fun outdoor events throughout the year you’re sure to find something great to do. And watch for our children's programs.
  • Addressing Climate Change

    Yes, the climate is changing. Over the past few years we've experienced rain, wind, heat, drought, and cold in historic proportions. We can’t change the weather but together we can make our Catskill communities more waterproof, windproof, and any-kind-of-weather proof for our children and grandchildren.
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  • Know A Place to Protect?

birding sloan 320px

Sloan Gorge Preserve

Located at the foot of Overlook Mountain near the Saugerties town line, the 88-acre Preserve is a treasure trove of mixed hardwood and coniferous forests, vernal pools, a seasonal stream, and bluestone quarries, and has the first self-guided geology trail in the area. (Download the trail guide)  pdf Learn more about Sloan Gorge from geologist Dr. Robert Titus. Click here for map

 

Longyear Farm Day pasture 2012

Recommend a Place to Protect

We are always looking for suggestions about places to be protected for future generations to enjoy. If you know of such a place, contact us!

Citizen Action


Golden, West Shokan, NY 

850 Route 28 LLC a Manufacturing Facility Proposed Adjacent to Onteora Lake, Bluestone Wild Forest

A brief note from Executive Director, Maxanne Resnick 

Below is a Daily Freeman article noting the recent recognition by NYS Department of Parks State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) of an important historic quarry in and around the 850 route 28 site, as reported by Paul Rubin, consultant, HydroQuest. SHPO has now retracted their approval, which is necessary for the project to move forward. This was a report commissioned by Catskill Mountainkeeper (CMK), along with Woodstock Land Conservancy (WLC) (though Freeman article missed noting this) in our collaborative work together reviewing the proposed 850 route 28 project. This is the type of analysis that is essential to review with this project, and since we are lacking an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) thus far, has meant that CMK/WLC continue to commission work to bring impacts to the attention of those responsible parties.

 Once again, we have requested a number of times the Town of Kingston should be issuing a POS DEC so that a full EIS will be done.

 Feel free to reach out should you have questions or comments to Maxanne Resnick, Executive Director, WLC. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Historical assessment could undermine plan for fabrication plant on Route 28
By William J. Kemble This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Aug 21, 2020    

TOWN OF KINGSTON, N.Y. – A plan for a concrete and steel fabrication facility on state Route 28 could be undermined by a study that found the proposed location was part of a historic and nationally significant bluestone quarry industry. 

The finding has led the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to withdraw its Oct. 31, 2019, advisory that there would not be any significant impact from the proposed construction at 850 state Route 28. The agency has recommend that further studies be done. 

The agency issued a letter on Aug. 7, 2020, noting that the area has already been designated as the Hemlock Historic Quarry District and that a site review by Hydroquest, funded by the Catskill Mountainkeeper, turned up artifacts and significant evidence of the site’s importance.-

“It is clear ... that intact remants of the historic Hemlock Quarry are present within this project area,” the state agency said. “It is the opinion of the OPRHP that the mid-19th century Hemlock Historic Quarry District is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places ... for its potential to inform our understanding of historic bluestone quarrying methods and the organizational principals that characterized this industrial site,” the letter said. “The Hemlock Historic Quarry District includes an intact quarry cliff face, workshop areas, a historic quarry road, stone walls and building foundations.” 

Officials said the archaeological assessment focused in part on how proposed site preparation for the fabrication plants would affect the historic quarry.

The application by 850 Route 28 LLC, which proposed to constructing the facilities to support a town of Ulster business, 2-4 Kieffer Lane/U.S. Crane, has already been criticized by a town consultant for minimizing the impacts of plans to clear 21 acres of trees and blast 405,000 cubic yards of rock, amid other construction activity that is expected to involve nearly 12,500 trucks over a five-year period. 

Raleigh Green, a spokesman for 850 Route 28 LLC, in a telephone interview Friday, acknowledged that he had not read the entire HydroQuest report, but chided opponents of the project for using a hydrologist and geologist to study a quarry and its history. 

“Opponents to the project recently submitted a claim to the state Historic Preservation Office that the site may contain a small area that was once part of an older quarry,” he said in a prepared statement. “This claim was based on supposition and not actual field analysis of the 850 Route 28 site. SHPO (the State Historic Preservation Office) has asked the applicant to evaluate this claim, and we will do so as we continue the review of this project.” 

HydroQuest owner Paul Rubin, on the company's website, noted that part of the examination of issues involving moving rocks involves extensive studies of “community character, historic sites, and wildlife habitat.” 

The road cited by state officials is the former Waughkonk Road, which extends about 3.3 miles from a point immediately south of the 850 Route 28 driveway through the project site and a now-overgrown area to present day Zena Road, just west of the Zena Reservoir. The road’s name has had several spellings, an issue that the state Education Department noted in 1935 when it recognized its significance with an historic marker that noted it was alternately spelled Waghkonk and Awaghkonk. 

The HydroQuest study said the road may be even more significant to American history than previously realized. “Many of these quarries were positioned along a wagon road believed to have formerly been used by the Lenape Indians, (also known as) Waghkonk Trail,” the study said. “A portion of this old wagon road was removed by modern quarrying operations on the 850 Route 28 LLC site sometime after 1972,” the report said. 

The company has proposed to construct two 120,000-square-foot buildings for a manufacturing facility that would produce steel and precast concrete bridge decking. A potential third building is noted in the application but has also been described by a project engineer as a “hypothetical” 120,000-square-foot structure included at the request of the state Department of Transportation to evaluate traffic. 

The HydroQuest study said the use of material from the 850 Route 28 site and other nearby quarries was considered significant to growing urban areas.

“By 1850, bluestone was being shipped by river sloop to Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charleston, San Francisco, Milwaukee, St. Louis and Havana, Cuba,” the report said. “The stone was prized because it was hard and long-lasting, dried very quickly after a shower, and did not become slippery with wear.” 

The site flourished as a quarry until 1880 when the development of Portland Cement provided a less expensive and more flexible material replacement for bluestone, the study said. The report did not specify when all mining activity ended at the site, but apparently that was the basis for the site’s former owner being allow to operate a maintenance repair facility under a 2009 permit that said it would be “in conjunction with quarry.” The approval included a stipulation that only 0.2 acres of the site could be used for storage.

Town officials last year said that 2-4 Kieffer Lane/U.S. Crane was allowed to use more than the 0.2 acres for storage of cranes, trucks, and heavy equipment based on the 2009 permit. The company, which sends its equipment to various locations throughout the state, was not required to submit a separate site plan for its use of the property.

The recording of the June 15th Town of Kingston Planning Board meeting in regards to the 850 Route 28 project has just been made available. If you were unable to join the meeting live due to attendance limitations please email WLC Executive Director Maxanne Resnick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Recording of Town of Kingston June 15, 2020, Planning Board Meeting 

If you haven't yet signed the latest Catskill Mountainkeeper petition -- please do so here. It only takes a few minutes of your time!

Check out the Save Onteora Lake website for more information www.saveonteoralake.org

Learn More
Kathy Nolan of Catskill Mountainkeeper recently gave an in-depth and thorough interview on Woodstock Radio, FM 104.1, about the proposed concrete and steel industrial plant at 850 route 28. She detailed the many concerns this proposal raises for the town of Kingston residents, Route 28, the surrounding townships, and the Catskill Park corridor!

Read the most recent Hudson Valley One article by Paul Smart here
Read the most recent Daily Freeman article by Bill Kemble here

The applicant submitted responses to questions received at the January Planning Board meeting those documents can be found here

If you have specific project impact comments to make to the Planning Board, you may send a letter to them via email. Because of the volume of mail, important to put the "850 Route 28 project" in the email subject line. Email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. (And if inclined, please share with us by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Thanks!)

Thank you for your participation and passion. 


Check out our project Facebook page.
SAVE ONTEORA LAKE, PICKEREL POND & BLUESTONE WILD FOREST
We have moved the project information from the WLC FB page to one devoted to the project.
For questions or to be added to our 850 Route 28 project email list email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bluestone Wild Forest Citizen Group Meetings
Join Bluestone Forest Citizens' Action Monday Night Group Meetings via ZOOM due to COVID-19 transmission concerns. 
Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for Zoom sign-on info.
Focus is developing a cohesive strategy and building an organized group of neighbors who oppose this project.
Request to join the Facebook group - Bluestone Forest

Please continue to spread the word. If you know others who would like to join our Constant Contact email list, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Many thanks for your advocacy.

850 Route 28 Project-related links:

Read WLC's 850 Route 28 Fact Sheet here

Click here to listen to 850 Route 28 -- Radio Interview, Radio Kingston with Jon Bowermaster

Click here to listen to 850 Route 28 -- Radio Interview, Radio Kingston with Hillary Harvey

Read the Hudson Valley One article published after the July 15th proceedings here

Read the Daily Freeman's article published after the July 15th proceedings here

Read WLC's Letter to the editor published in the Daily Freeman Monday, July 15th here

Read the Daily Freeman's article published December 7th here

Click here to read the February 4th Daily Freeman article.

 Click here to read the January 23rd Daily Freeman article.

 Click here to watch the Radio Kingston recording of the meeting 

 Click here for an article from the Woodstock Times/Hudson Valley One

Any questions, please contact Woodstock Land Conservancy Executive Director, Maxanne Resnick.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.