Our research and on-the-ground experience tells us that in order to succeed over the long term, we must conserve large, complex ecological systems that are sufficient in size to absorb natural and human impact.
With this increased focus on conserving these large systems comes a marked increase in our reliance on conservation science to guide our decision making process.
The chapter’s work stretches across seven landscape-scale regions, each with its own unique conservation challenges.
In the Catskill Mountains we are working to protect, through acquisition, easements and land use planning, 415,000 acres of interior forest block to prevent habitat fragmentation.
Nearly 15 million people rely on the waters of the Delaware River Basin for drinking and industrial use. Our work in this critical watershed includes establishing natural flow patterns for the river and its tributaries, supporting compatible development, protecting critical habitat and monitoring the health of the region’s migratory fish populations.
In the regions known as Glacial Lake Albany and the Saratoga Sandplains, our work focuses on land protection, habitat restoration and the judicial use of fire to protect the host of rare species and nautral communities (including the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly) that make their home here.
The Hudson River Estuary is home to over 200 species, including the endangered short-nosed sturgeon, 19 rare bird species and 140 rare species of plants. We are working with partners to develop a robust set of conservation strategies, including our Rising Waters program, to help communities find solutions to climate change that will affect both people and the environment.
The Shawangunk Ridge is one of the most important sites for biological diversity in the northeastern United States. Here we are working with partners to develop management strategies to reduce the impact of overuse and are developing a ridge-wide comprehensive fire management plan. In addition, we are responsible for the management of the 5,400-acre Sam’s Point Preserve and Conservation Center.
As we work towards achieving the Conservancy’s 2015 goal of ensuring “the effective conservation of places that represent at least 10 percent of every major habitat type on earth” the Eastern New York Chapter will play a critical role in defining the health of our environment at both a local and global level. Issues such as global climate change, invasive species and atmospheric deposition of pollutants have become priority initiatives, ones that must be addressed so that we may protect the rich diversity found here.