ALBANY, NY – The towns of New Paltz and Olive will receive technical assistance from staff and partners of the state Department of Environmental Conservation to advance local conservation priorities.
Through a competitive application process, New Paltz and Olive were chosen to work with land use and conservation planning professionals to protect wildlife habitats, water resources and natural areas valued by their communities, according to a DEC press release.
“Along with hundreds of municipalities in the Hudson Valley, the DEC recognizes and praises the vital role of each community in our collective conservation work in the Hudson River Estuary watershed,” said the Commissioner of the DEC, Basil Seggos, in a statement. “DEC is proud to build the capacity of our local government partners in Olive and New Paltz to proactively consider their natural assets, set priorities, and plan for a resilient future that supports healthy ecosystems and quality of life for residents. “
New Paltz will receive assistance from Gordon & Svenson LLP, GREENPLAN Inc and Hudsonia to develop conservation overlay zoning, according to the release. Conservation overlay zones add new standards to existing underlying zoning and can allow a municipality to steer development away from environmentally sensitive areas.
Olive will receive assistance from Hudsonia in designating Critical Environmental Areas, which are locations with outstanding or unique environmental characteristics that local governments can identify and designate under state environmental quality review regulations, according to the press release. The designation serves to alert project sponsors to the community’s concern for the resources of the Critical Environmental Zone, which must then be considered and addressed during environmental review.
Funding for the Conservation Planning Assistance Opportunity is provided by the state Environmental Protection Fund and is administered by DEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program in partnership with the Cornell Department of Natural Resources and Environment. Additional information is available online at https://hudson.dnr.cals.cornell.edu.