NY -- Sterling Forest State Park:
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- Wikipedia Description: Sterling Forest State Park
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sterling Forest State Park is a 21,938-acre (88.78 km2) state park located in the Ramapo Mountains in Orange County, New York. Established in 1998, it is among the larger additions to the New York state park system in the last 50 years.
Sterling Forest was originally part of a vast tract of land called Cheesecock that a group of English colonists bought from the Iroquois Indians in 1702. The land eventually came to belong to the Sterling Iron Works, which mined and shipped iron ore from a number of sites within the park. The last of the mines was closed in the 1920s.
The park was established in 1998 after New York State paid $55 million for 15,280 acres (61.8 km2) of land using a combination of public and private funds. The Trust for Public Land and the Open Space Institute (OSI) lead the negotiations for the initial purchase leading to the creation of the park. The initiative to achieve this goal was led by the Public-Private Partnership to Save Sterling Forest, consisting of New York and New Jersey conservation organizations and chaired by Robert O. Binnewies, Executive Director of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission.
In November 1999, The Trust for Public Land and the Open Space Institute purchased 659 acres from New York University.
In December 2000, The Trust for Public Land and the Open Space Institute announced an additional 1,065 acres to be added to Sterling Forest State Park. Funders and supporters for Preservation of Sterling Forest State Park include: The Wallace Fund, New York State's Environmental Protection Fund, Forest Legacy Program, the State of New Jersey, the Lila Acheson and DeWitt Wallace Fund for the Hudson Highlands, and Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC), Governor Pataki, The Clinton Administration and other federal support.
In 2005, The Trust for Public Land and the State of New York Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation purchased a 90-acre farm land in Warwick, NY to add to the state park.
In 2006, the park was expanded after a 575-acre (2.33 km2) tract in the center of the forest came on the market, called Sterling Forge. Although Sterling Forest LLC developers had planned to construct 107 luxury homes and an 18-hole golf course on the tract, local residents and concerned environmentalists rallied and were able to procure the tract for the state park. The final $13.5 million sale price was negotiated by The Trust for Public Land, and paid in part out of the state's Environmental Protection Fund.
In February 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the addition of 112 acres to the state park, as a result of a partnership with the Orange County Land Trust.
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