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September 23, 2014

CONTACT:, (845) 334-7868

Department of Environmental Protection Announces Expanded Land Management and Water Quality Initiative in the Catskills

Deer Management Assistance Permits can now be used on 11,948 acres of water supply lands to help protect water quality by controlling the local deer population

DEP will host two information sessions to share program details with local residents

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that it will expand a deer management program in the Catskills to include additional areas around Ashokan, Cannonsville and Neversink reservoirs. By expanding hunting privileges on 11,948 acres of water supply land, DEP is seeking to promote forest regeneration and protect water quality by controlling the size of deer populations in the immediate vicinity of these reservoirs. Deer in large numbers can inhibit the regeneration of forest lands that serve as an important natural filter for water before it enters the reservoirs. For the third year in a row, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has provided DEP with a limited number of Deer Management Assistance Permits (DMAP) to distribute and encourage hunting in these areas.

DEP will host two public information sessions this month to share information about the DMAP program with local hunters. The first information session will be held on Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. at the South Side Rod & Gun Club located at 43 Baker Road in West Hurley. The second will be held on Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. at the Neversink Firehouse on Route 55. Both sessions will include a presentation by Dick Henry, a noted branch biologist at the Hudson Valley Quality Deer Management Association, who will discuss the breeding biology of white-tailed deer and other topics. DEP will also present information about the deer management program and distribute maps that outline the areas included in the program.

The deer management program for the 2014-2015 hunting season will include the following areas:

Ashokan Reservoir – DMAPs can be used at 3,473 acres of land that are open for deer hunting around the reservoir. Please note that some of these areas are marked for bow hunting only, while others allow all implements. Three recreation areas—Mile Shore, Stone Road and Glenford—will be open only to hunters who receive a DMAP as part of the program. In addition, these three recreation units will offer an “earn-a-buck” program for this hunting season. The program will allow hunters to harvest a buck in the three DMAP-only areas if they certify and report to DEP that they’ve used the DMAP to harvest an antlerless deer. Those who are certified will then receive a vehicle mirror hanger and wallet-size tag confirming they are eligible to harvest a buck in those recreation units.

Cannonsville Reservoir – DMAPs can be used throughout the 4,175 acres that are open for hunting at Cannonsville Reservoir. These properties are located within the Johnny Brook and Barbour Brook recreational units.

Neversink Reservoir – DMAPs can be used throughout the 4,300 acres of land that are open for deer hunting within the East Neversink, West Neversink, Chandler’s Cove, Lindholm, Myers, and Schumway Road recreational units. Please note that some of these units are marked for bow or crossbow hunting only, while others allow all implements.

As the focus of the program is to control the deer population, the deer management assistance permits can only be used to harvest antlerless deer. Hunters who have their regular New York State big-game hunting license are still allowed to take a buck from recreation units that are not designated as DMAP-only. The Deer Management Assistance Permits will be issued free of charge by DEP. Those who receive a permit will also be issued a special parking tag for their cars and signs will be posted to clearly delineate hunting areas where certain implements or permits are restricted. All New York State hunting regulations apply.

Local hunters who harvested an antlerless deer last year as part of the Ashokan DMAP program will have the first chance to receive a permit for 2014. These hunters will be contacted by DEP. Bow hunting in the new units will begin on Oct. 1. The State’s regular hunting season for guns begins Nov. 15.

Detailed maps of the new hunting units will be available at the information sessions and on the DEP website at After the information session, DEP will be taking names of those interested in participating in the hunting program. All local hunters interested in obtaining a Deer Management Assistance Permit are encouraged to call DEP at (845) 340-7811. More information can also be obtained by emailing

The deer management program is an important tool to help control the increasing deer population around New York City’s reservoirs. Deer in large numbers stifle forest regeneration by eating saplings from the forest floor before they have a chance to grow and become mature trees. Healthy forests are important to the quality of drinking water in the reservoirs as they act as a natural filter that helps remove nitrogen, phosphorus, and other nutrients from the water that can affect taste and smell. Their leaves and branches also slow rain as it falls, and their roots grip the soil to help prevent erosion.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of high quality water each day to more than 9 million New Yorkers. This includes more than 70 upstate communities and institutions in Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties who consume an average of 110 million total gallons of drinking water daily from New York City’s water supply system. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and others professionals in the upstate watershed. In addition to its $70 million payroll and $157 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.7 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with nearly $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter at

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NYC Department of Environmental Protection
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