Saving the Shawangunks

Saving the Shawangunks

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Author: Carleton Mabee

Photographs by: Nora Scarlett

The successful grassroots fight to stop the construction of a 400-room hotel/conference center and 500 condominiums around Lake Minnewaska in New York State s Shawangunk Mountains in the 1980s was a landmark victory for Hudson Valley environmentalists and became a blueprint for subsequent struggles to preserve open space against encroaching development in a uniquely beautiful landscape that The Nature Conservancy in 1991 selected as one of the 75 Last Great Places on Earth. But the fight did not end there. Subsequent plans for Lake Minnewaska involved the construction of a large spa complex. That plan, too, was defeated when local citizens once again banded together in opposition, and further development schemes for Lake Minnewaska were thwarted when New York State purchased the property and created the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. A previous proposal to place 500 trailers around the Shawangunk Ridge s Tillson Lake was also opposed and defeated, and then, in 2002, a plan to build 350 luxury homes on land located between Sam s Point Preserve and the new Minnewaska State Park Preserve proved that the fight to preserve the Shawangunk Ridge from development would be an ongoing struggle. As the result of continued and focused community action, the northern Shawangunk Mountains today, with their sky lakes, rock cliffs, and unique ecology, include vast stretches of preserved and wild land for public enjoyment and the benefit of future generations. In this, his final book, Pulitzer Prize-winner Carleton Mabee documents how common citizens can stop corporations in their tracks and preserve their communities and the landscape they love. Featuring 32 full-color photos by acclaimed photographer Nora Scarlett.

Paperback, 110 pages

Publisher: Black Dome Press