Mohonk Preserve

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The Trapps in the Mohonk Preserve

The Mohonk Preserve is located in the Shawangunk Ridge, a section of the Appalachian Mountains, 90 miles (140 km) north of New York City in Ulster County, New York, USA. The Mohonk Preserve headquarters are in the town of Gardiner Most of the land is also in the town of Gardiner but there is land in Marbletown, Rosendale, New Paltz, and Rochester. The Preserve manages over 7,000 acres (28 km2) of land and manages 30 mi (48 km) of carriage roads and 40 mi (64 km) of trails for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and horseback riding. Hunting is allowed at the Mohonk Preserve. It aims to reduce ecological damage (including the loss of bird habitat) caused by deer overbrowsing. The Preserve's fees are as follows; individual hiker $12/ day, individual climber $17/day. Hours of operation are from sunrise to one hour past sunset.


In 1963 the Mohonk Trust, a trust created by guests of the Mohonk Mountain House and the Smiley family, who are the founders and present owners of the Mohonk Mountain House split into Mohonk Consultations and the Mohonk Preserve. The two organizations have some overlap in their board of directors and staff. Paul Kellar of Kellar Kellar and Jaiven, was simultaneously the Vice chair of the board of Mohonk Consultations and the attorney for Mohonk Preserve.

There is no research to support the commercial branding that "Mohonk" in the native Lenape language means, "lake in the sky", or that the name historically applied to the lake. According to Marc B. Fried's Shawangunk Place Names, an early variant of the name, "Moggonck," applied on boundary records to the "high hill," the crag now named Skytop where the Smiley Tower is located. "The spelling in 1677 was "Moggonck" in both Dutch deed and English patent....although the spelling change from gg to h was probably done for the sake of euphony, with commercial considerations in mind, it has the effect of helping preserve the guttural sound of the letter g in Dutch, the original language in which the name was transliterated from the Indian tongue." Citing Lenape scholar Dr. David Oestreicher, Fried writes about its meaning: "Animal place names among the Lenape were common. Moggonck appears to be derived from maxkwung, 'place of bears,' or perhaps shortened from Munsee maxkawenge, 'hill of bears.'"

With respect to the change in spelling and the name of the lake, Fried writes: "A change in spelling from "Moggonck" to "Mohonk" is first seen in a New Paltz Times article of July 6, 1860, where it is reported that "A Mountain-House is being built at the north end of Lake Mohonk, at Paltz Point." This is also the first instance found of the name - any name - being applied to the lake."


Bonticou Crag in the Mohonk Preserve

Mohonk Preserve is a private member supported nature preserve in New York State. More than 75% of its funding comes from contributions, memberships and investments. Grants from land conservation organizations, including some from the New York State Conservation Partnership Program, and funded by the state's Environmental Protection Fund amount to 23% of income. It was the first land trust established on the northern Shawangunk Ridge. The Preserve's mission is to protect the Shawangunk Mountains by inspiring people to care for, enjoy, and explore the natural world. To accomplish its mission, the Preserve conducts programs in four key areas - environmental education, serving over 11,000 children and adults each year; land protection, saving high-priority land on the ridge; land stewardship, balancing the protection of land and wildlife with opportunities for recreation; and scientific research, creating a "living laboratory" on the land. Each year the Preserve welcomes 150,000 visitors who come to rock climb, mountain bike, hike, ski, and study and enjoy nature. The land is home to more than 1,400 plant and animal species, including the endangered peregrine falcon and 2,000 acres of rare dwarf pitch pine.


Mohonk Trust v. Board of Assessors of the Town of Gardiner, 47 N.Y.2d 476, 392 N.E.2d 876, 418 N.Y.S.2d 763. In 1979 Mohonk sued the town of Gardiner to get out of paying property taxes.

The Mohonk Preserve has been involved in several land disputes with their neighbors[1] The land acquisition tactics of the Mohonk Preserve, which include the use of adverse possession[citation needed], have led to the formation of the Mohonk Neighbors Association.[2] A Kingston Daily Freeman article dated July 3, 2011, reporting on Mohonk Preserve lawsuits against two neighbors can be found here.

The Preserve's response to the Daily Freeman article of July 3 cited above, submitted on July 5 and published on July 20, can be found here.

Disposition of the Pardini-Fink case can be found here. The Ulrich case is undergoing appellate review.

Financial Information[edit]

Adjoining public lands[edit]

Minnewaska State Park Preserve adjoins the Preserve lands to the south, and protects another 12,000 acres (49 km2) of former property of another member of the Smiley family as a state park.

Staff Timeline[edit]


Bradley Snyder-Executive Director Bob Larsen-Ranger Thom Scheuer-Senior Ranger Stacey Wright-Office Manager Karl Beard-Naturalist


Seward Weber-executive Director Thom Scheuer-Senior Ranger Bob Larsen-Ranger Ann Guenther Nanette Hammond Beth McCaffrey Todd Swain Ann Van Der Meulen William Ginsberg esq.- Counsel


Executive/Administration Glenn D. Hoagland, Executive Director Ellen M. Sticker, Executive Projects Manager

Scott Brown, Director of Finance and Administration Beth McCaffrey, Business Manager Bill Sticker, Associate Director of Information Technology

Programs Kathy Ambrosini, Director of Education Garrick Bryant, Education Coordinator, Public Programs & Family Initiatives Kim Tischler, Education Coordinator, Groups and Camps Pamela Uihlein, Seasonal Special Educator

Jennifer Garofalini, Director of Land Protection Bob Larsen, Historian/Naturalist

Hank Alicandri, Director of Land Stewardship/Chief Ranger Eric Fye, Managing Ranger, Facilities and Operations Justin Key, Facilities Manager Anthony Greco, Facilities Worker Bill Koepplinger, Grounds Worker/Mechanic Jon Ross, Visitor Services Coordinator

Paul Huth, Director of Research John Thompson, Natural Resources Specialist Shanan Smiley, Research/Curatorial Assistant

Communications & Development Gretchen Reed, Director of Communications Patricia Murphy, Communications Associate Gregg Swanzey, Associate Director of Grants & Corporate Relations

Joseph Alfano, Director of Development and Membership Meme Hanley, Development Officer Jason Duerr, Development/Database Associate Josephine D'Agostino, Associate Director of Volunteer Programs & Special Events Krista Tverdak, Associate Director of Membership & Audience Development


Executive/Administration Glenn D. Hoagland, Executive Director Ellen M. Sticker, Executive Projects Manager David H. Toman, Deputy Executive Director, Programs and Operations/CFO Bill Sticker, Associate Director of Information TechnologyErica Seager, Accounting, Human Resources and Business Manager Kathy Gallagher-Palcic, Accounting and Human Resources Associate Joseph Alfano, Deputy Executive Director for Strategic Advancement Eric Roth, Manager of Grants and Organizational Funding, Programs: Kathy Ambrosini, Director of Education Cathy Shiga-Gattullo, Educator for Interpretation and Visitor Engagement Kim Tischler, Education Coordinator for Student Programs Anna Harrod, Education Coordinator for Public and Youth Programs Pamela Uihlein, Seasonal Special Educator Peter A. Karis, RLA, Director of Land Protection Hank Alicandri, Director of Land Stewardship/Chief Ranger Eric Fye, Managing Ranger, Facilities and Operations Frank Tkac, Ranger/S.A.R. Specialist Justin Key, Facilities Manager Anthony Greco, Facilities Worker Bill Koepplinger, Grounds Worker/Mechanic Jon Ross, Visitor Services Coordinator Ken Halpern, Visitor Services Assistant/Nature Shop Manager John Thompson, Director of Conservation Science Hallie Schwab, Citizen Science Coordinator Paul Huth, Director of Research Emeritus/Associate Curator, Communications: Gretchen Reed, Director of Marketing and Communications Patricia Murphy, Communications Associate, Development: Sarah Kermensky, Director of Development Elena Batt, Deputy Director of Membership and Development John E. North, Individual Giving Manager Stephanie Smallman, Capital Campaign and Development Assistant [3]

Board of Directors Timeline[edit]

2014 Ronald G. Knapp, President James L. Hoover, Vice President Thomas J. Murphy, Treasurer Penny Switlik, Secretary Donald P. Christian Vincent R. Clephas Russell Clune Terrence J. English Harvey K. Flad Norman L. Goluskin Eric M. Gullickson A. Floyd Lattin Cynthia Lowe Lynn McGrew Carol S. Rietsma Sara S. Senior Albert K. Smiley Laurel Sweeney Michael Tannen Jane K. Taylor Kathleen C. Weathers


  1. ^ Ulster County Supreme Court Civil Actions: 03-1717, 04-525, 05-1722, 09-2747. Also map #9595, which show several examples.
  2. ^
  3. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°44′50″N 74°12′35″W / 41.74722°N 74.20972°W / 41.74722; -74.20972