[Talk-us] Park Boundary tagging

Kevin Kenny kkenny2 at nycap.rr.com
Mon Mar 4 02:26:55 UTC 2013

There are some anomalous cases that are of particular concern to

Consider the Adirondack and Catskill Parks in New York. These
are enormous tracts of land with intensive conservation restrictions
placed on them - but many lands within the parks remain in private
hands; in fact, there are entire villages within the confines of these
huge parks. These areas are often shown on New York State maps with a
blue outline - in fact, the "Blue Line" is the conventional name for
the boundary.

Mostly within these areas, and sometimes but not always coterminous
with them, are a collection of "Wilderness Area", "Wild Forest", "State
Reforestation Area", "Wildlife Management Area", "Canoe Area",
"Primitive Bicycle Corridor", "State Campground", "State Unique Area",
and so on, that are actually State-owned lands allowing public access
for different types of activity.

There are also similar conserved lands outside the Adirondack and
Catskill Parks. Certainly in the Catskills, and likely elsewhere,
there are "Wild Forest" and "State Reforestation Area" parcels that
cross the Blue Line.

Entirely separate from this system and administered by a different arm
of the State government are a set of "State Park", "State Historic
Site", "State Recreation Area", and so on. These range from sites that
would be best described as "recreation ground" to backcountry preserves
that take days to hike across. There is a possible administrative
hierarchy here, too: for instance, the Anthony Wayne recreation area
is entirely within the confines of the Harriman State Park.

What's the point of all this?  Merely to indicate that the tagging

   - most likely ought not to presume that all 'state parks' are
     entirely state-owned: in New York, the two large parks are
     partially private, and the public's right of access varies.

   - must not assume that state parks do not overlap, nor that overlap
     among them is a strict containment relationship.

   - must not assume that a state park has a single purpose (e.g.,
     leisure=nature_reserve): many of New York's large state parks
     contain campgrounds, youth camps, recreation grounds, swimming
     beaches, and other developed amenities as well as large tracts
     of backcountry reserve.

By the way, these lands must not be dismissed as insignificant: the
Adirondack park is larger than Yellowstone, Glacier, Cascade, and
Everglades National Parks - combined. The Catskill Park is about of
a size with the larger National Parks.

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