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#16281 - 09/15/05 02:00 AM An Open Letter to The Mohonk Preserve
mohonkneighbors Offline
stranger

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 4
Loc: Shawangunk Ridge
As neighbors we, the undersigned, wish to maintain good relationships with the Mohonk Preserve. Events of the last several years however have given us pause. The Mohonk Preserve has used confrontational quit claim deeds to claim land from some neighbors and, in concert with the Shawangunk Conservancy, has used the legal mechanism of adverse possession in an attempt to lay claim to the land of another neighbor. More recently the Mohonk Preserve has been lobbying the Gardiner Town Board to pass the confiscatory, divisive, and highly controversial zoning law now under consideration.

As landowners we have a fiduciary responsibility to ourselves, our families, and our heirs to protect our assets. As a group we have protested loudly and clearly, in many venues, about the unfairness of the proposed Gardiner zoning law and its detrimental impact on our ability to fulfill our responsibilities. Some of us have privately asked the Mohonk Preserve about the unseemliness of their vocal support of the proposed zoning law which benefits them so greatly at our expense. They have failed to respond.

We respect the property rights and boundaries of the Mohonk Preserve. We now ask the Mohonk Preserve to publicly state their willingness to respect the property rights and boundaries of all of their neighbors. In the interest of an ongoing respectful and neighborly relationship we ask the Mohonk Preserve to disavow the use of quit claim deeds and adverse possession to wrest land from their neighbors. Further, we ask the Mohonk Preserve to publicly withdraw their support of the divisive Gardiner zoning law, which will bring disproportionate economic harm to so few, and instead work with us to find more equitable approaches to open space preservation along the ridge.

Respectfully,

Charlie Bales
Don Conklin
Bruce Keeping
Carol Ann Keeping
Mike Yucowicz
Kent Pierce
Pauline Alexander
William Connor
Michael Browne
Jonathon Gascoine
Richard Weaver
Mark Rollins
Helena Duda
Anita Gehrke
Nat Higgins
Rich Lapp
Pam Lapp
Chris Ullrich
Mike Fink
Howard Harder
Toby Stover
Charlie Majestic
Marybeth Majestic
Louise Haviland
Robert Lapp


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#16282 - 09/15/05 02:27 AM Re: An Open Letter to The Mohonk Preserve [Re: mohonkneighbors]
B_9 Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 25
Good luck.

With regards to the Preserve and the Board: Great behinds stink alike.



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#16283 - 09/15/05 10:10 AM Re: An Open Letter to The Mohonk Preserve [Re: mohonkneighbors]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5968
Loc: 212 land
The Mohonk Preserve has used confrontational quit claim deeds to claim land from some neighbors and, in concert with the Shawangunk Conservancy, has used the legal mechanism of adverse possession in an attempt to lay claim to the land of another neighbor.

Could you give us some details about this?
_________________________

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#16284 - 09/15/05 05:27 PM Re: An Open Letter to The Mohonk Preserve [Re: oenophore]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!

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#16285 - 09/15/05 07:23 PM Re: An Open Letter to The Mohonk Preserve [Re: mohonkneighbors]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Response to “Open Letter to the Mohonk Preserve” from Charlie Bales, et al

As members of an organization that works constructively with hundreds of bordering landowners and with the people, schools, businesses, and institutions on and around the Shawangunk Ridge, we are greatly disappointed by the false accusations and unfounded charges against the Mohonk Preserve in the above letter.

The Mohonk Preserve has never claimed adverse possession of anyone’s property, either alone or in concert with any other organization. However, one of the letter’s signers has claimed adverse possession of over 150 acres of Mohonk Preserve’s property as well as that of others. This has required us to divert time and money to legal fees as we defend these aggressive land claims. As a non-profit working within a strict budget, these resources would be much better spent on our stewardship, education, and research programs, but we have a responsibility to protect the land entrusted to us by our donors and members.

Quitclaim deeds are a normal legal way to voluntarily transfer property and in fact are the only type of deed the county of Ulster will provide for a tax sale transaction. We invite the signers of this letter to contact us to learn more about these property terms and about our more than 40-year record of ethical, transparent land transactions.

We hope that the signers – even those who do not own land in Gardiner – will attend hearings on that town’s proposed zoning ordinance. They will find that Mohonk Preserve is not advocating or lobbying, but only offering, as we were invited to do, our best science-based input on the biodiversity of the Shawangunk Ridge. Additionally, as the owner of approximately 1,900 ridgetop acres in Gardiner, the Preserve has a right and responsibility to participate in any public process that will affect our land holdings along the ridge’s fragile cliff and talus areas.

The Mohonk Preserve affirms its long-standing policy of respecting the property rights and boundaries of all our neighbors. The ongoing friendly relations we have with over 200 adjacent landowners are a testament to this.

Glenn Hoagland
Executive Director
Mohonk Preserve

Ronald Knapp
President, Board of Directors

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#16286 - 09/18/05 01:12 PM Re: An Open Letter to The Mohonk Preserve
mohonkneighbors Offline
stranger

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 4
Loc: Shawangunk Ridge
The following neighbors have added their signatures to the Open Letter to the Mohonk Preserve:

Thomas Borchert
Donald DeGraw
Susan Boice Wick


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#16287 - 10/04/05 01:16 AM Re: An Open Letter to The Mohonk Preserve
mohonkneighbors Offline
stranger

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 4
Loc: Shawangunk Ridge
Reprinted from the New Paltz Times
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To Glenn Hoagland and Ronald Knapp

It was with much interest that I read your response to an “Open letter to the Mohonk Preserve” posted on http://www.gunks.com/. In this letter you purport, “The Mohonk Preserve affirms its longstanding policy of respecting the property rights and boundaries of all of our neighbors. The ongoing friendly relations we have with over 200 adjacent landowners are a testament to this.”

I am one of the adjacent landowners you speak of, and I take exception to Mohonk Preserve providing a testament on my behalf without my knowledge or consent. Mohonk Preserve has never contacted me or any adjoining landowners that I know of to solicit our views on this matter. Mohonk Preserve has again entered my personal space without bothering to ask, and I object to that.

Mohonk Preserve has no right to speak for me. I am very well able to speak for myself.

The dictionary defines friendly relations as “two people or groups of people behaving towards each other in the manner of friends.” That is not something that Mohonk Preserve does. Neither do they respect the rights of their neighbors.

I do not consider Mohonk Preserve chaining off access to family cemeteries, claiming them for themselves, turning them into sideshows and forcing the neighbors to pay $7 a head to visit the graves of their dead relatives respectful or friendly.

I do not consider Mohonk Preserve sending its representatives traipsing around on private property surveying and posting interior lines without seeking permission (which forced us to post our property after allowing free range to all for five generations) respectful or friendly.

I do not consider Mohonk Preserve attempting to take over the Clove Valley Chapel respectful or friendly.

I do not consider Mohonk Preserve sending an agent to threaten my mother with eminent domain proceedings if she persisted in refusing to turn over our sacred medicine grounds to the Mohonk Preserve respectful or friendly.

The list goes on and on but I will save that for another day.

No, sirs, I do not consider Mohonk Preserve to be respectful or friendly in any manner, shape or form. In closing I will say two things:

1) Remove my name from your list of ongoing friendly relations with over 200 adjacent landowners. It does not belong there.

2) Do not ever speak for me again.

Susan Boice Wick
St. Remy


Glenn Hoagland, Executive Director of the Mohonk Preserve, responds to Susan Wick’s letter:

“Having had a lengthy, amicable meeting with you several years ago, we are surprised that you have waited until now to air your concerns- and in the press, rather than to the Preserve directly. If you would like to discuss and resolve these issues directly, please contact me directly. The Preserve policy is to work one-on-one with our neighbors to reach agreements, rather than misdirecting such communications via the press. We look forward to hearing from you”.


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