Culminating years of intense work, the Town of Gardiner’s Natural Resources Inventory (NRI) was presented to the Town Board at its February 2 meeting and officially adopted by unanimous vote. The comprehensive document was jointly prepared by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson River Estuary Program and members of the town’s Environmental Conservation Commission, Open Space Commission and Planning Board, in partnership with Cornell University and with assistance from an intern from the Geography Department at SUNY New Paltz. Funding for the project was provided by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund.
Now viewable on the Town of Gardiner website, much of the NRI consists of maps: 23 of them, created using GIS technology that makes it possible to layer them interactively using the appropriate software. Topics illustrated include geology, topography, slopes, soils, aquifers, streams, watersheds, floodplains, wetlands, forests, various types of habitats and the species that inhabit them, biodiversity, climate and how it is expected to change in Gardiner, as well as preserved land, agricultural, historical and cultural resources.
The accompanying explanatory narrative runs to 96 pages, ending with the following list of Potential Future Uses of the NRI:
• Create an online map to allow customized viewing of the NRI map layers.
• Discuss adoption of the NRI by local law to specify its use and advance Climate Smart
• Community certification for the Town of Gardiner.
• Update Planning Board checklists to refer to information in the NRI.
• Explore technical assistance and grants available from the NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary
• Program to assess and prioritize known aquatic barriers (dams and culverts) for removal or mitigation.
• Identify and map wildlife corridors in the Town.
• Develop an Open Space Inventory to identify priority parcels for conservation.
• Research and propose the designation of Critical Environmental Areas.
• Research possible updates to the Town conservation subdivision regulations.
• Research and discuss the benefits of establishing an Environmental Board.
To view the documents, visit www.townofgardiner.org/natural-resources-inventory.