Mohonk Preserve and The Kingston Land Trust Partner To Bring Venison To Families In Need

Mohonk Preserve and Kingston Land Trust partner to bring venison to families in need

Gardiner, New York, November 2009 Thanks to a new collaboration between two land trusts, residents requiring food assistance will be in for a treat: fresh, wild venison. The source will be deer hunted across the Shawangunk Ridge, including at the Mohonk Preserve , Minnewaska State Park Preserve, and Sam’s Point Preserve. The Shawangunk Ridge Biodiversity Partnership’s deer management program allows regulated hunting to combat the negative ecological impacts of overbrowsing by deer. The Kingston Land Trust conceived of the program in response to growing economic stress, and in turn increasingly strained supplies at food pantries and soup kitchens.

“For residents of the region’s cities and villages who depend on food assistance to get by, this program offers high-quality meat that is not readily available,” said Arthur Zaczkiewicz, co-founder of the Kingston Land Trust. “Current economic conditions have strained households and local food programs, so the launch of this initiative comes at a critical time.”

The program will rely on voluntary donations of deer by hunters. For the first time, this year a refrigerated truck will be available on-call courtesy of the Cornell Cooperative Extension, to distribute venison to the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley .

“A properly managed hunting program can improve forests where deer overbrowsing has prevented tree regeneration and reduced the quality of habitat for birds and other wildlife, including deer,” says Ethan Pierce, Deer Management Program Coordinator for the Shawangunk Ridge Biodiversity Partnership. “Now we are pleased to also provide the opportunity for hunters to help families in need, and to support the use of a local, free-range, and widely available meat.”

Hunters interested in participating in the venison donation program, or any other aspect of hunting on the Shawangunk Ridge, as well as volunteers to help process donated deer, should contact Ethan Pierce, Deer Management Program Coordinator, at 845-255-5969 or epierce@mohonkpreserve.org. Please sign up for donation before harvesting a deer so we can arrange for timely pick-up.

Located in five Ulster County towns, the Mohonk Preserve is the largest member- and visitor-supported nature preserve in New York State . Managing nearly 7,000 acres of the Shawangunk Ridge, the Preserve works to protect the ridge and to inspire people to care for, enjoy, and explore the natural world. Visitors are welcome on Preserve lands and at the Visitor Center , which has exhibits, trails, and a gift shop.  Preserve lands are open sunrise to sunset every day, and a current membership or day entry pass is required to access the lands. Admission to the Visitor Center is always free. For more information, visit www.mohonkpreserve.org or call (845) 255-0919.

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1 comment to Mohonk Preserve and The Kingston Land Trust Partner To Bring Venison To Families In Need

  • Thank you so much!!!!!
    I just written an article for the November Lincoln Eagle about my fruitless efforts to get donated venison from the Venison Donation Project. There are 187 pounds LEFT OVER FROM LAST YEAR at the Regional Food Bank in Coxaachie (sp?) but none of the local food pantries will go get it because they feel there is no demand, that people think it tastes funny. I couldn’t eat all 187 pounds, but I sure could eat about 10 pounds. For Dinner. tonight. It is ground and commercially processed. I will take front legs (for soup)and even ears (for the dogs). I feel that part of the responsibility for killing an animals is not to waste any part of it after it is dead. Keep us informed on how the program is going.

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