Restoration of cricket frog habitat coming to Sterling Forest State Park

The state is prepared to build more habitat for the endangered northern cricket frog at Sterling Forest State Park.

That project came to light last week when the state Office of Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation finished its environmental applications to work inside Little Dam Lake.

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s going on, according to Palisade Park Commission Executive Director Jim Hall.

The dam at Little Dam Lake was reparied roughly six years ago after the DEC found it didn’t meet state and federal standards. But when the dam was fixed, the existing habitat for the northern cricket frog was partially damaged.

So now the state is going to fix it.


The northern cricket frog

Hall said they plan to use a peat-and-soil mixture to reestablish 100 to 200 feet of the habitat along the dam. The frogs like muddy, shallow waters.

Little Dam Lake is located in the northern section of Sterling Forest, near the Appalachian Trail.

The cost of the project was not immediately available, although state officials promised to fetch a number for us later today (Nov. 3). Work could start as early as this winter and finish by next year.

The northern cricket frog is somewhat famous — or infamous, depending on your viewpoint — in our region. Glenmere Lake, in southern Orange County, is home to New York’s largest surviving population of the frogs.

It’s also become the enemy of developers from time to time.

You can read about some of our region’s love/hate relationship with the frog here and here. Oh, and here and here.


P.S. Public comments about this project are due to the DEC by Nov. 12. Here’s the contact person. 

Rebecca S Crist
NYSDEC Region 3 Headquarters
21 South Putt Corners Rd
New Paltz, NY 12561

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