TERRA-NOT-AMOR We in the Hudson Valley are profoundly fortunate to be surrounded by such extraordinary natural beauty. Thus, in the holiday spirit of appreciation and thanks, we are grateful to all who advocate and care for them. Not only those who live and work here, but we also thank our urban visitors who show respect for our values and commitment to honoring and maintaining our priceless natural resources.
We acknowledge and accept that our communities are evolving–from new businesses to proposed ventures and we embrace newcomers who respect our environment and way of life. Fortunately, our area has always been home to activists who have fought to protect our communities and values. For those who keep their fingers on the pulse of change – celebrating the good but resisting the not-so-good, we tip our hat and sincerely thank them for their efforts.
Today we welcome our contributor “Ranger” Dave Holden as he shares his take on Terramor and their proposed 75-tent glamping resort located along route 212 between Saugerties and Woodstock. You may have seen the “Stop Terramor. Save our Community” signs dotted throughout Woodstock and Saugerties. As Dave shares below, now is the time to speak up, whether you are for or against this venture.
In the 1980s, I was avidly exploring backwoods Woodstock from one end of this enormous town to the other. Some parts of Woodstock are easier to access and get around than others. Like most, I tended to take the easier paths, those readily accessible to all, and some areas of town were thicker with Northern Hemlock and White Pine than others. The going can be pretty rough anywhere there is a hemlock or pine thicket of any size. The very density of the understory makes it challenging to walk through these areas. In addition, the seemingly impenetrable darkness in these places is inherently difficult for land navigation. Most tend not to bother. I get determined and stubborn, circling around it, eventually finding a “not-so-thicket,” a way through the darkness. Sometimes further complicating my efforts, an area would be either very wet or have treacherous, half-hidden quarries deep in the thicket. Exploring these places could be very dangerous and unsafe.
Located in the extreme eastern Woodstock region is a parcel of land proposed for a high-end glamping resort. This land is one of the spots described above – a very hostile landscape for development, yet full of important wetlands, historical quarries, and all of the commensurate creatures and plants that thrive in such places.
Terramor is the hypocritical name of this proposed 77-acre resort situated between Raybrook Drive on the west, and Route 212, on the east, in Woodstock and bordered by Glasco Turnpike, on the north, in Saugerties.
Terramor should mean “Love the Earth,” but in this case, it is more like Terr-Not-Amor, “not Loving the Earth.” It is the high-end brand name for Kampgrounds of Americas (KOA) nationwide luxury clamping sites. The proposal is for an immense number of camping sites – 75, each tent on a raised platform with its own bathroom, fire pit, and parking spot. Several other structures, like dormitories for staff, an event center, a restaurant, retail stores, and a swimming pool, are also proposed. The proposed Terramor plan would require clearing beautiful woodlands, draining wetlands and filling quarries. Miles of roads would be built to support the campsites, creating an incredible increase in traffic in an area that already suffers from traffic (the intersection of Glasco and 212 is already notorious for accidents and near-accidents).
Residents, who considered their neighborhood peaceful and quiet, now are rightfully worried that not only will the area become mobbed by vehicles and impacted by noise, but also become enshrouded in clouds of wood-smoke as each of the 75 campsites comes a firepit for campfires. The prospect of Terramor’s plan has already affected home sales in the immediate area (see Hudson Valley One, Nov.16, 2022 – “The Wide Reach of Opposition”). It would probably continue negatively affecting nearby land values. Being near Woodstock would be a great draw to people with hundreds more cars to further clog increasingly-congested local roads and streets.
I suggest that Saugerties and Woodstock Planning Boards take a hard look at Terramor with a jaundiced eye to protect this land and those who live near it. Both towns should initiate detailed and in-depth environmental studies of the projected effects of this massive site. We must consider the threat to our local fauna and flora, the usage and negative impacts on our local water table, and any danger of pool chemicals infiltrating local wells. There is the implication of the destruction of forests, further increasing local flooding and run-off issues. And why should local residents – taxpayers all – have to stand by and watch their hard-earned lifestyle diminished and sullied at the behest of another large, out-of-area corporation that is neither invested in the area nor remotely interested in sustainability? A corporation that does not care about the long-term effects of its project on the land, people, plants and creatures who live on it?
I urge everyone to oppose Terramor. Please support Citizens Against Terramor and consider signing their petition on Change.org.
Thank you, “Ranger” Dave Holden Author: Dave Holden