December 24, 2008, Kingston Daily Freeman: 186 acres protected on Overlook Mountain

186 acres protected on Overlook Mountain

Wednesday, December 24, 2008 3:06 AM EST
link to full article is here:
http://www.dailyfreeman.com/articles/2008/12/24/news/doc4951c1bc528be192386210.prt

WOODSTOCK — The Open Space Institute has announced the protection of 186 acres of the California Quarry property on Overlook Mountain.

The property is expected to provide expanded recreational opportunities and views of the Catskills, the Hudson River Valley and parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The acquisition of the property from the town of Woodstock is the institute’s fifth on Overlook Mountain in the last five years, with a total of 569 acres preserved to date.

The California Quarry property sits on the southeastern slope of Overlook Mountain, in an area the state has targeted for conservation because its alpine ecosystem is considered susceptible to inappropriate residential development. There is an active quarry on the parcel to which the town of Woodstock will retain access for local use.

The parcel adjoins previously protected state land on three sides and will be conveyed to the state Department of Environmental Conservation for management as part of the Catskill Forest Preserve.

Once the property is conveyed to the state, the Open Space Institute will have doubled the state-protected land on Overlook Mountain.

In a press release issued by the Open Space Institute, Woodstock Supervisor Jeff Moran praised the acquisition for protecting “panoramic vistas of the southern Catskills to the west, the Berkshires and the Hudson River to the east, and the Ashokan Reservoir to the south and the Shawangunks beyond.”

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December 16, 2008, ProPublica: NYC: Gas Drilling Will Raise the Cost of Water by 30 Percent

NYC: Gas Drilling Will Raise the Cost of Water by 30 Percent

link to complete article is here:
http://www.propublica.org/article/new-york-city-calls-gas-drilling-effects-crippling-1216#6643

by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica – December 16, 2008 12:21 pm EST
Tags: Drilling, Natural Gas, New York, New York City
The Ashokan Reservoir is part of the city's Catskill water supply system. (Credit: Jim McKnight/AP Photo)
The Ashokan Reservoir is part of the city’s Catskill water supply system. (Credit: Jim McKnight/AP Photo)

Using some of the strongest language yet regarding the impacts that natural gas drilling in New York state could have on New York City’s drinking water supply, the city’s chief accountant warned state officials that drilling could have "crippling implications" for the city’s water system.

City Comptroller William Thompson wrote State Department of Environmental Conservation officials Monday following a city council hearing about the threats upstate drilling might pose for the city. Thompson warned that drilling near the Catskill reservoirs that provide some nine million people with drinking water could degrade the water quality enough to force the city to build a new $10 billion water treatment plant. New York City is currently one of just four cities in the U.S. that the EPA allows to provide residents water without any filtration. If that permit is revoked, New York would have to borrow the money for the plant and, Thompson warned, city residents would pay a 30 percent water increase just to cover the interest payments.

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December 23, 2008, Canadian Press: New York ski areas expect more close-to-home traffic this season

Skiers head for the slopes after departing a ski gondola at Gore Mountain Ski Resort in North Creek, N.Y. Between the slow national economy and gas prices dropping, upstate New York ski areas could see more visitors this year, with more skiers staying closer to home. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Mike Groll

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December 22, 2008, Schenectady Daily Gazette: Governor’s plan making unlikely bedfellows

Monday, December 22, 2008
By Stephen Williams (Contact)
Gazette Reporter

link to full article is here:
http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2008/dec/22/1222_adirondack_tax_cap/

ADIRONDACKS — Local government officials and environmental groups are finding a rare point of agreement in criticizing Gov. David Paterson’s proposal to cap the state’s property tax payments to local governments on Forest Preserve land.
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December 18, 2008, Albany Times Union: Tax Cap Eyed for Forest Lands

Tax cap eyed for forest lands
Plan could hurt Adirondack towns that rely on state payments for property taxes
link is here: http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/storyprint.asp?StoryID=751664
By BRIAN NEARING, Staff writer
Click byline for more stories by writer.
First published: Thursday, December 18, 2008
ALBANY ? If local property taxes in the Adirondacks and Catskills climb in the next year the state won’t pay more on its 3 million acres of forever-wild lands, under a cost-cutting measure in Gov. David Paterson’s proposed 2009-10 budget.

The governor’s proposed tax cap would be a first for the state, which started paying local property taxes on state Forest Preserve lands in the Adirondacks in 1886. These payments are key revenue for local governments in areas with large amounts of state land.

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