Casino decision is a "victory for the Catskills"
Now is the time to work on a positive future for our region says Catskills group
(January 4, 2008) - The people of Sullivan County and the Catskills won a major victory today when U.S. Interior Department Secretary Dirk Kempthorne rejected the two Las Vegas-style casinos proposed at the Monticello Raceway and along the Neversink River. Executive Director Ramsay Adams released the following statement:
"This is a tremendous victory for Catskills residents who have fought to preserve the quality of life in our region. We applaud them, including the thousands who petitioned Secretary Kempthorne through our website.
We commend Secretary Kempthorne for his diligence in taking on this complicated proposal and coming to this decision.
This is a great opportunity for us to leave behind the divisive battle over casinos that has divided communities for so long and look to economic development we can all get behind.
Catskill Mountainkeeper opposed the casinos because we believe they would have dramatically impaired the quality of life here. Research has shown that Route 17 would have been jammed, along with negatively impacting agriculture, law enforcement, emergency services and development pressure on our region.
The Catskills region needs a forward-thinking, comprehensive sustainable economic development plan. The Catskill Mountains are an area with ecological significance not just regionally, but nationally. This is our chance to create a model of how people can work together to protect natural areas and promote growth that improves our quality of life. We look forward to working with all of our neighbors and our representatives in Albany and Washington to make this happen."