Love NY: Don’t Frack it Up

Mountainkeeper’s Betta Broad is producing a wonderful series about why we love New York State and why we don’t want it fracked.  The first episode centers on the town of Callicoon including interviews with Jill Wiener, Ramsay Adams, Mark Ruffalo and others.

Love New York: Don't Frack it Up Film by Betta Broad

Love New York: Don’t Frack it Up Film by Betta Broad

Love NY: Don’t Frack it Up is an interactive multimedia campaign designed to champion New York’s shared resources and encourage their protection from fracking. Check out the Love NY Don’t Frack It Up! video series and join our social media community. Share what you love about New York’s food, beverages, arts and natural beauty by posting photos, videos, tweets and blogs.

The first three episodes of Love NY: Don’t Frack it Up! will be viewable onYouTube and Facebook: Binghamton: March 4; Callicoon: March 11 and New York City: March 18

Watch it here:

Put the Cats in the Catskills!

Can You Save the World by Putting the ‘Cats’ Back Into the Catskills?

Here is Volume 1, Edition 1
(No cats were harmed during this photoshop)

What happens when you "Like" this picture?

What happens when you “Like” this picture?


Go to Mountainkeeper’s Facebook page and post your own “Cat Chil’n in the Skills” shop or animated gif.  Winner wins something!!!!


Press Release: Mountainkeeper Supports Lawsuit Challenging Pro Gambling Language of Referendum


Catskill Mountainkeeper Supports Lawsuit that Challenges Wording in N.Y. Casino Referendum

Says ballot is not objective
October 2, 2013

“We support Eric Snyder’s lawsuit challenging the state’s irresponsible referendum language – and urge New Yorkers to get the real facts about casinos,” said Ramsay Adams, Executive Director of Catskill Mountainkeeper.
Snyder, a Brooklyn attorney, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in state Supreme Court in Albany, saying a proposed amendment to allow casinos “constitutes the use of public money to advocate the position of a public institution, in violation of the New York State Constitution.”  The language, which the State Board of Elections approved in July, mentions only positive “legislative purposes” of the casino proposal, including “promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools and permitting local governments to lower property taxes.” Referendum language is typically neutral.

“Study after study shows that casinos do more harm than good, especially in rural areas. We oppose casinos in the Catskills because of the pervasive and compelling environmental, social and economic problems that will accompany casino development and ultimately would harm the very people they’re supposed to help.”

For more information on Catskill Mountainkeeper’s position on casinos in the Catskills please visit:  For a copy of the lawsuit,please contact us.

Read the New York Times story on the lawsuit here:

‘Same River’ Comes to Sullivan County!

Same River Poster

Catskill Mountainkeeper is excited to be a part-sponsor of the upcoming performance of ‘Same River’ at NACL Theatre*!

Same River is an improvised, inter-disciplinary performance based on local residents about water and the effects fracking has on communities.

The show will be at NACL Theatre in Highland Lake on Sunday, September 8th, at 4:00 pm and will be performed by The Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble.

Tickets are limited, so be sure to get yours’ today!

When: Sunday, September 8th, at 4:00 pm
Where:  NACL Theatre, 110 Highland Lake Rd, Highland Lake, NY

Strike Anywhere was founded in NYC in 1997 to promote empathy, free-thinking, and greater social awareness through provocative theatre and educational outreach.
We were fortunate enough to have a quick conversation with SAPE’s Artistic/Producing Director, Leese Walker about the show. Here is some of what she had to say:

CMK: Why did you all decide to create a show focused on the community impacts of fracking?

LWI first learned about fracking when we were invited to perform at NACL’s 10th Annual Catskill Festival of New Theatre in 2010.  We were working on a new format for interdisciplinary improvisation and so I asked NACL’s Artistic Director, Tannis Kowalchuk, if there were any themes running through the festival programming that year.  She responded, “Water.  Definitely water.”  So I thought, “OK let’s make a show about water”.  I asked about local water issues and several people mentioned fracking.   I knew very little about it at that time.  As an ensemble, we researched the process and surrounding issues and came to do an intensive residency in the area.   I had never done an interview-based process before and had been waiting for the right project to come along to employ it.  This seemed perfect.  That first foray into the show SAME RIVER in 2010 was a bold experiment in using an interview process to launch an improvised show.  When we started, we thought the show was about water and fracking.   As we dug in deeper over the last 3 years, we discovered that the show is really about how drilling has impacted communities and relationships.  Water is still present in the show. The dancer who plays the character of water serves as a witness throughout the piece. 

CMK: You interviewed a wide range of people from our communities to create the basis of the show. How did you connect with these people and what was the interview process like?

LWWe perform a residency in conjunction with this show on every stop of our tour.  Having this time in the community allows us to conduct new interviews in each place and custom design the show to reflect the host community.  When we were here three years ago, the show was totally improvised.  Now we have a set structure and characters that are present in every performance but the actual dialogue within those scenes is improvised based on the interviews.  NACL, our host, served as the liaison.  They connected us with different community members so we could gather a wide range of voices for the piece.
The interview process this time around was particularly special because we have been here before and we met with many of the same people that we met with three years ago.  It has been interesting to see how things have changed and what has stayed the same.  It has been wonderful to reconnect with people and I can’t wait to show them how much the show has evolved since 2010.  We have a beautiful production now replete with video projections, stunning lighting design and costumes – if you haven’t seen it before, we are a company of jazz musicians, dancers and actors so the piece is interdisciplinary. 

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 12.46.10 PM

CMK: What were the biggest surprises/challenges that arose while collecting these stories?

LWWell, the biggest surprise has probably been to discover how multifaceted people are- all the shades of gray, the conflicting ideas within each person.  Another surprise has been to hear some of the same language coming from the mouths of the most polarized voices on the spectrum, similar phrases or similar examples to prove their point.   It is funny to me.  The project has helped me to humanize viewpoints I disagree with.  I hope it will do the same for audience members. 

CMK: The performances are very audience-driven and participatory. How much has this impacted the tone and content of each performance?

LWEvery incarnation of Same River is different.  It really takes on the flavor of each place that we visit.  We try to capture the conversation.  So naturally, the tone and content morphs and changes to reflect the communities we visit.
We also use a variety of community engagement strategies wherever we go.  We figure out what the host would like to accomplish and custom design an approach to meet those needs.  In past incarnations of the show, we have performed extended residencies in high schools in conjunction with the show  We have had students craft new scenes and join us on stage. We have had community members come out and help us build the set.  At one high school, students worked with an installation artist to create an interactive, large-scale art installation which served as the first act of the show.  We always include a post-show town hall discussion.  This is really important to us because the point of the show is to instigate discussion.  We have found that in a lot of the places we visit, communication has broken down. We hope that by authentically presenting multiple voices on stage we can promote empathy and help to heal divides.

*NACL Theatre is a professional, not-for-profit company that has created over 15 original and ensemble theatre productions since 1997.  To learn more about NACL, and to learn about ways you can support the theatre, please visit their website here.

Thanks for joining us at Barnfest! Check out great video footage, photos, celebrity interviews and more!

Thank you for joining us on a beautiful summer afternoon in Woodstock!

Over 1,500 Mountainkeeper supporters came together on a gorgeous summer afternoon to celebrate what we all love about the Catskills.  Everyone at Mountainkeeper had a wonderful time, and we hope you did too.  Click on the links below for great video footage, photos, radio interviews and articles.

To see a great highlight video of Barnfest, click here.

To see beautiful photos of Barnfest, visit our Facebook page.

Above: Catskill Mountainkeeper board member ,Joshua Ginsburg, PhD, and family with Parrots for Peace.

Hear Jayni and Chevy talk about Barnfest, the environment, and their personal ties to Woodstock in an engaging interview on wdst, Radio Woodstock.

And just a few of the many wonderful articles about Barnfest:

“Chases honored, Woodstock celebrated at Barnfest” – by Deb Medenbach, Times Herald Record.

“Barnfest to Feature Music, entertainment and stars in Woodstock” - by Lynn Woods, Weekly Almanac.

“Chevy Chase talks Woodstock, Bard College and the environment” – interview with Chevy Chase by John Barry, Poughkeepsie Journal.



Study Co-Sponsored By Mountainkeeper Shows Outdoor Recreation on Catskill Lands Brings Millions of People and Millions of Dollars

Picture 11

PDF of Catskills Study

February 6, 2013 —

REGION — The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is touting the beneficial impacts of its reservoirs and other holdings on the Catskills, which are highlighted in a new study commissioned by the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development (CCCD), Catskill Mountainkeeper (CMK), and Catskill Heritage Alliance (CHA).

According to the study, outdoor recreational activities that rely on public and protected lands attract a total of 1,717,927 visitors annually. These visitors had an estimated economic impact on the region’s economy of $46,207,000 and supported 980 jobs. Furthermore, all outdoor recreational activities, including both those that rely on public and protected lands and those that rely on private lands, attracted a total of 2,496,753 visitors. These visitors had an estimated economic impact of $114,768,000 on the region’s economy and supported 2,413 jobs.

“This economic impact study confirms with hard data the exceptional economic potential of this landscape of mountains, forests, streams, farmland and villages,” said Kathy Nolan, chair of the Catskill Heritage Alliance. “It shows the choice before us in dollar terms: erode what nature gave us and undermine our economic sustainability, or build on the potential to strengthen the economic future of the region.”

“The new numbers confirm what we’ve known for a long time,” echoed Ramsay Adams, founder and executive director of Catskill Mountainkeeper. “The natural beauty of our region is a unique, world-class asset.”

Carter Strickland, the commissioner of the DEP, which employs nearly 1,000 people in the watershed, said, “We are proud that our efforts to encourage recreation throughout the watershed have strengthened the tourism economy that has been a hallmark of the Catskills for decades. New York City currently owns 114,833 acres in the Catskills that are open for fishing, hiking, boating and other forms of low impact recreation that attract people from other regions of the state and country. In the past five years alone, we have removed the permit requirements from 52,198 acres of that recreation land, making it even easier for our neighbors and visitors to enjoy.”

The economic impacts generated by recreational activities, and of the operations of organizations that protect and manage the natural areas of the Catskills, were estimated using the Money Generation Model (MGM) economic impact. These models were developed for the National Park Service and have been used for similar evaluations of many parks around the country.  READ THE ENTIRE RIVER REPORTER ARTICLE HERE