Mountainkeeper Presents Taste of the Catskills


Two of the most anticipated and fantastic events of the year are teaming up. Columbus Day weekend, Catskill Mountainkeeper will be presenting its 6th annual Barnfest celebration at the incredible Taste of the Catskills Festival in Delhi, NY.

Maple Shade Farm
, home of Taste of the Catskills, will once again provide a picturesque and historic setting for an entertaining weekend of music, family activities, local food and beer, regional vendors, fireworks, hayrides, puppet shows and celebrities. Join thousands of other festival goers in celebrating all things Catskills.

On both days at 4pm, Catskill Mountainkeeper will present its Barnfest program, along with weekend-long educational workshops and activities on the opportunities and challenges facing the Catskills. Find out more about what Mountainkeeper is doing about these issues, and how you can help.


Come and join us as we celebrate the natural beauty and creative communities of the Catskills! Save one date for two great events. Check back for more details soon.

Mountainkeeper Presents the Taste of the Catskills Festival at Maple Shade Farm, Delhi, NY Columbus Day Weekend Saturday, October 11 – Sunday, October, 12
Doors open 10am and gates close after dark
Rain or Shine




A Mid-Summer Supper to Benefit Catskill Mountainkeeper

neversink farm rows Please join us for our third annual Mid-Summer Supper as we celebrate the seasonal bounty of the Catskills at Neversink Farm.

You are welcomed to tour the farm while enjoying delicious, fresh, locally-sourced foods creatively prepared by James Beard award-winning chef, Patrick Connolly.

Bring the whole family and relax while enjoying a leisurely summer afternoon exploring the lush fields and rolling riverside pastures of Neversink Farm. Experience a multi-course tasting of fine foods served family style while listening to the old-timey sounds of the Poison Love string trio.

Saturday, July 19th 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Neversink Farm, 635 Claryville Road
Claryville, NY

Purchase your tickets by July 11th
and take advantage of our early admission prices*

Adults – $50 and Youth - $15
Children under 5 – Free

To purchase your tickets today, click here
or call 845-439-1230

All proceeds will support the work of Catskill Mountainkeeper. *Beginning July 12th, tickets will be $60/adult and $20/youth. To respect the local ordinance of the Town of Neversink, Catskill Mountainkeeper will not be serving alcohol at this event.

This event is made possible through the generous support of:
main street farmJava Love, Catskill Hudson Bank, and Neversink Farm 

With generous in kind support from Northern Farmhouse Pasta, Snowdance Farm, Brandenburg Bakery, and Lazy Crazy Acres.Catskill Mountainkeeper is seeking additional food, business, and individual sponsorships and support.  If you would like to learn more about participating in the event, please contact Susan at

Join Mountainkeeper and Partners at the Catskill Interpretive Center Gala!

Can you believe the Catskill Park doesn’t have a Welcome Center!!  That is about to change.

Catskill Mountainkeeper along with our partners are pleased to announce the Catskills Gateway Gala Event to raise funds for the construction of the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center in Mount Tremper, New York.  The Center is has gained all approvals and construction will begin this summer.  The Gateway Gala Event is our first fundraising public fundraising effort to match the Federal and State funds already secured.  Below is the invitation to join us on Saturday April 12, 2014 from 5:30-8pm at the Ashokan Center. You can buy tickets by visiting:



Fracking’s Impact on Severe Weather



Friday, October 11, 2013 – I am heartbroken over the pictures I’ve seen of the flooding destruction in Colorado. It particularly hits home because in 2006 flooding from an extreme, intense, isolated thunderstorm destroyed my vegetable farm in Youngsville, Sullivan County. In a few hours, torrents of water ruined three of my tractors, devastated my irrigation equipment and took away 60 percent of my topsoil. I couldn’t recover, and it put me out of business.


2013 Flood in Weld County, CO

In some ways I was lucky, especially compared to the people in Colorado. I didn’t have to worry about toxic fracking chemicals that are linked to cancer, infertility, autism, diabetes, thyroid disorders and many more conditions poisoning my family, which is a real fear for people in Weld County, Colo.

I did not have a natural gas well pad or a wastewater containment facility on my land. I did not have condensation tanks or open pits that contained toxic fracking waste. That meant that the washout across my field had water in it and not toxic waste.

In New York, proponents of gas drilling say we can protect ourselves from this type of devastation by having better regulations. The tragedies in Colorado and the 2006 flood of my farm eviscerate this theory.

While the regulations in the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement, the conditions under which New York state proposed to regulate fracking, may be better than what they have in Colorado, history tells us they are unlikely to address a weather calamity like the Colorado flooding.

My farm was destroyed by what was considered a 500-year flood, but the SGEIS only seeks to prohibit wells in areas that are defined as 100-year flood plains. This flood plain definition has been rendered almost meaningless, as climate change has created a “new normal” where we are seeing the increased frequency of weather events that previously were defined as 100-year, 500-year and even 1,000-year occurrences. We experienced two 100-year floods and the 500-year flood in a five-year period.

Even if the proposed regulations were more stringent, our government does not have the ability or willingness to enforce regulations. A recent study showed the Department of Environmental Conservation has lost one third of its staff. And in case after case, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency has been walking away from dealing with fracking pollution.

Ironically, it is the carbon emissions from burning natural gas and other fossil fuels that is accelerating climate change, which in turn is increasing the intensity of storms.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has maintained a moratorium as the Department of Health and DECstudies the science on fracking. If there was ever a sign that fracking is not right for New York and we need to move to clean energy, the Colorado disaster is it.

Wes Gillingham is program director at Catskill Mountainkeeper.

PA county shows possible dangers of fracking


Sep 6, 2013   

Written by
Sandra Steingraber and Dr. Kathleen Nolan

As Gov. Andrew Cuomo sends Health Commissioner Nirav Shah around the country to look at the health impacts of fracking, we hope he is looking at Washington County, Pa. Early results from an on-the-ground public health assessment indicate that environmental contamination is occurring near natural gas drilling sites and is the likely cause of associated illnesses.

This is alarming. According to this assessment, in one small county of about 200,000 people, 27 people thought they were getting sick and went to a single rural health clinic and fracking was determined to be a plausible cause.

Since drilling has only been going on for six years, it does not include chronic illnesses that can take years to manifest.

While the industry points to these numbers and says it’s “only” 27 people, the presence of any people gives a lie to industry claims that fracking is “safe.”

The 27 cases documented by the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project team are not a surveyed sample of the region’s population, nor were they recruited to be part of a study. They are patients from a single rural clinic who came in seeking help. As such, these early figures could easily be the leading edge of a rising wave of human injury.

Mesothelioma from asbestos, thyroid cancer from radiation, mental retardation from lead poisoning, birth defects from the rubella virus — all these now-proven connections began with a handful of case studies that, looking back, were just the tip of an iceberg. We know that many of the chemicals released during drilling and fracking operations — including benzene — are likewise slow to exert their toxic effects. Detection of illness can lag by years or decades, as did the appearance of illnesses in construction workers and first responders from exposure to pollution in the 9/11 World Trade Center response and cleanup.

The early results from the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project study implicate air contamination as the likely cause of three-quarters of the associated illnesses so documented. In some cases, starkly elevated levels of fracking-related air pollutants were found in the air inside of people’s homes. This is an unacceptable problem: breathing is mandatory and, while a drinking water source might be replaced, air cannot.

A minority of cases suffered from likely exposures to tainted water, but these low numbers are not reassuring. Water contamination often takes a while to appear. Well casings continue to fail as they age — up to 60 percent over 30 years — and, as they do, we expect health effects from waterborne contaminants to rise and spread to more communities.

Given that exposures and illness increase over time and given that many instances of contamination and illness related to fracking never come to light due to non-disclosure agreements with the industry, we cannot accurately quantify the extent of our problems with gas drilling. But Washington County shows that they are here, and we have every reason to expect that they are not yet fully visible and they are growing.

We hope Cuomo and Shah are watching.

Steingraber is a distinguished scholar in residence at Ithaca College, and Nolan is a physician and bioethicist working with Catskill Mountainkeeper.

Gangplank to a Warm Future


New York Times

Published: July 28, 2013 

Cornell University professor Anthony R. Ingraffea makes the case why gas is not a bridge fuel to anywhere.

ITHACA, N.Y. — MANY concerned about climate change, including President Obama, have embraced hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. In his recent climate speech, the president went so far as to lump gas with renewables as “clean energy.”
As a longtime oil and gas engineer who helped develop shale fracking techniques for the Energy Department, I can assure you that this gas is not “clean.” Because of leaks of methane, the main component of natural gas, the gas extracted from shale deposits is not a “bridge” to a renewable energy future — it’s a gangplank to more warming and away from clean energy investments.

Methane is a far more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, though it doesn’t last nearly as long in the atmosphere. Still, over a 20-year period, one pound of it traps as much heat as at least 72 pounds of carbon dioxide. Its potency declines, but even after a century, it is at least 25 times as powerful as carbon dioxide. When burned, natural gas emits half the carbon dioxide of coal, but methane leakage eviscerates this advantage because of its heat-trapping power.

And methane is leaking, though there is significant uncertainty over the rate. But recent measurements by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at gas and oil fields in California, Colorado and Utah found leakage rates of 2.3 percent to 17 percent of annual production, in the range my colleagues at Cornell and I predicted some years ago. This is the gas that is released into the atmosphere unburned as part of the hydraulic fracturing process, and also from pipelines, compressors and processing units. Those findings raise questions about what is happening elsewhere. The Environmental Protection Agency has issued new rules to reduce these emissions, but the rules don’t take effect until 2015, and apply only to new wells.

A 2011 study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research concluded that unless leaks can be kept below 2 percent, gas lacks any climate advantage over coal. And a study released this May by Climate Central, a group of scientists and journalists studying climate change, concluded that the 50 percent climate advantage of natural gas over coal is unlikely to be achieved over the next three to four decades. Unfortunately, we don’t have that long to address climate change — the next two decades are crucial.

To its credit, the president’s plan recognizes that “curbing emissions of methane is critical.” However, the release of unburned gas in the production process is not the only problem. Gas and oil wells that lose their structural integrity also leak methane and other contaminants outside their casings and into the atmosphere and water wells. Multiple industry studies show that about 5 percent of all oil and gas wells leak immediately because of integrity issues, with increasing rates of leakage over time. With hundreds of thousands of new wells expected, this problem is neither negligible nor preventable with current technology.

Why do so many wells leak this way? Pressures under the earth, temperature changes, ground movement from the drilling of nearby wells and shrinkage crack and damage the thin layer of brittle cement that is supposed to seal the wells. And getting the cement perfect as the drilling goes horizontally into shale is extremely challenging. Once the cement is damaged, repairing it thousands of feet underground is expensive and often unsuccessful. The gas and oil industries have been trying to solve this problem for decades.

The scientific community has been waiting for better data from the E.P.A. to assess the extent of the water contamination problem. That is why it is so discouraging that, in the face of industry complaints, the E.P.A. reportedly has closed or backed away from several investigations into the problem. Perhaps a full E.P.A. study of hydraulic fracturing and drinking water, due in 2014, will be more forthcoming. In addition, drafts of an Energy Department study suggest that there are huge problems finding enough water for fracturing future wells. The president should not include this technology in his energy policy until these studies are complete.

We have renewable wind, water, solar and energy-efficiency technology options now. We can scale these quickly and affordably, creating economic growth, jobs and a truly clean energy future to address climate change. Political will is the missing ingredient. Meaningful carbon reduction is impossible so long as the fossil fuel industry is allowed so much influence over our energy policies and regulatory agencies. Policy makers need to listen to the voices of independent scientists while there is still time.

Anthony R. Ingraffea is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Cornell University and the president of Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy, a nonprofit group.


Come to our No to Fracking/Yes to Renewable Energy Rally in Albany on June 17th


After six years of fighting a David vs. Goliath battle against fracking in New York we have so far managed to hold back the gas companies and maintain a defacto moratorium.  But a decision on fracking could be coming soon. Governor Cuomo recently said, “I will make a decision on fracking before the 2014 election.”  That is why we are calling on you to come to Albany for an anti-fracking rally on June 17th.  There is no better way to show the Governor our resolve to keep fracking out of New York than by bringing thousands of determined activists to his doorstep.

While our success has been notable and could not have been predicted when we started this fight together in 2008, the powerful gas and petroleum stakeholders in the Marcellus Shale are betting that the Governor will decide to approve fracking.  They are getting ready by building pipelines, compressor stations and storage facilities.   New York State needs to invest in our renewable energy future instead of building the infrastructure for the exploitation of dirty fossil fuels like natural gas.


New York stands at a crossroads; this is our moment to decide the course of history.

Come to our No to Fracking/Yes to Renewable Energy Rally:

What: New York Crossroads: Rally to Stop Fracking and Demand Renewable Energy
When: Monday, June 17th, 12pm-3pm
Where: Rally and March on East Capitol Lawn, Albany, NY
Transportation: SIGN UP FOR BUSES HERE
Car Pool:
If you would like to set up a car pool please email Corinne Rosen at

Please sign up HERE to RSVP and for preliminary transportation options.

Please sign up HERE to RSVP on FACEBOOK and SHARE.


On Wednesday, June 17, 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor, where she has stood as our nation’s symbol of freedom ever since.

On Monday, June 17, 2013, citizens from across New York—from Long Island to Niagara Falls—will arrive in Albany to demand freedom from dirty energy, calling on Governor Cuomo to reject fracking and lead the nation in constructing a renewable energy economy here and now in New York.

At this march and rally, the anti-fracking movement will, for the first time, join with business leaders, faith leaders, health professionals, elected officials, farmers, and youth to demand the renewable energy jobs that our families and communities want and deserve. New York is at a crossroads. In one direction: more ruinous dependency on dirty, dangerous fossil fuels. This path requires we blow apart the bedrock of our state and inject it with toxic chemicals. Providing only temporary, dangerous jobs, it leads to accidents, explosions, poisoned water, polluted air, contaminated food, public health disasters and climate catastrophe. This road chains us to the past and ransoms our children’s future.

Running in the other direction is the road to renewable energy based on wind, water, and sunlight. This path leaves our communities unfractured and provides long-term, safe jobs to New Yorkers. This path creates an infrastructure that will not cost us the water we drink, the air we breathe or the health of our children. This path will make New York a leader in energy independence and, once more, a beacon of hope for the world. This path is the one we demand because our lives literally depend on it.

Governor Cuomo has said, “We will not allow the national paralysis over climate change to stop us from pursuing the necessary path for the future.”

We agree. Here in New York, where we have watched our subways fill with seawater and witnessed Hurricanes Irene, Lee and Sandy wash away our communities, we now call on our governor to reject the climate-destroying practice of fracking and take aggressive strides towards a 100% renewable energy economy.

On June 17th, we invite people from every corner of New York State to gather at the State Capitol in Albany. Here, we will stand united to demand that Governor Cuomo reject fracking and blaze a trail to a renewable energy future.

While our success to date to stop fracking has been a landmark achievement, it is unfortunately not a precursor to successfully preventing fracking in New York State.  We haven’t come this far to fail in the last stages.   We need your help to make sure that Governor Cuomo continues to feel the pressure of millions of New Yorkers who are against fracking in our state and who will consider his stand when he runs for reelection.

Join us for this historic event as we rally in the East Capitol Lawn and march in the streets surrounding the Capitol building.

The moment of power is now!

What: New York Crossroads: Rally to Stop Fracking and Demand Renewable Energy
When: Monday, June 17th, 12pm-3pm
Where: Rally and March in East Capitol Lawn, Albany, NY
Transportation:  Sign up for buses here
Car Pool:
If you would like to set up a car pool please email Corinne Rosen

Please sign up HERE to RSVP and for preliminary transportation options.
Please sign up HERE to RSVP on FACEBOOK and SHARE.

Sponsored by: New Yorkers Against Fracking, Food & Water Watch, Frack Action, Catskill Mountainkeeper, NYPIRG, Citizen Action of New York, Environment New York, United for Action, Citizens Environmental Coalition, Alliance for a Green Economy, Sierra Club-Atlantic Chapter, Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, Save The Southern Tier, and many more to be announced!

Thank you and see you in Albany!

Please share this email with your friends, family and neighbors so that they too have a voice in this decision. Thank you so much for what you have already done, and your continuing support.  Catskill Mountainkeeper is totally reliant upon the financial support of those who share our conviction to prevent fracking in New York.

Save the Date!! Barnfest 2013 – Woodstock!

Join the Mountainkeeper team, Chevy and Jayni Chase, Ben Hewitt, Sean Eldridge, Patrick H. Dollard, Aidan Quinn, Melissa Leo, the Helms, Catherine Sebastian, Happy Traum, the Little Farm Show, Paul Green and the Rock Academy and tons of great local bands.

SAVE THE DATE: JUNE 22, 2013 - 12-5pm
Join Catskill Mountainkeeper at our 
5th Annual 


As always, Barnfest is FREE! We do require registration to attend. Click here to register now!


Andy Lee Field – In the Heart of Downtown Woodstock
Rock City Road,
Woodstock, NY 12498
12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Ben Hewitt

en Hewitt
Food Activist and best selling author of The Town that Food Saved and Making Supper Safe

Want to help? Click here to volunteer at Barnfest


Spring cleaning? Donate to our Memorial Day REUSE Tag Sale

Spread the word » Facebook Twitter
Memorial Day Weekend 
REUSE Tag Sale
Is spring cleaning leaving you with unwanted items in your home? You can give your discards an extra life AND help Catskill Mountainkeeper by donating your gently used items to our Memorial Day Weekend Reuse Tag Sale.
Donation drop off dates will be on Saturday, May 18th from 10am-2pm and on Friday, May 24th from 9am to 6pm at the Catskill Mountainkeeper office in Youngsville: 4052 State Route 52, Youngsville, NY 12791; or call Erin at (845) 707-1326 to schedule a time.Suggested donations include:

  • Men’s and Women’s: clothing, hats, shoes, coats, and accessories
  • Children’s items: toys, clothing, books, bedding, outerwear, cribs, and strollers
  • Household items: kitchenware, small furniture, knick-knacks, holiday decorations, sporting goods
  • Garden/craft supplies: flower pots and vases, birdhouses, fencing, baskets, tools, yarn, fabric
  • Recreational items: books, music, camping gear, and skates

***Please be sure your items are clean and in good, working condition before donating.  No large or heavy furniture, appliances or electronics.  If you aren’t sure about an item, please call Erin at (845) 707-1326.

Don’t have anything for the sale, but still want to help?  Catskill Mountainkeeper relies on community support. To volunteer or make a donation, click on the links below:

or send a check to: Catskill Mountainkeeper, Box 381 Youngsville, NY 12791