March 5, 2009, Mid-Hudson News: Sorensen questions closing of Beaverkill Campground

link to complete article is here:

http://www.midhudsonnews.com/News/2009/March09/05/BvklCmp_Sorensen-05Mar09.html

Sorensen questions closing of Beaverkill Campground

MONTICELLO – Sullivan County Legislator Alan Sorensen Wednesday urged his fellow county legislators to fight the closing of the Beaverkill DEC campground.

Sorensen called the DEC campground an “important segment of Sullivan County’s ecotourism business” and feared its closing could have a large economic effect on all of county residents.

The DEC announced the closing of the campground last week claiming that it was underutilized.

The Roscoe Chamber of Commerce argued in turn that the usually busy campground was not utilized by tourists last year because of severe flooding in the area.

Sorensen said he wants not only to stop the closing of the campground by the DEC, but to apply to the state for stimulus dollars to fund other dormant eco-tourism projects like the O&W rails-to-trails initiative, enhancements to the D&H canal linear park and the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway.

“Our County Government needs to build upon the attractiveness of our area by applying for stimulus funding to build our ecotourism infrastructure - making our community a more inviting place to visit,” he said. “We must propose projects that build our ecotourism base, said Sorensen.”

Sorensen said that the county should continue to work in partnership with the DEC to exploit Sullivan County’s natural beauty for eco-tourism.  The DEC controls much of the best hiking and camping sites and we need to recognize them as not only a regulatory agency, but as our economic partner as well.

“The fight to close the Beaverkill campground should also be used as a start to actually expand our efforts to build our ecotourism industry in conjunction with the Bed and Breakfast industry, Bethel Woods, and even our farming industry.”

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