May 7, 2009, Press Release: DEC REVISES CAMPGROUND CLOSURE PLAN Four of Six Facilities to Open for Shortened Season

                  For Release: IMMEDIATE            Contact: Yancey Roy

                      Thursday, May 7, 2009                 (518) 402-8000

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DEC REVISES CAMPGROUND CLOSURE PLAN

Four of Six Facilities to Open for Shortened Season 

      Working in collaboration with local governments, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has revised its original plan for closing six campgrounds for the 2009 season, Commissioner Pete Grannis announced today. The new plan will allow the state to capitalize on peak camping times while reducing operational costs. 

      Under the new plan, DEC will operate four of the six campgrounds for shortened seasons, from June 26 through Labor Day. In addition, after partnering with local officials, DEC will substitute one Piseco Lake-area campground in Hamilton County on the closure list for another. At the campgrounds that will remain closed, DEC will allow use of its hiking and horse trails and climbing routes. 

      “New York is facing tough economic times and closing campgrounds was not an easy choice. With the help of local officials, DEC has devised a way to soften the impact,” Commissioner Grannis said. “Each of the targeted facilities historically suffered from low occupancy over the course of a full season. By shortening the season, we can open the campgrounds during traditional peak occupancy periods. This plan will help local tourism and provide opportunities for affordable getaways while still reducing our annual operating costs.”  

The revisions for the 2009 season are: 

In the Catskills 

    Beaverkill, Roscoe, Sullivan County.

          The campground will be operated under an abbreviated season – from June 26 through Labor Day. DEC will operate the facility with assistance from Sullivan County, upon adoption of a cooperative agreement. 

    Bear Spring Mountain, Walton, Delaware County.

          The previous decision to close the camping area within this facility remains in effect.  However, numerous horse and hiking trails and associated trailhead parking areas at this popular Wildlife Management Area will continue to be available for public use. There will be no fee for parking. 

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In the Adirondacks 

    Point Comfort, Arietta, Hamilton County.

          The campground will be operated under an abbreviated season – from June 26 through Labor Day.  However, DEC will not open Poplar Point, which is also in the Piseco Lake area, for 2009.  DEC will explore options to work cooperatively with Arietta officials to continue to potentially offer a day-use facility at Poplar Point in future years. 

    Sharp Bridge, North Hudson, Essex County.

          The campground will be operated under an abbreviated season – from June 26 through Labor Day. 

    Tioga Point, Raquette Lake, Hamilton County.

          The campground will be operated under an abbreviated season – from June 26 through Labor Day.   

    Poke-O-Moonshine, Keeseville, Essex County.

          The previous decision to close this facility remains in effect.  Hikers, rock climbers and other recreational users will be able to access hiking trails and climbing routes by parking in the entrance area.  No fee will be charged for parking. 

      DEC will work closely with ReserveAmerica, the state’s camping reservation service contractor, to contact visitors whose reservations were previously cancelled, to offer them their original reservations and to re-open the camping site inventory to them before it is made available to the general public. DEC will cover the cost of the reservation fees to lessen the impact to the visitors that will be affected.  

      DEC is responsible for managing 52 campgrounds and 7 day-use areas in New York’s Adirondack Park and Catskill Park. 

      “I appreciate the cooperation of Commissioner Peter Grannis, the DEC and local officials working together to operate the Beaverkill,” said State Senator John Bonacic. “The State has an obligation to the people of the Catskills to ensure the assets the State owns are operated and accessible to the public.  I want to particularly commend Sullivan County Legislative Chairman Jonathan Rouis and Legislator Alan Sorensen for their efforts and initiative in relation to the Beaverkill.” 

      “I’m very happy the Department of Environmental Conservation listened to our concerns and worked with local officials to revise their plan,” said State Senator Betty Little.  “A cooperative approach ensures the best outcome in tough times.” 

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