Melissa LeoMelissa Leo is a grateful working actor, who has lived in the Hudson Valley for 25 years and is proud to be a part of this great and vital community.  After spending the happiest years of her life raising her son Jack in their home in Stone Ridge, she’s happily continuing her busy career.  Her recent credits include films OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN, OBLIVION and also TREME on HBO.  She is currently nominated for a Television Critic’s Choice Award for her work on the third season of FX’s LOUIE.  Soon she can be seen as Mamie Eisenhower in THE BUTLER and also co-starring in PRISONERS starring Hugh Jackman.  She would like to thank the supporters of Catskill Mountainkeeper and Governor Cuomo for working to keep this beautiful land free of hydrofracking.


Jayni and Chevy ChaseChevy Chase and his wife, Jayni Chase, will be honored for their lifetime commitment to the environment.  Chevy Chase is best known as one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live and for his roles in the classic comedies National Lampoon’s, Caddyshack and ¡Three Amigos!.

Jayni Chase is an Environmental Activist and Green School Advocate.  Acting on the belief that positive environmental change must begin with the education of our children, Jayni Chase founded the Center for Environmental Education in 1988 and authored Blueprint for a Green School, published by Scholastic in 1995. Currently, Jayni is the Founding Chair of the GREEN Community Schools initiative, being implemented by the direct-service organization, MGR, in 5 cities. She serves on the boards of MGR, the Alliance for Climate Education, the USGBC Center for Green Schools, Friends of the Earth and the NY Harbor School.

Jayni is one of Al Gore’s Slide Show Presenters.  She’s participated in the Clinton Global Initiative 2007-2012.  Most recently, she’s received the prestigious Connie Award in Education from the National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Connecticut Environmental Leadership Award.


Woodstock Land ConservancyThe Woodstock Land Conservancy is being honored for over 25 years of permanently protecting the open lands, natural resources, scenic areas, and historic sites of Woodstock and the surrounding eastern Catskills.


Ben HewittBen Hewitt, food activist and best-selling author of The Town That Food Saved and Making Supper Safe, speaks frequently on the subjects of regionalized agriculture, re-localizing economies, and reframing America’s values to foment positive change and a durable prosperity that is not dependent on extractive industry.  With his wife and two sons, he operates a diversified 40-acre livestock, dairy, berry, and vegetable farm in Northern Vermont. He lives in a self-built, off-grid home that is powered by wind and solar energies.


Sean EldridgeSean Eldridge is the founder and president of Hudson River Ventures, a small business investment fund focused on the Hudson Valley. Hudson River Ventures works to empower entrepreneurs and build thriving businesses throughout the region, with a particular focus on agriculture, food & beverage, and advanced manufacturing.  Sean and his husband, Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook, live in Ulster County.  Sean is being honored for his work to improve the regional economy.


 Happy Traum  Catherine Sebastian  Levon Helm
Happy Traum, folk singer and guitarist, will be joined by his family to be honored for his artistic contributions to the Catskills.   Happy and his brother Artie helped define the Northeast Folk Music sound and played with such greats as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Pete Seeger. Catherine Sebastian is a rock and roll photographer who chronicles the Woodstock area and beyond. She is a tireless advocate for the environment, campaigning to defend the Catskills against the threat of fracking and petitioning for ACTION on climate issues. Levon Helm, drummer for The Band, will be posthumously honored for his many contributions to the Woodstock community. Accepting the award on his behalf will be his daughter, Amy Helm.

Co-Chairs:  Aidan Quinn, Actor; Ramsay Adams, Executive Director, Catskill Mountainkeeper; and Patrick H. Dollard, President and CEO, The Center for Discovery

Aidan Quinn started his acting career on the Chicago stage and went on to play the title role in a modern day Hamlet directed by Robert Falls.  In New York, he starred on Broadway in A Streetcar Named Desire and Off Broadway in Sam Shepherd’s Fool for Love and Lie of the Mind. Aidan has starred in over 40 feature films, among them Desperately Seeking Susan, The Playboys, Avalon, Benny and Joon, Legends of the Fall, and Songcatcher.  Aidan’s television credits include the ground breaking AIDS drama, An Early Frost, for which he was Emmy Nominated for Best Actor. His role in HBO’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee also earned him an Emmy nomination. He is currently starring in Elementary on CBS’s hit drama as Captain Gregson. Among his many philanthropic endeavors, being a Board Member of The Center for Discovery is his proudest.

Patrick H. Dollard is President and CEO of The Center for Discovery, an internationally renowned provider of research, intervention and residential services for children and adults with medical complexities, including autism spectrum disorders. Patrick and The Center pioneered the use of healthy facilities that utilize energy-efficient technologies and sustainable, toxin-free construction materials. Under his guidance, the Center for Discovery became the first healthcare facility in the country to be registered with the U.S. Green Building Council (U.S.G.B.C.). He is the visionary behind the Center’s Thanksgiving Farm CSA, a biodynamically certified farm that has provided produce and interesting work opportunities for residents of The Center for more than 25 years.  During his tenure, The Center for Discovery has grown into one of the most positive economic forces in the region and serves as an example of the power of sustainable economic development.

Ramsay Adams is Executive Director of Catskill Mountainkeeper, an environmental advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the Catskill Region in New York State. Mr. Adams is also a film and television music supervisor, author, and educator. Prior to founding Catskill Mountainkeeper in 2006, Mr. Adams created and taught the “Music Supervision” course at New York University’s Center for Advanced Digital Applications and wrote the book “Music Supervision: The Complete Guide to Selecting Music for Movies, TV, Games, and New Media” (Schirmer). He co-founded, a music supervision services company. Mr. Adams was the Music Director for a cable news channel for over 4 years and is the film music supervisor of many award winning films including “Jihad for Love”, “The Break Up Artist”, and “Heights.” Mr. Adams and his wife Ananda live in the Catskills with their two children.




SIDE STAGE ACTS @ THE COLONY CAFE: PLUS Cash bar & silent art auction

Dave Kearney · The Cupcakes · The Rick Altman Trio ·

Open Book · Ann Osmond & Dennis Yerry

KIDS’ ACTIVITIES: Barnfest is always a great time for families and children. We will have scores of activities throughout the afternoon including face painting, parrots for peace and a live theatrical performance:

 The Little Farm Show
WHERE DOES YOUR FOOD COME FROM? NACL Theatre set out to answer that question with The Little Farm Show, an all-ages musical extravaganza about FARMING, FOOD, and the ENVIRONMENT.  From the inception of the solar system, to sunset on Millicent’s farm, the Magnificent MacDonald twins give audiences a whirlwind tour of “The Greatest Show on Dirt!” 
 Paul Green Rock Academy
Paul Green, founder of the School of Rock and inspiration behind the movie of the same name will lead a performance of young musicians.  Paul will also be the Barnfest main stage emcee.

Paul Green is the founder and former president of the School of Rock. In this role, Paul has been the subject of or inspiration for three major studio films, produced two rock festivals, sat on the planning committee of some of the most prestigious music festivals in the US and Europe, launched a magazine and an on-demand channel, staged numerous tours, managed bands, and has had the wonderful opportunity to work with such Rock luminaries as Jon Anderson, Alice Cooper, Eddie Vedder, and Perry Farrell. A recent and enthusiastic transplant to Woodstock after his departure from School of Rock, Paul has kept himself busy by serving as the music director for the Woodstock Film Festival, the host of the weekly Toolshed on WDST, and the executive producer of the Byrdcliffe Festival of the Arts, all the while laying the groundwork for his newest major project, the establishment of an accredited, first class music college in the area, The Woodstock College of Music, in partnership with Michael Lang. Paul has also recently opened a new music school for kids, called the Paul Green Rock Academy.


 Dear Gov Cuomo

Post-film discussions with:CNC

Director of

Conservation Director for Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter

Barnfest is FREE with registration. To register visit or call 845-482-5400.

Trailkeeper Network Program and “Take a Hike!” Receive the UDC Recreation Achievment Award

UDC Award CeremonyThe Upper Delaware Council presented the and “Take a Hike!”: Trails of the Upper Delaware River Valley projects jointly with their Recreation Achievement Award at the 25th Annual Awards Ceremony on Sunday, April 28, at The Lackawaxen Inn in Lackawaxen, PA. Project partners Lisa Lyons, Bethany Keene, Erin Burch, Heather Jacksy and Jamie Myers accepted the award.

Department of Health Letter to Martens

Commissioner Joe Martens
NY State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233

Dear Commissioner Martens,

In September, you asked me to initiate a Public Health Review of the Department of
Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact
Statement (SGEIS) for High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF).

The Department of Health review is considering whether the final draft SGEIS
adequately identifies potential public health impacts of HVHF and whether additional
mitigation measures are needed beyond those already proposed in the draft SGEIS.

The decision to permit HVHF is important, and involves complex questions about the
impact of the process on public health. The time to ensure the impacts on public
health are properly considered is before a state permits drilling. Other states began
serious health reviews only after proceeding with widespread HVHF.

In my view, that is not the right approach for New York to take if we are serious that
public health is the paramount question in making the HVHF decision. And as Health
Commissioner, protecting the public health is my primary job.

The Department of Health review of the EIS is on-going. In particular we are focused
on the relationship of HVHF to the health impacts of drinking water contamination, but
also other areas such as air quality and community impacts.

In recent weeks, work has been initiated or published by the scientific community to
analyze these health impacts and which may help in addressing these areas. These are
the first comprehensive studies of HVHF health impacts at either the state or federal
level. They include:

The US EPA hydraulic fracturing study. This is a study of potential impacts of
HVHF on drinking water resources. Commissioned by Congress, this includes 18
research related projects. The EPA published a 278 page progress report a few
weeks ago which we are reviewing.

Geisinger Health Systems study. Geisinger, which cares for many patients in
areas where shale gas is being developed in Pennsylvania, is undertaking studies
to analyze health records for asthma and other respiratory diseases, accidents
and injuries, as well as birth outcomes.

University of Pennsylvania study. A study of HVHF health impacts was recently
announced, led by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and in
collaboration with scientists from Columbia, Johns Hopkins and the University of
North Carolina.

As we have been reviewing the scope of these studies, I have determined — and
prudence dictates — that the DOH Public Health Review will require additional time to
complete based on the complexity of the issues. My team and I will be in Pennsylvania
and Washington in the coming days for first-hand briefings on these studies and their
progress, which will assist in informing the New York review. I have also extended the
term of the DOH outside expert researchers to continue to assist my review. I
anticipate delivering the completed Public Health Review to you within a few weeks,
along with my recommendations.

From the inception of this process, the Governor’s instruction has been to let the
science determine the outcome. As a physician and scientist, I could not agree more.
Whatever the ultimate decision on HVHF going ahead, New Yorkers can be assured
that it will be pursuant to a rigorous review that takes the time to examine the relevant
health issues.

Commissioner, Department of Health

DEC Statement on Delayed Fracking Review


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Commissioner Joe Martens

For Release:  IMMEDIATE                                                           Contact:  Emily DeSantis

Tuesday, February 12, 2013                                                                         518-402-8000

Statement from DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens

Commissioner Shah advised me today that the Public Health Review of the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) of high-volume hydraulic fracturing is still on-going.

The Department of Health’s (DOH) Public Health Review, which was undertaken at my request, is important to our consideration of high-volume hydraulic fracturing and I will not issue a final SGEIS until that review is complete and I have received Dr. Shah’s recommendations.  He has indicated he expects his review to be complete in a few weeks after he has had an opportunity to review recent studies underway which are pertinent to the evaluation of high-volume hydraulic fracturing impacts on public health.

The previously proposed high-volume hydraulic fracturing regulations cannot be finalized until the SGEIS is complete.  However, this does not mean that the issuance of permits for high-volume hydraulic fracturing would be delayed.  If the DOH Public Health Review finds that the SGEIS has adequately addressed health concerns, and I adopt the SGEIS on that basis, DEC can accept and process high-volume hydraulic fracturing permit applications 10 days after issuance of the SGEIS.  The regulations simply codify the program requirements.

If, on the other hand, the DOH review finds that there is a public health concern that has not been assessed in the SGEIS or properly mitigated, we would not proceed, as I have stated in the past.

In either event, the science, not emotion, will determine the outcome.



IT’S ABOUT FRACKING TIME-Hurricane Sandy Abruptly Puts Climate Change on the Election Agenda

10/30/2012, Tom Mitchell

Last week, both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney stressed their commitment to developing oil and gas to improve energy security. Climate change was not mentioned. This position is senseless. The U.S. Midwest has just experienced the worst drought in 60 years, one which has seen economic growth depressed by 0.4 percent GDP as a result and higher food prices resulting from a 13 percent drop in corn production. As the East Coast slowly emerges from the deluge and debris of the past 24 hours, the job of counting the cost has only just begun.

The evidence suggests the U.S. public has already woken up to the need for a change—70 percent now believe the climate is changing and a greater percentage than before want a switch to clean energy. Ignoring numbers like that may be rather more difficult now for both campaigns.

Scientists recently concluded that the drought was made 20 times more likely by climate change and it seems the U.S. public agree. So the message for the politicians is as clear as it can bemore oil and gas equals more extreme weather and other climate change impacts, all of which equal greater economic losses.

The U.S. public is concerned about the potential for climate change to increase the number and severity of extreme weather events. Why then is the U.S. so reluctant to take a leading role in the international fight to tackle climate change and why are the Presidential candidates focused on outdoing each other on support for fossil fuels? Clearly there are some strong vested interests at play and maybe climate change is just seen as too risky as a campaign issue.

Despite significant progress to reduce emissions at state and city level, the U.S. has done its best to block progress in international climate negotiations. It has consistently acted alongside Saudi Arabia and other oil states to ensure agreements are not reached, withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol and delayed climate finance support to developing countries. Now climate change has served up the October surprise. Hurricane Sandy—dubbed the Frankenstorm and linked widely to climate change in the U.S. media—has brought widespread flooding and sizeable economic losses.  Insurers are already talking of more than U.S. $16 billion, more seriously the human cost is not yet fully known.

So first, let’s be clear on the science. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC ) special report Managing the risks of climate extremes and disasters for advancing climate change adaptation (SREX), of which I was an author, said:

  • It is likely that there has been a poleward shift in the main Northern and Southern hemisphere extra-tropical storm tracks. Hurricane Sandy is an example, as was Hurricane Irene, which hit the same area last August. The IPCC also concluded that there is stronger confidence for a further poleward shift in the future, so the evidence is that Sandy and Irene are just the start. ‘Studies indicate a northward and eastward shift in the Atlantic cyclone activity during the last 60 years with both more frequent and more intense wintertime cylones in the high-latitude Atlantic.’  A set of studies attribute this trends to climate change. There is less evidence on the intensity and frequency of such hurricanes.
  • It is likely that there has been an increase in extreme coastal high water related to increases in mean sea level. The record storm surge from Hurricane Sandy is probably the most destructive element, with the surge exceeding warnings in some places. In other words the potential for coastal flood damage from extreme weather is greater than before.

It will take time for scientists to assess whether Hurricane Sandy was made more likely by climate change. What we do know though is that indications from the IPCC report suggests that Sandy-like hurricanes and related extreme storm surges will become more common.

Hurricane Sandy has put climate change on the election agenda even if the candidates didn’t want it. The important thing now is what happens next. Tackling climate change must become a focus of the next administration, just as healthcare was for Obama’s first term. Continuing a fossil fuel focus and ducking international leadership on climate change is effectively a slow motion robbery of the future.

The impacts of climate change have already become so serious in some developing countries that they are fighting for a financial mechanism to pay for climate-related losses and damage in the climate negotiations. They are also petitioning the UN General Assembly to request a hearing by the International Court of Justice on who should be held accountable for the damages caused by climate change. The leaders of this action fully expect the U.S. and other industrialized countries to be the defendants.

Does the U.S. president really want to be put on trial in this way? Bold action from the U.S. on tackling climate change would help to stop all this. Whether they are in Baltimore or Bangladesh the future ability of people to batten down the hatches is dependent on a grown-up response from America’s top politicians.


TrailKeeper Hike!

Join the Delaware Highlands Conservancy and Catskill Mountainkeeper for a Fall Hike at the Tusten Mountain Trail in Sullivan County, NY on Sunday, October 14 from 10am-12pm.

Enjoy great views of the Delaware River, fall foliage approaching its zenith, and traverse a historic stone arch bridge.  Learn about the ecology, culture, and history of the area with Melinda Meddaugh, Land Protection Coordinator for the Conservancy.

The Tusten Mountain Trail is featured on the newly launched website,, a one-source outlet for hiking trails and public lands in Sullivan County, NY with easy-to-read, easy-to-access maps and facilities information and guides to hiking safety. provides access to trail information that matches hiker to trail.

The Fall Hike is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Contact the Delaware Highlands Conservancy at 570-226-3164845-583-1010, or send an email to [email protected] to reserve your space and receive directions., launched in September 2012, is the result of a partnership between the Delaware Highlands Conservancy, Catskill Mountainkeeper, the Sullivan County Division of Planning and Environmental Management, the Sullivan County Visitors Association, and Morgan Outdoors.