January 8, 2020 - In today's State of the State address, Governor Cuomo announced plans for a $3 billion bond act. Catskill Mountainkeeper issued the following statement in response, attributable to Ramsay Adams, Executive Director.
January 2, 2020--In response to a strong public outcry from concerned citizens like you, on January 22, 2020 the Town of Kingston Planning Board will revisit the environmental review of a disastrous proposal to build a huge steel and concrete fabrication plant right next to Onteora Lake and Bluestone Wild Forest. These beautiful wild lands are an important Catskills ecosystem and a wonderful recreational resource, and to protect them fully the planning board should issue a Positive Declaration of significance under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and require the applicant to complete a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIS), allowing Mountainkeeper and other concerned parties to require consideration of all environmental impacts.
To demonstrate the important regional significance of Onteora Lake, Pickerel Pond, and the Bluestone Wild Forest, please add your signature to our new petition, calling on the Town of Kingston Planning Board to conduct a full, fair, and thorough review of this proposed project.
TO: Town of Kingston Planning Board and Town of Kingston Town Board
COPY TO: NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
As people who use and cherish the Catskill Park’s mountains, forests, lakes, streams, and wetlands, we call on the Town of Kingston Planning Board to recognize both the local and regional character and the economic benefits of recreational use of Onteora Lake, Pickerel Pond, and the Bluestone Wild Forest and to conduct a thorough and rigorous environmental review of the proposed steel and concrete fabrication plant at 850 Route 28, specifically by issuing a Positive Declaration of significance and requiring a full Environmental Impact Statement.
In August 2019, residents of the Town of Kingston, grassroots advocates, the Woodstock Land Conservancy, Friends of Bluestone Wild Forest, Save Onteora Lake, and Catskill Mountainkeeper succeeded in convincing the Town of Kingston Planning Board to rescind (revoke) an initial misguided Negative Declaration of environmental impact related to a proposed large and highly intrusive steel and concrete fabrication plant on a parcel adjacent to Onteora Lake, Pickerel Pond, the Bluestone Wild Forest, and additional new open space lands purchased by the Open Space Institute.
A previous online petition asking for a renewed and vigorous environmental review garnered 1,787 signatures, and volunteers also gathered more than 100 signatures from residents of the Town of Kingston through house-to-house canvassing and petitions carried at Onteora Lake. Legal counsel for the nonprofit organizations wrote to the Planning Board, advising that they must conduct a thorough and rigorous environmental review of the proposed plant in order to insure that recreational activities within the Catskill Park can continue unharmed, that economic benefits tourists bring to the Town of Kingston are not sacrificed, and that habitat, water quality and air quality in the Bluestone Wild Forest and at Onteora Lake, Pickerel Pond, and nearby trout-spawning streams remain pristine.
We are now mobilizing public opinion to insist that the next stages of the Planning Board’s review are rigorous and to oppose the Town of Kingston’s attempts to rezone the parcel in question toward industrial uses.
This petition and work is supported and spearheaded by the Woodstock Land Conservancy, Friends of Bluestone Wild Forest, Catskill Mountainkeeper, and Save Onteora Lake. We thank you for lending your voice to this important issue.
December 11, 2019--Catskill Mountainkeeper released a new report detailing how open space and recreational lands in the Catskills are worth millions of dollars annually to the local economy. The report concludes that recreational opportunities on publicly owned lands in the Catskill Park and the Catskill-Delaware Watershed, plus private lands open to the public, draw over 2.7 million visitors annually, visitors spend an estimated $170,031,580, and create an additional economic impact of $123,889,686 while supporting 1,882 jobs.
2019 has been a big year for Catskill Mountainkeeper. From a big victory on climate, to helping shift a polluting peaker plant proposal to a battery storage solution, fighting a proposed steel and concrete fabrication plant, and working to shut down an illegal dumping operation, and moving a bill to protect pollinators, we moved the needle on environmental issues in New York and beyond.
We invite you to a Catskill Mountainkeeper benefit dinner on December 7th featuring a talk on the climate crisis by Robert Thurman, renowned author, academic, and expert on Tibetan Buddhism. The evening, hosted by Sarah Johnson and Greg Cornell at their spectacular White Feather Farm in Saugerties, will benefit Mountainkeeper’s work to fight the climate crisis and advance our clean energy future. It’s going to be a great night, and we really hope you’ll be able to join us.Read more
Catskill Mountainkeeper is fighting a proposed steel & concrete plant near Onteora Lake and adjacent to the Bluestone Wild Forest, and we need your help.
Earlier this year, the Town of Kingston Planning Board received an application to permit a very large steel and concrete fabrication plant on Route 28 in the Town of Kingston, adjacent to Onteora Lake, Pickerel Pond, and the Bluestone Wild Forest. At the same time, the Open Space Institute was just completing a purchase of over 200 acres contiguous to the proposed concrete plant, with the goal of constructing new hiking and mountain biking paths on gorgeous nearby forest lands and eventually adding this parcel to the Catskill Park and Forest Preserve.
Unfortunately, the company, 850 Route 28 LLC's permit application didn't even acknowledge the nearby protected lands or how important the lands are to the public. As the result of omission, Catskill Mountainkeeper believes this application is inadequate and incomplete.
Based on the incomplete permit application, the Town of Kingston Planning Board issued a Negative Declaration under the State Environmental Quality Review Act, essentially stating the plant would have no environmental impacts and thus short-circuiting the environmental review process.
Since that decision, Catskill Mountainkeeper, the Woodstock Land Conservancy, and local grassroots advocates have been requesting that the town reverse the "Neg Dec" and conduct a full and rigorous environmental review of the proposal.
To fight this plant and make our voices heard, we're asking you to sign and share an online petition "Town of Kingston Planning Board -- Keep Onteora Lake and the Bluestone Wild Forest Pristine." You can read more and sign the petition here.
This is an issue of protecting the Catskill Park, and the goal is to let all who love Onteora Lake, Pickerel Pond, and the Bluestone Wild Forest defend these irreplaceable treasures!
Thank you for acting to protect the Catskills!
Ramsay Adams, Executive Director
TravelStorys App provides free GPS guided tours that share the stories of the Catskills
LIVINGSTON MANOR and ARKVILLE, NY – The stories of the citizens and settlers of the Catskills illustrate the uniqueness of the region, and today Catskill Mountainkeeper and the Catskill Center release new TravelStorys audio tours that allow listeners to hear the stories of the Catskills as they travel at the pace of their own curiosity.
The Gateway to the Catskills: Livingston Manor, Roscoe and more! and Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway audio tours are both available through the free TravelStorys app (available for download on smartphones). TravelStorys bringsthe little-known stories about the land to life, and by using GPS technology, stories on the tours automatically play as listeners pass through each site.Read more
Catskill Mountainkeeper is proud to connect New Yorkers to clean, accessible, solar power through community shared solar! Our developer partners, vetted through our Solar Outreach Initiative, offer two different forms of community shared solar--subscription and purchase. In both cases, the panels are side by side with other community members on nearby sunny land instead of on your property. Participants receive a portion of the solar energy produced by the solar farm, which is credited seamlessly to your utility bill each month. You can easily cover 100% of your electricity usage this way, much like traditional solar. Read on for information about community shared solar, and scroll down for links to our developer partners' sites.Read more
When Governor Cuomo banned high volume hydraulic fracturing—i.e. fracking—it seemed that NY State would be protected from the toxic gas extraction practice that has poisoned air, water, and communities worldwide. But that’s not how it’s playing out: a gas company is now trying to get around our ban by proposing to frack using liquid propane gas (LPG) as a fracking agent, instead of water.
The gas industry argues that because this extraction technique uses LPG rather than water, it is not high volume hydraulic fracking and therefore does not fall under NY State’sfracking ban.Read more