Forest Preserve Group Applauds Final Budget
May 12, 2023 — Albany, NY — A Forest Preserve group comprised of 32 organizations and municipalities applauds Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State legislature for the state budget, which includes dedicated funding for the Forest Preserve Parks of $8 million under the EPF’s State Land Stewardship line. In the final budget the EPF was also retained at the historic level of $400 million achieved last year.Read more
100+ Groups To Gov. Hochul: Protect Hudson River, Stop Radioactive Waste Dumping
From Food and Water Watch -- Today, 138 groups representing hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, sent a letter to Governor Hochul, organized by the Stop Holtec Coalition, urging her to stop Holtec International’s plan to dump one million gallons of radioactive wastewater into the Hudson River. A public hearing on the Indian Point decommissioning process is scheduled for Tuesday, April 25.Read more
Environmentalists Urge Budget Action on Emissions Reduction Program
From the Capitol Pressroom -- Environmentalists are urging state lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul to include a fleshed out cap-and-invest program in New York’s budget, but the details may get left on the chopping block. Catskill Mountainkeeper Deputy Director Katherine Nadeau explains why legislative action is needed now, including to create a rebate program designed to make the green transition more affordable for low-income New Yorkers.
Major Climate and Energy Policies Being Decided in Albany State Budget Negotiations
From the Gotham Gazette -- As Governor Kathy Hochul and the Legislature continue to hammer out the details of the overdue $230 billion state budget, there are major climate and energy policies at stake that environmental advocates say are crucial to meeting New York’s climate goals.
CATSKILL MOUNTAINKEEPER PRAISES NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL AND DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION FOR POWERFUL LAWSUIT AGAINST DUMPING IN ULSTER COUNTY
March 30, 2023 - "The Department of Environmental Conservation and Attorney General have done tremendous and impactful work by holding illegal dumpers accountable for the trash and toxic debris they've dumped in Ulster County. It's going to cost millions to clean up the mess they made, if the pollution can be cleaned up at all, and the companies who illegally dumped the waste need to pay for it. Commissioner Seggos and Attorney General James are sending a clear message to polluters: our environment is worth more than your profits."
Click Read More for our full statement.Read more
Schumer’s Highway to the Catskills Angers Environmentalists
From Politico -- Thousands of New Yorkers escape the sweltering heat of the concrete jungle each summer by fleeing their Brooklyn brownstones and Upper West Side co-ops and driving west on Route 17, the winding highway leading to the cooler air of the Catskill Mountains.
“We’re spending a billion dollars on 47 miles of highway expansion that don’t need it, pumping an additional 2 million tons of greenhouse gasses” into the air through 2050, said Ramsay Adams, the executive director of the Catskill Mountainkeeper, a local environmental advocacy group fighting the widening project. “If it moves forward the way it seems to, it’s going to be a problem. It’s going to be an issue that I think a lot of us are gonna take up in the courts.”
Cap-and-no-trade: Emissions cap policy faces budget fight in New York
From Politico Pro -- Environmental justice groups who spearheaded the push for a landmark climate law mandating emissions reductions in New York are at another pivotal moment as they fight to shape the funding program to achieve those ambitious targets.
“All eyes are on the budget,” said Katherine Nadeau, the deputy director for Catskill Mountainkeeper, a member of the NY Renews coalition. "We know this is a major priority for the governor in this budget."
What's Mud Season?
From the Albany Times Union--“The best way to keep the Catskills thriving when you’re out in the woods during this time of year is to stay on the trail and choose trails that were constructed for people to be out on,” Catskill Mountainkeeper Deputy Director Katherine Nadeau said. “If you’ve got the right footwear, if you’re prepared, the best thing to do is walk right through it. It’s mud season. Enjoy.”
Check out Mountainkeeper's page with tips and trick for handling mud season and read the full article at the Albany Times Union.
If you love the Catskills, you've got to be prepared to love mud season. Or... if not love it, at least tolerate it. Read on to learn when it strikes, how to stay safe, how to protect the ecosystems we love, and how to love mud season!
Wait, "mud season"?
Yup. Mud season. It's the time of year when snows are beginning to melt, soils are beginning to thaw, and trails and terrain that would otherwise absorb water or allow it to run off are storing water. This creates huge puddles or a sloppy, goopy mess of mud.
When is mud season?
Well, frankly, it depends on where you are. But whenever snows begin to melt and the ground begins to thaw there's a great chance for mud. Typically, that's March - May depending on snowmelt, rainfall, temps, and elevation.
Why is mud season different from any other season in the Catskills?
During mud season, soils are at a MUCH greater risk for erosion, and new sprouting plants are incredibly vulnerable. The difference between an awful mud season on the trails and a mild mud season on the trails has everything to do with us--how well we're treating our trails, woodlands, and forests.
Do I need to hike differently during mud season?
During mud season hikers need to take precautions to stay safe and protect the wild places they're visiting. You need to follow the Leave No Trace (TM) principles (bolded here, with Mountainkeeper's advice italicized):
- Plan Ahead and Prepare - Make sure to check the Catskills trail conditions before you leave the house. Wear hiking boots or footwear that can get wet and muddy, and which will keep you safe.
- Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces - This applies year round, but ESPECIALLY during mud season, make sure you're hiking on professionally constructed/Department of Environmental Conservation trails. Avoid herdpaths and the 'trailless peaks'. Mountainbikers - take mud season off! Bikes can really damage ecosystems during this fragile time of year.
- Dispose of Waste Properly - Always. The Catskill Park is a NYS Forest Preserve--there aren't trash or toilet facilities at most trailheads. Plan ahead, and plan to pack out what you packed in.
- Leave What You Find - Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints. And during mud season, leave those footprints IN the mud pit. Do not widen trails by walking around mud--when you encounter mud, tromp right through it.
- Minimize Campfire Impacts - Like Smoky said... Only you can prevent forest fires.
- Respect Wildlife - Seriously. Wildlife is, well, wild. Stay away.
- Be Considerate of Others - Life is hard enough. Be kind to everyone on the trail.
Where can I learn more?
Glad you asked! You can check out the Department of Environmental Conservation's website for more information on hiking during mud season, as well as this Albany Times Union article from March 2023 featuring Mountainkeeper's Deputy Director.
How can I support Mountainkeeper's work to protect the Catskills?
Thanks for asking! Click here. Whether it's $5 or $50 or $500, all of the gifts we receive are greatly appreciated and go right in to supporting our programs.
Opinion: On Route 17, adding more lanes is not the answer
Ramsay Adams for the Albany Times Union: “If you build it, they will come.” This saying is true whether you’re describing fans flocking to a baseball diamond or cars clogging highways. And for New York, that’s a problem.
Read the full piece at the Albany Times Union.