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 moreFrom 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.
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 moreFrom 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.”
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."
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.”
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.
From the River Reporter: Sign the Catskill Mountainkeeper petition telling President Biden and United States Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to keep “bomb trains” carrying highly explosive liquefied natural gas (LNG) out of our communities.
Transporting LNG by train is extremely dangerous—just 22 rail cars carrying LNG contain the energy equivalent of a nuclear bomb. These trains expose residents to air pollution and bring volatile, explosive cargo within throwing distance from families’ homes. The margin for error when transporting LNG by rail is paper thin, and even the slightest accident would result in tragedy.