Historic Ban on Fracking in New York State (2015) Catskill Mountainkeeper was one of the first environmental groups to challenge fracking in New York, and played a central role in the uphill coalition fight that won the historic state-wide fracking ban—the first by a state with large, potentially profitable, natural gas reserves.
Mountainkeeper’s unique blend of expert advocacy and political savvy -- fueled by the power of our grassroots activist supporters and our staff's fierce determination to win against all odds -- were key to the coalition’s success in galvanizing the massive public outcry that finally convinced Governor Cuomo to protect the health of New Yorkers, and the integrity of our environment, from fracking.
Mountainkeeper’s contributions to this fight included shining a light on the health impacts of fracking and calling for a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment of the practice; pressuring state officials to re-open New York’s drilling regulations; supporting towns in passing their own local fracking bans; and building and uniting a diverse anti-fracking movement including local front-line groups and national organizations.
Defeating the Port Ambrose LNG project (2015) Mountainkeeper played a crucial role in rallying the public outcry that convinced Governor Cuomo to veto the proposed Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas project in November 2015. This massive deep water port 19 miles off the shore of Long Island would have threatened coastal communities, damaged marine ecosystems, and displaced a wind farm proposed for the same spot. Mountainkeeper worked closely with coalition partners—including residents and community leaders in the Rockaways, fisherman, fracktivists, surfers, elected officials, and climate activists—to educate and mobilize people to fight back against this disastrous project.
Establishing a New Visitor’s Center for the Catskills (2015) Mountainkeeper helped oversee the planning and construction of the first-ever visitor’s center for to be built the Catskill Park—the Congressman Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Park Interpretive Center (www.catskillinterpretivecenter.org/), which opened in June 2015. This beautiful facility is raising the profile of this iconic park, and enhancing the visitor experience by providing a welcoming space to learn about the region’s abundant natural resources. Along with our partners in the Catskill Park Coalition, Mountainkeeper is providing ongoing assistance in staffing the Center.
Powering our Green Energy Future (2015) Mountainkeeper’s RenewableNY program and three on-the-ground partners launched the Solar Outreach Initiative, an ambitious three-year campaign funded by a major grant from NYSERDA. Mountainkeeper is serving as project manager for this campaign, which is making it easier and more affordable for people and businesses in 15 New York counties go solar through education and outreach campaigns, bulk purchasing programs that lower costs, and job training and development programs that are building a new clean energy work force. Projected to save $500,000 in consumer energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 496 metric tons each year, the project aligns with the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy to build a next generation energy system that is clean, resilient, and affordable for all New Yorkers. The final report can be viewed here.
Staving off an Invasion of Casinos (2013) Mountainkeeper was successful in blocking plans to site multiple Las Vegas-style casinos clustered in the Catskills, and our team is now working to ensure that that the single new casino permitted for our region—the Montreign Resort Casino, part of the larger Adelaar resort being built in Kiamesha Lake—has the most positive impact possible on the area. We also are part of a conservation coalition that is helping plan a nature center and trail system at the new resort complex that will teach resort visitors about the ecology of the region, and help them enjoy being outdoors in this spectacular part of the world.
Growing Ecotourism in the Catskills (2012) Co-founded by Catskill Mountainkeeper, the Trailkeeper.org network works to grow tourism—the number one economic driver in the Catskills—by highlighting the region's outdoor recreational resources and providing information about trails, area attractions, and amenities on its website, www.trailkeeper.org. This ongoing project is a partnership between Catskill Mountainkeeper and the National Park Service, Delaware Highlands Conservancy, Sullivan County Visitors Association, Sullivan County Division of Planning and Environmental Management, and Morgan Outdoors.
Launching a Collaborative to combat Extreme Energy (2012) Mountainkeeper cofounded the Extreme Energy Extraction Collaborative (E3C), a grassroots community-led effort to foster cooperation among diverse groups fighting all forms of extreme energy extraction—including coal, gas, oil, tar sands, uranium, and industrial biomass—across the U.S.. Mountainkeeper is an anchor organization for E3C, which organizes bi-annual Summits where a diverse collection of organizers, activists, and representatives of both frontline and “big green” group build relationships and develop common strategies. These Summit meetings helped build energy and shape strategies for the historic 2014 "People’s Climate March" in New York City.
Protecting the Delaware River Basin (2011) Mountainkeeper played an instrumental role in securing the moratorium on drilling and fracking in the Delaware River Basin, which encompasses 13,000 square miles across four states and provides drinking water to 15 million watershed residents. This is the only area within Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale that is protected from exploitation by the oil and gas industry.
Blocking the NYRI Power line (2009) Mountainkeeper helped block the proposed New York Regional Interconnect (NYRI) power line, a $2.1 billion 190-mile-long eyesore with 120-foot towers that would have cut a destructive swath across seven upstate counties. After three years of opposition to this project, Mountainkeeper and our colleagues scored a huge victory in 2009, when NYRI withdrew its application to build the powerline.