Catskills 2035: Where we're going and how we'll get there

On Catskill Park Day 2024 (Thursday, February 29), Mountainkeeper's Deputy Director hosted a roundtable discussion featuring advocates, legislators, and Department of Environmental Conservation officials in a discussion about the future of the Catskills. Listen in as these key decisionmakers discuss addressing the climate crisis, large scale development, Rt 17 expansion, high use, supporting first responders, and more.

Panelists included:

  • Senator Michelle Hinchey
  • NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Assemblymember Sarahana Shrestha
  • Assemblymember Chris Tague
  • Assemblymember Aileen Gunther
  • Jeff Senterman, Director at the Catskill Center


Invasive Species in the Catskills

Dive into the world of invasive species in our conversation with experts from thCatskill Center's Catskills Regional Invasive Species Partnership, featuring information about Northern Snakehead and Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in the Catskills.

  • John Thompson, CRISP's Director, will be discussing hemlocks and other priority species and their status in the Catskills.
  • Sarah Coney, CRISP's aquatic invasive species manager, will give a brief overview of Northern Snakehead


Hot Climate Summer

2023 is set to be a critical year for implementing New York State’s landmark Climate Law, which Mountainkeeper has fought for alongside countless other allies. On June 8, we hosted a virtual informational session to bring you up to speed on upcoming regulations and programs--like Cap & Invest--that will make our Climate Law a reality. 


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Magic in the Mountains: A Mountainkeeper Podcast

Listen on Spotify or Anchor

Magic in the Mountains podcast is for nature enthusiasts, environmentalists, and everyone in between who wants to learn about the environment, food systems, sustainable farming and agriculture, and more. Hosts Eugene Thalmann and Taylor Jaffe–two young farmers based in different parts of the Catskills–are connected through their respective roles as Mountainkeeper’s Agricultural Program Coordinator and Environmental Justice Coordinator. Each week they get together to discuss a different aspect of life on their farms, and how it relates to environmental justice, ecosystem sustainability, local and global food systems, and more. You can listen to these engaging conversations on Spotify or Anchor!


Cosmos in the Catskills

During our ‘Cosmos in the Catskills’ webinar, night sky experts and Catskill Astronomy Club members Irene Pease and John Kocijanski shared tips for identifying constellations in the night sky, and showed participants how even basic stargazing can change the way we understand our place in the cosmos. Irene and John also walked participants through how to use important gear, what to consider when investing in a telescope, shared a number of great locations for night sky viewing in Sullivan County, and provided information on how to connect with local stargazing clubs in our region.

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Hidden Gems in the Bluestone Wild Forest

This weekend Paul Rubin--an expert geologist in the Catskills, who is actively conducting field work to document archaeological, geologic and hydrologic resources within New York State owned Bluestone Wild Forest in Ulster County, NY--shared brand new historical findings in the Bluestone Wild Forest.
Paul’s research has uncovered historic wagon roads and quarries, workshop areas, foundations, stone-walled pastures, a 163-year old farmstead, an abandoned railroad station, and unique geologic features that portray a comprehensive picture of the 19th and 20th century landscape in our region. These new findings could put the Bluestone Wild Forest on NY State & National Registers of Historic Places.

Webinar: Cap & Improve

Along with advocating for Catskills funding in the budget, we've been collaborating with NY Renews on funding climate solutions and responding to Governor Hochu's Cap and Invest proposal.
This week, NY Renews hosted a Cap & Improve webinar featuring Mountainkeeper Deputy Director and NY Renews Steering Committee member Katherine Nadeau as a panelist. The webinar focused on what we can learn from allies who’ve worked on California’s Cap and Trade program.

Catskill Park Day 2023: Virtual Legislative Roundtable

On February 2nd 2023, Mountainkeeper hosted a webinar discussion with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, NYS Senators, and NYS Assemblymembers. This conversation tackled specific obstacles facing our region, explored possible solutions to pressing problems, and outlined actions we all can take to help enhance life in the Catskills and protect everything that makes this region so special. To wrap up this roundtable, webinar participants chimed in to ask direct questions of our panelists.
We were thrilled to have so many of our supporters and concerned citizens take part in this day of Catskills appreciation; if you couldn’t join us in real time, please take a look at the full recording.
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Comfortable in the Cold: Winter Hiking in the Catskills

To celebrate Catskill Park Day 2023 Mountainkeeper invited two expert hikers and Catskill locals–Stash Rusin and David Hans–to share their knowledge and tips for staying safe and comfortable in the cold. They also recounted some unique trail experiences, including an especially precarious descent from the top of Plateau Mountain.
If you missed it, we hope you watch our recording!

Neonics: The Toxic Truth

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Did you miss our webinar about neonicotinoid–’neonic’–pesticides and their harmful effects on pollinator populations and human health? If so, you can watch a full recording at the link above! You’ll hear from Kathy Nolan, MD–Mountainkeeper’s Senior Research Director–and Dan Raichel–Acting Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Pollinator initiative–as they share their expertise on pollinators and public health. You’ll also learn how to support the New York Birds & Bees Protection Act. This bill would eliminate the vast majority of neonics entering New York’s environment by prohibiting wasteful and unnecessary neonic uses, and could serve as model legislation for other states. We hope you give it a watch!

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