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!

Informal Trails Webinar

On Wednesday, October 19th Mountainkeeper hosted a webinar all about informal trail networks in our region and how they damage local ecosystems. We were thrilled to see nearly 170 individuals tune in for this great conversation, and if you missed it you can watch a full recorded version. We heard from experts in the field, including researchers at the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the New York Natural Heritage Program, and the United States Geological Survey, as they discussed the state of trailless peaks in the Catskills, and visitor use management plans to address them. Informal trails made by hikers put considerable strain on the health and wellbeing of native wildlife and plants, causing harmful impacts like loss of native vegetation, soil compaction, erosion, forest fragmentation, and introduction of invasive species into interior forest habitats. Want to know more about informal trails and their impact? Visit the DEC’s webpage for more information.


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Magic in the Mountains: A Mountainkeeper Podcast

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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!


Disadvantaged Communities Information Session

On Tuesday, June 28th, we partnered with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and New York State Energy and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to hold a Disadvantaged Communities Information Session via Zoom. During this webinar, Mountainkeeper’s own Environmental Justice Coordinator, Taylor Jaffe, discussed the ins and outs of the DAC criteria with panelists Adriana Espinoza, DEC’s Deputy Commissioner for Equity and Justice, Tyler Picard, a Project Manager at NYSERDA, and Christopher Coll, Director of Energy Affordability and Equity Program at NYSERDA.


Click here to watch

A crucial part of Mountainkeeper’s work is upholding environmental justice and protecting people from a variety of environmental hazards–like tainted drinking water, polluted air, and waste contamination, among others–that pose serious risks to the health and safety of our communities. These hazards are endemic in underserved, low-income communities, reflecting the ongoing racial and socioeconomic injustice in our society; identifying DACs is a core component of addressing and correcting these injustices.

If you missed this important webinar, you can watch a full recording here.


New York's Climate Plan and You: Understanding the Plan and How to Influence It

On April 21st, 2022, Mountainkeeper hosted a “Lunch & Learn'' webinar focusing on the details of the NYS Climate Action Council’s (CAC) draft climate plan. Our Deputy Director Katherine Nadeau walked participants through the most important features of the plan, which include a path for a carbon-free future, policy that prioritizes environmental justice for communities most affected by the climate crisis, and investments in renewable energy that protect our communities and provide sustainable jobs for workers.
This discussion will give you the tools you need to effectively advocate for solutions, jobs, and justice in your comments to the CAC, and will help you testify at public hearings being held by the CAC throughout NYS from now until the end of May.
Looking for our NY Renews Top Five talking points to draft your own testimony? Look no further--you'll find them here in both English and Spanish.

Environmental Justice in the Catskills Webinar

Mountainkeeper's Environmental Justice (EJ) Coordinator Taylor Jaffe led a fascinating webinar to help raise awareness and broaden understanding of EJ in our region. EJ means making sure that communities of every race, color, and income status receive the same protection from environmental and health hazards, and have equal access to the decision-making process about projects and policies impacting their lives.

Fighting for and upholding EJ has always been a crucial part of Mountainkeeper’s work to protect people from a variety of environmental hazards–like tainted drinking water, polluted air, and waste contamination, among others–that pose serious risks to the health and safety of our communities. These hazards are endemic in underserved, low-income communities, reflecting the ongoing racial and socioeconomic injustice in our society.

If you missed this important discussion, you can watch a full recording of the event by clicking below!

Click here to watch!


Catskills 2022: Challenges & Opportunities

Protecting wilderness in the Catskill Region and fighting for environmental justice in our communities takes input from legislators and community members alike. To start the new year off right, Catskill Mountainkeeper hosted a webinar on February 15th, 2022 to connect key New York State decision makers with our friends and supporters. During this webinar, we explored specific obstacles facing our region, possible solutions to pressing problems, and actions we all can take to help enhance life in the Catskills and protect everything that makes this region so special. Our panelists included:

  • Senator Michelle Hinchey;
  • NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Deputy Commissioner of Natural Resources, Katie Petronis;
  • Assemblymember Aileen Gunther;
  • Assemblymember Kevin Cahill;
  • Assemblymember Chris Tague;
  • Assemblymember Brian Miller; and
  • Jeff Senterman, The Catskill Center.


Watch the Full Webinar Here!


Wild Wonders: Celebrating the Native Plants of the Catskills

The wild forests and mountain ranges of the Catskills are home to a plethora of unique and interesting native plant species. On February 15th, 2022 Catskill Mountainkeeper joined experts on our native ecology for a virtual tour of Mountain Top Arboretum, and a conversation about where to purchase native plants and how to introduce them around our homes. Our panelists for this webinar were:  

  • Marc Wolf, Director of Mountain Top Arboretum; and
  • John Thompson, Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) Coordinator at the Catskill Center.

Click "Read More" for a fantastic resource list, native plants list, and responses to all the questions we weren't able to answer due to time constraints.

Watch the Full Webinar HERE!

Read more

The Jumping Worm Invasion

Jumping Worms—also known as crazy snake worms, Alabama jumpers, and Asian worms—seriously threaten the health of our Catskills forests. On December 7th, 2021 Catskill Mountainkeeper gathered experts to discuss how the life cycles of jumping worms differ from other common worms, as well as how they impact nutrient cycling, soil health, microhabitats, and our forests. The conversation also covered measures that we all can take to report jumping worm infestations and help prevent their spread. Our panelists included:
•Tim McCay, ecologist with Colgate University;
•Rebecca Pinder, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and the Environmental Studies Program at Columbia-Greene Community College; and
•John Thompson, Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) Coordinator at the Catskill Center.

You can also find additional jumping worm resources, compiled by our expert panelists, here.


Forest Pests Webinar

What's eating the Catskills? Invasive pests! In this webinar with the experts form Mountainkeeper, Cary Institute of Ecosystem StudiesNew York State Hemlock Initiative, and the Monitoring and Managing Ash project, we dig deep into the hemlock woolly adelgid and the emerald ash borer. Watch this webinar from August 2021 to find out more about the bugs and what you can do to help!


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