Get to know the Catskill Center: Markley Boyer

The Catskill Center last month welcomed Markley Boyer to chair its board of directors.  Our Development Associate Brit Hotaling caught up with him for a few moments after he was unanimously elected to chair the board.


BH: What brought you to the Catskills? Did you grow up here? What personal ties do you have to the region?


MB: My wife and I first came up to the Catskills about 20 years ago.  Before that, we had been spending time at my grandfather’s farm in Pennsylvania.  When we started looking for a place of our own, we searched pretty systematically within a radius of our home in Brooklyn and when we got to the Catskills we were immediately captivated by the great natural beauty and the affordability of houses. We found a little mill house on the banks of a trout stream and have been ecstatically happy there ever since. Since we have been there, we’ve come to love our community of locals (we know some of the Cooks from Cooksburg, the Potters from Potter Hollow and the Bates from Bates Hollow) and of weekenders, retirees and farmers.


BH: In a similar vein, what brought about your initial interest in the Catskill Center? Why did you join the board?


MB: I grew up spending a lot of time in the woods - hunting, fishing and camping.  That was mostly in the northeast especially New Hampshire and Maine. The great parks and state lands in those states really nourished me as a young person and I have always been aware of the value of protecting our natural resources for future generations.  My father is very involved in conservation and his example of taking an active role in protecting what we value was very influential.


I met Alan White, the former executive director of the Catskill Center when he came to look at a Japanese Knotweed infestation on a stream I like to fish.  I was greatly impressed with the work that he was doing at the Catskill Center and from there, it was an easy decision to join the board and help move this great organization forward.  Our new executive director Jeff Senterman, brings a great wealth of experience and connections to the job and I am very excited to work closely with him on expanding our effectiveness.


BH: As the brand new chair of the Catskill Center Board, what are your goals for your term?


MB: As the incoming board chair my goal is really to continue on the path we have been on.  I’m very excited about the potential of the new Catskill Interpretive Center to introduce visitors and locals alike to the riches of our region and making sure that local businesses - hotels, restaurants, shops, galleries, guides and farms - all benefit from the increasing interest in the Catskills as a destination. Our other programs - the Riparian Buffer Program in the Schoharie valley, our invasive species program and our multiple arts programs all contribute significantly to our core values of pairing landscape protection with economic viability for the region.


I’m a fisherman and so many of my favorite places in the Catskills happen to be along trout streams!  I love to fish the small streams, high in the mountains where a 9-inch native brook trout is the reward for an hour long hike.  There are so many hidden trout pools tucked away in these mountains and I will spend the rest of my life seeking them out.

This post was written by Brit Hotaling, Development Associate for the Catskill Center. 

Since 1969, the Catskill Center has led the effort to protect  the Catskills.  Our Mission is to protect and foster the environmental, cultural and economic well-being of the Catskill region. Become a member of the Catskill Center today to support our work.