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43rd Annual MeetingMonday, 02 July 2012 16:17
The Catskill Center’s 43rd Annual Meeting is coming up on Saturday, July 21. This year, we wanted to do something a little different.
There are many issues of great concern in the region and underlying all of this was the flooding events of 2011. To address these concerns, we look forward to using the Catskill Center’s Annual Meeting as an opportunity to present the State of the Catskills. We have invited several very qualified speakers to provide factual updates on some of the Catskills’ most pressing issues.
Graydon Dutcher, of Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District, will discuss the status of the flood recovery in Catskill communities and for Catskill ecosystems. Eric Goldstein of the Natural Resources Defense Council will provide an update on hydrofracking. I will address the state of the Forest Preserve both from and ecological perspective and from a management standpoint. I can also announce that Joe Kelly, Board Member of the Olympic Regional Development Authority, will be here to discuss the transition to new management at the Belleayre Ski Center.
We will also gain the insight of Congressman Maurice Hinchey, whose career in public service for this region spans over 30 years. We look forward to hearing his views on the Catskills as we dedicate the Catskill Interpretive Center in his honor.
The SOLART Project, the new solar array at the Erpf Center, will be unveiled at the Annual Meeting. This installation, a collaborative effort of the MARK Project and the Roxbury Arts Group, combines sculpture and landscape design with a 13-panel solar array.
This year’s Annual Meeting promises to be an informative event. I truly hope you can make it.
Belleayre Goes to ORDATuesday, 27 March 2012 14:23
Here’s the good news. We have a timely decision after all. The negotiations over the future operations of Belleayre Ski Center have resulted in good Catskill Region representation on the ORDA Board and a relatively seamless transition for the current employees. This decision gives Belleayre a new sense of direction, a direct linkage to the Adirondack Ski Industry and opens opportunities for broader promotion. Long term questions about the State’s funding commitments can’t be answered up front, but this series of decisions suggests reason for optimism.
Spring is Here!Wednesday, 21 March 2012 15:10
Looking past the calendar, I generally use bird songs as my indicator of when spring actually arrives. Saturday morning I was greeted by the first Phoebe at my farm in Halcott Center. The first Phoebe to arrive confirms what our unusually warm weather has suggested. Last night I heard the first “peent” of an American Woodcock. One of our more unique bird species, the calls and spiral courtship flights of the “timber doodle” serve as indisputable proof that our non winter is officially over.
Who should operate the Belleayre Ski Center?Wednesday, 14 March 2012 08:28
Bobcat Plan raises concerns for key environmental stakeholders.Friday, 02 March 2012 10:50
How many bobcat should we have in the Catskills?
A tough question to answer, but one that must be addressed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). In a recently released draft plan for the state’s bobcat, the Management Plan for Bobcat in New York State 2012 – 2017, NYSDEC has indicated that the bobcat population and geographic range is expanding. The plan recommends increasing the harvest opportunities through hunting and trapping.
Several groups in the Adirondacks and the Catskill Center have raised concerns about this plan (click here for comments submitted by Catskill Center). From my perspective, NYSDEC has an obligation to consider wildlife management based upon multiple objectives including ecology, biodiversity, and human interactions. Bobcat in the Catskills are relatively rare. In my 30 years of roaming the hills and dales of the region, I’ve only seen one. The perception that the population is growing sounds like great news, but I’m not sure it means we need to expand the “harvest” opportunities.
The Power of PartnershipsTuesday, 20 July 2010 20:38
At our 41st Annual Membership Meeting, held last Saturday, I commented on the importance of forming partnerships. The Catskill Center works with a wide range of groups to enhance the quality of life for residents of the Catskill Region. Many of our greatest successes, including helping establish the Round Barn Farmers Market, saving Hanford Mills Museum, protecting the Thomas Cole House, negotiation of various NYC watershed agreements, and the restoration of Catskill Fire Towers, have been the result of partnership efforts. In these challenging economic times, we should avoid duplication of efforts and share expertise. The Catskills are a large, diverse and politically complicated region. Looking forward, we can expect great things to happen when we identify the best groups to work for each opportunity that presents itself.
Catskill Mountainkeeper, the Catskill Heritage Alliance and the Catskill Center will be working together throughout the remainder of 2010 on a series of public forums. These forums will present information on the current issues of the region. Our objective in co-sponsoring these sessions will be to provide a balanced look at our opportunities and challenges as a region. A thoughtful presentation of information and a respectful dialog may go a long way towards minimizing the extreme polarization on issues that seems to have become part of our national culture. This new collaboration is called Catskill
Cornucopia. I hope you can attend one or all of these forums this summer. For information on upcoming presentations and how to attend, visit any of our organization’s web sites: The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development (http://www.catskillcenter.org/), the Catskill Heritage Alliance (http://www.catskillheritage.org/), or Catskill Mountainkeeper (http://www.catskillmountainkeeper.org).