PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Planning Board of the Town of Hunter has received an application from NYS Mesonet / The Research Foundation of SUNY. The applicant is requesting a 100’Mesonet weather station at the terminus of Gillespie Road, Haines Falls; tax id# 182.00-3-27, the lands of NYC DEP.  The Town Planning Board has authorized Pyramid Network Services LLC to conduct a balloon test to assess the visual impact of the proposed tower on the community.   

DEC Announces Start of Early Bear Hunting Seasons

Interested in learning more about our black bear population? Click here for details on an upcoming bear talk at the Catskill Center!

Bear Hunting Seasons Begin September 10 in Southeastern New York,September 17 in Northern New York

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the start of early bear hunting seasons in New York State.

"Early black bear hunting seasons are an important tool for managers to control and maintain healthy bear populations," said Commissioner Seggos. "Bears are feeding heavily this time of year, gorging on wild nuts and berries and corn in the field if they can find it. Hunters can increase the odds of finding a bear by keying in on concentrated natural food sources."

In southeastern New York, the early bear season runs from September 10 - 25 in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 3A, 3C, 3H, 3J, 3K, 3M, 3P, 3R, 4P, and 4R. The early bowhunting season for bears will open in the entire Southern Zone on October 1, followed by the regular firearms season beginning November 19.

In northern New York, the early bear season runs from September 17 - October 14 in WMUs 5A, 5C, 5F, 5G, 5H, 5J, 6C, 6F, 6H, and 6J. Bowhunting season for bears also begins onSeptember 17 in Northern Zone WMUs 6A, 6G, 6K and 6N. Muzzleloader season opens in all northern WMUs on October 15, followed by the regular firearms season for bears on October 22.

During the early season, eligible bear hunters may use a bow, crossbow, muzzleloader, handgun, shotgun, or rifle where allowed. Because of the likelihood of warm weather, bear hunters should be prepared to skin and cool harvested bears as soon as possible to protect the quality of the meat. Hunters may opt to skin and quarter the bear in the field, then pack out the meat in game bags to a waiting cooler of ice.

DEC regulates black bear hunting in order to manage healthy bear populations and limit bear nuisances. Information about black bear hunting in New York, including season dates and regulations, is available on DEC's website. Additionally, DEC's booklet Hunting the Black Bear in New York (PDF, 900 KB) , includes tips on bear hunting and proper care of harvested bears.

Kaaterskill Falls Bridge Installation over Spruce Creek Begins

Beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 6, access to the Kaaterskill Falls overlook will be limited due to the construction of a new pedestrian bridge in the area. The trail to the overlook will not be accessible for individuals with mobility impairments during the construction period, which is anticipated to last through the month of September and possibly into October.

Parking at the Laurel House Road parking lot will be restricted at various intervals during the construction project, and will close for a short period of time during the month. Parking will be available on nearby Scutt Road or the Mountain Top Historical Society during the construction project. For further information about the closures, please contact the DEC Stamford office at 607-652-7365.

2016 Ginsberg and Alf Evers Awards at Annual Summer Gathering

2016 Ginsberg and Alf Evers Awards at Annual Summer Gathering

This past Saturday, August 13th, the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development welcomed its members, supporters, neighbors and friends to the Annual Summer Gathering of the Catskill Center, at its headquarters, the Erpf Center, in Arkville, NY. Alongside dozens of longstanding supporters, new members and their guests, Mark Ginsberg, officer of the board of directors of the Catskill Center, presented the 2016 Ginsberg Award to Geddy Sveikauskas for outstanding leadership and commitment to the Catskill Center and the Catskill region. Jeff Senterman, executive director of the Catskill Center, presented the 2016 Alf Evers Award for Excellent to the Catskill Mountain Club for outstanding leadership commitment to protection of the Catskill region. 

Governor Cuomo Directs DEC to Issue Heightened Drought Warning for Western New York

Governor Cuomo Directs DEC to Issue Heightened Drought Warning for Western New York

Under a framework established under an Executive Order, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to issue a heightened Drought Warning for most of Western New York. In response, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos issued a Drought Warning for western State Drought Regions VI, VII and VIII. These regions include the following counties in western NYS: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Erie, Genesee, Jefferson, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Seneca, Schuyler, Steuben, Tompkins, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates. Commissioner Seggos issued the warning after consulting with experts from the State Drought Management Task Force and Federal technical agencies. The remainder of the State remains under a previously declared Drought Watch.

"Recent rains helped to reduce the severity of drought conditions in the eastern portion of NY. However, much of western NY did not receive large rainfall amounts over the past weekend and continues to experience significant drought conditions with extremely low stream flows and reduced groundwater levels," Governor Cuomo said. "Residents throughout the state should continue to conserve water whenever possible during the coming months."

A "warning" is the second of four levels of state drought advisories ("watch," "warning," "emergency" and "disaster"). There are no statewide mandatory water use restrictions in place under a drought watch or warning but citizens are strongly encouraged to voluntarily conserve water. Local public water suppliers may impose water use restrictions depending upon local needs and conditions.

DEC Commissioner Seggos said, "While there are no mandated water use restrictions in place we do encourage the public to do their part to conserve water by taking some fairly simple steps. Minor changes in everyday practices can go a long way in helping to prevent any increased drought levels."

The following are some conservation tips that homeowners can take to reduce their outdoor water usage:

  • Fix dripping and leaking faucets and toilets.
  • A faucet leaking 30 drops per minute wastes 54 gallons a month.
  • Raise your lawn mower cutting height. Longer grass needs less water.
  • If your community allows watering, water lawns and gardens on alternate mornings instead of every day. Less frequent watering will develop grass with deeper roots, and early morning watering minimizes evaporation.
  • When using automatic lawn watering systems, override the system in wet weather or use a rain gauge to control when and how much water to use. A fixed watering schedule wastes water. Irrigate only when needed. It saves water and can actually improve your lawn's health.
  • Sweep sidewalks and steps rather than hosing them. Eliminating a weekly 5-minute pavement hose-down could save between 625 and 2500 gallons of water per year depending on the flow rate.

For more water saving tips, visit DEC's webpage.

The drought watch and warnings are triggered by the State Drought Index, which reflects precipitation levels, reservoir/lake levels, and stream flow and groundwater levels in the nine drought regions of the state. Each of these indicators is assigned a weighted value based on its significance to various uses in a region. For more detailed drought information, please visit DEC's webpage.

Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker Supporting Catskill Center at Half-Way Mark

Moe at the start of his Appalachian Trail thru-hike in April near Springer Mountain, Georgia

Moe at the start of his Appalachian Trail thru-hike in April near Springer Mountain, Georgia

ARKVILLE--When he started to plan his thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail earlier this year, it wasn't just logistics that Moe Lemire was thinking about. He was also thinking about the good that he could do as he hiked from Georgia to Maine.

Moe turned towards the Catskills and the preservation and protection needs of the region. Moe is an active volunteer with the Catskill Center and the NYNJ Trail Conference, where he leads their volunteer effort to maintain the majority of backcountry lean-tos in the Catskills. He had figured out what he wanted to do: Improve the Catskills with his hike and do that through donations that support the work of the Catskill Center to preserve and protect the Catskills.

To further that goal, Moe has created the Moe Hikes the Appalachian Trail page on GoFundMe ( that allows his friends, family members and supporters of his hike to make donations in honor of his hike. Those funds go directly to the Catskill Center to support our work. 

We are thrilled to announce that Moe has just recently crossed the half-way mark of the Appalachian Trail and has raised, at time of printing, $1,000 to support work in the Catskills!

Moe started his hike on April 6, 2016 at Springer Mountain in Georgia after registering as a thru-hiker at Amicalola Falls State Park at the start of the Appalachian Trail Approach Trail. At the start of his hike, he was joined by a friend and together over a week, they hiked north. After about 51 miles, his friend decided to leave the trail, but Moe has continued north. He quickly crossed the Georgia/North Carolina border and then passed the 100 mile mark from Springer Mountain.

His goal is to raise at least $5,000! If you'd like to help him meet and exceed his goal, make a donation through Moe Hikes the Appalachian Trail page or make a donation through the Catskill Center Donation page and put "Moe Lemire Appalachian Trail" in the special instructions box.

We here at the Catskill Center are honored to be the recipients of these generous gifts and Moe's generosity to select us as his charity of choice. 

Moe after several months on the trail!

Moe after several months on the trail!

Thorn Preserve Walk with Jeff Senterman, our Executive Director, Thur 7/19 at 5 pm

Please join us at the Thorn Preserve (55 John Joy Rd., Woodstock, NY) on Thursday, July 19th at 5 pm for a walk with our stewardship staff and Jeff Senterman, executive director of the Catskill Center around the Preserve.

Get to know more about our work in and around Woodstock; Jeff's plans for the future of the Catskills and the region; and learn about some of the exciting work at Thorn Preserve like our "Save the Hemlocks" project and our work with Fox Fire Apiary. We'll finish our walk with light refreshments and snacks.

Register by emailing or visiting

Catskill Challenge

Yesterday the Catskill Center participated in the inaugural Catskill Challenge with Governor Andrew Cuomo. The governor brought up State Assembly Members and Senators from across the state, press, tourism groups and more to enjoy the Catskills. The Challenege kicked off a marketing campaign including a :30 second spot focusing just on the Catskills that will launch globally and in New York City on subways, buses, trains and NJ Transit, as well as projects throughout the reason. 

Heres a a link to the official press release:

Kayaking on Mongaup Pond

Kayaking on Mongaup Pond

The view from the site of the Woodstock Art and Music Festival back in 1969

The view from the site of the Woodstock Art and Music Festival back in 1969

Governor Cuomo

Governor Cuomo