Senator Seward calls for continued state support to ensure long-term viability
MARGARETVILLE, 11/03/16 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today joined Catskill Park stakeholders to announce forthcoming recreation/tourism/preservation projects funded through state senate budget allocations and highlight the need for recurring state support for the Catskills.
“The Catskill Park is teeming with natural beauty which draws visitors and lifelong residents to the region,” said Senator Seward. “I want to be sure we develop this exceptional part of our state responsibly, enhancing recreation and tourism opportunities while growing our regional economy. After hearing from local stakeholders, I worked with my colleague Senator George Amedore to secure a $500,000 down payment to start meeting the region’s wide ranging needs. Moving forward, I am committed to establishing a dedicated state budget line item to ensure the Catskill Park is able to reach its full potential.”
As part of the 2015-16 state budget, Senators Seward and Amedore secured a $500,000 award to be put to use for comprehensive planning and stewardship. The 2016-17 state budget also included a $1 million reallocation earmarked for the Catskill Interpretive Center in Mount Tremper.
Executive Director of the Catskill Center Jeff Senterman said, “Senator Seward recognizes the important role the Catskill Park plays in the future of the region and the state. His work to champion our needs is paying real dividends and will help protect and enhance the Catskill Park.”
Executive Director of the Catskill Watershed Corporation Alan Rosa said, “We are excited to help administer these funds for projects that will raise the visibility of the Catskills. These enhancements will make it easier for residents and visitors to enjoy the region and support local businesses in our communities. We appreciate Senator Seward’s partnership and support.”
Several projects to support and enhance recreation, tourism and economic development will be funded with the 2015-16 state senate budget allocation. The projects that will be moving forward shortly include:
Development of a comprehensive outdoor recreation plan for the Catskill region;
Mount Hayden & Shandaken Wild Forest/Belleayre Mountain bike trail design plan;
Implementation of access projects in the Catskill Forest Preserve and New York City watershed lands in Delaware, Greene, and Ulster counties.
The Catskill Park was established by the New York State Legislature in 1904 and encompasses over 700,000 acres in Delaware, Greene, Sullivan, and Ulster counties. Within the park, over 250,000 acres make up the Catskill Forest Preserve are designated as forever wild forest.