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ADK Applauds Catskill Advisory Group Interim Report

ADK Applauds Catskill Advisory Group Interim Report

January 6, 2022 — Albany, NY — Today, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) shared the Catskill Strategic Planning Advisory Group’s (CAG’s) interim report. The CAG, which includes ADK, has been meeting since November 2020 to develop a set of recommendations for addressing high use and safety in the Catskill Park and Forest Preserve.

The interim report contains five themes that will drive additional recommendations and the Final Report. They include DEIJ (diversity, equity, inclusion and justice), a Catskill Park Coordinator, Education, Traffic and Parking, and Messaging and Communication. The interim report also includes immediate action items for the Route 23a corridor. The group, along with the NYSDEC, also developed and conducted a public survey with almost 4,000 people. Their responses are included in the report.

“ADK is excited to represent those who recreate in the wildlands of New York State’s Forest Preserve, including the beautiful mountains and cloves of the Catskill Park,” said Michael Barrett, ADK Executive Director. “The Catskill Strategic Planning Advisory Group’s interim report sets the stage for a final set of recommendations that protect natural resources, respect quality visitor experiences, and ensure that the Forest Preserve is a welcoming and inclusive space for all.”

The CAG parallels work in the Adirondack Park to address high use in the High Peaks region through the High Peaks Strategic Planning Advisory Group (HPAG). ADK also served on the HPAG.

In a related effort, ADK and twenty-six other groups submitted a joint letter last month to Governor Hochul outlining funding requests to support the Catskill and Adirondack Forest Preserve in the NYS budget. Recommendations from the HPAG and CAG reports are part of the funding request.

Shortly after the letter was sent, the NYSDEC announced the creation of park coordinator positions for both the Catskill and Adirondack Parks, a recommendation from the CAG interim report and a funding request in the joint letter. ADK is very pleased with the creation of these positions which will play a vital role in continuing to implement the recommendations in the HPAG and CAG reports.

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