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ADK Commends Executive Budget Focus on Environmental Protection

ADK Commends Executive Budget Focus on Environmental Protection

January 19, 2022

ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club) applauds Governor Kathy Hochul for her Executive Budget Proposal that will not only benefit the Adirondack and Catskill Parks, but New Yorkers across the state. 

Specifically, ADK is excited to see funding to support Governor Hochul’s acknowledgement in the State-of-the-State Address of the need for funding for high recreational use in the Catskill and Adirondack Parks and Forest Preserve with a proposed $400 million Environmental Protection Fund that includes:  

  • $50 million for State Land Stewardship for trail building, education, trailhead and sanitation facilities, and comprehensive planning 
  • $40 million for open space and land conservation (within the Open Space Account)  
  • $13 million for environmental justice and DEIJ initiatives 
  • $17 million for combatting invasive species 

ADK is also pleased to see an increase in staff and funding for the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and an increase in staff and funding for the Adirondack Park Agency (APA), $90 million for DEC in NY Works funding, and Governor Hochul’s $4 Billion ‘Clean Water Clean Air Green Jobs’ Bond Act, which we look forward to seeing on the 2022 general election ballot for a statewide vote in November. 

“We applaud Governor Hochul for taking bold action to protect New York’s public lands and waters by proposing a record-high $400 million EPF,” said Michael Barrett, ADK Executive Director. “Furthermore, we praise her attention to our need for clean air, water, and green jobs by proposing the $4 billion Bond Act. Both of these funding sources will not only improve the wellbeing of Adirondack communities, but New Yorkers across the state.” 

Last year, ADK and 25 other organizations and municipalities urged the governor to include funding for critically needed services in the Forest Preserve and the Adirondack and Catskill Parks, including trail work, recreational infrastructure, and educational outreach. On January 5, the governor responded by proposing that the Environmental Protection Fund be used to support investments into these very efforts.  

“Over a century ago, New York created the Forest Preserve to protect clean water, habitat, and space for recreation. Today, New Yorkers are relying on these benefits more than ever,” said Cathy Pedler, ADK Director of Advocacy. “Governor Hochul’s proposed budget is a big step toward funding crucial infrastructure, trail work, and support systems to ensure that the Forest Preserve remains both protected and accessible for future generations.” 

ADK also applauds Governor Hochul for proposing funding for upgrading water infrastructure. We are pleased to see $500 million for clean water infrastructure in her Executive Budget proposal, as clean water is essential to the health of communities in the Adirondacks, Catskills, and across New York state. 

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