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ADK Celebrates New York State Budget

ADK Celebrates New York State Budget

May 3, 2023 — Albany, NY — ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club) applauds Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State legislature for the state budget, which includes a dedicated funding line for the Forest Preserve Parks. The line is an annual appropriation of $8 million under the EPF’s State Land Stewardship funding.

“ADK is thrilled to see New York make a significant investment in the Forest Preserve. This funding will help ensure that the Adirondack and Catskill Parks remain protected for years to come,” said Michael Barrett, ADK Executive Director.

“The $8 million budget figure is a testament to New York State’s commitment to environmental protection and outdoor recreation in the Adirondacks and Catskills,” said Cathy Pedler, ADK Advocacy Director. “This budget is a welcome development for all who love the outdoors and value the natural beauty of the Forest Preserve.”

The Forest Preserve Parks—the Catskills and Adirondacks—are a unique and essential component of New York State’s natural heritage. They consist of over three million acres of public lands that are protected and managed by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). These lands include pristine forests, lakes, and rivers, as well as high peaks that offer some of the best outdoor recreation opportunities in the Northeast. The Forest Preserve Parks also include over three million acres of private land with communities, towns and villages, and private conservation easement lands, many open for public recreation.

The Forest Preserve Parks are an essential component of New York State’s economy, generating 3 billion dollars in annual economic activity and supporting thousands of jobs. They also provide critical ecological services, including watershed protection, carbon sequestration, and habitat for endangered and threatened species. The $8 million allocation will be used to support a wide range of activities that enhance the Forest Preserve’s protection and accessibility, including trail maintenance and construction, staffing, and educational outreach.

Also included in the state budget was a $100,000 line for ADK’s High Peaks Information Center (HPIC). Located next to the busiest trailhead in New York, the HPIC supports thousands of hikers every year with critical services ranging from backcountry information to gear rentals to restrooms.

“We thank the governor and state legislature for investing in safe and responsible outdoor recreation by supporting our High Peaks Information Center, which serves 100,000 annual visitors to the region,” said Barrett.


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