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WATCH: Forest Preserve Day with Legislators

WATCH: Forest Preserve Day with Legislators

February 15, 2021

On Thursday, February 10th, Senator Dan Stec and Assemblymember Matt Simpson from the Adirondacks, and Senator Michelle Hinchey and Assemblymember Chris Tague from the Catskills spoke with ADK’s Michael Barrett, and the Catskill Center’s Jeff Senterman about issues of the Forest Preserve Parks. Together, they discussed the importance of these lands and how the state can better support them with funding.

The Adirondacks and Catskills together represent over 6.5 million acres, almost a quarter of New York State. Nearly 3 million acres of public Forest Preserve lands within the parks are managed as wild forests by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). As such, they do not receive the same funding as other state parks.

Twenty-five million people visit the Adirondacks and Catskills each year bringing $3 billion to regional economies. The parks also combat climate change, sequestering carbon, protecting critical habitat, and providing fresh water to millions of people in two countries, including residents of New York City.

This year Governor Hochul acknowledged the need for funding for the Forest Preserve Parks in her State of the State Address, and within the historic $400 million Environmental Protection Fund of the Executive Budget Proposal she increased the State Land Stewardship Line to $50 million for stewardship activities across New York State (an increase from about $35 million in last year’s final budget). 

Please send a letter using the below form to help ensure that at least $10 million of the EPF’s State Land Stewardship funding is dedicated to the Catskill and Adirondack Parks for trail building, educational outreach, inclusivity, accessibility, sanitation facilities, parking, planning, signage, and to implement the recommendations of the High Peaks and Catskills Strategic Planning Advisory Groups (i.e., the HPAG and the CAG).

Photo Credit: Mark Bowie


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