Hinchey secures Catskill Park funds
Porcupine Soup reports that on June 14 New York State Senator Michelle Hinchey announced new state budget funding that she secured to protect the Catskill Park and Forest Preserve at the Mountain Top Historical Society. “Protecting the Catskill Park is critical to the sustainability of our natural resources and equally crucial to the economic revitalization of Upstate New York. It is our duty to ensure that these irreplaceable lands will be preserved and accessible for generations to come, and as a Catskills Senator, that took top priority for me this budget season,” said Hinchey. The Catskill Park and its public lands includes four counties and 26 towns with 705,500 acres in the Catskill Park and 287,500 acres in the Catskill Forest Preserve. Hinchey, a freshman Democrat, helped secure earmarks for $1,550,000 on visitor safety, wilderness protection, and activities to address issues related to overuse. She also helped get $100,000 for Catskill Park Stewardship in the Aid to Localities budget bill. This gets money to the Catskill Center and Catskill Mountainkeeper to expand the number of seasonal Catskill Stewards in the Catskills. “This year, we carved out a real space for the Catskills in the state budget, finally delivering a level of investment these lands deserve. Because of our advocacy, the Catskill Park now features on the same funding line typically reserved for the Adirondack Park alongside a new stream of funding designated for the Catskill Center and Catskill Mountainkeeper,” Hinchey said. Read more about this story at the Porcupine Soup website.