Bringing Our Mission to Albany on Catskill Park Awareness Day

By Jeff Senterman, Director of Catskill Conservation Corps & Senior Program Coordinator

CatskillAwarenessDay

Dozens members from the Trail Conference and other like-minded organizations visited lawmakers in February.

On February 10, dozens of representatives from the Trail Conference and a number of other organizations attended the third annual Catskill Park Awareness Day in Albany. During this day of advocacy, we educate lawmakers about the importance of the Catskill Park and the Catskill Forest Preserve to the region’s local communities, to visitors, and to New York State. As members of the Catskill Park Coalition—an alliance of like-minded groups committed to broadening public appreciation for the park and seeking resources to enhance and maintain it—the Trail Conference and fellow attendees chatted with legislators about the work we do and why it should be supported.

During our visit, the Catskill Park Coalition requested the following from Albany in 2015:
• Environmental Protection Fund: Support the creation of a dedicated line of $4 million in the Environmental Protection Fund for the Catskill Park.
• New York State Forest Rangers: Fully fund an Assistant Forest Ranger Program in NYS DEC Regions 3 & 4 and establish a 2015 Academy for Forest Rangers.
• Land Protection: Act on a number of priority parcels for acquisition in the Catskills.
• Recreation Plan for the Park: Help to secure funding to conduct a planning process for a Catskill Park Recreation Plan.
• Catskill Association for Tourism Services: Support additional funding in the amount of $100,000 for CATS to implement its marketing program in 2015.

About Trail Walker

Since 1920, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference has partnered with parks to create, protect, and promote a network of more than 2,100 miles of public trails in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region. The Trail Conference organizes volunteer service projects that keep these trails open, safe, and enjoyable for the public. We publish maps and books that guide public use of these trails. The Trail Conference is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization with a membership of 10,000 individuals and 100 clubs with a combined membership of 100,000 active, outdoor-loving people.
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