CATSKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has released the Catskill Strategic Planning Advisory Group’s (CAG) Immediate Action Recommendations Report. The interim report is now available for public review and comment.
The report includes proposed actions that DEC, the state and local partners could take to balance increasing and diverse recreational use of the Catskill Forest Preserve, protecting the park’s natural and historic resources, and ensuring the experience of using the park is welcoming, accessible, and inclusive.
“I applaud the extensive work of the CAG members to strategically examine the issues facing the region’s communities and natural resources and develop this interim report which is an important part of our comprehensive actions to protect the Catskills for future generations,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “We look forward to receiving feedback from stakeholders on the recommendations to help further inform a final framework to guide New York State’s collaborative work to promote sustainable recreation in the Catskills.”
In October 2020, Seggos announced the formation of the CAG comprised of stakeholders with expertise in local government, recreation, natural resource protection, business, tourism, and other priority areas. The members provide advice to DEC on how to balance critical issues associated with increased public use in the Catskill Park in order to protect the area’s natural resources.
The CAG has been meeting throughout the past year to develop this Interim Report with recommendations for immediate actions along the Route 23A corridor near Kaaterskill Clove as well as long-term park-wide management strategies that include:
- Educate all users of the Catskill Park about responsible recreation, protecting natural and historic resources, and Leave No Trace principles
- Coordinate consistent messaging and communication for the Catskills Park on different mediums
- Implement park-wide traffic and parking management strategies
- Incorporate diversity, equity, inclusivity, and justice principles in recreational, educational, and operational frameworks
- Establish a Catskill Park Coordinator position to collaborate and streamline parkwide efforts