It's unusual for New York City-based media outlets to pay much attention to the Catskills, and even more unusual for them to examine the long, often painful history of how exactly New Yorkers get their water, more than a billions gallons a day of it, from the Catskills watershed.
But this week, WNYC radio and a news website called CityLimits.org are diving deep into the story of the Catskills watershed in their week-long The Cost of Our Watercollaborative investigative series. They're airing thoughtful radio pieces and publishing long articles about the sometimes fraught relationship between the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which runs the vast system of reservoirs that dominates the Catskills, and upstate residents. Read more
Sean Eldridge, a young political upstart who lost the election for New York's 19th Congressional District from Republican Chris Gibson last year, has finally made it public: He won't be running for election again.
That's because Eldridge is one half of a prominent gay power couple. His husband is Chris Hughes, a multi-millionaire who helped Mark Zuckerberg found Facebook.
Right after the election, Eldridge refused to answer questions from the Watershed Post about whether or not he would run again in the 19th District, which covers much of the Catskills and the Hudson Valley. Read more
Above: A storm system looms to the west of the Catskills at 2:20 pm. on Monday, June 8.
The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has issued a sweeping tornado watch for much of New York and New England this afternoon.
The tornado watch includes Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties in the Catskills from 1:40 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Monday, June 8. A large storm system will march through the region, bringing winds, possible hail and a chance of flash flooding.
Above: The Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center, which is scheduled to open in July, features a a .75-mile paved trail that leads to an additional .25 to .5-mile paved trail towards the Esopus Creek. Photo by Julia Reischel.
We're celebrating Catskills outdoors and trails this week as we ramp up for National Trails Day, which is Saturday, June 6. Here's a roundup of new trails and attractions that have opened in the past year or will soon open in the Catskills.
CATSKILL CONSERVATION CORPS June 2014 Funded by the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and managed by the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, the Catskill Conservation Corps formed in 2014. Volunteers with the Corps build and maintain trails, conduct research, pick up litter, root out invasive species and generally keep an eye on things in the Catskill Park. Workshops teach Corps members how to plan a trail, swing a mattock and identify nasty plants. catskillconservationcorps.org. Read more
Above: Delaware County Family Court candidate Gary Rosa delivered a fiery speech attacking his opponent, Delaware County Attorney Porter Kirkwood, on Saturday at the annual dinner of the Delaware County Democratic Committee. Photo by Robert Cairns.
The race for a new family court judgeship in Delaware County heated up on Saturday, May 30 when Democratic Party candidate and town of Middletown Justice Gary Rosa delivered a strong critique of the qualifications and actions of his opponent, Delaware County Attorney Porter Kirkwood.
Left: Delaware County Attorney Porter Kirkwood, in a photo posted on his campaign's Facebook page.
Kirkwood is endorsed by the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties for the new judicial position, which was created by the New York State Legislature last year. Read more
Above: Kayakers on the Pepacton Reservoir. Photo via NYC DEP.
Sunrise this morning -- Friday, May 22 -- marked the beginning of the boating season on four of New York City's upstate reservoirs in the Catskills: the Cannonsville, the Neversink, the Schoharie and the Pepacton. Boating on the reservoirs is allowed during daylight hours from Friday, May 22 to Monday, Oct. 12.
2015 is the fourth year that non-motorized boats have been allowed to ply the waters of the city's protected drinking supply, and there are a few new additions to the program in 2015.
According to a press release from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, there are now racks at some popular boat launch sites that allow avid kayakers, sailors and paddlers to store their crafts near the water all summer long.
Also, boat rental companies are allowed to rent boats on the banks of the Cannonsville Reservoir for the first time as well, which means that all four reservoirs have rental businesses right on the water. Read more
Ah, Memorial Day: a bittersweet tang, part remembrance, part celebration. The scent of gunpowder from ritual muskets mingling with the fresh blooms of late spring and a whiff of barbecue sauce. The unofficial beginning of summer brings a host of wonderful seasonal things bursting open at once.
Come out and imbibe the heady mix. Here’s our five county guide to the best of the Catskills this weekend, May 23 to 25.
Above: The Roosa Gap fire threatens a house in the Shawangunks on May 5, 2015. Photo by Michael Wentland.
Due to a rash of wildfires across the state, including many in the Catskills, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday, May 13 that a ban on residential brush burning will be extended until May 21.
The ban, which goes into effect every year for the dry spring period of March 16 through May 14, was scheduled to expire this week.
In his proclamation, the governor said that there have been 110 wildfires across New York state in 2015, which have burned 3,589.4 acres of land, destroyed one structure and threatened 91 homes. Read more