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
Fire might break out at any moment in the Catskills today, but you also should cover your seedlings to protect them from frost tonight, according to the National Weather Service.
There are both red flag warnings of high brush fire conditions and a freeze warning in effect in the Catskills today, Wednesday, May 13.
NWS Albany has issued a red flag warning for the eastern Catskills, the mid-Hudson Valley and the Schoharie Valley that warns of "dangerous fire conditions" from noon to 6 p.m. today due to gusty winds and low humidity. Read more
Above: Smoke was visible rising off a forest fire on Hunter Mountain on the afternoon of Monday, May 11. The spike in the flames was caused by high winds and a controlled burn managed by forest rangers. The Hunter Mountain fire is now in its sixth day. Photo by Ariel Woolheater.
In a sign of confidence that the Hunter Mountain fire is indeed under control, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has re-opened the hiking trails in Hunter that have been closed since Friday, May 8 because of the blaze, according to DEC spokesman Rick Georgeson.
The number of acres consumed by the fire is now 133 acres, Dawson said. A team of forest rangers managing the fire conducted a controlled burn on Monday afternoon, May 11, which has added to the acreage, he said.
"We did a little burnout up top to burn the fuels out," Dawson said. "Around the same time, the hot areas that are burning every day flared up."
Dawson said that the controlled burn was intentional. Read more
Above: A helicopter fights the Hunter Mountain fire on Saturday, May 9. Photo by Ariel Woolheater.
Four days after it was sparked in a remote Greene County Valley, the largest forest fire to burn in the Catskills town of Hunter in living memory is fully contained, according to officials at the incident’s command post at the Lanesville firehouse at noon on Sunday, May 10.
Above: Fire on the mountain. A helicopter pours water on a forest fire, visible as a plume of white smoke rising over the ridge, on Hunter Mountain on May 8, the second day of the blaze. Photo by Douglas Senterman.
Updates at bottom of post. -- Ed.
forest fire lanesville. heavenly valley road. Read more
One of the woes of the Catskill Park is that it is not technically overseen by New York State’s parks office. Instead, the Catskill Park is a patchwork of wild forests, small state parks and wildernesses overseen by the New York State Department of Conservation.
This means that the Catskills themselves aren’t featured prominently in I Love My Park Day. But that’s not stopping towns and other organizations in the Catskills from celebrating it. Read more