In one of his final acts as New York State's top environmental official, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens acted on Friday to allow the long-awaited Belleayre Resort project in the Catskills to move forward.
In a decision enacted on Friday, July 10, Martens granted a motion from the DEC's staff to cancel the final hurdle that still lay between the project and the issuing of permits for construction: a legal proceeding called an "adjudicatory hearing."
Above: An interactive timeline of 16 years of Belleayre Resort review.
Above: Fireworks in Margaretville on Friday, July 3, by Joshua Trupin.
Happy Independence Day weekend! Here are some photos from around the Catskills this Fourth of July.
Above: The Independence Day parade in Windham on July 4, by Petra Davenport.
Above: Jupiter and Venus appear next to each other in the sky during their historic conjunction, which peaked this week on Tuesday, June 30 but which continued to dazzle on Saturday, July 4 in Monticello while the fireworks were popping. Photo by John of Catskills Photography.
We're already written about where to find fireworks on this Fourth of July in the Catskills. But there’s lots of other things going on across the region as well. Here are a few of our favorites, county by county.
Independence Day in the Catskills means barbecue, waters warm enough to swim in, and lots of time spent outside. But we know that you're really here for the fireworks. Here's our five-county lowdown on where to see fireworks in Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties over the 2015 Fourth of July weekend.
Above: Old Mill Falls in Platte Clove (number 1 on the list below). Photo by Joshua Trupin.
￼Steep slopes and restless streams make the Catskill Mountains rich waterfall territory. Here are 10 falls worth visiting, winnowed down from the dozens and dozens to be found in the region. Some are a cool reward at the end of a rugged hike, while others plunge just a few yards from the road.
While most waterfalls in the Catskills are located in the high escarpment in the east part of Greene County, there are cascades, plunges and cataracts in each of the counties that make up the region -- Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster. All five counties are represented on this list, so there's a waterfall here close to you. Read more
It's taken seven years, but Route 28 in Ulster and Delaware counties has finally received legislative approval to become the Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway, according to a press release from New York State Senator James Seward.
Seward made the announcement on Tuesday, June 23, in what officials hoped was the last day of the legislative session, which has run close to a week over its normal schedule this year.
The 65-mile byway runs along Route 28 from the Ulster County town of Olive to the Delaware County town of Andes, with short jogs along Route 212 and Route 42, through Shandaken, Middletown and Andes. It still must receive Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature to become law.
State approval means that the byway will be designated on maps and will be eligible for federal grant money. It also means that someday soon you'll see the byway's signature logo, which features a bobcat paw print (above), along the roadway from Olive to Andes. Read more
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