Upcoming Events in Walton

It's here: The 2013 Catskills Outdoor Guide

Thanks to dozens of advertisers, our excellent freelancers and contributors, and a team of graphics and creative specialists, we've finished the 2013 Catskills Outdoor Guide.

Print copies hit the streets today, just in time for Memorial Day weekend. (Sure, I got soaked by chilly rain as I delivered print editions of the guide this morning, but it's still the official summer kick-off weekend, drizzle be damned.) 

And the online version of the guide, which features a huge amount of extended material that we couldn't cram into 40 pages of print, is live. Just a few of the goodies in store:  Read more

Guide to a Catskills Memorial Day Weekend

Above: Hundreds of rubber duckies take to the waters of Gooseberry Creek in the Tannersville Rubber Duck Race & Crazy Boat Race and Festival on May 25. Photo via the Great Northern Catskills website

Memorial Day weekend in the Catskills abounds with parades, yard sales, backyard barbecues…and a vast and lively array of special events to be enjoyed.

Many towns in the region will be holding their annual Memorial Day parades, but that's not all that's going on this weekend by a long shot. Here’s the Watershed Post's guide to the best of the weekend's unofficial festivities. For a full list of Memorial Day events, including parades, see our Memorial Day events calendar


Most local school budgets pass

On Tuesday, May 21, New York State voters went to the polls to decide the fate of local school budgets and elect members to school boards.

Most budgets throughout the five-county Catskills region passed. A few were voted down, and will now have 30 days to revise their budgets and put them up for a second vote. If a school's budget is voted down twice, the school must adopt a contingency budget subject to strict caps.  Read more

Tornado warning issued for Delaware, Sullivan counties

The National Weather Service in Binghamton has issued a tornado warning for south central Delaware County and northwestern Sullivan County, effective from 1:09pm to 1:45pm.

From a message posted on NY-Alert:

At 108 PM EDT...National Weather Service Doppler Radar Indicated A Severe Thunderstorm Capable Of Producing A Tornado 9 Miles West Of Roscoe...Moving East At 25 Mph. * The Storm Capable Of Producing The Tornado Will Be Near... Roscoe By 130 PM EDT... Hazel By 135 PM EDT... Livingston Manor By 140 PM EDT... Parksville By 145 PM EDT... When You Can Do So Safely...Please Report Hail...Or Damaging Winds To The National Weather Service By Calling Toll Free At 1-888-603-1402...Or By Email At [email protected].

Update: A second tornado warning was issued for Sullivan County at 1:39pm, effective til 2:15pm:  Read more

Severe thunderstorm watch issued across New York State

The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center has issued a severe thunderstorm watch, effective until 9pm, for 45 counties in New York State as well as northwest Connecticut, western Massachusetts, and southern Vermont.

The NWS warns that thunderstorms in the region may be accompanied by large hail -- up to two inches across - and winds of up to 70 miles per hour.

The alert was issued at 1:40pm. Included in the severe thunderstorm watch are all five counties of the Catskills region: Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster. 

A Facebook page to keep an eye on as the storms develop: Hudson Valley Weather, whose readers often submit reports of conditions on the ground when severe weather develops.

Let us know, too: Post your weather reports in a comment below, or email them to [email protected]. (If you've got hail, send us photos!)  Read more

Emerald ash borer found in Delaware and Otsego counties

Above: A state Department of Environmental Conservation map showing emerald ash borer distribution in New York State. For a larger version, visit the DEC's website

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced Monday that emerald ash borer has been found for the first time in Delaware and Otsego counties. The emerald ash borer, a Asian beetle that was first found in the U.S. in 2002, is poised to virtually eliminate ash trees from Northeastern forests, including New York State's more than 900 million ash trees, if allowed to spread unchecked.

The beetles were recently found in an area near the village of Unadilla, which lies on the border between Delaware and Otsego counties. The infestation was reported by a timber harvester working in a private woodlot, the first report of the insect from a commercial woodlot.  Read more

Earthquake in Canada rattles upstate NY

Above: A screenshot of the USGS's "Did You Feel It" map for an earthquake that struck northwest of Ottawa on Friday morning.

Update, 10:43am: The USGS has revised their initial 5.0 estimate for the earthquake down to 4.4

A 4.4 earthquake that struck northwest of Ottawa, Canada at 9:43am on Friday, May 17 was felt far and wide. 

Dozens of upstate New Yorkers are chiming in on the National Weather Service in Binghamton's Facebook wall to report feeling tremors. Reports of the quake are also flooding in on Twitter. A few:

   Read more

Tkaczyk proposes ban on out-of-state fracking waste

State senator Cecilia Tkaczyk, an outspoken opponent of hydrofracking, is proposing new legislation that would prohibit out-of-state drillers from disposing of fracking waste in New York State.

On Wednesday, Tkaczyk held a press conference about the proposed bill. In a prepared statement, Tkaczyk argues that if New York State is still on the fence about whether to allow hydrofracking, it doesn't make much sense for the state to accept toxic waste from Pennsylvania drill sites. From the statement:

Senator Tkaczyk’s bill would ban “the treatment, discharge, disposal, transportation or storage of high volume hydraulic fracturing waste products in New York State.” While this type of fracking is not currently being conducted in New York, landfills and treatment facilities in the state are accepting tens of thousands of tons of fracking waste from sites in Pennsylvania.  Read more

Snow today, hard freeze on the way

Proof that there really are only two seasons in the Catskills -- winter and the Fourth of July. Photo taken at 1:45pm on Monday, May 13 at the Watershed Post's headquarters in New Kingston. 

As if the snow falling out of the sky wasn't warning enough: Gardeners across the region should be alert for fast-dropping temperatures. A freeze warning has been issued by the National Weather Service covering a large swath of eastern New York and western New England.

DEP: Boat rental businesses can store boats at reservoirs

On Thursday, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection announced that it would allow boat rental businesses to store rental vessels directly on the banks of the NYC reservoirs. The policy change will make things easier for rental companies, which had to store their boats elsewhere last season and schlep them to and from the lakes for every paddler. 

The DEP, working with the Catskill Watershed Corporation, has purchased storage racks to house 120 rental boats, but it's unclear how they will be split up between the reservoirs. 

Read the full press release about the change below:


Rental Boats Will be a Boost to Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Economy in Catskills  Read more