Hilt Kelly, legendary Catskills fiddler and square dance caller, dies

Above: Hilt and Stella Kelly at the 2014 Fiddlers! Festival in Roxbury. Photograph by Jill Ribich of Catskill Images. 

Hilton Kelly, the legendary Catskills fiddler and square dance caller, died on Tuesday, March 3 in Mountainside Residential Care Center in Margaretville, according to a friend of the Kelly family. He was 89 years old and is survived by Stella Kelly, his wife and bandmate of 66 years, as well as two children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren

Above: Hilt Kelly playing at the Slow Jam at the Pine Hill Community Center, May 10, 2013. Shot by VeccVideography on Vimeo.  Read more

Wednesday Night’s Show: Hoppy Quick – Catskill Mountain Woodsman

CFA-On-The-Air: From the Forest
Wednesdays 6PM – 7PM

Hoppy Quick’s family has been in the mountains of Ulster County for hundreds of years, and in that time they have learned a thing or two about trees and all that can be made from them. Hoppy has become well-known for the realism that his chain-saw carved bears display. He also has carved eagles, owls, mountain men, among countless other creatures From the Forest. For Hoppy, carving is one of many things he does that keeps him connected to nature. Tune in at 91.3 FM or stream online @ to meet Hop – Catskill Mountain Woodsman.

Hey, spring is coming. You know why? Just tapped some maple trees yesterday in central Ulster County. A few were dripping away since they were directly in the sun. Although last night begged to differ about spring’s upcoming arrival, the forecast for the end of the week says the trees just might be running.  Read more

In visit to Roxbury, state officials vow faster Internet for rural NY

Above: New York State Broadband Program director David Salway, left, talks with Greg Henderson, middle, the owner of the Roxbury Motel, and Angela Liotta, right, the state's Broadband Outreach Director, on Wednesday, Feb. 25. Photo by Julia Reischel. 

In his draft budget for the 2015 - 2016 fiscal year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing an ambitious goal: high-speed internet for everyone, including in rural areas like the Catskills, by 2019. Greene County, in the Catskills, has the worst broadband access in the entire state, according to statistics released by the governor’s office.   Read more

Join Pure Catskills by March 27 to get in the Guide

Join by March 27 to be featured in the 2015- 2016 Pure Catskills Guide. Simply send a $35 payment by mail today: Make checks payable to “WAC” and mail to Watershed Agricultural Council, Attn: Pure Catskills, 44 West Street, Walton, NY 13856 OR pay online here:

Questions about membership? Contact Kristan Morley, Farm to Market Manager at [email protected] (link sends e-mail) or (607) 865‐7090.

Top 10 reasons to join:  Read more

Moderation Makes Maple Flavored Magic

Above: Margaretville syrupmaker Mike Porter in his sugar house. 

By Ryan Trapani, Catskill Forest Association

Many of us are aware of winos. I’m not talking about complainers, but those whose palates are well- acquainted with an assortment of grape-wines. They don’t just gulp it down to catch a quick buzz. Ice cubes clinking in your glass of red wine will surely raise an eyebrow with these winy patrons; perhaps even a scowl. Sure, they’ll pour you a glass of wine, but you’ll first have to wait for it. You’ll hear a long story half in French, and the other that assumes you're about to attend a feast for a king. Now that your wine has been given time to breathe, you can finally forget the French and missed salmon dinner with mango salsa by drowning in yeast excrement, or better known as alcohol. Behind each wine’s taste are claimed associations with a plethora of environmental conditions, weather patterns, climate, yeast, and some other magic-making. All I can say, is that wine tends to be better – and the same – by the second or third glass.  Read more

Health and Safety - Post Week of 2/23/15

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Wednesday Night’s Show: Catskill Trees with Gary Mead – Tulip Poplar

CFA-On-The-Air: From the Forest
Wednesdays 6PM – 7PM

Every 3rd Wednesday we talk to Gary Mead about a different tree found in or near the Catskill Mountains. Every tree is different, and there is always something unique & special we find out about it. Tonight we’ll be discussing the TULIP POPLAR tree. Tulip poplar – also known as yellow poplar – is a rarity in the Catskills. However as one travels down the line on state route 28 towards the Hudson Valley, it can be seen growing in nutrient-rich hollows, cloves, or coves, depending on your classification of such. Tulip poplar is our straightest growing hardwood, has unforgettable flowers and deep green and unusual cleft-shaped leaves; a beautiful southerner amongst our northern hardwoods.  Read more

Making the best of the sub-zero temperatures

Above: Brian Olenych, fresh out of the sauna, is warm enough for anything in Arkville on Saturday, Feb. 14. Photos courtesy of Marcia Olenych.

This February is in the top five of the coldest Februarys on record, according to the National Weather Service in Binghamton. 

It's been single-digit temperatures all month, with killer wind chills on top.  Read more

Wednesday Night’s Show: Winter Wildlife

CFA-On-The-Air: From the Forest
Wednesday’s 6PM – 7PM

On Wednesday night’s show (February 18th), From the Forest will be interviewing CFA’s Executive Director, Jim Water’s granddaughter – Summer. We’ll be discussing winter wildlife survival despite frigid temperatures and deep snow depths. Tune in at 91.3 FM or stream online @ to learn more.

I’ll be honest, not too much for me. I don’t know about you, but I have a cold that just won’t go away, so the forest has been missing me (I hope) and I the forest. I have been shuffling firewood quite a bit into the stove. You know, no matter how much you do something every day, there is always some way it can be done better, even burning firewood: the way you stack it in, or how long you let it burn before damping down.

May the forest be with you,
Ryan Trapani
Education Forester  Read more

This Weekend: Valentine's Day in the Catskills

Above: Snowmen in love in Roxbury promote Sunday's Hearts in the Hamlet event, via Facebook.

Just when we desperately need a celebration to take the edge off the cabin fever and the late-winter blahs, here it is Valentine’s Day. What could be lovelier? In the Catskills, love is something that’s celebrated year round, but this weekend it’s the star of the show. Come out and create and play and feast and dance. All events are happening on Valentine's Day itself -- Saturday, Feb. 14 -- unless otherwise indicated. 


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