Catskills junkyard operator faces criminal charges

Above: William Hrazanek. Courtesy of the NYS DEC. 

State environmental officials have filed criminal charges against junkyard owner William Hrazanek, 68, after the discovery of leaky drums of oil and gas found last year on his properties in Fleischmanns and Arkville.

The charges are not related to a spill in Mount Tremper that has been linked to Hrazanek, which officials say they are still investigating. 

In May 2013, a routine inspection by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Region 4 office turned up hundreds of tires and 12 leaky barrels of waste oil and gasoline at Hrazanek's property at 717 Wagner Avenue in Fleischmanns, known as the VW Parts building. 

When Hrazanek failed to report the leaking gasoline at Wagner Avenue, DEC agents raided the property and two other junkyards owned by Hrazanek in the town of Middletown, leading to the current charges.   Read more

DEP to remove 15,000 storm-damaged trees near Cannonsville Reservoir

Above: Storm-felled trees on New York City-owned land on Houck Mountain, northeast of the Cannonsville Reservoir in Beerston, NY, in May of 2013. Photos courtesy of NYC DEP.

Blame it on the rain -- and the wind, and the torrential flooding. In the past several years, extreme storms have taken a toll on Catskills forests, leaving many trees in the region toppled or damaged. 

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection, which owns and manages thousands of acres of land around the city's upstate reservoirs, recently announced the start of a major forestry project to remove about 15,000 storm-damaged trees from 120 acres of land on Houck Mountain near the Cannonsville Reservoir. 

About 60 percent of the trees at the site have been felled or damaged by Irene, Lee and Sandy, said DEP spokesperson Adam Bosch.

The trees will be harvested by a local contractor who bid for the job, Ostrander Logging of Walton, and milled into lumber. Many of them are valuable hardwoods, like black cherry.  Read more

Spillian: A Place To Revel


50 Todd Mountain Road
Fleischmanns, NY 12430

A superb historic Catskills inn and retreat center. Workshops, retreats, special events, lodging, food.


Third Annual Living History Cemetery Tour

June 21, 2014 - 4:00pm

The Historical Society of the Town of Middletown presents its signature event! Guided tours of the Sanford Cemetery, with costumed players portraying 9 people interred in this burial ground on County Route 6 (New Kingston Rd.), Dunraven. $12 adults, $5 kids under 12. Reservations required (845-586-4736). 


The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development

Founded in 1969, The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development is a membership organization that serves the seven counties of the Catskill Region. Our mission is to protect and foster the environmental, cultural and economic well being of the Catskill Mountain Region. Our interdisciplinary approach to protecting our ecosystems and creating vibrant communities encompasses four program areas – Arts & Culture, Education, Natural Resources, and Regional Planning.


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Delaware & Ulster Railroad

Hop aboard this Scenic Train Ride and unwind during a leisurely-paced excursion through the legendary Catskill Mountains, offering some of the country’s most magnificent scenery.

Trains embark on a round-trip between Arkville, NY and Roxbury, NY.

Special Events Include:

  • Train Robberies
  • Twilight Rides
  • Dining Options
  • Group Visits

E-mail: tours@durr.org

(800) 225-4132 or (845) 586-DURR

"Quick burst" of snow to hit Catskills this afternoon

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Above: Snow falling thick and fast at 11:40 a.m. in Margaretville at the WP HQ. 

This winter isn't over yet. The National Weather Service in Albany is predicting that a "quick burst" of 1 to 3 inches of snow will fall in the eastern Catskills this afternoon -- specifically in Greene, Schoharie and Ulster counties. The snowfall rate will be heavy -- about an inch per hour.

It has already started snowing that hard in Margaretville. See our video above.

The precipitation may become freezing rain as the temperatures rise just above 32 degrees, according to Hudson Valley Weather:  Read more

NYC mayor appoints Emily Lloyd as DEP commissioner

Above: New DEP commissioner Emily Lloyd and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday in the Blue Room at City Hall, where de Blasio announced the appointment of Lloyd and two other city administrators. Photo courtesy of Mayor de Blasio's office. 

Former New York City Department of Environmental Protection commissioner Emily Lloyd is getting her old job back, city mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday at City Hall. 

Lloyd headed the DEP from 2005 to 2008 under former mayor Michael Bloomberg. She resigned from the post in October of 2008, in a move that drew some speculation at the time about whether her departure was connected to controversy over the ballooning costs of the agency's Croton filtration plant  Read more

DEP police sign a new contract with de Blasio administration

Photo illustration. The reservoir in the background is the Pepacton in Delaware County; photo by Timothy Cox, shared in the Watershed Post's Flickr group pool.

A union representing about 200 watershed police working for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently signed a contract with the city's new mayor, Bill de Blasio.

The DEP police contract -- the first labor contract signed under de Blasio's administration -- follows almost a decade of wrangling over the status of the DEP's officers, who have long performed many of the duties of police without the same level of benefits as other city police officers.  Read more

Log Cabin in Margaretville NY

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Home on The Range! This property is suited to the most discerning equestrians! 40.31 acres of panoramic perfection with not another house in sight. With 3 massive bedrooms & 3 full baths this Custom Beaver Mountain Log Home is big enough for the whole Ponderosa. The great room has a stone fireplace + 15' cathedral ceiling. radiant heat throughout. The eat in kitchen is no less than custom with granite counter tops, wood grain fridge & solid wood cabinets. The formal dining room brings the outdoors in surrounded by windows & dripping with views. The master bath has a steam shower, sauna & jacuzzi tub. There is a full finished basement adding 1911 sq ' to it's living space. The wrap around deck is a proscenium arch to some of the most majestic views of mountainous terrain Delaware County has to offer. The detached garage has a second floor for guests or the caretaker. 4 bay horse barn with electric, water, horse fencing + stadium lighting! This property is bordered by a rushing stream.

Price: $775,000  Read more

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