‘We’re Scrambling:’ New York Dairy Farmers Struggling To Stay In Business

“Elected officials can deal with this now,” said Wes Gillingham, Co-Director of Catskill Mountainkeeper. “They need to act now and address the problem and fix the situation that we’ve gotten ourselves into.”

The Diehl farm is one of six in Sullivan County, and 52 statewide, losing their wholesale contract. As of July, there’s no one to buy what they produce.

“Probably the most difficult time I’ve seen in my lifetime,” said Bose. “Mentally, physically, emotionally, horrible.”

Global forces are hitting local farms, everything from increased production in China, to Walmart bottling its own milk in Indiana. Tastes are changing too. The average American drinks 37% less milk today than in 1970.


Trump’s pipeline orders fuel debate in New York

Meanwhile, Catskill Mountainkeeper, one of several environmental groups seeking to derail the Constitution Pipeline, launched a new fundraising appeal Thursday, citing Trump’s use of his executive powers to accelerate the approval process for oil and gas pipelines.

“We beat the Constitution before, but if President Trump gets his way it’s hard to say if we would again,” Wes Gillingham, associate director of Catskill Mountainkeeper, said in the pitch for donations.


Catskill Mountains advocates call for $15M to preserve region

ARKVILLE — The Catskill Watershed Corporation, which oversees the sensitive underground water system beneath several Greene County mountaintop communities that feeds New York City reservoirs, is up for $500,000 in grants for shovel-ready access and stewardship projects across the Catskill Park.

As a member of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation, Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-102, called on Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos to allocate increased funding to maintain resources in the Catskills, such as Kaaterskill Falls, he said.

“The Catskills are one of New York’s great gems and they deserve the same focus and attention as any other beautiful part of the state,” Tague said. “I will always advocate for prioritizing the beauty of the Catskills. They are a national treasure and have so much to offer residents and tourists.”

Organizations seeking to protect the Catskill Mountains are calling on state legislators to provide a total $15 million in investments in the Catskill Park in the 2019 state budget.


Green parade and fair in New Paltz


Speakers will address the fair crowd beginning at 12:40 p.m., including Ulster County executive Michael Hein, county legislator/Catskill Mountainkeeper senior research director Kathy Nolan, Village of New Paltz mayor Tim Rogers, Town of New Paltz supervisor Neil Bettez and Town Rosendale councilwoman/Citizens for Local Power director/New York State Senate candidate Jen Metzger. There will also be live music by Tin Horn Uprising, a performance by the New Paltz Dance Team and activities for kids, including a bicycle-decorating contest with prizes from the Bicycle Depot and wildlife education from Eric the Reptile Guy.






Commentary: How to fight climate change with an eye to economic justice

Katherine works at Catskill Mountainkeeper, which represents the Catskill Mountains and region — an area that over the past few years has seen an increase in power outages, flooding, and damage to homes and property as a result of our changing climate. And for Geo, who grew up in the South Bronx and now lives in Buffalo, climate change and environmental racism have always been a part of her existence, even before she understood the real depth of damage they’ve caused in her communities.

That’s the reason why we are working to pass the Climate and Community Protection Act in the state Legislature (S2992/A3876). The CCPA is written and supported by more than 170 community, environmental, justice, labor, and policy organizations in New York — it’s the people’s climate bill. Of all the climate proposals on the table, it’s the strongest for our planet and our communities.


Homeowners can get help with weatherization, upgrades

Locally, HeatSmart Ulster-Sullivan, a collaboration between the nonprofits Catskill Mountainkeeper and Sustainable Hudson Valley, is connecting Ulster and Sullivan counties’ residents with vetted contractors to make improvements. In Orange County, the Energy Improvement Corporation of Yorktown Heights is running the HeatSmart-Cool Orange County campaign.

Contractors vetted by the nonprofits perform free or greatly reduced home energy efficiency and use assessments, and let residents know what improvements their residences need.


Saugerties supervisor says town is working to stop construction dump

Saugerties Town Supervisor Fred Costello Jr., joined by Catskill Mountainkeeper attorney Emily Svenson and group strategic advisor Kate Hagerman, detailed the town’s various attempts to shut down what both town officials and local environmental advocates say is illegal dumping activities at sites owned by Joe Karolys.

Residents at the April 9 meeting said they suspect that the properties, located at 1446 Route 212, 33 Fel Qui Road, 43 Fel Qui Road and 90 Goat Hill Road, are receiving contaminated C&D debris fill material. (Karolys denies this is the case.) However, town officials say, Karolys is violating town law, which states that only C&D waste from within Saugerties can be dumped in Saugerties. Officials also say Karolys is working outside of the parameters of his pre-existing permit, which only allows trucking and excavating at the sites. (Karolys also denies this is the case.) Costello expressed frustration with the slow speed of the process to stop the dumping, and assured attendees that numerous county and state agencies had been called upon to help resolve the situation.


Groups, Town Supervisor Seek To End Dumping Operation In Saugerties

Catskill Mountainkeeper, the Woodstock Land Conservancy and Dump Here Never hosted the information session at Saugerties High School. They say Joseph Karolys’ unpermitted dumping operation that includes a central transfer facility has left tens of thousands of cubic yards of construction and demolition debris in the woods of Saugerties, in one case, a 30-foot-high pile, and continues unabated. Mike Ferraro lives across the street from what is called the Route 212 site.

“I just want it to go away. I want it to be cleaned up,” Ferraro says. “My grandchildren live here. I’ve lived here my whole life. We lived, I’ve lived on that property since 1976, and it’s, I don’t want it there.”


Sweeping Climate Change Bill to Make New York One of the Greenest States

“People that are on the front lines of fossil fuel impacts, on the frontlines of extreme storms, on the frontlines of air pollution — it will clean up their air, keep them safer and move this country into a better future for all of us,” said Wes Gillingham, the Associate Director of Catskill Mountainkeeper.

New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, or CCPA, is set to make the state the sixth in the country with a 100 percent clean electricity target.

“New York is one of the largest states in the country, one of the largest economies, together with California and other large economies,” said Jeff Freedman, a renewable energy expert at the Atmospheric Science Research Center at UAlbany. “You’re talking about a large portion of the United States’ economy is now going to be moving aggressively towards what we call this ‘green economy.'”

The bill calls for zero emissions from statewide electric by 2040. Activists say this is what they’ve been working for, for years.


New York to pass climate change law called nation’s most aggressive

Katherine Nadeau, deputy director of Catskill Mountainkeeper, a Sullivan County-based environmental organization, called the agreement a “monumental effort by New York state to take on the climate crisis head on.”

“We are getting on a pathway to 100 percent emission reductions while supporting our communities, and those two things are what we need,” Nadeau said.