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For Release: Wednesday, July 25, 2012

DEC Enforcement Detail Nabs 21

A cooperative law enforcement detail at the Kaaterskill Clove area in Greene County has resulted in the ticketing of 21 individuals for numerous violations, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Gene Kelly announced today.

DEC Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) worked with New York State Police, the Greene County Sheriff's Department and the town of Hunter Police Department to address ongoing violations of state law at the popular Kaaterskill Clove gathering point on NYS Route 23A between Palenville and Haines Falls in Greene County.

"Unfortunately, many members of the public have disregarded the laws in place to protect this unique and beautiful natural area and this behavior will not be tolerated," Kelly said. "We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to prevent the littering, stream pollution, underage drinking and overall degradation of this area which includes the popular Kaaterskill Creek trout stream."

The enforcement detail took place from July 7th - 9th and resulted in nearly 60 tickets being issued for such violations as littering, depositing trash in a trout stream, underage drinking, illegal parking, marijuana possession, illegal fires and the illegal possession of glass containers. A number of individuals would cook food then dump the charcoal from their grills and food waste directly into the stream, along with glass bottles, human waste and other garbage. A number of those ticketed were from out of the immediate area and were arrested and immediately arraigned before the town of Hunter Court.

The popular Kaaterskill Clove area, which includes waterfalls and natural pools, attracts tens of thousands of people a year. In recent months the number of people utilizing this area has increased significantly resulting in increased abuse of the area. The irresponsible use of the area has also resulted in numerous rescues in the area over the past few months due to reckless behavior and substance abuse. The increased use of the area has also resulted in a series of vehicle break-ins and vandalism in recent weeks.

To address the vandalism and thefts, DEC worked with its partners resulting in the arrest of two individuals by the town of Hunter Police Department on July 9. Town of Catskill resident Michael Richardson (age 35) was charged with third degree criminal mischief (felony), fourth degree criminal possession of stolen property (felony), possession of a controlled substance, heroin (misdemeanor) and endangering the welfare of a child (misdemeanor). Town of Catskill resident Jessica Moore (age 28) was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child (misdemeanor).

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