Department of Environmental Conservation

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Catskill Strategic Planning Advisory Group

Background

In October 2020, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the formation of the Catskill Strategic Planning Advisory Group (CAG). The advisory group will collaboratively provide advice to DEC on how to balance critical issues associated with increased public use in the Catskill Park in order to protect the area's natural resources for future generations.

The Advisory Group is charged to make recommendations for strategies, actions, and tactics by the end of 2021. New York State identified six goals for managing public use in the Catskill Park region:

  1. Ensure public safety within the communities, along roadways, at trailheads, and in interior areas;
  2. Address impacts and public safety in areas experiencing significant and unsustainable public use;
  3. Protect natural resources and recreation infrastructure;
  4. Provide a quality recreation experience for visitors and users of all backgrounds;
  5. Support local economic vitality; and
  6. Ensure that science/fact-driven decisions are made with the use of best available data.

The Advisory Group is comprised of stakeholders with expertise in local government, recreation, natural resource protection, business, tourism, and other priority areas. Commissioner Seggos named this group to achieve the goals for the initiative and

  • Incorporate, expand, and/or modify recommendations made to date;
  • Identify priorities;
  • Determine whether additional data is needed to inform the group; and
  • Identify actions for implementation.

Public Participation

In their first meeting, Advisory Group members agreed that public input and transparency are critical to the successful development of a strategic framework. Therefore, links to meeting summaries are listed below by date and will be added after subsequent meetings.

Public feedback regarding the above six goals of the CAG, and opportunities to address them, was collected via a public survey that closed on March 19, 2021. Additional opportunities for public feedback will be afforded during the planning process.

Meeting Summaries