July 2, 2008: Reason, respect sought by CLA

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To The Editor:
The Catskill Landowners’ Association (CLA) supports Jim and Susan Kelly of Halcottsville and their efforts to retain the operation and integrity of their Susan’s Pleasant Pheasant Farm Bed & Breakfast, its land and the associated structure. The Kellys are members of CLA and the excellent stewardship of their land is what the organization expects of its members.
We believe enlightened private stewardship has and will continue to provide the most effective method of preserving the aesthetic and environmental integrity of Catskill lands. And, we exist to promote broader understanding of the important role of responsible private landowners in the sound management and conservation of natural resources in the Catskills.
CLA endorses the state’s efforts to preserve the overall natural character of the Catskills for future generations and supports enactment of state laws and policies protecting the forest preserve and respecting rights of responsible private property ownership. But we resist efforts, whether by eminent domain or unnecessary regulation, to take private property rights away from owners who manage their properties with sound environmental practices.
Thus, we support a letter written by Joan and Roger Cogan (June 25 edition) which requests governing authorities take into consideration “options and project engineering that will help eliminate” loss of the special structure of their bridge and natural setting of their inn, not to mention loss of income.
We urge authorities to review the option outlined in the “Build a Bridge Leave a Bridge” concept presented in the Kellys’ Catskill Mountain News advertisement (June 25). Civil discourse based on reason and respect along with rational compromise hopefully will resolve this matter to the benefit of the environment, the economy of the town and the Kellys.

John Wadlin,
President, CLA