Officials meet for Local Government Day

Claryville – New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Com-missioner Pete Grannis addressed attendees of the Eighth Annual Catskills Local Government Day October 22, held this year at Frost Valley YMCA.
The theme of the daylong conference, sponsored each year by the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) and New York State Department of State (DOS), was the importance of collaboration and partnerships to the improvement of recreational opportunities in the Catskill region.
Thirteen presenters showed the audience a range of successful examples of scenic, historic, artistic and cultural tours they have developed in the northeast, including projects both completed and on tap in Catskill towns and villages.
In his keynote address, Commissioner Grannis was topical in his remarks welcoming the crowd of 175 people by expressing his love of fly-fishing the Esopus Creek. He also stressed that in his role as DEC Commissioner, he has learned that there is no “one size fits all” answer to the many issues that have an impact on people’s lives.
“Here in the Catskills, you have a wealth of spectacular natural beauty, culture and history, but you face a delicate, sometimes daunting balance between strengthening economic vitality and protecting those unique natural areas.” Commissioner Grannis fielded a half dozen questions about the future of natural gas drilling in the state.
The Catskills’ proximity to metropolitan New York is an asset, however. “We are pleased at the cooperative spirit shown by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and many other agencies in making public lands in our region more accessible to visitors and residents alike,” said Alan Rosa, Executive Director of the CWC.
Jerry Huncosky, CEO of Frost Valley, conducted a tour of the new Guenther Family Wellness Center, which has expanded the 50-year-old camp and retreat center’s capacity to serve people with special needs who seek outdoor recreation and environmental education.
Local Government Day is a yearly opportunity for local municipal officials, planning and zoning board members, code enforcement officers and others to receive the training they need to carry out their jobs and gain knowledge of current issues that impact their communities. This year’s focus on recreational and cultural trails and corridor planning was augmented by displays mounted by many agencies and nonprofit organizations.
For more information go to www.cwconline.org: www.cwconline.org. To learn about conference, camp and education opportunities at Frost Valley, visit www.frostvalley.org.