Senator Chuck Schumer was in the village of Catskill this morning:
STANDING AT CATSKILL WATERFRONT, WHERE VILLAGE HOPES TO INCREASE PUBLIC RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES AND ACCESS TO UNDERUTILIZED WATERFRONT, SCHUMER URGES CONGRESSIONAL COLLEAGUES TO PERMANENTLY REAUTHORIZE AND FULLY FUND THE LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND; LWCF PROTECTS NY TREASURES LIKE THE CATSKILL CREEK & INVESTS IN CONSERVATION & ACCESS TO PUBLIC LANDS
The Land And Water Conservation Fund, Which Protects Our Public Lands For Conservation And Recreation, Helps State And Local Communities Build Parks And Recreation Facilities & Invests In Voluntary Conservation On Private Lands, Expired For Only The Second Time In Its Over 50-Year History
Schumer: Congress Must Reauthorize & Fully Fund Upstate’s Primary Source Of Conservation And Recreation Funding
Standing at the Catskill Creek in Catskill, NY, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today called on his colleagues to immediately reauthorize and fully fund The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Schumer said the LWCF provides critical funding that protects natural areas, water resources, and historical sites in Upstate New York. In addition, Schumer said jeopardizing these critical funds threatens both conservation and recreation projects that help support the outdoor recreation economy in communities across the Catskills. Schumer said this program has supported important conservation projects in Greene County, including the North-South Lake Recreation Area and the Long Path, which connects Thacher State Park to New York City through the Catskills.
Schumer explained that the LWCF protects public lands for conservation and recreation, helps state and local communities build parks and recreation facilities, and invests in voluntary conservation on private lands. It has been used to fund projects in every single county in the U.S., including many across New York State. In fact, there have been multiple projects that were funded by the LWCF in Greene County over the last 50 years. The largest investment from the LWCF in Greene County has been at the North-South Lake Recreation Area. Within this park, the LWCF funded the creation of both day-use and camping areas. Additionally, the LWCF also helped fund the Long Path, which begins at Thacher State Park in Voorheesville and extends for 358 miles through the Catskills to where it ends at the 175th St. subway station in New York City.
Schumer said the expiration of the LWCF program also has real consequences for the economy. For more than 50 years, the LWCF has provided $3.9 billion to states for over 40,000 local projects. New York State, in particular, has received nearly $336 million throughout the history of the LWCF. As a result, Schumer said given the tremendous economic output and jobs created by the LWCF over the years, Congress should permanently reauthorize and fully fund this program without further delay. The LWCF’s role in supporting current recreational sites and creating new projects has been threatened since it was not reauthorized by Congress. Therefore, Schumer is urging his colleagues in Congress to reauthorize the LWCF immediately before local recreational projects and facilities are put at risk. In addition, acquisitions and conservation land donations are voluntary or completed with only willing sellers.
Schumer was joined by Vincent Seeley, President of the Village Board of Trustees, as well as Trustees Stanley Dushane, Peter Grasse and Greg Smith.