Catskills Forest Preserve

September 2007

Accord reached on resort development

Capping an arduous seven-year fight, we reached a landmark agreement that will dramatically reduce harmful impacts from a proposed resort adjacent to the state-owned Belleayre Ski Center, on the border of Ulster and Delaware counties. The accord forged by NRDC, the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development and other environmental groups, along with city, state and local officials will help protect the natural values of the Catskills while promoting healthy growth in the region. Under the settlement, 1,200 acres approximately two-thirds of the land owned by the resort's developers will be sold to the state for inclusion as "forever wild" lands in the Catskill Forest Preserve. Also, before moving forward, the resort's developers must release a supplemental analysis of the project's environmental impacts, allow for a public hearing on the proposal and demonstrate that they are complying with all environmental laws. BioGems Defenders have sent thousands of messages to state officials in recent years, urging them to stand strong against proposed destructive development in the Catskill Park. We will closely monitor the implementation of the Belleayre agreement, and will keep fighting to stop a ring of giant casinos from despoiling the region.